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So I'm about a week into the cycle and I had added some old filter media from a friends tank. It reads around 1ppm for ammonia 0 Nitrites and 8ppm nitrate. My question is that before adding the old media th tank was sitting at 5ppm ammonia and 0 Nitrites and nitrates, was there just enough BB to convert just a little bit of ammonia at a time? Is that why I don't see any nitrites? Should I just wait till it can cycle all the ammonia overnight and then just only add what it can cycle overnight or should I still try to keep it at around 2-4ppm?
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I'd keep it at a 2-3 PPM concentration until the tank can process it under 24 hours with no nitrite.

Since you added existing media, you may not see a major nitrite spike. I sometimes don't see spikes when I use media from other tanks. But to be on the safe side, gotta let things play out and give your tank time to grow. Have a feeling it's not going to take you very long at all.
 

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When you see amonia dessapearing is when you know that the cycle has started. After that let the tank run for another week and slowly start adding inhabitants.
 

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When you see amonia dessapearing is when you know that the cycle has started. After that let the tank run for another week and slowly start adding inhabitants.
Please do not do this.

Don't add livestock until the tank can process 2-3 PPM of ammonia in under 24 hours. Then do a 100% water change and add livestock.

Adding critters to the tank while there's a ammonia or nitrite present is cruel, burns gills and can otherwise be torturous. It's deadly for invertebrates like shrimp.
 

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Please do not do this.

Don't add livestock until the tank can process 2-3 PPM of ammonia in under 24 hours. Then do a 100% water change and add livestock.

Adding critters to the tank while there's a ammonia or nitrite present is cruel, burns gills and can otherwise be torturous. It's deadly for invertebrates like shrimp.
I didn't say to put live stock with Amonia present. I said after Amonia is gone you wait for a week and if you can't detect Amonia anymore you can start, adding live stock little by little.
 

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I didn't say to put live stock with Amonia present. I said after Amonia is gone you wait for a week and if you can't detect Amonia anymore you can start, adding live stock little by little.
Bacterial colonies grow and shrink proportionally to the amount of waste (ammonia) present to feed them. If they're not fed for a week, the population will dwindle significantly. It's not too tough for them to produce and bounce back but that can lead to things like nitrite spikes and extended contact with too much ammonia. That's why so many of us recommend dosing to 2-3 PPM consistently until the day before livestock is added, ideally in one fell swoop. In some situations, tankers will dose to 5 PPM so they know they'll be able to handle a bunch of livestock.

Since ammonia is so easy to obtain these days, it only makes sense to manually keep bacteria alive - at or close to the population size one will need to support the livestock they plan to house.
 

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Bacterial colonies grow and shrink proportionally to the amount of waste (ammonia) present to feed them. If they're not fed for a week, the population will dwindle significantly. It's not too tough for them to produce and bounce back but that can lead to things like nitrite spikes and extended contact with too much ammonia. That's why so many of us recommend dosing to 2-3 PPM consistently until the day before livestock is added, ideally in one fell swoop. In some situations, tankers will dose to 5 PPM so they know they'll be able to handle a bunch of livestock.

Since ammonia is so easy to obtain these days, it only makes sense to manually keep bacteria alive - at or close to the population size one will need to support the livestock they plan to house.
Well you do that if you want to dump a bunch of stock right away. Again, I said stock little by little to give the bacterial colony time to grow and adjust. I have cycled tanks and never adedd any Amonia at all.
 

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Well you do that if you want to dump a bunch of stock right away. Again, I said stock little by little to give the bacterial colony time to grow and adjust. I have cycled tanks and never adedd any Amonia at all.
You do that to cycle a tank. It can be 0.5 PPM, it can be 3, it can be 5. Point being you're feeding bacteria to keep them alive. An ammonia source is required to cycle a tank. You're either adding something like fish food to rot and produce ammonia as it decays, adding (torturing) fish to produce waste, or moving over live filter media.

But you can't just stop dosing or providing an ammonia source if you want the bacteria in your filter media to survive. It will quickly begin to die off and the "cycle" will be lost. As mentioned above, Bacterial colonies grow and shrink proportionally to the amount of waste (ammonia) present to feed them. If they're not fed for a week, the population will dwindle significantly.

OP has this under control regardless and also understands the nitrogen cycle, so no worries on that front.
 

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Don't insult other members - including moderators. Being polite to others costs you nothing.
You do that to cycle a tank. It can be 0.5 PPM, it can be 3, it can be 5. Point being you're feeding bacteria to keep them alive. An ammonia source is required to cycle a tank. You're either adding something like fish food to rot and produce ammonia as it decays, adding (torturing) fish to produce waste, or moving over live filter media.

But you can't just stop dosing or providing an ammonia source if you want the bacteria in your filter media to survive. It will quickly begin to die off and the "cycle" will be lost. As mentioned above, Bacterial colonies grow and shrink proportionally to the amount of waste (ammonia) present to feed them. If they're not fed for a week, the population will dwindle significantly.

OP has this under control regardless and also understands the nitrogen cycle, so no worries on that front.
You just won't stop contradicting me with things I never said. I guess anything works as long as it makes you feel better.
 

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You just won't stop contradicting me with things I never said. I guess anything works as long as it makes you feel better.
There's not a reason to pop off at anyone on this forum. There's never a reason to insult others. Ditch the attitude.

If you're providing information that can confuse newcomers to the hobby, most of us here on the forum will absolutely correct it or add to it politely. It's a heck of a lot better than telling someone they're wildly wrong and spreading information that potentially sets newcomers up for failure.
 
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