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Old 09-29-2009, 11:25 AM   #1
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Question cylcing time?

ok so iv looked around and do not see my question in this forum. what i wanted to know is about how long can i expect a cycling process to take. i am starting a 26 gal bow front aquarium, pool filter sand as the substrate, and a few decor like fake plants. any idea as to how long a cycling process might take?? (i dont want to mess up and add fishys at the wrong time)...i no the cycling is done once u add ammonia or w/e some one decides to add to start the cycle, and its over once youv seen your ammonia and nitrate levels rise and then fall, right? about how long should that take?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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My tank took a month to cycle, i took daily readings just to have something to do. that's pretty much what you can expect, some cycles are shorter by seeding the tank with material from an established tank.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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you will see the readings spike, then slowly star to fall and when you have no ammonia or nitrites your done. do a water change and your ready for fish.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #4
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Here's the link under the Articles tab for the Nitrogen cycle.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...le-/Page1.html

Generally most cycles take about 4-6 weeks to complete. Try searching for 'fishless cycle' and you will get plenty of threads.

If you dose daily with Ammonia (not sure on the amount) you will eventually see the ammonia level down to zero by the next day, then Nitrites will rise and fall (keep dosing ammonia) and then when BOTH ammonia and Nitrites are zero, and Nitrates start to rise, you're done and you can start stocking a few fish here and there.

Happy to see another addition to the family of aquarists! Stick with this site and you will do well

Since this is your first aquarium, tell us a little more about it - what kind of filter do you use, do you plan on keeping live plants (pool filter sand is good for a planted tank), what kind of fish do you want to keep, etc.

Also I always recommend that you test you tap water for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates to make sure you understand what water you're using during your weekly water changes (20-40% generally, all depends on your bioload and filtration equipment), and also to get a handle on the pH of your tap water.

Mine is weird, is comes out of the tap off the scale (over 9.0) and stays that way if I let it sit stagnant in a bucket overnight (even 48 hours later) but in my tank, after I do a 40% change it's around 8.4, then 24 hours later it's down to 7.8 or so, and a week later is settles out around 7.4.

it's also important to understand that whatever you find, you don't want to mess with the pH in the tank unless you absolutely have to, for instance, if you want to keep a certain kind of fish that has to have a certain pH range (like Discus or other Cichlids), and then you want to get as much input on what to do to make sure you don't otherwise mess up your tank in the process, and I strongly suggest you get that advice here, as the employees at your LFS (local fish store) may not give you the greatest advice. here you are dealing with experienced aquarists with unlimited knowledge (and opinions too!)

IMO this is the best site for most questions, but there are others out there that are good as well.

Welcome and enjoy your new obsession...er..hobby!
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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Both tanks that I've cycled (one with a gold-fish, the other fishless) took right at 4 weeks to cycle.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:46 PM   #6
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There is no direct answer to your question. The time your tank takes to cycle is determined by many factors, so no two systems will be the same. Generally 3-6 weeks is accepted as the "norm", but that's a pretty broad range, and again, it depends on your method and system. I cycle tanks between 24-72 hours personally.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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ya i dont think it should take many many weeks, like some one on the forum said it took their ten gallon like 6 weeks...?!? lol holy crap thats a long time! the fish places iv talked to said it should take 24 hours to a week or two...sooo i guess we will c
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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If you're using one of the common ammonia additive methods (fish-in, fish food, MP, bottled ammonia) you're looking at atleast 3weeks. This will also be greatly determined by temp, Ph, aeration, and most importantly, your filtration.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exodon king View Post
There is no direct answer to your question. The time your tank takes to cycle is determined by many factors, so no two systems will be the same. Generally 3-6 weeks is accepted as the "norm", but that's a pretty broad range, and again, it depends on your method and system. I cycle tanks between 24-72 hours personally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahollland92690 View Post
ya i dont think it should take many many weeks, like some one on the forum said it took their ten gallon like 6 weeks...?!? lol holy crap thats a long time! the fish places iv talked to said it should take 24 hours to a week or two...sooo i guess we will c
First of all, don't listen to people at most LFS. Most of the time, they either don't know what they are talking about or are motivated to sell you something.

To cycle a tank, we're talking about growing a colony of two different sets of bacteria. It's a process that takes weeks... not hours or days. You can't plant a seed and expect a flower the next day.

Now there are short cuts... and these short cuts are akin to starting with a flower in a pot that already has a bud on it.

You can get bio-spira (a bottle of live bacteria). But most FLS do not carry the stuff because it requires referigeration and has a short shelf life.

You can also start with a filter or subtrait (decorations) from an existing cycled tank. Doing so basically transplants a colony of bacteria to the new tank.

Other wise, if all you're starting with is an empty fish tank and all brand new materials, IT'S GOING TO TAKE WEEKS TO GROW A COLONY OF BACTERIA TO CYCLE YOUR TANK.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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I prefer the, take a fully bloomed and fragrant flower and replant it in a new garden" method. It might have a little shock from the transfer, so you might have to wait a couple of days for it to get used to the new soil, but you basically have an instant garden if done properly.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:52 PM   #11
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I cycled my 55 gallon in very quickly, I started by filling on 1/1/9 and added fish on 1/2/9, then about 1/8/9 my ammonia was 0.5, Nitrite 0.25, Nitrate 5 (tap water has nitrates), and at that point I got a bag of dirty water squeezed out of a sponge at my local old-school LFS, and dumped that in. Within 2 days, my levels were .25/.1/5, and my 1/16/9 it was 0/0/10 with no spikes since.

I don't know who is figuring out how to do it any faster, it just isn't physically possible to cycle a tank from scratch in 24-72 hours. Even with seeding a tank, the bio-colony will be there, but has to grow enough to adhere to all surfaces and fully establish, which simply takes time and there's no other truly viable solution IMO.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:02 PM   #12
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That is where you're wrong my friend. While you're talking about "seeding", I'm talking about using an established filter on the new tank. Not just some media, but rather, the entire filter, complete with bacteria, and media capacity able to handle any bio-load the new tank could possibly dish out.
As long as the water in the new tank has the same (or close) Ph and Temp, the bacteria in the filter will not be effected. Or at least not enough to make a difference. The 24-72hrs is simply to let the system balance out. Unless of course you use the tank water from an established tank too, in which case its an instant clone.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:13 PM   #13
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Gotcha, I mis-read your post. I did something similar to that when I got my canister, I put a couple handfuls of gravel in the bio-baskets and pulled 1/2 of my UGF, then pulled the other half 2 weeks later and had no spike.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:22 PM   #14
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Yeah, its the quickest way to get the job done, though not necessarily the most practical for novice keepers , as it requires you to have an EXTRA established filter. But then again, though successful, a lot of my methods are anything but practical. Lol
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:37 AM   #15
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I just finished a fishless cycle. The process took 4 weeks and 3 days to complete. Although, I made a few mistakes along the way and also left town for 4 days at one point, so it may even be shorter.
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