No fish - Re cycle? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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No fish - Re cycle?

So I emptied my tank and changed the gravel 5 days ago. It's been just plants until my puffer shows up tomorrow. Will the nitrifying bacteria still be ok? I'm worried my tank might cycle again and cause stress on the puffer. Any thoughts? Tank was heavily stocked and cycle before.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:46 AM
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If the filter material did not dry out it likely will still have enough bacteria for just one fish. Also were those plants in the tank before you did the re sub ? They hold bacteria also if so.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Yep all the plants were in there and the filters were only unplugged for 5 hours or so. Here's hopin all is well. The puffer gets here today!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:04 PM
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Was the filter a canister? If it was it might have gone anaerobic. I'd be afraid to restart a canister after 5 hrs.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yah they both are.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:25 PM
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I'd be worried you colony will not be too strong after 5 days without ammonia (via fish, rotting food, or pure ammonia dosing) they need their food too. Keep a close eye on ammonia and nitrite and be ready to do a several partial w/c if there's anything above "0ppm"

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
I'd be worried you colony will not be too strong after 5 days without ammonia (via fish, rotting food, or pure ammonia dosing) they need their food too. Keep a close eye on ammonia and nitrite and be ready to do a several partial w/c if there's anything above "0ppm"
Yah this is my big concern. It slipped my mind until last night. Kinda in panic mode now.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 03:20 PM
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In this case, I feel you will be good to go. Leaving the filter unplugged for five hours is questionable, though. When you restarted it, did you get a reall strong odor like sewer gas? That would indicate trouble, if not I would feel better about the bacteria. Since it was a fully functioning tank, there would be lots of bacteria spread all around the tank, not just in the filter. So if we assumed the bacteria in the filter was lost, you would still have lots of bacteria to support just one fish. For the bacteria, there is likely to be lots of decaying plant matter to let them not die back much, if at all on that count.
One fish is not a big bio-load! But when starting and when there are questions, it is always a good idea to test for ammonia and nitrite a bit more carefully than later.
Test, watch and have a water change ready if you do see trouble. Do it sooner rather than later. We sometimes see folks post that they have had a problem for several days and then they are asking what to do. Much better that you are asking now rather than when the fish begin to die.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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That's very reassuring, thank you. And nope no smell of anything when I restarted the filters.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 03:48 AM
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Nitrifying bacteria can survive for up to a year or longer starving. A good colony can go 4 months without any depreciation in numbers.

These aren't delicate little things. Their natural environment is very low in food and in oxygen as well. They can survive some very inhospitable conditions. A filter is a paradise to these microbes.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Well he made it and has eaten about 10 blood worms and explored a lot. He's tiny, maybe 1" tops. Checked ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate. 10-20. Still been dosing ferts and co2, except no co2 today for less stress. My tank is definitely taking on a slight haze, I guess all new gravel will cause a bacteria bloom. Gonna keep a close eye on it.

Liveaquaria did a great job packing and shipping.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 09:24 AM
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just to be safe, i would add a bottle of nitrifiying bacteria such as Tetra start. Stuff is amazing and takes the worry away.
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