Fishless cycling and EcoComplete question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
SunnyNikki's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 33
Fishless cycling and EcoComplete question

Over the weekend I set up a new Fluval Spec V. For my substrate I used Caribsea Eco Complete which said it had bacteria in it. Is this bacteria the kind that is needed for the cycling process? And if it isn't where on Earth do I get that? I also want to fishless cycle my tank and I've read that you can do this by adding pure ammonia. Do I need to do this if I already have some type of bacteria in the substrate? And if I do, how much do I add and how often? I will have my Freshwater Masterkit by next week to test the levels of various things. I had to order it because in the stores around me they want $35 for it Any other new tank tips are very welcome!
Thanks!
SunnyNikki is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:13 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 580
The Eco-Complete does claim to have the beneficial bacteria needed for cycling a tank in it. Whether it actually does or not is a debated topic. But if you add substrate and heavily plant the tank from the start you shouldn't have too long of a cycle period. Maybe a week or two. Make sure there are a few fast growing stem plants too, not just slow growers, to help soak up extra nutrients and combat algae.

I recently set up a 7.5 gallon tank with eco-complete. Added water and plants. Waited a week and it was ready to go.

Bump: Also, I do not run pressurized CO2. I dose Excel daily and ferts once a week, which is extremely affordable in such a small tank, and have been noticing excellent plant growth in my first month so far.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
falcooo is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
SunnyNikki's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 33
Awesome thanks I kind of went with a "theme" for my tank and what I planted into it is what I believe to be microsword. Not exactly positive. The pet store basically picked it out for me based on my idea and my lighting and such and the little pots did not have name tags. Would this mean that I don't have to add any ammonia to it?
SunnyNikki is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:20 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 580
I honestly don't know anything about adding ammonia into a tank, but the idea alone deters me from wanting to. Do you only have the one sword plant? I would suggest grabbing a few more plants that fit your theme, and waiting a week or two. Then slowly add your fish into the tank a couple at a time. What kind of fish are you planning to keep? Shrimp are an excellent consideration in small tanks, whether by themselves or with fish as well, and they are very interesting to watch.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
falcooo is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
SunnyNikki's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 33
Yeah the thought kind of freaked me out too, but I didn't want to have to get sacrificial fish just to cycle it hahaha. I got two small containers of the microsword and separated it and it just about carpets the tank. Maybe it's because it's so new to the tank, but it's currently not as green as it should be. I'm not exactly sure on the fish but I was hoping for galaxy rasboras. I saw another nano fish at the shop but I didn't check the name. Shrimp are definitely something I would like to add to it one day though ^-^
SunnyNikki is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:31 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 580
The microswords may be struggling because of the light. I believe they are medium-high light plants. I don't know if the stock light on that tank will suffice. But shrimp and galaxys is a good stocking idea, I am hoping to find some galaxy's locally.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
falcooo is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
SunnyNikki's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 33
Yeah he said it would be a little risky but to try it out and add nutrients if needed. Galaxys are awesome, I've only found one place around me that has them and they run around 3/$17 ): but I think I might have to go for it.
SunnyNikki is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 04:36 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: india
Posts: 106
Fishless cycling with ammonia and nytrifying bacteria does exist and is practiced. . As the legend goes dr. Tim hovanec is the scientist who made these discoveries of the nytrifying bacteria and if i recollect well they are nitrosonomas, nitrosospiea and nitrospira.. below video will help to see and understand..

http://youtu.be/sKszPMYhONo

http://youtu.be/WGZmTmawqM8

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk

-AqEnthusiast

4ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft (150 L, ~40 G) | EHEIM 2217 | SunSun 110 water circulation | ADA Amazonia | 4x54w GE StarCoat 6500k T5HO 6 hrs photo | pressurised CO2 start stop one hour before photo | CO2 reactor to canister outlet | EI alternate (kno3+kh2po4+k2so4) and (csm+b) | Weekly 50% wc with Seachem Safe | MgSO4.7H2O + CaCl2.2H2O and NaHCO3 at wc to maintain kh gh at around 4 and 6
aqenthusiast is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 05:51 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
dpod's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 312
The idea of cycling, especially fishless cycling, is to build up the nitrifying bacteria colonies in the tank before fish are added. The bacteria are species that convert urea and ammonia into less toxic compounds, like nitrate and nitrite. This prepares the tank for when fish or other fauna are added, which produce lots of urea, mostly as byproducts from consuming food with protein. There's several ways to add the nutrients for the cycle, either by just chucking a few hardy fish in there (generally frowned upon but absolutely effective) or adding something else that contains a lot of nitrogen. I've heard of people using fish food, bits of shrimp, or pure ammonia. The ammonia is the most straightforward thing to add, as the other options require some decomposition before the proteins break down into compounds that the bacteria can use. It's also easier to control because nothing else goes in the tank. If you have the test kit, you can dial in at ~2 ppm ammonia by adding a bit, testing, and then either adding more or doing a water change to get the exact level. The bacteria consume the ammonia and convert it into something the plants can use as food, but the whole process depends on having the nitrogenous compounds to start.

Also, your microswords will do a lot better with an added carbon source in addition to higher lighting. If you don't want to go with pressurized CO2, you can add "liquid CO2" (Gluteraldehyde). The brands that people often use are Seachem Fourish Excel and Metricide. People say that they're expensive for big tanks, but I'd say they're more cost effective for small tanks, and a whole lot simpler.

So, tl;dr: Adding a little ammonia feeds your new bacteria and makes them multiply. And if you're thinking of CPDs, definitely cycle well before adding them.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| 20 gal low tech Dutch
dpod is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 07:08 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Mass
Posts: 19
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=185315

I have followed the fishless cycling instructions on this thread twice now and both times it worked well. When I was ready to add fish none were lost
kingpleco is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 10:40 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
The beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite do not live in the manner packaged by EC. I would not trust that liquid as a source of bacteria.

The nitrogen cycle bacteria are all around, and will find the tank no matter what you do. Scientists in sterile labs have trouble keeping them out.

Here is the fishless cycle.
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 1a) 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 #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
SunnyNikki's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 33
Thanks a lot everyone!
SunnyNikki 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