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Old 10-27-2004, 02:24 PM   #1
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Leaving tank empty

Hi I moved my damsels to QT because of an ich breakout and am going to leave the main tank empty for 6 weeks. Wondering whether the bacteria that break down ammonia and nitrites are going to die off because of lack of fish?

Should I keep a supply of dead shrimps in the tank while waiting?

Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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How old is this tank? Do you have LR? You should not need to worry about loosing your biological cycle during a fallow period. Do you have any inverts in the tank?
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:08 PM   #3
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Just put some food in each day (the same amount you feed your fish) to help keep the bacteria alive.

Then, get as much of it out as you can before you put your fish back in. Monitor ammonia/nitrites and be ready to do a few waterchanges if there's a mini-cycle when you put your fish back in.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:12 PM   #4
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Just put some food in each day (the same amount you feed your fish) to help keep the bacteria alive.
Sorry Mark, I would not go that far with it.

What I do, and have done in the past, is maybe add a little flake once ortwice a week. A Little.

Do you have any inverts??
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:19 PM   #5
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But, won't a lot of the bacteria die seeing as only a fraction of them will be needed to convert the smaller amount of ammonia and nitrites being produced?
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:22 PM   #6
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If you put that much food in, that is not being eaten, your ammonia levels are going to sky rocket.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:24 PM   #7
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
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No inverts yet. I was thinking of getting some when I finish aquascaping. I just bought 60lbs of base rock but it hasn't arrived yet. Tank is about 2 weeks old, pretty sure the cycling is done though.

Right now about 40 lbs of cured LR in it.

There are 3 dead shrimps still left in tank but they aren't completely gone.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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If you put that much food in, that is not being eaten, your ammonia levels are going to sky rocket.
I would actually disagree with that in part. Wether the fish eat the foods or it simpley falls, the resulting waste will be pretty much the same. The fish waste still contributes just as much to the bioload as if the foods where left in there uneaten. There is not much difference between the two in terms of causing ammonia.

If your bioload goes from a few fish to nothing, the bacteria will indeed die off from lack of nutrient. If there is not enough of an ammonia source the food chain on down the line will also suffer. Once the fallow period is over and the fish added back to the tank, the bioload will otherwise be stressed and ammonia will be a concern.

Personally I would opt for small daily feedings in an established tank but only about ¬Ĺ the normal amount. If a newer set up or just recently cycled then I would opt for only a few days a week.

Cheers
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:01 PM   #10
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I will submit to the knowledge of Steve S.

Steve is far more experienced than I am. In the three times I have qt for ich, I have done it the way I explained and had no spike when the fish returned. Maybe it is all the lr I have. I should have said IME.
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