So how exactly DO you cycle a quarantine tank? Also a question about gravel vaccuming - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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So how exactly DO you cycle a quarantine tank? Also a question about gravel vaccuming

Ok a few weeks ago I got some new fish and began quarantining them. I have spare 5 gal which I set up and break down whenever I needed to.

So I set up the filter, heater, filled it with water, and added some NEW filter media in the HOB filter all the night before I was going the get fish.

Next morning I took some extra bio media from my main tank which has been in there for atleast 4 weeks and put it in my QT tank filter.

Same day I got the fish and drip acclimated them.

Day 1 - no ammonia & nitrite. Day 2 - No ammonia & nitrite, however, a few ghost shrimp died (4 out of 10)

Day 3 - no ammonia, but .25 nitrite!! At this point I panicked and got the fish out and figured they would probably be less stressed in the main tank.


Been about a week now and the fish are doing fine in my main tank.

But I want to know what I did wrong here?


Question 2: My main tank is 29 gal lightly planted with :

about 7/8 ghost shrimp
1 BN pleco
6 silvertip tetras
5 blackskrit tetras
3 male guppies
1 dwarf gourami

How often (if at all) should I vacuum my gravel? My tank is only 5 weeks old and I've only done it once so far.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 04:25 PM
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A small amount of bio media from an established filter is a good way to kick start a cycle. This is why you saw no ammonia but did have nitrite. It typically takes more than seeding a filter to cycle it enough to handle a full bioload. Many people keep an extra filter running on one of their established tanks so they can have it fully cycled for a QT tank as needed.

Greg

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 04:32 PM
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It sounds like it went through a mini cycle. I just moved my 55g tank to my new office, and had planned on a total recycle. After 2 weeks I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates. I haven't tested the nitrates yet, but I do use Prime and have been adding my live plants back in.

If you use prime or ummmm Aqual???, it changes the ammonia and nitrites to non-harmful versions (blond explanation ).

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