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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone I recently purchased a new tank and wanted to do a fish less cycle so I filled the tank with sand etc filled with water and took some good bacteria from my established tank filter and soaked my new filter sponge in it after waiting 24hr I added aqua safe however I can not get any household ammonia at the moment and wanted to speed things up a little so After reading up I decided to use the frozen shrimp method after adding it last night I've woke up this morning and there is a thick thick scum settled on the top of my water and my water is very cloudy haven't done a test yet as I'm at work what do you think I am best doing? ANY HELP AT ALL WOULD BE GREAT!!

Thanks guys
 

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Cloudy water is the shrimp rotting. I would not worry about this.
Surface scum is not so good. The water needs to circulate to take in the oxygen that is needed by the microorganisms. Surface scum reduces the amount of oxygen that can get into the water. Here are a few ways to improve the situation.

Lower the water level a bit so the water returning to the tank from the filter splashes a bit, or at least creates some serious ripples.

Add a power head or circulation pump aimed so it enhances the flow from the filter. Together, filter and power head should move the water more, and keep the surface stirred up until there is very little surface scum (hopefully none).

Add a bubbler.

Skim off the surface scum as fast as it forms. You can try laying a paper towel over the surface, see if that will do it, otherwise try this: Line a fish net with a paper towel and slowly pass through the scum, especially coming up from under it and lifting it out of the tank.

Add a surface skimming attachment to your filter.

Do you have ways to test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
 

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Yeah the cloudy water and surface scum is all from the rotting shrimp which is producing the ammonia you want to keep the beneficial bacteria fed.

As mentioned by Diana, the surface scum/film, layers the water surface and blocks out atmospheric exchange, allowing less oxygen in (also keeps things from exchanging out of the water) to transfer into the water turning into dissolved oxygen. The beneficial bacteria are aerobic so that means they need oxygen in the water.

Since there are no fish, I don't think it's too much of a big deal, as there is probably enough oxygen (unless you completely have no surface agitation or your filter outlet is below the water surface). But to be on the safe side, it would be better to increase surface agitation (and circulation) and to remove/reduce the surface scum with the methods mentioned above. All other aerobic bacteria also use up oxygen as well. I am thinking the cloudy water is a bacterial bloom, and so they would be using up a lot of oxygen (the cloudier, the more bacteria and the more oxygen is used up). So it would be wise to make sure you have enough dissolved oxygen in the water for the bacteria to function.

The cloudy water could be Heterotrophic bacteria (bacterial bloom) feeding on the rotting shrimp. I would advise testing the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, not only to monitor if the tank is properly cycled, but it has been said too high of ammonia levels can harm and/or stall nitrifying bacteria. I recall quite a few people saying tests showed 5-6ppm of Ammonia (NH3) killed off some bacteria. Another person experimented with 8ppm of ammonia and the tank never cycled at all. So it would be wise to monitor the ammonia levels that they aren't too high. The whiter the cloudy water gets, the more ammonia most likely (although I haven't heard of high ammonia effects on Heterotrophic bacteria, which might also kill/stall them as well).

I am not familiar with the shrimp rotting method of cycling, but it should work. Just don't use way too much and keep the surface agitation up. Do test your water to keep track of the cycling.

Just wanted to ask though, you said "took some good bacteria from my established tank filter and soaked my new filter sponge in it", what did you use exactly? Did you just soak the new sponge filter in established tank water? Or did you use actual biological media from the established filter and use it within the same filter as the new sponge filter to help seed it?
If you just used tank water, that probably won't be nearly enough to really jump start the cycle.
You could of left some established biomedia from the other filter in this new tank, and the higher levels of ammonia would have fed the biomedia and grew the beneficial bacteria colony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply Diana :)

I will skim the top when I get in and stick a air stone in it and lift my filter slightly to disturb the water surface a little more do you think I should do a small water change as well? and yes I have ways to test my waters i didn't think the scum on the top was a good sign it's really thick as well I removed the shrimp this morning before work I also bought tetra safe start (bacteria in a bottle) I know this is a hazy subject on wether this works or not do you think I should add it in once I've removed the scum or leave it a little while? there's no massive rush to add fish as it's just wanted speed the process along a little

Sorry about all the questions lol this is my first ever fishless cycle


Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice waterlife I'll do it as soon as I get in and I never soaked it in the water I used biological media from the established filter I've tried uploading a picture of the tank but for some reason it won't load

Thanks for the help
 

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Thanks for the advice waterlife I'll do it as soon as I get in and I never soaked it in the water I used biological media from the established filter I've tried uploading a picture of the tank but for some reason it won't load

Thanks for the help
I had this issue with pictures when I first created an account on this site. Give it time and after a few more posts it should start allowing you to post pictures. I think after 48 hours or 10 posts or something. As for the bacteria in a bottle just pour it in, won't do anything either way. Seeding from your other tank will do more than the dead stuff in that bottle. I'd look into a surface skimmer or something to suck up that gunk. My tanks used to get an ugly film over the top because they have no glass lid. Added a surface skimmer and love it. Crystal clear surface forever. Just need to clean the little sponge out weekly and be sure to keep the tank topped off or it will gargle. If you've added shrimp I wouldn't add ammonia until your ammonia test reads 0 and nitrite reads 0 then add 1 drop of ammonia per gallon and wait 24 hours and test. If it reads 0 ammonia 24 hours later and 0 nitrites 24 hours later you're golden for first fish. Do a small water change to remove some of the nitrates and make sure temperature is good and you can add fish. Good luck on your new tank addition!
 

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There is a "Drag and Drop File Upload" box below the reply box that you can click and drag your pictures into to upload. Otherwise you can use a image hosting site like imgur, photobucket, flickr, etc.
 
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