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Fishless cycling



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 31st 04, 06:44 PM
NetMax
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"Ozdude" wrote in message
...

"Margolis" wrote in message
...

Don't bother testing for nitrites or nitrates until you see the
ammonia
level going down. After about 2-3 weeks or so the cycle should start
to
kick in fairly well since you put in some plants from established
tanks,
then you can then start testing for nitrites and nitrates. And I
wouldn't
put any fertalizers in the water now, just let the plants get what
they need
from the ammonia.


I am very close to fishlessly cycling a new 4'/212L tank I'm getting
next Wednesday and I have been wondering a point of confusion:

After the ammonia starts to fall; is this the best time to plant the
tank? Sooner? Later?

I would just hate to kill my plants with ammonia or anything in the
water before the fish even get there.

Oz



You are close to fishless cycling a tank you are getting next Wednesday?
hmmm Is it just me that doesn't understand that. You actually fishless
cycle a filter, and once done, you move that filter to a brand new tank
and you are cycled. This is how I've done new tanks before. I just
connect a canister to a small tank (ie:10g) in the basement and let it
run for several weeks. When the cycle is complete, I take the canister
filter to where I'm setting up a new tank.

To answer your question, ammonia is plant food, and plants can be damaged
by too little or too much food. If your ammonia is under 3-4ppm, I would
guess that your plants would probably be fine. If your ammonia is off
the scale, then ymmv. There isn't really a right time to add plants. I
would add them ASAP so they start getting their root networks established
without fish picking at them. They will compete with the nitrifying
bacteria for the same nutrient pool (NH3/4, NO2 and NO3) but I don't
think that it's of any consequence. These bacteria double their
population in under 24 hours (closer to 14 hours actually), and the
cycling process is going from zero bacteria to trillions of them. If the
effect of the plants is to constrain the bacteria to 5 trillion and your
fishload is higher than that, the bacteria can double to 10 trillion and
again to 20 trillion in just over 24 hours, and your plants will be
picking up some of the slack in the meantime, storehousing nutrients
before using them to trigger cellular growth. The problem is when your
bacteria number in the 100s or 1000s as it takes quite a while to reach
trillions. After a month (typically), your bacterial load will adjust
quickly to fishload changes, increasing their numbers when their food
supply increases.

Note these numbers are for illustration purposes only. I've never
counted bacteria ;~)

The fishless cycling strategy is to start with more *nitrifying* bacteria
than you need, for when you add your new fish. A quantity of this
bacteria will then die off and cause the emergence/growth of another
bacteria which consumes the dead nitrifying bacteria. They then die off
as their food supply dies off etc etc, so you might see some episodes of
cloudy water. My advice, ignore it, and keep to a steady regiment of
feeding. Dead bacteria in the water column does not seem to bother fish.
Mathematically, the bacterial population is a self-dampening oscillation,
and if you add chemicals, mess with the filters, change fishloads
dramatically etc, you add variables which can make this oscillating
pattern more persistent. I mention this because it segues nicely to
plants, as plants act to further dampen these oscillations, by feeding
off excess and staying dormant when there is no nutrients. Plants are
nature's shock absorbers ).
--
www.NetMax.tk


  #12  
Old December 31st 04, 07:32 PM
Mandy
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Okay. I don't have a second tank to do this with so I'm stuck with
what I've got. There are no fish in, so it's all the same...

I do, unfortunately, have ammonia somewhere between 4.0 and 8.0, which
I guess is bad for the plants I've already planted. As I understand
it, Oz, I'm supposed to continue adding 4-5 drops of ammonia until I
get a nitrite spike. Then I am supposed to add a couple of drops daily
until I get a nitrAte spike. When ammonia and nitrite are zero, and
the nitrate is in a reasonable level (define reasonalbe?) I change
about half the water and add fish. Directions he
http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquamag/cycle2.html

Since I'm on holiday, I want to build my DIY Co2 thingymajigger today
or this weekend.
I plan to do it the thrillingly simple way of connecting a tube to the
bottle of yeast, etc. to a bubble wand. I've heard lots about
reactors and gages and bells but my eyes glaze over and I can't afford
hundreds of dollars to do this. So maybe I'll be doing it for nothing,
time will tell.

Can anyone tell me if the Co2 bothers the cycling process?

Took those 20,000k coralife bulbs back to my lfs and he talked me into
10,000k 20 watt bulbs. I don't know how he did that because I know I
need more than 40 watts and I understand I'm supposed to have 6500K.
Another case of eyes glazing over, I guess. I'm planning to return
those again and see if another lsf carries something better. If anyone
can tell me exactly what to buy, which doesn't require me building
anything electrical, I'd appreciate it. I have an Eclipse 37 gallon
tank with the hood that came standard.

One additional thought - my apartment gets loads of light. I have 18
foot ceilings and huge windows - orchids thrive here from all the
indirect light. My tank is in a spot where it will get zero direct
light but will it benefit from all the indirect light?

Thanks!

  #13  
Old December 31st 04, 08:01 PM
Margolis
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Don't worry about the plants, they should survive. But I wouldn't add any
more ammonia until you have to to keep it around 3-5ppm. Just test it every
day or so and go from there. It won't dissapear very fast until the
bacteria start multiplying in earnest.

co2 won't bother the cycle too much, as long as you don't overload the tank
with co2 and cause the ph to plummet down to 5. And that ain't gonna happen
with a diy/yeast co2 setup.

as for lights, just stick to your guns and get some bulbs in the 6500-6700k
range. And the indirect sunlight may just help a little, never can tell
till you try.

--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




  #14  
Old December 31st 04, 08:08 PM
Margolis
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"Ozdude" wrote in message
...


I am very close to fishlessly cycling a new 4'/212L tank I'm getting next
Wednesday and I have been wondering a point of confusion:

After the ammonia starts to fall; is this the best time to plant the tank?
Sooner? Later?



If this is going to be a heavily planted tank, then don't even worry about
cycling the tank at all, fishless or otherwise. It will almost be cycled
from day one when planted. With enough plants you will never see any
ammonia spikes, the plants will use the ammonia for food. So you can stock
the tank with plants on the first day and then that same day stock it with
fish.

Otherwise, if you really want to do the fishless cycle first, add the
ammonia and let it run. After the ammonia dissapears and the nitrites are
back to 0 in 3-4 weeks would be the time to start stocking the tank with
flora and fauna.
--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




  #15  
Old December 31st 04, 09:36 PM
Tom Randy
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On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 14:42:26 -0800, Mandy wrote:

Thanks Billy.

My LFS told me "you can't cycle without fish" when I bought my stuff a
few weeks ago. Now he's interested to hear how it goes!



That person has no clue, you obviously CAN. Good for you!

  #16  
Old December 31st 04, 10:58 PM
Mandy
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My ph is 7.8 which seems kind of high. Should I wait until the cycle
is finished to worry about that?

Margolis - I'll take your advice and stop adding ammonia until the
levels drop down some. I'm TRYING to be patient! This is day 9...


  #17  
Old January 1st 05, 12:06 AM
Robert Flory
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"Mandy" wrote in message
ups.com...
My ph is 7.8 which seems kind of high. Should I wait until the cycle
is finished to worry about that?

Margolis - I'll take your advice and stop adding ammonia until the
levels drop down some. I'm TRYING to be patient! This is day 9...


From a grade school chemistry experiment -- ammonia solutions are high pH.
NEUTRALIZATION OF AN ACID



A chemical change takes place when an acid reacts with a base. Depending on
the pH strength of the acid or base, neutralization may occur. If a base
neutralizes an acid, there is no longer an acid or a base in solution and
the solution would, therefore, lose its acid or basic properties. A neutral
solution has a pH value of 7.



PART 1



Materials:

graduated cylinder
6 test tubes with rack
3 droppers
3 50ml beakers
vinegar (pH 2)
ammonia (pH 10)
Universal indicator (pH 0-10)



Bob


  #18  
Old January 1st 05, 01:25 AM
Michi Henning
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"Larry Blanchard" wrote in message
...

AHAH! And here I was giving the credit to the Eco-Complete substrate.
Since I'm getting ready to plant another small tank, your info is much
appreciated.

And everybody can ignore my prior praise of EC for eliminating cycling
:-).


EC would help, if it contains sufficient numbers of live bacteria.
But this method works fine with ordinary substrate as well --
the plants you get from the LFS are covered in bacteria anyway.

I forgot to add: the first fish should be algae eaters. Otocinclus,
SAE's, and juvenile bristlenoses are good choices. And don't
feed for the first few days -- the idea is to make the fish go for
any algae that is about to establish itself because ammonia levels
will be elevated until the tank has cycled (even though the level
of ammonia will be too low to detect with ordinary test kits).
Algae are extremely good at growing with even small amounts
of ammonia, so it's important to get those algae nipped in the
bug right from the word go.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

  #19  
Old January 1st 05, 01:35 AM
Mandy
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Define "heavily planted".

From what you're saying, I could buy a bunch more plants, add my co2

and buy my five one inch-long furtado rainbows. That is, AFTER I
change all the water to get the ammonia out....

Speaking of, how do you do big water changes on a 37 gallon tank? If I
take out just 15 gallons, that 15 gallons of water I need to treat to
put back in the tank. What kind of containers do you use? I imagine
five gallon buckets - but those are heavy! I have to lift the buckets
to neck height to get them in the tank...

I filled the tank for the first time with a hose and then treated the
water in the tank. Obviously can't do that again.

  #20  
Old January 1st 05, 01:38 AM
Mandy
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Bob wrote: "From a grade school chemistry experiment -- ammonia
solutions are high pH.
NEUTRALIZATION OF AN ACID

A chemical change takes place when an acid reacts with a base.
Depending on
the pH strength of the acid or base, neutralization may occur. If a
base
neutralizes an acid, there is no longer an acid or a base in solution
and
the solution would, therefore, lose its acid or basic properties. A
neutral
solution has a pH value of 7."

Okay, trying to read thru the glaze over my eyes... You're just
saying that my ph is high because my ammonia is high and will likely go
down when the cycle is finished?

 




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