Cycling confusion - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 98
Cycling confusion

I have been doing alot of reading and think I understand the basics of cycling, but I seem to still be a bit confused...

I have read somewhere (cant remember where) that if the tank is heavily populated with plants you dont need to do the cycling as you would a 'normal' tank, because the plants do alot of the work as well. Is this correct? If so, what would my course of action be on day 1 once I had my tank filled with plants and water up to temp etc?

I plan on injecting CO2 for the plants. Will this mess up the cycling process by altering the pH?

I have no idea where to find a pure source of ammonia from. I was thinking I could just use some fish food? But of course this depends on the answer to my above question. The only product I remember seeing when I went to the pet shop was Tetra SafeStart but this is for cycling when you already have fish and I do not plan on getting any fish until my tank is cycled.

Thanks
Ellie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 08:46 PM
Planted Member
 
JJVanier's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 191
Having a heavily planted tank minimizes the risks when adding fish to a newly set up tank.

Many in this hobby, when starting a new tank, will use an already established filter that contains a source of healthy bacteria. The colony of bacteria in the filter, IMHO is the most important aspect of cycling.


I have used various methods to cycle tanks, including adding pre-estabilished filters, adding tank water from other healthy cycled tanks, using fish food, heavily planting a tank and then adding fish that are resilient to ammonia, Zebra danios come to mind.


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.
JJVanier is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 09:00 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Near Ashville, North Carolina
Posts: 1,866
Ace hardware has the ammonia you want. Use that with the safe start and your golden

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
jrill is offline  
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 09:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
http://www.aquariumforum.com/f66/fis...cle-15036.html
With any cycle you need to add fish as soon as it's done to continue the ammonia for food for the beneficial bacteria or they will die off.
I have used(sucessfully) Tetra Safe Start in both my tanks but changed the direction a bit. I use half of it the first day and the other half the second day and no need to be precise on the half either.
Then I use nitrite test kit to see when the nitrite is going down and then add the fish as it takes a couple of days for the fish waste to start giving off ammonia that is needed by the beneficial bacteria to survive.
The way that plants help this is that first they are carrying some of those bacteria and second they use up some of the ammmonia and nitrates in there.
By far the most reliable way is to be able to get a small portion of filter material from an established tank and place it in your filter. If you are using an air pump an almost equal way is to get one of those sponge filters and put it in an established tank for two weeks and then transfer it to your tank putting it right next to your filter intake.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 98
Unfortunately it has been a good five years since having a nice mature aquarium so I cant borrow a filter sponge from it.

jrill, i live in Denmark, Europe so we dont have that shop.

Raymond, I read somewhere you only use TSS when there are fish in the tank already?
Ellie is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 09:55 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
Actually never heard that one before. TSS is one of two which contain a certain bacteria that actually works but the question still remains as to how long it's been on the shelf and under what conditions it was shipped.
That and a few coppy cats that are less than effective have caused many to be cautious of any of them.
I have sucessfully used it in the manner which I described twice now.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 10:39 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,317
Just look for ammonia that's pure ammonia, no dyes, scents/fragrances/perfumes, and no surfactants.

If you're not sure, you can shake the bottle - if there is noticeable sudsing, don't use it.

I've heard of people throwing in bits of raw shrimp, but that's a little more difficult since you don't really have any ability to control the amount of ammonia going into the tank.

I've also heard of people cycling with fish food, by trying to estimate how much they would add to feed there fish. I imagine that would probably work, but it will also probably make a mess of your tank in the process. Also, I don't think this or the shrimp method would work very well if you have snails in your tank.

There have even been a couple people who have used urine...
http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/fishless-cycling

anyways, if you have a large enough biomass of fast-growing plants and a small fish load, it's quite possible that the plants will take up all the ammonia as it's produced by the fish, and just shortcut the whole cycling process.

Even if you don't have enough to completely skip the cycle, they will help some. Floaters and emmersed plants especially so.

here's a link to one of Diana's posts:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...26&postcount=7
I really think her guide should be added to the FAQs/stickies, it's pretty thorough.

Anyways, as to the first day, I'd get it all set up, planted, filled with water (maybe changed out if there's an issue with suspended sediment), and draw a bit of water for testing later.

Then add whatever you are using as your ammonia source. If it's straight ammonia, it should be relatively easy to add some to a bucket or something of a known size, and test that to get an idea of how much ammonia solution to add to raise your tank 1ppm.
if it's food, shrimp, urine, etc., I'd try and do several ammonia tests through out the next couple days, to try and get an idea of how much ammonia is getting released, and how fast/long, and try and use that to make estimates of how much and when to add more food/shrimp/urine/etc.
I haven't tried this method, so I don't know how well it would work, but if I were to try it, that's probably how I would approach it.

Once you get your ammonia dosing sorted out, keep doing a water test everyday, and keep an eye out for NO2. The bacteria that convert NO2 are a bit slower to get established, so most of your cycle will probably waiting for those bacteria to grow in.

After that, you can keep dosing the ammonia source until you add your fish, just do a pretty big water change before adding fish to get the NO3 down to a reasonable level.

Using Diana's cycling guide will get you a pretty big population of bacteria, that can handle a pretty densely stocked tank.
lochaber is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 11:00 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
Posts: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post

I've heard of people throwing in bits of raw shrimp, but that's a little more difficult since you don't really have any ability to control the amount of ammonia going into the tank.
Its not to bad, actually the shrimp beak down slowly so its time released. This is nice in my opinion as you don't have to futz with adding ammonia everyday. I have never had the ammonia levels get away from me. I usually throw in probably 1/4 to a 1/3 of a pretty typically sized shrimp for every ten gallons. Always has seemed to work fine.

I've done the precise ammonia method as well. I find ammonia to be consistently a bit faster, but a bit more hassle. I believe this is because you keep the ammonia level right in the bacteria's sweet spot and that you don't have the slow ramp up you do with the shrimp.

Also the shrimp method will displease your wife and is not recommended for tanks in your main room IMHO. Decomposing shrimp, growing fuzzy bacteria shrouds on black sand really stand out and my spouse did not appreciate them.
Sotty is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 98
Thanks for the advice guys it clears a lot up. What about the co2 for the plants- can I inject that straight away during the cycle?
Ellie is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:57 PM
Planted Member
 
1987's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Green Bay WI
Posts: 237
Yes, if doing DIY.

If pressurized I would start very low, and as your tank gets established you can use more light.

With pressurized you're going to have to start learning about dosing ferts. So start off slow, learn and as you get comfortable you can move into the next steps.

Making videos about fish stuff, and fixing things:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
1987 is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 04:09 PM
Planted Member
 
twentypoundtabby's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Arvada, Co
Posts: 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post

There have even been a couple people who have used urine...
http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/fishless-cycling

.
That got me laughing!
I remember sometime back in the 1990s on the Usenet newsgroup rec.aquaria, someone came up with the beer method of cycling.
It was all meant as a joke, but the poster wrote up a method where he drank beer and then added it to his tank by filtering it through his kidneys first.

2 2.5s, 3 10s, 2 20s, 1 29. Low light, low tech. Ponds
twentypoundtabby is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
and as your tank gets established you can use more light.
.
The tank i got (54 litres) comes with a 15W light tube. This wont be enough for if I get some high light plants so I was planning on getting a new higher watt tube. From what you say about increasing the light, do you think I should use 15W at first and then increase it a bit later on?
There is a reflector strip that comes attached to the tank lid under the tube, im not sure how much this increases the overall light getting into the tank and by how many watts?
Ellie is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 11:34 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,317
I can't really speak about CO2 or high light, as all my tanks have been pretty low-tech.

anyways, I imagine you would want your cycling conditions fairly close to the conditions you plan on having once you add fish. Maybe run the water temp a bit higher if you want to speed up the cycle, but I'm not sure that actually has a very strong affect.

As to light, you could start with a bunch of floaters like frogbit, water lettuce, etc., and thin them out as the other plants settle in.

I think floaters like that are great for starting tanks, they grow quickly, aren't limited by CO2, and help shade the tank.
lochaber is offline  
Reply

Tags
cycling

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