Cycle Question - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
Cycle Question

I had my tank sitting for the last month to cycle while I waited for my supplies for a high tech planted tank. I had red flourite and black sand to cover it however the flourite kept coming through the sand whenever the bottom was disrupted and leaving red specks all over the bottom of my tank. So I changed the substrate just about 3 days ago. I swapped the red flourite for black eco-complete and mixed in about 1/4th of the black sand that was originally on top of my flourite. Today I added another bag of sand on top of the eco-complete to completely cover it and make it look like it was just sand. I also just heavily planted the tank today.

Anyways... My question is... Is my tank going to have to cycle once again? will it be a short cycle? The sand I originally took out, was kept in water and therefore harboring bacteria. I also have a biowheel filter, and the bacteria on the wheel is still present.

Is it safe to add fish?
SHMaRiM is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:48 AM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
What ammonia source did you use to cycle your tank?

If you didn't add an ammonia source then the tank never cycled in the first place.

If you DID a full and complete fishless cycle, then I'd test it now- dose 2-4ppm of ammonia and wait 24 hours and test your levels. If you've got 0ppm ammonia and nitrite reading but some nitrates, then I'd start stocking, slowly.

If you've got readable ammonia or nitrites then you need to finish out the cycle again, adding ammonia every day till the ammonia and nitites bottom out again. Hopefully it won't take as long as the first time around, however.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
there was a small plant in the tank for about a month? idk if that counts...
SHMaRiM is offline  
 
post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 05:25 AM
Moderator
 
Darkblade48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 11,706
How large is your tank? When you say "heavily planted", how many plants did you plant?

Anthony


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline  
post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
20 gallon tall. Ok, well more than likely moderately planted in anyone on this site's book. I put about 90 stems in the tank today. I also put some micro swords and some Vallisneria Italian

SHMaRiM is offline  
post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 12:55 PM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20gnoob View Post
there was a small plant in the tank for about a month? idk if that counts...
No, plants don't produce ammonia, they use it! lol

You need to cycle this tank before adding any fish. It's going to take about a month. You need to add an ammonia source to feed the nitrogen-fixing bacteria that convert toxic ammonia and nitrites into less toxic nitrates.

The most low-maintenance way to do it is to just get a few cocktail shrimp (2 would do it for your tank), throw it in the tank and let it rot. A few weeks from now start watching your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. You'll know you've cycled the tank (built up a big enough N-bacteria colony) when your ammonia and nitrite levels drop back down to 0ppm but you've got a nitrate reading.

At that point, do a 50% water change and check the levels again the next day. If ammonia and nitrite are still 0ppm, go ahead and remove anything that remains of the shrimp. Do one more 50% water change and then you're ready to add fish!

If you don't want to use shrimp then you can manually dose your tank with ammonia each day. You'll need to reach 2-4ppm of ammonia each day, and test and do the math to figure out how much ammonia to add from day to day.

If you can bring over some established media or mulm from another tank (if you have any friends with healthy established tanks) that can significantly cut down on the time it takes to cycle the tank.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
Thankyou for the info
SHMaRiM is offline  
post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 07:13 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 234
If you start small on your stocking levels (maybe 6 neon tetra's worth of load) you can add fish immediately. Your plants will consume a good deal of nitrogen -- especially in the form of ammonia. Add a single drop of Flourish Trace, and 10 drops of Flourish Excel, daily and keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrite levels. If they stay stable at zero, linearly add more fish and fertilizers every week until you start to see readings. Then stay there until the tank cycles.

SunSun Pimp #10

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 29G, 130W PC lighting, Red Sea CO2 on 20# tank, SunSun 303B, Custom ferts
insta is offline  
post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 07:40 PM
Children Boogie
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
No, plants don't produce ammonia, they use it! lol
they can produce NH4 if they're dead or dying


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mistergreen is offline  
post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
I added 2 feeder goldfish to the tank to help it begin to cycle. I tested the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 15ppm

We'll see what happens here in a few days.

Last edited by SHMaRiM; 05-20-2010 at 12:58 AM.
SHMaRiM is offline  
post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 03:31 AM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Oy.

There's all kinds of reasons I wouldn't use feeder goldfish to cycle a tank but at this point I guess you've already gone there...





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 03:40 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Don't cycle with fish.
Ammonia burns their gills and fins. Think of the worst sore throat you ever had. So bad it hurts to breathe.
Nitrite causes 'brown blood disease' Google it. Makes the blood not carry oxygen very well. So, on top of the burned gills, the fish now need to breathe more efficiently to get more oxygen. Some fish die. Some survive but remain delicate the rest of their shortened lives.

:-(

In addition, feeder Goldfish are not treated very well and can introduce diseases and parasites to the tank.

At this point I would:
1) Return the Golds.
2) Sterilize the tank.
3) Plant.
4) Begin a different method of cycling.

There are a couple of ways you can go.

Method 1:
Add a bacterial additive. Make sure it has Nitrospiros bacteria. All the other additives are the wrong bacteria. The right products will proudly advertise "Nitrospiros sp.". The wrong ones will say 'Faculative bacteria', 'helper enzymes' and similar things. The right products can cycle the tank pretty fast (few days, less than a week) and with just a small blip of ammonia and nitrite. A good way to use them is to add a full dose, then stock about half the fish. Keep the rest in the fridge, and add more of these bacteria when you add more fish.

Method 2:
Fishless cycle as mentioned above.
Add ammonia to 5 ppm. Test daily. When ammonia starts dropping test for nitrite.
When nitrite shows up keep adding ammonia, but just to 3 ppm. If the nitrite goes over 5 ppm, do a water change. These bacteria do not grow well if the nitrite is over 5 ppm.
Keep on adding ammonia to read 3 ppm.
After about 3 weeks from the start the ammonia and nitrite will be removed in less than 24 hours. The tests will show 0 ppm for each of these, and the nitrate will be really high.
Do a big enough water change to drop the nitrate to safe levels, and add fish. This method grows so much bacteria you can fully stock the tank all at once.
Doing this in a planted tank is a little different. The plants may not like 5 ppm ammonia, so I would just go with 3 ppm throughout.
The cycle may go faster because the plants can introduce some of the bacteria you are growing so the cycle is jump started. Also, the plants themselves are removing some of the ammonia and nitrite. They are part of the bio filter. Still, keep adding ammonia and monitoring it. When the ammonia and nitrite show 0 ppm within 24 hours of adding more ammonia, the cycle is complete. You can add a full load of fish.

Method 3:
Really fully plant the tank, and make sure there is enough light, carbon and fertilizers for the plants to be really thriving. Plant so densely you cannot see the back of the tank.
Add 3 ppm ammonia and see if they can remove it all, and no nitrite shows within 24 hours. If the plants can do this, then it is safe to add fish. I would stock at 50% and keep on testing, then stock the rest when tests show that conditions have stabilized.
Diana is offline  
post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 04:31 PM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
I agree with Diana.

If it were my tank I'd get rid of the feeders and sterilize my tank. Feeders are usually nasty with diseases and parasites... I would never put any fish I wanted to keep in a tank that had had purchased feeder fish in it.

Then do a fishless cycle.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
SHMaRiM's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Battle Ground, Wa
Posts: 238
they were quarantined in a floating breeder station so they wont eat and mess with my plants.

I took them out as soon as I read that post. They all look healthy and they dont have ich or anything but i'd rather be safe than sorry.

Where should I get ammonia in order to cycle the tank?
SHMaRiM is offline  
post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 09:51 PM
Moderator
 
Darkblade48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 11,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20gnoob View Post
Where should I get ammonia in order to cycle the tank?
You should be able to purchase unscented ammonia with no additives added into it at your local hardware store.

It is often sold as a household cleaner.

Anthony


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome