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Old 07-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #1221
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Ideally you want no2 knocked down to .5-1. It should speed things up and prevent a stall. It also restores buffers to keep your pH stable. Consider it practice for pwc's once you have fish

There's no set time for how long nitrItes take to drop. It shouldn't be too much longer if you knock them down...you've just got to wait it out.

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Old 07-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #1222
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I searched the thread but could not find and answer...............I hate to make it longer but...

If I decide to use plants during the fishless cycle, should I use co2 for the plants? Or will this effect the cycle process?

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Old 07-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #1223
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I searched the thread but could not find and answer...............I hate to make it longer but...

If I decide to use plants during the fishless cycle, should I use co2 for the plants? Or will this effect the cycle process?

Good question, and TBH, one I don't know the answer to. I only know that lots of people do it without issue. A quick bit of research didn't seem to pop up any negatives it could cause.

How heavily are you planting your tank? Can I also ask what type of substrate you are using and what % of it will be initially planted? Also what type of fish you plan on keeping? Tank size? (sorry, I keep thinking up new questions, lol)
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:00 PM   #1224
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I am using a combo of Floramax and Flourite sand(black) in a 75 gal with a 55 gal sump(probably will have approx 35 gal).

I plan on planting it rather heavily eventually. Initially it will be just the 75 without the sump(the sump is a planted 55 right now.) I'd like to plant as much as possible during the cycle. I planned on moving fish over once cycle is complete. I have extra fluval canisters, so I will be moving one of the filter pads and a basket or two of biomax over to new tank to help move it along. I also have some spare HOB filters that I was thinking of setting up on old tank to seed, then move over to new tank.

Fish being moved include: a RTS, assorted rams, clown loaches, tiger barbs, blood fin tetras, siamese algae eaters, cory cats, danios and the blue lobster. I planned on slowly adding fish from old to new once cycle completes.

Plants are up in the air, but I would love to get a carpet of grass going. I think I have enough light for med-med-high plants(2.8wpg of T5).

Thanks...
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:12 PM   #1225
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I am using a combo of Floramax and Flourite sand(black) in a 75 gal with a 55 gal sump(probably will have approx 35 gal).

I plan on planting it rather heavily eventually. Initially it will be just the 75 without the sump(the sump is a planted 55 right now.) I'd like to plant as much as possible during the cycle. I planned on moving fish over once cycle is complete. I have extra fluval canisters, so I will be moving one of the filter pads and a basket or two of biomax over to new tank to help move it along. I also have some spare HOB filters that I was thinking of setting up on old tank to seed, then move over to new tank.

Fish being moved include: assorted rams, clown loaches, tiger barbs, blood fin tetras, siamese algae eaters, cory cats, danios and the blue lobster. I planned on slowly adding fish from old to new once cycle completes.

Plants are up in the air, but I would love to get a carpet of grass going. I think I have enough light for med-med-high plants(2.8wpg of T5).

Thanks...
Okay, seems like you've got everything lined up for a quick and efficient fishless cycle and you've got some great knowledge.

The reason I asked the questions was if you were starting from scratch, but with a heavily planted tank (~50% of substrate covered) with fast growing plants...there's also the option of "silent cycling" given you have enough patience and commitment to SLOWLY stock the tank and constantly monitor the water to ensure your plants are consuming the ammonia as the fish produce it.

In your situation with all the seeded media, I'd personally go ahead and do it fishless. Just be sure you don't remove so much media from the established tank that it destabilizes and causes a mini-cycle in the other. If you cycle at 4ppm ammonia you can actually add a large portion of the fish over at once, rather than doing it slowly...it's actually one of the benefits of fishless cycling.

Sounds like you've got everything lined up. We'll help all we can if you have any questions...but it sounds like you're already ahead of the game
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:36 PM   #1226
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Thanks I did a lot of lurking and reading before ever posting. This site has a ton of great info on it.

I'm using well water as well, so there should be nothing to inhibit it. My 55 was "cycled" using fish(my mistake/ignorance) and the cycle stuff, which most do not believe in. The only thing I can say about the cycle stuff is that I still have all of the fish that were initially stocked and they have never had any visible health issues. I probably got lucky. Now with more knowledge, the fishless cycle seems to way to go

Off to find some pure ammonia.....
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #1227
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So, after being mislead by the lfs - I had been doing a fish-in cycle in my 26g and doing 50-75% pwc daily to keep the ammonia level down - which in turn, was making the cycle take forever (and killing my back). So I got a QT and put my fish in there so I could do a fishless cyle.

I'm on day 4 and my ammonia level has dropped to 1ppm, no readings for no2 or no3 yet - the only other thing that changed was that my ph went up to about 8.1 - it was maintaining at 7.8 before.

I dosed my ammonia back up and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no2 readings within the next few days

Thank you Eco for this thread, my fish and I would be miserable if I hadn't come across this. Fishless cycling is for sure the way to go.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:03 PM   #1228
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Originally Posted by Rinzy
So, after being mislead by the lfs - I had been doing a fish-in cycle in my 26g and doing 50-75% pwc daily to keep the ammonia level down - which in turn, was making the cycle take forever (and killing my back). So I got a QT and put my fish in there so I could do a fishless cyle.

I'm on day 4 and my ammonia level has dropped to 1ppm, no readings for no2 or no3 yet - the only other thing that changed was that my ph went up to about 8.1 - it was maintaining at 7.8 before.

I dosed my ammonia back up and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no2 readings within the next few days

Thank you Eco for this thread, my fish and I would be miserable if I hadn't come across this. Fishless cycling is for sure the way to go.
Glad to hear things are moving along now and the guide is helpful

However (and this is a biggie), remember you are now doing a fish-in cycle in your other tank. If it is smaller than your main tank...it will be even more difficult to keep your levels down.

Ammonia does have alkaline properties, so that is possibly the reason for the raised pH. Besides, cycling in general wreaks havoc on your pH.

Good luck and keep us posted (and keep an eye on the QT!)
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #1229
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Originally Posted by eco23

Glad to hear things are moving along now and the guide is helpful

However (and this is a biggie), remember you are now doing a fish-in cycle in your other tank. If it is smaller than your main tank...it will be even more difficult to keep your levels down.

Ammonia does have alkaline properties, so that is possibly the reason for the raised pH. Besides, cycling in general wreaks havoc on your pH.

Good luck and keep us posted (and keep an eye on the QT!)
The QT has been going well, I still have to do daily water changes, but the bucket load is way less so it's much more manageable for me now and all my fish are looking great so I'm a happy girl.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:24 PM   #1230
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Ideally you want no2 knocked down to .5-1. It should speed things up and prevent a stall. It also restores buffers to keep your pH stable. Consider it practice for pwc's once you have fish

There's no set time for how long nitrItes take to drop. It shouldn't be too much longer if you knock them down...you've just got to wait it out.
Ok, so I had to have some sort of off the wall nitrites. Did about 80% WC last night, and it's still sitting between 2-5. Ammonia went to 0 though, and the nitrates are 40 or 80.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #1231
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Ok, so I had to have some sort of off the wall nitrites. Did about 80% WC last night, and it's still sitting between 2-5. Ammonia went to 0 though, and the nitrates are 40 or 80.
Okay, here's what I'd do if it was my tank, (start stretching your back muscles)...keep doing pwc's until your no2 level is .5-1. You can do 90% pwc's if you want, but you'd have to do them quickly so the walls don't dry out and kill the bacteria living on them. otherwise, back to back to back 50%'s are an option. Then, dose the ammo up only to around 1ppm for the next 3 days. Hopefully this will give the no2 > no3 bacteria to catch up without being overwhelmed by rising nitrItes. If after the 3 days the no2 isn't dropping on it's own, we'll go back to 4ppm and wait it out.

You're not far from the end...it'll be worth it
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:42 AM   #1232
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Okay, here's what I'd do if it was my tank, (start stretching your back muscles)...keep doing pwc's until your no2 level is .5-1. You can do 90% pwc's if you want, but you'd have to do them quickly so the walls don't dry out and kill the bacteria living on them. otherwise, back to back to back 50%'s are an option. Then, dose the ammo up only to around 1ppm for the next 3 days. Hopefully this will give the no2 > no3 bacteria to catch up without being overwhelmed by rising nitrItes. If after the 3 days the no2 isn't dropping on it's own, we'll go back to 4ppm and wait it out.

You're not far from the end...it'll be worth it
That'll have to be my mission for tomorrow night. I took it down this time till it just covered the gravel. I finally got smart and rolled water on the dog's skateboard. I highly recommend this to anyone else who has to carry buckets. Filled it up, added some ammonia, waited an hour. This indicates that the levels were insanely high, and that I can't tell colors. The nitrites can't be any lower than 2 based on the color, the nitrates look like 40. I only put in enough ammonia to get it to 2, so I'll leave that alone for now. I'm going to check this again in the morning to make sure I'm not totally nuts.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:46 PM   #1233
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eco:
Thank you so much for this article. Had I found this prior to setting up my tank and buying a couple of fish I wouldn't be laying on my back in traction right now (just kidding). LOL! Anyway, this is an excellent Guide and FAQ post. This should be posted in extremely large letters in the fish section of every pet store in the world!

Yesterday while at PetCo I actually did some educating of my own to the guy that was working the in the fish section. I was testing him. I asked him if I bought an aquarium today, when could I get fish. He said I could get fish tomorrow. While I guess his answer is technically true, I provided him a little education on the things you have taught me over the last two weeks. I could tell he was thinking, "Cycle, what is this guy talking about?". LOL!!!

I have already placed a second filter cartridge in my filter so that when I get my next tank, I have something to seed it with. Woot, woot!!!

Do you have this as a .PDF? If not, I would be happy to throw one together for you and make it look all spiffy and stuff. Maybe we could start selling it at Borders or Barnes and Noble.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:13 PM   #1234
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eco:
Thank you so much for this article. Had I found this prior to setting up my tank and buying a couple of fish I wouldn't be laying on my back in traction right now (just kidding). LOL! Anyway, this is an excellent Guide and FAQ post. This should be posted in extremely large letters in the fish section of every pet store in the world!

Yesterday while at PetCo I actually did some educating of my own to the guy that was working the in the fish section. I was testing him. I asked him if I bought an aquarium today, when could I get fish. He said I could get fish tomorrow. While I guess his answer is technically true, I provided him a little education on the things you have taught me over the last two weeks. I could tell he was thinking, "Cycle, what is this guy talking about?". LOL!!!

I have already placed a second filter cartridge in my filter so that when I get my next tank, I have something to seed it with. Woot, woot!!!

Do you have this as a .PDF? If not, I would be happy to throw one together for you and make it look all spiffy and stuff. Maybe we could start selling it at Borders or Barnes and Noble.
Thanks for the compliment

You're welcome to share it with whoever you want, but the fact is it will fall on deaf ears. In the grand scheme of things, I'd be willing to bet less that 5% (and that's being generous) have ever heard of or would consider fishless cycling.

People want instant gratification and immediate results. Even if I developed and marketed an all-in-one fishless cycling kit, you'd never see it in a store. A lot of the income these stores rely on is people purchasing fish to replace ones that die, bottles of chemicals they don't need, and products that don't work. If the stores simply told people that all you need for a healthy aquarium is a bucket, a dechlorinator, patience and a bottle of ammo to get things started...it'd put a major dent in their income pretty quickly. All those $1.99 "hardy" Danios they sell to cycle tanks add up on their bottom line pretty quickly.

I have it as a Word Doc (in fact it may be available for download in the articles section).

In the mean time, Im afraid all we can do is continue to teach people about the option of fishless cycling and do our part to save a few fish
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #1235
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Thanks for keeping me patient here... this is nuts. I didn't get a chance to do the water changing until today. I got a new gravel vac, the type with the suction bulb to start it. I also went with one rated for 15-55 gallons. It's so much faster than the little thing I was using. Anyway, I drained it once down to just enough to keep the gravel wet, tested the levels, and the nitrites are off the chart I think. So, a few hours later, I did a 50% water change. I don't think the nitrites are still not readable. I'll be the only one home tomorrow, so no comments from the peanut gallery on all the water I'm using.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #1236
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Thanks for keeping me patient here... this is nuts. I didn't get a chance to do the water changing until today. I got a new gravel vac, the type with the suction bulb to start it. I also went with one rated for 15-55 gallons. It's so much faster than the little thing I was using. Anyway, I drained it once down to just enough to keep the gravel wet, tested the levels, and the nitrites are off the chart I think. So, a few hours later, I did a 50% water change. I don't think the nitrites are still not readable. I'll be the only one home tomorrow, so no comments from the peanut gallery on all the water I'm using.
I'm quite familiar with the peanut gallery you're referring too, lol. I'd go ahead and knock it down further since you've already got a head start and a new water changing toy to play with. Still shoot for .5-1 if you can get it there. Obviously your levels were absolutely sky high, and the pwc's should speed things up significantly and prevent any stalls.

After you get the levels down, just dose to ~1ppm for the next 3 days and we'll give the second type of bacteria a chance to catchup with the first. The fact your nitrItes were so high is proof that you're going to have a beast of a bio-filter.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:06 AM   #1237
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Hopefully this isn't off topic too much.. If it is, sorry.

But I have a question about seeded media. Where do the majority of you all people buy yours. I see people talking about it but don't know exactly what/where they get it. I'm looking on a site now with a few and just am not sure on what exactly.

I'd do anything to jump start my tank. And for some reason anything I add from my 10 gallon doesn't seem to matter at all.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:17 AM   #1238
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Hopefully this isn't off topic too much.. If it is, sorry.

But I have a question about seeded media. Where do the majority of you all people buy yours. I see people talking about it but don't know exactly what/where they get it. I'm looking on a site now with a few and just am not sure on what exactly.

I'd do anything to jump start my tank. And for some reason anything I add from my 10 gallon doesn't seem to matter at all.
Hi Christina . Good timing, I was just about to head off for the night. Seeded media is anything that comes from an established tank which contains beneficial bacteria (media from the actual filter is best). As for where to get it...the best place is family and friends who have had a fish tank set up for a long time. You can sometimes get a nice piece of filter material from a fish/pet store...but it is risky if their tanks aren't healthy.

There is a site called AngelsPlus where people have been buying "active" sponge filters which have been having some decent results getting things started off. Your best bet though is to find a nice, old dirty filter pad from a friend.

Can I get some more background info so we can help a bit more? How long has the tank been cycling? Are you using pure ammo? You said you added something from your 10 gallon...what was it and how long had it been in the other tank? If it's been a while and things haven't started moving yet, it's a good idea to start at the beginning of the guide and make sure you're not missing something basic like using a dechlorinator. Small things like that can make a huge difference.

Try to give me some more info, and we'll see what we can do to help
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:31 PM   #1239
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Hi Christina . Good timing, I was just about to head off for the night. Seeded media is anything that comes from an established tank which contains beneficial bacteria (media from the actual filter is best). As for where to get it...the best place is family and friends who have had a fish tank set up for a long time. You can sometimes get a nice piece of filter material from a fish/pet store...but it is risky if their tanks aren't healthy.

There is a site called AngelsPlus where people have been buying "active" sponge filters which have been having some decent results getting things started off. Your best bet though is to find a nice, old dirty filter pad from a friend.

Can I get some more background info so we can help a bit more? How long has the tank been cycling? Are you using pure ammo? You said you added something from your 10 gallon...what was it and how long had it been in the other tank? If it's been a while and things haven't started moving yet, it's a good idea to start at the beginning of the guide and make sure you're not missing something basic like using a dechlorinator. Small things like that can make a huge difference.

Try to give me some more info, and we'll see what we can do to help

The tank has been cycling for about a week at this point. I'm the one who had the old gravel that sat dry and my Nitrate readings were off the chart. Which was irrelevant in this case cause the bacteria died. I figured that would cause nothing but problems in the future. If that helps remind you any.

So after that I changed gravel cause I couldn't get those nitrates down regardless how many water changes and vacuuming the gravel. After that I added pure ammonia. Followed your guide step by step. I also added part of my 10 gallons filter, gravel, and a couple decorations.

I know it's still soon but I'd do what I can to get this by as quick as possible and unfortunately I don't know of anyone with a FW aquarium. Which is why I'm thinking about purchasing seeded material. Hopefully from the place you already mentioned. Basically just anything to hopefully speed this up if even by a little.



Oh, and I'm impatient. Cant you tell...
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:36 PM   #1240
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The AngelsPlus filters can be helpful, but I have seen some inconsistent results with them. That said, any bacteria is better than no bacteria.

If you're impatient like me, believe it or not, fishless cycling is the best way to go. Even though it takes around 30 days or a bit more, a fish-in cycle can take months and requires daily water changes. Good for building muscle...bad for the fish and your sanity.
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