• Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Freshwater cycling

Cypress

AC Members
I am still confused about the exact method of cycling with filter media. I have a 10gal that I have had for about 2 years, and I plan on getting a new large (55 or more) tank soon. So, I just don't really know how to go about it.

Do I take filter media from the new filters an just put them IN my establised aquarium? If so, how long?

Do I actually have to put the new filters and media in my established aquarium and run them? For how long?

OR, do I take filter media from my established tank filter and just put them in the new aquarium?

How much filter media is required to quickly cycle the new tank?

At what point do you add fish?

I don't want to sound like an imbecile, I just want to do it right. (I didn't with my 10) :duh:

A timeline would be really helpful!

Thanks in advance!
 

hope4peace

AC Members
I am still confused about the exact method of cycling with filter media. I have a 10gal that I have had for about 2 years, and I plan on getting a new large (55 or more) tank soon. So, I just don't really know how to go about it.


Do I take filter media from the new filters an just put them IN my establised aquarium? If so, how long?

Do I actually have to put the new filters and media in my established aquarium and run them? For how long?

OR, do I take filter media from my established tank filter and just put them in the new aquarium?
take the filter media from the already established tank and put it in the new tank.

How much filter media is required to quickly cycle the new tank?
if your 10 gallon is already established, replacing the filter shouldn't cause a huge problem, take the entire filter pad.. if you have ceramic rings in there those are good also.. you can also take a handful of gravel (from the top 1/4 inch and put it in a clean UNUSED panty hose, and dangle it in the new tank

At what point do you add fish?
if you are doing it this way, you must feed the tank a good amount of ammonia every day, keep testing, you will see your ammo levels begin to drop and you will now see nitrite levels rise, you must now begin testing for both ammo and nitrite, continue feeding ammo, after a week-a few weeks you will see your nitrite levels begin to fall, now you must also test for nitrate... once you see that and you can add 3-5ppm ammo and the next day your tests show 0 ammo and 0 nitrite, your tank is cycled. and you may add fish. from then on. test every day for a while.. your ammo, and nitrite should be 0 and nitrate ideally under .20 ppm though under .40 is ok but NO MORE. once you figure out how much water you need to change and how often. you can begin to test once weekly.

I don't want to sound like an imbecile, I just want to do it right. (I didn't with my 10) :duh:

A timeline would be really helpful!

Thanks in advance!
 

Carla G

AC Members
Bob

I'm glad you started this thread. I agree that fishless cycling sounds like a much more humane and efficient way to get the tank ready to accept fish. I have a feeling the "just let it run for a week, then put the fish in" idea probably dates back to the days of the carbon filter. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I believe the carbon traps ammonia, so the tank runs mainly on a principle of physically removing the waste rather than biologically breaking it down. My first fishtank had a corner carbon filter driven by an air pump. We were told to wait a few days before putting fish in. The fish did just fine. The carbon in the filter had to be changed every couple of weeks...pain in the ***. Shortly after this, we get a second larger tank and bought an undergravel filter for it. Undergravel filters were state of the art at the time, and are completely biological in their action. This time we were carefully coached through cycling the tank. The different sets of instructions for the two tanks were from the same person, the proprieter of our LFS, who was quite knowledgable and never steered us wrong.

There is a very good article called the "Fishless Cycle" by Chris Cow. Google this if you haven't read it. Also "Fishless Cycle/Nitrogen Cycle" by Jay Luto.
“Nitrogen Cycle” by TheKrib
“Biological Filtration Basics” by James Fatherree

I'm about to embark on a fishless cycle on a new tank. I've been reading up on it and I have questions. Attention Chemists!!! This is about to get technical.

Does anyone know the source of pure ammonia in Australia? Seems our illustrious government is willing to have the wool pulled over the eyes of the public on many things including ingredient lists. I have the Reliance one called cloudy ammonia. I don't know why it's called cloudy, but ammonia usually is. Anyone?

The water ager I have is called Water Ager ACN and it contains sodium theosulphate, sulphite, chelator, and polymer. It removes (neutralizes) 5ppm chlorine, 2ppm chloramine and 1ppm ammonia. It detoxifies heavy metals such as copper, lead, zinc, aluminium, and iron. And slimecoats fish. This is according to the label.

Apparently this stuff is needed if you have chloramine in your water as simply aging the water does not get rid of the chloramine. Neither does boiling. It takes this stuff to break the chemical bond. OK, so if you have chloramine in your water you are stuck with using this chemical.

My questions on this are: :help:

- The fishless cycle process calls for no ammonia neutralizing products to be used as they slow down the process. So is there any way to get the water ager out of the water once the chloramine bond has been broken? Does it dissipate if you let it sit?

- What happens to the metals once they have been 'detoxified'? They can't evaporate, so they must still be in the water. My plants need iron, and there's plenty of it in my tapwater. Can they use this 'detoxified' iron? How about other minerals? Will the water ager be busily neutralizing my fertilizer? :confused:

I phoned the local council and asked what was added to our water. They said chlorine and alum. (The flouride debate is still raging here) Alum is aluminium sulphate, used to clear water. So...

- As I don't have chloramine, maybe I can just skip the water ager altogether. I've been told 24 hours sitting for chlorine to evaporate. Is this a realistic time frame?

- What about the alum? I don't like the idea of aluminium in my fishtank or my drinking water for that matter. Is it worth using the water ager to get rid of this? During cycing or afterwards?

- On the subject of water ager, one woman in a LFS told me I should use it in rainwater before I put it in the tank, to get the heavy metals out! I asked her how heavy metals get into rainwater, and she said from the roof. I don't see how this is possible unless it's bare zincalume,+ /0741+87which it's not, it's colourbond. She said metal could still get into the rainwater. Any takers on this one? My conclusion on this is that this person doesn't know what they are talking about. She also told me that all I had to do with a new tank was run it for a week, then put the fish in and that clown loaches or other large fish only grow to the size of the tank. I certainly wont be adding water ager to rainwater! Jeesh! This woman probably vaccinates her kids, too.

Another question I have on this water ager is if I used it after the tank is cycled and it neutralizes ammonia, would that damage my bacteria colony by starving them? How long does it neutralize ammonia for?

Another LFS person told me that I shouldn't put ammonia into the tank, that it will cycle naturally using nitrogen from the air. Has anyone heard of this?

Next issue with cycling is the source of bacteria. The bottled stuff says it is a bottle of live bacteria. But then it says to add it every 2 weeks! Why on earth would you do that if you've cycled your tank and your filter and gravel is full of live bacteria in ratio to the fish you have? I asked the guy in the store how bacteria could stay alive in a bottle with no food. He said they activate on contact with water. I don't understand this.

Some people say the bottled bacteria are a waste of money and don't work.
Has anyone here done a cycle with the bottled stuff? Did it work? How does the bacteria stay alive in the bottle?

There was some stuff mentioned on a Canadian site called Septo-bac. It is freeze dried bacteria used for dissolving a clogged septic tank. Septic tanks in Canada are 100% biological action, BTW, no pump out system there. People have been using this to seed their fish tanks with success. Is there such a product in Australia?

I am planning to get an Eheim 2215 for my tank. I am also considering a second smaller filter as a backup and if needed could be put into an isolation tank, or used for fry or whatever. I was considering a sponge one which runs off an air pump. The one I was looking at has carbon cartridges in the middle. Now for cycling the tank, carbon may work against the flow, as carbon actually traps the nasties. But I want bacteria in the sponge.

-Would it work if I put a bag of biological filter media in the space where the carbon cartridge goes? Then save the carbon cartridges for some emergency situation where a fish may have to go into a non-cycled tank.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Cheers,

Carla
 

Sarra

AC Members
I have a few spare 2.5 gallon tanks. Once I noticed my fresh tank was re-cycling, I pulled my fish and put them in the 2.5's, and now my cycle is done, so it's time to do water changes and add the fish back in.
 

grannylvsfish

have you been bad this year ??
here is what I am doing, please tell me if this is right.....
got a 10 gallon tank with HOB
added 10 gallons of water from my other established tank.
added filter from established tank
added gravel from established tank and filled the tank bottom ( I had way to much gravel in my 29 gallon tank)

do I let this run several days? just checking for nitrates etc? or can I actually add the fish since its all from my well established tank already?
 

grannylvsfish

have you been bad this year ??
here is what I am doing, please tell me if this is right.....
got a 10 gallon tank with HOB
added 10 gallons of water from my other established tank.
added filter from established tank
added gravel from established tank and filled the tank bottom ( I had way to much gravel in my 29 gallon tank)

do I let this run several days? and how do I maintain it as a hospital tank?? do I need to put a fish in it to keep it going ( biological)
BUMP
 

knep57

AC Members
I have plants in the tank, I use Prime to remove clorine, chloramine, and ammonia, which detoxifies nitrites and nitrates
 

msquared

AC Members
Please review my cycling test results

I have a new 20g tank that I'm trying to finish cycling. I started with no fish, added a bit of food and the the water got cloudy (I didn't test at the time, but assume the ammonia was way up like it should have been). I added some water from an established tank, and the very next day the water was really clear. I added four Zebra Danios that day and tested (last Wednesday) and got: Ammonia=.25, nitrite=.25, nitrate=20. I was really pleased with this, assuming I had progressed quickly through the bulk of the cycle by adding the established water, and expecting to see ammonia and nitrite levels drop to zero from there. But since then, I get the same test results every day. Well, my nitrates have risen a bit to about 30. But I still have these steady, low levels of ammonia and nitrite. Based on that, the bacteria must still be there doing their job, but it seems like they haven't multiplied enough to really clear the bad chemicals. Am I just being impatient, or has my cycle stalled, or what?
 

Floridaboiler

Registered Member
I took water out of my 10 gallon tank (almost half the tank) and used that to help fill up the 50 gallon tank that I just bought used. This weekend I will go to the local fish store and ask what else I need to do. This should be an interesting experiment.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store
Top