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Old 12-28-2003, 08:55 PM   #1
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Cycling question, sorta

In the next week or so I will be recieving an overstocked tank so I planned on giving my friend some of the fish because she has an empty fish tank at home.

Im not sure how to explain the cycling thing or how she needs to go about doing it. I remember someone leaving a note in one of my posts that explained it REALLY well but I can't find it =o(

Also, what if I give her a good amount of the water that the fish came in? Im getting a 40gal, the lady delivering it said she would drain it to half (20gal) and I could give Lindsey, my friend, half of that (10 gal) because she has a 20gal and that would be the same concept as a 50% water change, right?

Any ideas on how I should handle this? or what I should tell my friend?

Any advice would be appreciated =o) Thanx

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Old 12-28-2003, 09:25 PM   #2
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This may be the website that was in your other post. It's often linked here frequently. Go down to "Setting Up Your Tank" and click on "Cycling Your Tank".


While it would be a good idea to keep the fish in some of the water that they come in (it will reduce the stress on them), the new aquariums won't cycle with the water alone. The good bacteria usually doesn't live in the water. It's in the gravel, bio-wheel, or sponge filter. You could get a mesh bag and put a little bit of the original gravel in it, and lay it on your new gravel, if you are getting any. You could also give a mesh bag of gravel to your friend. When the cycle is complete, the bacteria will have started to grow in the new gravel, and you can remove the mesh bag.

Later on, when you do water changes, and also top off the tank when you get it, you will gradually replace the water that they came in with your own. This will be less stressful on them than if you just put them right into your own water. When I got my bettas, I gradually (about 90 minutes) poured my tap water into their bag to get them acclimated to my water.
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:55 AM   #3
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Another very good source of information about the nitrogen cycle as we well as every other aspect of fishkeeping can be found at my friend Wetman's website, who is a long-time reknown expert in the hobby. His nitrogen cycle article is written in easy-to-understand, beginner's terminology.


Good luck !
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:04 AM   #4
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Cycling is a process where the ammonia produced by fish respiration, excretation and uneaten food get turned into nitrite. Bacteria builds up in the tank and the filter. These bacteria are called Nirosomonas. It takes time for Nirosomonas to colonise the tank so it might take a few weeks for ammonia levels to drop...during this period of time, high ammonia level would be deadly to fish. When Nirosomonas has fully colonised the tank, the ammonia is then changed to nitrite.
Nitrite then can be reduced to nitrate. The bacteria that reduce nitrite to nitrate is called nitrobacter. Nitrobacter takes even more time to adsorb nitrite, and in this stage nitrite is prominent and it is another dangerous time for a fish, even a hardy one. After a while, nitrite will drop and nitrate will be prominent in the tank...but nitrate although not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite, regular water changes is need to keep the nitrate level down.

Basically if the ammonia and nitrite has spiked then rapidly dropped and you could test for nitrate, the tank has cycled. The ammonia and nitrite has to read 0 and nitrate below 20 to reduce changes of death.
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