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Old 09-11-2006, 04:14 PM   #21
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Another thing I did the day before yesterday, I took the sponges out of the tank and rubbed them on a couple of biowheels until they had some stuff all over them on all sides. And today, still no sign of nitrite and still the same amount of ammonia. Just the rubbings frm the biowheels should start something and should see some signs of nitrite by now, unless the rocks did affect the water chemistry, and killing off the bacteria. And being run on an air pump, the sponge filters are creating plenty of surface aggitation and circulation.

I also took a couple of the media baskets and dipped them in the 10G tanks several times over the last 3 or 4 days. This is starting to make me wonder. Maybe I should set up my Aquaclear powerhead in the tank with the quickfilter attachment, and fill the plastic inside piece with carbon.

Edit:
Flushed both tanks, added new ammonia, and dosed with Stress Zyme.
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:29 AM   #22
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Well, I left the tanks for a couple days, and now decided to test again. To my amazement, no ammonia, and a whole bunch of nitrite. Cycling has begun. Will dose Stress Zyme one more time. I also added more ammonia to bring the level back up again. And all's starting to look good.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:03 AM   #23
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Update....

Cycling is going well. Ammonia drops to 0ppm in less than 24 hours. Now just waiting on Nitrite.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:18 AM   #24
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That was an interesting study. I used to use that stress zyme stuff when setting up a tank and had always wondered how effective it really was.

This was an experiment of course, but realistically. If you have established planted tanks. You can set up a new tank and skip the whole cycle thing. Simple use old media from an existing filter in your new filter. If I have time before needing a tank, I try to run the new filter on an old tank for a while as well. Seed your substrate with some mulm/dirty gravel, and add a ton of plants from the start. Most tanks set up that way are ready in about a day, and never show a "cycle" (ie no ammonia or nitrite spike). I have also seen this referred to as a silent cycle.

As an example, I recently set up a 29g hex to use as my Angelfish breeder. After about a week, it sprung a leak and I had to quickly setup a new tank for my Angels. I took a running filter from another tank (that tank had an UGF and a HOB, so I pulled the HOB). Pulled dirty gravel from the hex and another tank, and filled it with plants. I filled it, let it run a few hours, changed th water and then drip acclimated my mated pair of Angels. Two days later they laid eggs and are now raising a fine clutch of fry in that tank. I have not had to set up and use a tank so quickly before. Even using these methods I usually wait a week before putting anything besides shrimp in a tank. So I kept a close eye on this one, I do not like to take risks with that Angel pair. The tank has not shown any detectable levels of Amonia, Nitrite, or Nitrate.

I do want to emphasize that the "silent cycle" setup does require you have existing healthy tanks, and lots of plants.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:57 AM   #25
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Glad your experiment is working LWB!
I'm going through a fishless cycle experiment myself at the moment, using raw market prawns left to decay. They actually don't smell at all.

Here are my stats so far:

Day 1:
Put prawn in the tank

Day 3:
0.5 Ammonia
0.125 NitrIte
20 NitrAte (this is unlikely to be down to the fishless cycle)

Day 6:
1.0 Ammonia
0.5 NitrIte
20 NitrAte

Removed prawn on Day 9

Day 10:
0 Ammonia
2.0 NitrIte
20 NitrAte

Added new prawn to feed nitrosommonas bacteria (which evidently exist now due to ammonia levels day after removing prawn).

I have a question re this last point: I am cycling this way so I can introduce all my cichlids in one go to minimise territorial aggression from the outset. However, if I do not put a source of ammonia in the tank the nitrosommonas will die off. Equally, if I do then when I introduce the cichlids there will be ammonia in the tank. Do I add the cichlids and remove the prawn on the same day? Or, do I remove the prawn 24hrs before adding the fish? Or, do I leave it in and then remove it the day after?
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:17 PM   #26
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You keep adding ammonia until both ammonia and nitrite go to 0ppm in 24 hours or less. When that happens, you are cycled. Looks like you are only about half-way there. Keep the prawns in the water until both ammonia and nitrite read 0ppm. If you remove the prawns, the bacteria will start dying off once their ammonia source is gone. The only time you remove the ammonia source is when you add the fish.

When your ammonia reads 0ppm, don't worry, the bacteria are not going to die off if the prawns is still in the tank decaying. The prawns are still giving off ammonia, but the bacteria has built up enough to keep up with the ammonia source, which is what you want. Now you just want nitrite to catch up. By keeping the prawns in there is like me when I add ammonia daily to bump my levels back up to 2ppm. The next day it's 0ppm, and I add more. The only difference, yours is constantly providing ammonia to keep them alive and I have to add the source.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:23 PM   #27
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Ah, phew, ok, I was scratching my head for ages on that one lol (and it was staring me in the face). Thx for the info!
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:25 PM   #28
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I edited my post above, might check what I added....
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Old 09-24-2006, 10:40 PM   #29
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My breeder tanks are now cycled. I did a major PWC, brought the levels down to .25ppm nitrite. Then in the tank with the 3 GBR's, this morning my ammonia was 0ppm as normal, and nitrite was 0ppm. Cool......

As for the 2nd breeder tank, I still have levels in it, as I didn't do a PWC in it yet. Waiting to add the GBR's, maybe tomorrow. Will do a large PWC, then if the nitrite is below .25ppm, will add 3 or 4 GBR's. then by morning, the nitrite should be at 0ppm. Since I have such a low bioload, it's considered cycled.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:48 PM   #30
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I did my tank today, nitrite is near 0ppm. Should be 0ppm in the morning. Here's the pics....

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=87249
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