How many cycles? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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How many cycles?

How many cycles of drying the topsoil does it take to produce some decent MTS? I have buckets full of plants that are waiting for the dirt to dry before I can fill the tank and plant them in... I already have cycled the topsoil once and am on round two. I'm just not too sure of how long my plants will survive in a 5g bucket with no lighting....

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 08:14 PM
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I've been told to do 3/4 wet-dry cycles...I'm on round 2 too!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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When you go through a second cycle do you completely re submerge the soil again? Or do you simply wet it and let it re dry?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 03:01 AM
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Submerge-soak... whatever it takes to thoroughly re-wet it. Does not have to stay submerged for a long time, though. Then spread it out to dry again.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 04:14 AM
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You can use it now, but only for plants and not fish. If I was worried about the plants I would go ahead and use it, plant the tank, fill it and wait 2-3 weeks for the smell to be gone. I'm assuming you will get a swampy smell from the tank for awhile. But, the plants will love it.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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You can use it now, but only for plants and not fish. If I was worried about the plants I would go ahead and use it, plant the tank, fill it and wait 2-3 weeks for the smell to be gone. I'm assuming you will get a swampy smell from the tank for awhile. But, the plants will love it.
My T5's came in the mail today, so I put all the plants in a cooler with some sand and dosed the water and mounted the light above... So I'm assuming the plants will hold out for the MTS to finish. How would I know if the MTS is ready for fish? I have a bunch of discus and tetras I was planning on adding in after everything gets setup.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 05:13 PM
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I think the rule of thumb is to trust your nose. If the MTS has no smell when damp, it is ready, if it still has a swampy smell, it isn't. Once in the tank, with water, I'm not sure how to be sure it is ready. I think I would assume a month more or less would always be adequate.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 05:32 PM
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If the soil is submerged while still containing organics you need to treat it just like any other tank. Test for the cycling ammonia, nitrite and then nitrate.

Honestly MTS or natural soils the tank needs to cycle. (I've done both)

Edit; I went back in my thread and looked. 12 day's saw NO3 starting to test positive and fully cycled in 16 day's after flooding the tank.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok... Here is a question then, I have 2 other 55 gallons one of which the livestock for the 125g are temporarily in. Once I have created an odorless batch of MTS, if I added 55g of cycled source water and filled the rest with treated tap would it be ok to introduce livestock? Or should I be waiting it out to be on the safe side?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 06:56 PM
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Most of your bio is in the gravel and filter. Little to none free in the water. Can you start using your new filter system on an existing tank?


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Most of your bio is in the gravel and filter. Little to none free in the water. Can you start using your new filter system on an existing tank?
I forgot to mention I have two penguin 350's from an established tank that will be running on the 125g, and the FX5 was running on that same existing tank and still has all the water and media in it...
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 12:44 AM
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As long as the bacteria in the filter is kept fed, (filter has been kept active on a tank) then you'll probably jump start your tank. I did load a tank with plants and use a 'seeded' set of sponges then added a pair of adult angels, two pandas and four otto's the following day. (the story is a little complicated but I really needed the tank loaded in a hurry) it worked without issue.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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If the MTS starts an ammonia cycle, dont the plants do a pretty good job of absorbing ammonia?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 02:16 PM
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If the MTS starts an ammonia cycle, dont the plants do a pretty good job of absorbing ammonia?
Yes but also if your testing and see a positive result if you have Kordon's AmQuel on hand the ammonia is not toxic after treatment and the mini cycle if you have one occure continues quickly.

Nitrite will follow if you see ammonia on a test and should be kept be below 0.01 ppm for chronic effects. A one-time addition of salt (1 level teaspoon uniodized salt per 10 gal) will take care of nitrite problems. This salt concentration (about 0.015%) should not hurt plants. To make sure salt gets quickly mixed into in the tank water, Dissolve the salt in a pitcher of tank water and then add the resulting salt solution to the tank.

Prepared in advance for what to expect makes things easier.


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