The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Boy, sure no shortage of advice on cycling on the internet.... which path to follow? Here's my situation: picked up a functioning tank from someone, filter, big driftwood, etc, so I thought GREAT no cycle, or a short one. Filled it up with tap water, plants, etc. One article I read said NOT to treat the water with anything just yet (can't remember why...), then later I read another article that said to DEFINITELY treat the water first, otherwise the chloride typical to tap water will kill the bacteria you're trying to cultivate. Damn, did I just screw up the advantage of getting a pre-cycled tank? Not sure what to do, I dumped in some Nutrafin Cycle. The ammonia level has been steady at 0.25 all through this from the beginning. Now what? My goal is a fast and fishless cycle. Should I dump in some pure ammonia, as many recommend? If so, where the heck do you find unadulterated ammonia ? -- I have looked everywhere, and all the bottles (even plain generic ones) say there contain perfume. Do I even NEED to force an ammonia spike, since it's a pre-existing tank? Should I just plop a few fish in and see what happens? Unfortunately, patience is not one of my virtues, so I will do whatever will help accelerate the process. All advice happily accepted! Thanks much.
- Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
I do fish-less cycling with ammonia I get it from Westlake's but make sure it has no additives or perfumes. Go ahead and add your de-chlorinater it won't hurt anything. Go ahead and plant as many plants as you can in it to help speed up the process even if it's the craptastic ones from pet-smart and follow the instructions on adding the ammonia.

Unfortunately it's going to take a few weeks at the minimum and it's better to not add fish until it's fully cycled as ammonia amounts to boiling them in a pot.

- Brad
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I understand you have chosen a particular path, but here is my favorite:

Add fish slowly, and do nothing. I started off my most recent 65 with less than 10 fish. Between the plants and the filters, Ammonia and Nitrite were never measurable. For obvious reasons, this isn't always possible.

As far as the right kind of ammonia, it's hard to find. Perfumes are cheap. You gotta look for the cheapest or commercial stuff. Here's a possible lead at your local Ace hardware: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1307957&CAWELAID=109382065
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
If the tank was already cycled and the filter, gravel & wood was all "wet" when you got it, you really shouldnt get a full cycle, even if you killed off some of the bacteria with the tap water. With a conditioned filter & gravel the cycle will only take a few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I too have very little patience....but I have a lot more because of my aquarium.

Always treat the water. Giant Danios are cheap and extremely hardy...Yes, they can die and cycling is stressful, but there are much more horriffic things going on in the world. So, if It were me, I'd go grab two or three Danios, watch their behavior(gasping at the surface=ammonia spike), and test your water every few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Verses testing your water every few days without adding fish?

I'm not sure how your logic applies, or lack there of other than you like to have a pretty little thing to watch swim around while it cycles who cares if it dies or not? Granted I'm not heartbroken if a fish dies but I do make an attempt to not cause the death directly by my hand.

The better way is to heavily plant the plants and dose with ferts on day one while doing the ammonia cycle that drops the wait down to a week or two at most. I'm afraid that in my un-worthy opinion if your attention span can't stretch a two week period this is the wrong hobby to be in.

- Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I can definitely wait a few weeks, especially if I see progress, that's not the issue. The issue is: what should I be doing during that time? Doing need to trigger a spike, even if u have plants and transplanted gear from another tank. Actually a more important issue may be that all my plants are dead, less than a week after putting them in. What the heck? Good lighting , good substrate, good ferts, and that's how they repay me? What do I do about that,go out and buy all new plants?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I can definitely wait a few weeks, especially if I see progress, that's not the issue. The issue is: what should I be doing during that time? Doing need to trigger a spike, even if u have plants and transplanted gear from another tank. Actually a more important issue may be that all my plants are dead, less than a week after putting them in. What the heck? Good lighting , good substrate, good ferts, and that's how they repay me? What do I do about that,go out and buy all new plants?
Pictures.

Then list everything about your tank. Everything.

I hope you didn't throw the plants away--they may not even be dead, and there is a proper way to dispose of plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
I agree with Kid_Creole pictures will help and some of your plants probably just wilted and can be saved after a good pruning and time.

Keep in mind that plants can be heaven or hell depending on there mood. Vals will wilt if you look at them funny and then grow back three months later to be gorgeous so the old saying "patients is a virtue" is a helpful trait in the hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I would love to add pictures but I can't figure out how. I have uploaded them, now how do I attach them into the post? (The instructions say: "If you have uploaded an image as an attachment, you can click the arrow next to the 'Attachment Icon' and select it from the list." What does that mean?? I'm not seeing any arrows anywhere......)

Anyway, the everything about the tank:
29g, 65w cf, HOB filter, ph7.8, KH 9, GH 4
substrate: bottom 1 inch topsoil and sand mix, middle 2 inches flourite, top 1.5 inches fine gravel
tank water tests the same as tap water, so I don't think anything in the tank is throwing it off

Set up tank on sunday, all plants full and lush. Dechlor added day 2. Nutrafin cycle added day 3.

Decline in plants seen almost immediately. Vallisneria has been turning yellow, then translucent, leaf by leaf. Wendtii crypts were full and big, now yellow curled and nearly flopped to the ground. baby crypts are at half mast. Anubias is turning grey and crispy-looking. Java fern is dark grey. Extremely distressing, especially considering how good everything looked when it all went in. It's only been 5 days, and I'm ready to trash the whole thing.

The best guess I can make is transplant shock. I had a false start on Saturday, when a Walstead-inspired attempt ended up a complete catastrophe. I dumped it all out and did it again on Sunday. So the poor guys were in and out a couple times over the weekend. Also, I may have planted the crypts too low. The anubias I think I did right, with the rhizome on top.

So waddya think? Beyond hope? I'm feeling sick... those plants cost a fair amount of money..... If someone can steer me right on how to add pics, I will gladly post some. Thanks.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Is everything going yellow and getting pinholes in the leaves? You *might* have a potassium deficiency have you been dosing KH2P04?

What type of topsoil did you use? Hopefully it was from a landscaping or orchard supply store that is non-fertilized and mostly real soil.
Anything you get from Wal-Mart or a big box store will be mostly pine bark and mixed in traces. That's my problem with El Natural setups
your supposed to go dig up dirt and hope that your cap will keep any of the random organics out of your water column.

- Brad
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
You may have a deficiency, but I would sit on it for a couple/few weeks and compare pictures before I did anything drastic.

I don't see any mention of CO2, which I think you would probably need, but your tank is the final word on that.

The val is going to be tough, since that plant grows so long and trimming it will kill the trimmed leaf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I did dose with flourish excel ,forgot to mention that. Also, obviously, I managed to post the pics, though I have no idea how. Today it looks even worse, most of the leaves fell right off during routine water change. Prwttymuch just looks like a tank of rotting vegetation at this point. What the heck - I thouht I was doing everything right. Light, substrate, nutrients, water.... And everything dies immediately?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Just wanted to chime in about the cycle related question. The method that has worked for me without fail is the one you find when you google for "Fishless cycle"

Get a test kit to test for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.
Start out with de-chlorinated water in your tank.
Warm it up to 80-85 degrees.
Bring in filter media from an established tank and put it in your new filter (they don't have to be the same, I just stuff it in there or throw in the tank if all else fails).
Get "Great Value" Ammonia from Wal-Mart. This is the kind I've used and it has no additives and it's really cheap.
Add Ammonia to the tank until it's at 5ppm. You can do the math with your tank size and how much you need to add but I don't bother, I just add and test.
Keep testing every couple days for ammonia and nitrites. You want to keep your ammonia level at 5ppm or so for the duration of the cycle. Once you see nitrites going up, it's a matter of a few days to a week before your cycle is over. This last time I saw my nitrites go to the max in about a week and two days later they were at 0, and so was my ammonia. NitrAtes were at over 80ppm, at which point I do a 50%+ water change and call it cycled.

They say plants speed up the cycle or that if you bring in an established filter your tank won't cycle. Neither of these has held true for me. I am also of the camp that refuses to put a living creature through an ammonia spike, no matter how "hardy" it may be.

Good luck! I read somewhere just recently that "the only things that happen fast in a fish tank are BAD." Patience is key.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top