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Thread: Cycle

  1. #71
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    Newbie:Explain Cycle to me like a 5 year old!

    My wife said I needed a fish tank. So now I have 50 gallon tank filled with water running through a filter with no fish in it.

    Can someone in layman's terms explain the initial process so we can introduce some fish?

    I want to add a couple plants and the most colorful FW fish available suited for my size tank.

    Do I need to add ammonia to my water? I have well water, so no chlorine.

    I think I added 2 ozs. of Stress. I think it's suppossed to grow bacteria.

    Is cycling the art of growing bacteria in the gravel for the fish?

    When do I know I have bacteria?

    Do I need to swap the water out so much? I have enough on my plate, now this! I have chickens, wife, kids, friends, I make my own beer and a job!

    Thanks for the cliff notes.





  2. #72
    L33t 5p34k m0f0!!11one Maj0rFiSh's Avatar
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    Send me some Home Brew and ill give you an awnser

    j/k, normally i leave a cycle between 1-2 weeks before introducing my first fish, only add one or a few smaller fish once a week, to many fish at once can cause stress and they are likely to die, water changes on a new tank i say about 25% a week, then after a few weeks make it every 2 weeks, if you come across problems like high nitrate, then water changes will differ.
    200 Litre
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    1 Pearl white Discus
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    1 Albino Shark



  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maj0rFiSh
    Send me some Home Brew and ill give you an awnser

    j/k, normally i leave a cycle between 1-2 weeks before introducing my first fish,

    Should I add ammonia?

    Will Stress develop bacteria?

    Thanks!

    PS: My beer is good! I do an all grain 5 gallon full boil. I use a secondary carboy to clear it, age it and then keg it! I have a 17 cu. ft. freezer with an electronic temp. controller and 4 taps!



  4. #74
    The Algae Grower kamla's Avatar
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    hi.. the link is not working



  5. #75
    redorkulated happychem's Avatar
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    If you don't add ammonia, you're not cycling.

    Cycling is the growing of nitrifying bacteria colonies. One strain converts ammonia (NH3/NH4) secreted from your fishes' gills to nitrite (NO2). Another converts NO2 to nitrate (NO3). If these colonies are sufficiently large then your fish will not suffer from ammonia or nitrite poisoning.

    These bacteria require 3 things: a surface to adhere to, a source of NH3 for food, a source of O2 to respire. Nitrifiers use NH3 and NO2 in the same manner as we use carbohydrates: energy. In an oxygen rich environment NH3 has more potential energy than NO2 and NO2 more than NO3. The bacteria use NH3 or NO2 and O2 to get energy, with which they carry out their life processes.

    So what can you do for them? Well, the higher the surface area, the more bacteria can colonize, so anywhere with a high surface area can potentially hold large colonies. Finally, they need constant water flow. Flowing water carries new NH3/NO2 and O2 to the colonies, in stagnant water these would have to diffuse which is much slower.

    Stress Coat, to my knowledge does nothing to grow bacteria, other than dechlorinate. I've stopped using it, personally, because other, cheaper dechlorinators work just as well (for me, no chloramines) and don't add unneeded stuff (like aloe) to my water. If you're on a well, better for you, no need to add anything.

    To sum up:
    To cycle you need a source of bacteria, a sponge from the filter of an established tank is best, NH3 and O2 (flowing water). If any of these is missing, you're not cycling. You can run your tank w/o fish for as long as you want, if you're not adding ammonia (or a source of ammonia), you're not cycling.
    The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
    and you want to take her with you, to the hard land of the winter.
    -Cream

    My tank(s) - latest update Nov. 7, 2005 (56K warning)



  6. #76
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    cycling with fish is horrible.....its like exposing humans to smoky ari for a month......id NEVER stress my fish that way....

    I mean..crystal-clear is NOT an idication of how safe the water is....you cant see PH Ammonia, Nitrates or Nitrites.....

    I have used cycle many times....there is fine print on the bottle that says to put the bottle in the fridge....the first time i didnt read this and cycle did absolutely nothing....but after following the directions i got pretty good results with it...

    IMHO....change 20% of the tanks water twice a week....smaller water changes more often are best as they do not overwhelm the bacteria, nor does the different water stress the fish out....I would also be weary of using gravel or anything from anyone unless you are 100% certain that there are no diseases or dormant parasites in the tank.....

    remember....if you so large water changes during a cycle..there is a big chance that you can stress the fish out....better to cycle FISHLESS then add fish....

    Cycling with fish is the worst thing anyone can do...it does hurt them...



  7. #77
    redorkulated happychem's Avatar
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    I agree with the general message, if not the vehemence. I don't think that it could be called the 'worst thing anyone can do', nor do I think it fair to pass judgement on folks who don't know any better.

    I do have one problem with the facts presented, I don't think I'll be the only one either:
    water changes more often are best as they do not overwhelm the bacteria
    . I fail to see how a water change would overwhelm a bacteria that is attached to the surface of the filter media and, to some extent, the rest of the tank and its contents. Assuming that the water was dechlorinated, of course.
    The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
    and you want to take her with you, to the hard land of the winter.
    -Cream

    My tank(s) - latest update Nov. 7, 2005 (56K warning)



  8. #78
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    Question for you guys.

    Quite a newb here, and I've been having some problems with my tank. It's a 29 gal setup with a aqua clear 70 filter running. My water was a bit cloudy, so I asked my LFS, and he tested some of the water for me. My phosphates were ridiculously high (the test kit only went up to 10 ppm, and that's the color my water registered). I bought my own test kit and read through the instructions, and it said the quickest way to reduce phosphates is to do a 25-50% water change. Needless to say, I changed the water and then tested phosphates. Still the maximum reading. Well, after about the 5th 50% water change in 48 hours, the phosphate reading is finally at 2 ppm. My question is this: Did all those water changes drastically affect my bacteria? If so, what do I need to do? (As a side note, I also just bought a new filter, that aqua clear 70 I mentioned. I used to have a whisper 30, and when I was replacing it with the aqua clear, the bio-bag was disgusting ... brown and slimy. There was also a rather thick slime all over the filter, so I assume that contributed a lot to the problem.)

    Also, I noticed my fish sometimes swim at the top as if they are trying to get air, so I added a little bubble wand to the tank, which seemed to help for about 10 hours, but they're doing it again. What is the problem?

    And lastly, my water is still somewhat cloudy, but I just got the phosphate levels to be normal about 6 hours ago ... how long will this cloudiness take to clear up? There doesn't seem to be any excessive algae juding by my pieces of driftwood (in fact, hardly any algae at all), and all my levels are within the test kit's instructions acceptable range.

    Sorry this was a long post, I've just been reading through the forum for several hours now and came up with a lot of questions.



  9. #79
    Cowbell! I need more cowbell!
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    You aren't using anything to regulate pH, are you (e.g., Proper pH)? Those are often loaded with phosphates. Did you test your tap water, too, or just the tank water?

    Jim



  10. #80
    redorkulated happychem's Avatar
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    What he said. and also:

    Did you let the new filter run for a while before discarding the old one to allow the new media to be seeded with bacteria, or alternatively, did you add some of the old, slimy media to the new filter? As long as you provided a good source of bacteria to the new filter and dechlorinated your new water, there shouldn't be any effect on the bacteria.

    Rinse out your filter sponges every week in some old tank water, that should keep your sponges in good condition and keep your bacteria healthy and with plenty of surface area.

    You've got a bacterial bloom right now, the bacteria may be drawing in a lot of O2, hence the fish gasping. Lower the water level by about an inch and the filter splashing will help to oxygenate the water.

    Be patient, the bloom is from an imbalance in your tank chemistry, or a sharp change that threw off the natural balance in the tank. Once a new balance is established, the cloudiness will dissapate. This could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Just be consistent with your maintenance, feed lightly once per day and change 50% of the water each week.

    And test your tap water! Call or e-mail your water comission and ask for the annual water analysis. It won't be exactly what's coming out of the tap, it's an annual average, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect.
    The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
    and you want to take her with you, to the hard land of the winter.
    -Cream

    My tank(s) - latest update Nov. 7, 2005 (56K warning)



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