Fishless Cycle Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Fishless Cycle Question

I just set up a 8 gallon Flora and a 10 gallon tank this past Sunday, I had been running the filters for both tanks on my other established tanks for about 3 weeks and put them in the new tanks, and started putting in pinches of flake food. It's Thursday and I'm still not getting any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate readings. Have I waited long enough to start getting ammonia readings, do I need to wait longer? If so, how long? Or could the tanks be cycled already b/c of putting in seeded filters? Oh, and I've been putting in Seachem's Stability every day.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:53 AM
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Start a lot of plants and fertilize.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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I filled both tanks with a lot of plants on day one and have used Flourish but that doesn't answer my questions...

"Have I waited long enough to start getting ammonia readings, do I need to wait longer? If so, how long? Or could the tanks be cycled already b/c of putting in seeded filters?"
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:24 AM
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I think it takes longer than a week to say that a tank has cycled with optimum stability.

I don't think you would get ammonia reading yet because the plants are new.

What's your substrate?


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 03:27 AM
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You may never get ammonia readings if you planted heavily from day 1. The plants absorb all the ammonia before it even starts the nitrogen cycle.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 04:13 AM
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I would say wait until 5 weeks. Then put in one or two test subjects. I have no more advice to give than that.

My roommate says I'll die by giant turtle.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 05:40 AM
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It took my Flora about 6 weeks to complete its fishless cycle. As I remember, I didn't get ammonia right away...but I got a lot of it about two weeks in. Then it tapered off and was low (but still there) until the six week mark.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
It took my Flora about 6 weeks to complete its fishless cycle. As I remember, I didn't get ammonia right away...but I got a lot of it about two weeks in. Then it tapered off and was low (but still there) until the six week mark.
Did you use any seeded media or use any cycling products like Stability or Safe Start in yours?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:58 PM
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If you ran your new filters in an established tank for 3 weeks, they would likely have been fairly well seeded. And the addition of Stability would probably have helped to augment that. Problem is, if you didn't add any fish soon after placing those filters in the new tank, or began dosing ammonia, or something that would produce ammonia (like decaying fish food, or raw fish bits), then there would have been no ammonia present to maintain that seeded bacterial colony, and after a couple of days they would have begun to die off. Even decaying plant material might not have produced sufficient ammonia to keep your BB going. Was that your situation?
There was no ammonia present in your tank from what I've read (unless I missed something), so naturally you didn't get any ammonia or other readings.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
If you ran your new filters in an established tank for 3 weeks, they would likely have been fairly well seeded. And the addition of Stability would probably have helped to augment that. Problem is, if you didn't add any fish soon after placing those filters in the new tank, or began dosing ammonia, or something that would produce ammonia (like decaying fish food, or raw fish bits), then there would have been no ammonia present to maintain that seeded bacterial colony, and after a couple of days they would have begun to die off. Even decaying plant material might not have produced sufficient ammonia to keep your BB going. Was that your situation?
There was no ammonia present in your tank from what I've read (unless I missed something), so naturally you didn't get any ammonia or other readings.
I've been putting flake food in the tank since the first day and also cannot remove the ammonia from my tap water so even after I use water conditioner I still have a .50 ppm ammonia reading so... the filter went into a tank of tap water with ammonia in it and then I did a 15% water change about three days in so I would be adding ammonia into the tank. I don't know how long the flake food would take to start giving an ammonia reading.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:13 AM
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That's quite hard to tell then. But a .50 ammonia out of the tap isn't very much, and the food flakes do take a while to decompose and decay to produce ammonia, so it's a tough call. Don't really know what has occured, but if you're not going to add fish now (which is the prudent thing to do), I would try adding store bought ammonia, up to the 3 or 4 ppm level and see what develops with your readings. In the final analysis, you may just have to bear with it through a normal 5-6 week fishless cycle, dosing ammonia.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up bringing my White Cloud minnows from work and putting one in each tank yesterday. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.....
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 02:43 AM
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My question is why fishless cycle to begin with?

I've never once ever needed too or done this in what? 35 years of keeping fish and breeding fish and growing plants. Somehow, I've eeked by just fine.

Add old filter floss/sponge, from a mature tank, LFS etc....friend.......or simply add fish slowly..........
Common sense stuff. Patience etc. You still need patience either way.........so FC offers you NOTHING.
I've yet to hear a convincing argument for FC. And I've looked and debated this topic two dozen times.




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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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My point in fishless cycling was for humane reasons. I thought that if I could avoid burning the hell out of a living creatures gills then it would be a nice thing.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:41 AM
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Yes, trixella, and that's a darn good point.

And Tom Barr, your good aquarist reputation is well known around these parts, and I find it difficult to understand how you would honestly believe it's solid, sound advice to be encouraging noobs to do things that you've managed to 'eke by just fine' for 35 years, probably by luck and by gosh in your earlier years, and likely due to your knowledge & experience in a lot of later years.
I've been fish keeping & breeding, and growing plants too, on & off for over 50 years, (both fresh & saltwater), and I've seen several instances where many fish, expensive ones too, have been contaminated & wiped out by introducing seeded media from questionable sources - from LFS's & friends whose tank maintenance & practices left a whole lot to be desired. And in my younger days, I lost many dozens of fish to ammonia & nitrites when I didn't know any better.
You may debate the issue for as long as you wish, but I do believe you're in the minority, as I'm sure there are many tens of thousands of new fishkeepers who have lost a ton of fish to unsafe poor, or non-existent, cycling methods, when they didn't know any better.
You're entitled to your view, and me to mine.
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