Basic Cycling Question - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
Basic Cycling Question

I started my tank on a fishless cycle five days ago. This is a new set up with only substrate and water in the tank currently. Tank is 120, substrate is flourite black gravel, filter is FX6, heater is keeping 80 degrees F, no lights except and occasional short inspection, and I have a bubbler working at max.

Water was clear when I added ammonia. Added basic ammonia with no additives. (This is an old bottle). Continued adding more ammonia till I started reading 4. Has remained at 4 for four days now.

The water has turned cloudy now. I don't remember this happening the last time I did a fishless cycle on a different tank. Is the water turning cloudy normal?

thanks,

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 07:13 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
ngrubich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (25/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,097
The cloudy water is your bacterial bloom. I would check for the presence of nitrites in the next day or two just to see.
If you were interested in the cycle/bloom itself, check out this thread:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?...oms-explained/
ngrubich is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 07:24 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 100
Hey there Mark. I'm about at the same place as you are. I'm cycling a quarantine tank 60 gallons. I added ammonia this last Sunday. I added to 4 PPM, and the tank has slowly been getting more and more cloudy. I tested yesterday, and am still at 4 PPM ammonia. I think we will be at this point for another week before we see any nitrites. But I'm still testing and hoping to see a drop in ammonia soon.
Nu2Plants is offline  
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
Good Info

Interesting read and it seems that what I am seeing is normal. I will continue and monitor waiting the next stage.
thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrubich View Post
The cloudy water is your bacterial bloom. I would check for the presence of nitrites in the next day or two just to see.
If you were interested in the cycle/bloom itself, check out this thread:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?...oms-explained/

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 12:58 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
4 days and no nitrite, no change in the ammonia is probably OK, but is sort of taking a while to get going.

You might check the following to see that the water has all the minerals these bacteria need to grow the fastest. They are not fast growing, even under the best conditions, but are very slow when conditions are not optimum. Usually the nitrogen cycle bacteria do not grow fast enough to cloud the water.

Cycle: To grow the beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite from the aquarium.

Fish-In Cycle: To expose fish to toxins while using them as the source of ammonia to grow nitrogen cycle bacteria. Exposure to ammonia burns the gills and other soft tissue, stresses the fish and lowers their immunity. Exposure to nitrite makes the blood unable to carry oxygen. Research methemglobinemia for details.

Fishless Cycle: The safe way to grow more bacteria, faster, in an aquarium, pond or riparium.

The method I give here was developed by 2 scientists who wanted to quickly grow enough bacteria to fully stock a tank all at one time, with no plants helping, and overstock it as is common with Rift Lake Cichlid tanks.

1a) Set up the tank and all the equipment. You can plant if you want. Include the proper dose of dechlorinator with the water.
Optimum water chemistry:
GH and KH above 3 German degrees of hardness. A lot harder is just fine.
pH above 7, and into the mid 8s is just fine.
Temperature in the upper 70s F (mid 20s C) is good. Higher is OK if the water is well aerated.
A trace of other minerals may help. Usually this comes in with the water, but if you have a pinch of KH2PO4, that may be helpful.
High oxygen level. Make sure the filter and power heads are running well. Plenty of water circulation.
No toxins in the tank. If you washed the tank, or any part of the system with any sort of cleanser, soap, detergent, bleach or anything else make sure it is well rinsed. Do not put your hands in the tank when you are wearing any sort of cosmetics, perfume or hand lotion. No fish medicines of any sort.
A trace of salt (sodium chloride) is OK, but not required.
This method of growing bacteria will work in a marine system, too. The species of bacteria are different.

1b) Optional: Add any source of the bacteria that you are growing to seed the tank. Cycled media from a healthy tank is good. Decor or some gravel from a cycled tank is OK. Live plants or plastic are OK. Bottled bacteria is great, but only if it contains Nitrospira species of bacteria. Read the label and do not waste your money on anything else.
At the time this was written the right species could be found in:
Dr. Tims One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift Nite Out II
...and perhaps others.
You do not have to jump start the cycle. The right species of bacteria are all around, and will find the tank pretty fast.

2) Add ammonia until the test reads 5 ppm. This ammonia is the cheapest you can find. No surfactants, no perfumes. Read the fine print. This is often found at discount stores like Dollar Tree, or hardware stores like Ace. You could also use a dead shrimp form the grocery store, or fish food. Protein breaks down to become ammonia. You do not have good control over the ammonia level, though.
Some substrates release ammonia when they are submerged for the first time. Monitor the level and do enough water changes to keep the ammonia at the levels detailed below.

3) Test daily. For the first few days not much will happen, but the bacteria that remove ammonia are getting started. Finally the ammonia starts to drop. Add a little more, once a day, to test 5 ppm.

4) Test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When it does allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.

5) Test daily. Add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. If the nitrite or ammonia go to 5 ppm do a water change to get these lower. The ammonia removing species and the nitrite removing species (Nitrospira) do not do well when the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.

6) When the ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done. You can challenge the bacteria by adding a bit more than 3 ppm ammonia, and it should be able to handle that, too, within 24 hours.

7) Now test the nitrate. Probably sky high!
Do as big a water change as needed to lower the nitrate until it is safe for fish. Certainly well under 20, and a lot lower is better. This may call for more than one water change, and up to 100% water change is not a problem. Remember the dechlor!
If you will be stocking right away (within 24 hours) no need to add more ammonia. If stocking will be delayed keep feeding the bacteria by adding ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. You will need to do another water change right before adding the fish.
__________________________

Helpful hints:

A) You can run a fishless cycle in a bucket to grow bacteria on almost any filter media like bio balls, sponges, ceramic bio noodles, lava rock or Matala mats. Simply set up any sort of water circulation such as a fountain pump or air bubbler and add the media to the bucket. Follow the directions for the fishless cycle. When the cycle is done add the media to the filter. I have run a canister filter in a bucket and done the fishless cycle.

B) The nitrogen cycle bacteria will live under a wide range of conditions and bounce back from minor set backs. By following the set up suggestions in part 1b) you are setting up optimum conditions for fastest reproduction and growth.
GH and KH can be as low as 1 degree, but watch it! These bacteria use the carbon in carbonates, and if it is all used up (KH = 0) the bacteria may die off.
pH as low as 6.5 is OK, but by 6.0 the bacteria are not going to be doing very well. They are still there, and will recover pretty well when conditions get better.
Temperature almost to freezing is OK, but they must not freeze, and they are not very active at all. They do survive in a pond, but they are slow to warm up and get going in the spring. This is where you might need to grow some in a bucket in a warm place and supplement the pond population. Too warm is not good, either. Tropical or room temperature tank temperatures are best. (68 to 85*F or 20 to 28*C)
Moderate oxygen can be tolerated for a while. However, to remove lots of ammonia and nitrite these bacteria must have oxygen. They turn one into the other by adding oxygen. If you must stop running the filter for an hour or so, no problem. If longer, remove the media and keep it where it will get more oxygen.
Once the bacteria are established they can tolerate some fish medicines. This is because they live in a complex film called Bio film on all the surfaces in the filter and the tank. Medicines do not enter the bio film well.
These bacteria do not need to live under water. They do just fine in a humid location. They live in healthy garden soil, as well as wet locations.

C) Planted tanks may not tolerate 3 ppm or 5 ppm ammonia. It is possible to cycle the tank at lower levels of ammonia so the plants do not get ammonia burn. Add ammonia to only 1 ppm, but test twice a day, and add ammonia as needed to keep it at 1 ppm. The plants are also part of the bio filter, and you may be able to add the fish sooner, if the plants are thriving.
Diana is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
Thanks for the Information

I tested for ammonia and nitrites when I got home from work this eveing, ammonia was closer to 3 than 4, (colors on API chart are only a few shade apart), nitrites 0

water cleared some but still cloudy

I added more ammonia and will test again in the morning,

I do see white flakes floating around suspended in the water column, maybe it is debris from the substrate, although I rinsed it pretty well in a colander before putting it in the tank, I do have a fair amount of water movement with the FX6 filter and two bubblers going full,

This is a used tank and I did wash and disinfect it before I got started, I emptied it out completely, vacuumed it out, washed it down with clorox, scrubbed it down with a mild powder, rinsed well, left out in the sun for a day, rinsed again, and brought it inside, added substrate and then water.

I will continue and test daily

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 03:50 AM
Newbie
 
thelub's Avatar
 
PTrader: (15/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 1,983
Do you have a pond, lake, swamp or stream nearby? If so, grab anything that is in the water (rocks, plants, sticks) or even a bucket of mud and add it to your tank. It will be teeming with all kinds of life that will help jump start your cycle. Mud will probably be the messiest, but it will be most full of goodies. But it will be messy.


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.


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.
thelub is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 04:03 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Kat12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
Do you have a pond, lake, swamp or stream nearby? If so, grab anything that is in the water (rocks, plants, sticks) or even a bucket of mud and add it to your tank. It will be teeming with all kinds of life that will help jump start your cycle. Mud will probably be the messiest, but it will be most full of goodies. But it will be messy.

Who knows what else you'd be bringing in this way that could harm your fish etc though.
Kat12 is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
So far I am good and not in that much of a hurry. It has been one week since I started adding ammonia. I have had a bacteria bloom so something is happening. It has been about eight years but I think it took 2-3 weeks to start the second part of the cycle in my first tank. I could have grabbed some media from my first tank and jump started my second but I figured I might be better off not mixing.

I've other projects to keep me busy while I am waiting on the new tank to cycle. I have a large piece of driftwood and it looks like it will be a floater, it has been soaking for over a week now and when I remove the weight it floats. So, I am going to find a piece of slate to attach to the bottom to weigh it down.

And I have to finalize a list of low light plants to buy and buy them. I want to make sure I get enough faster growing ones and that will take some reading on my part.

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
Bacteria bloom subsided today. Since there was a change I decided to test nitrites and they have moved off zero and are now at between 0.5 and 1.0. So, the second part of my cycle has started. When I check ammonia tonight I'll reduce my goal to 3 from 4.

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 11:01 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 100
Good deal!

I just checked my tank, seems even more cloudy, and ammonia still at 4ppm. Everything else zero.
Nu2Plants is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
similar situations so I hope your tank is close, if I remember correctly the second part is longer than the first


50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT

Last edited by MarkM; 09-03-2013 at 02:43 AM. Reason: add pict
MarkM is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 11:00 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 100
Hey Mark, was just wondering how your tank is progressing.

I think I'm still in the same place I was when I started. I might be able to convince myself that the ammonia is coming in a bit lighter green in the test tube, but I think that would be stretching it. Everything else I'm still measuring at zero. The tank is getting even cloudier I think.
Nu2Plants is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 05:22 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 100
Any update on your tank?
Nu2Plants is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hampstead, NC
Posts: 339
My tank is still doing its cycle thing. I noted that the first part of the cycle completed about four days ago and that my nitrites had risen. I am adding ammonia daily to a level of about 3ppm. In 24 hrs the ammonia level drops to between 0 and 0.25 and nitrites are at 2 to 3. I am adding ammonia only once a day. I assume I am somewhere in the middle of the last half of the process.

50G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
120G Low Tech Planted Tank- Community Fish
10G QT
MarkM 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