Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:16 pm

They like to go under things rather than behind things so they can see what's going on without being seen.

I just went and slid my iPhone down to the left and right back corners of my tank and found a couple of loaches -- don't know where the others are. The first photo is looking lengthways along the tank at the back where I have a piece of bogwood leaning against the glass as a little cave. Note the Amano shrimp cleaning the top. The second photo is under my Juwel filter box, again looking lengthways from the back corner. You can see they've dug it out below the general substrate level to make more room.

Image
Image

So caves are what they like. I think some shops have one-way tubes where you can see in and they can't see out.

These loaches are about five years old and no more than 6cm.
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:17 pm

I may have to get a little cave or something then :)

Tested my ammonia again when I got in and its down to about 0.5-1ppm (more 1ppm to be honest) from around 2ppm last night. Is this a satisfactory drop in about 24 hours?
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:13 pm

I think at least one more dose would be a good idea. If you are planning to get fish at the weekend that would probably work out well because you want to feed the bacteria for the rest of the week. Another 2ppm tomorrow evening should be gone by Thursday, giving you the confidence that it's working and time to do a routine 25-30% water change on Friday.

I know we've been discussing zebra loaches, but these are best added when the tank has matured a little. You have a good population of bacteria that deal with ammonia and nitrite but these need to settle in and start working with other bacteria that break down organic wastes. Until that happens, lets say 2-3 months down the line, there is a small chance of small, short-lived ammonia or nitrite spikes. Usually we wait at least 3 months from setting up a tank before we add loaches.

Rummy-noses also have a reputation of being sensitive and only for mature tanks. Personally I'm not convinced that the tank-bred strains available now are as fragile as that. The once bulletproof neon tetra seems to deserve that reputation more these days. So the "official" advice would be not to add rummy-noses for three months and go ahead with neons. Personally I'd do the opposite. :innocent: Other tetras like bleeding hearts are fine. Cherry barbs are pretty robust.

Where do you live by the way? Someone can probably recommend some good shops.
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 pm

I just hope its at 0 again in the morning and not stuck at 1ppm again :(

I may get a group of 10-15 neons or 8 rummynose's and some zebra danios than if you think thats wise as a start? Then add more groups over the weeks.

I live in southport, Ive been looking at maidenhead aquatics in Wigin, fish look health and staff seem quite knowledgeable.
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
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6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby englishmx » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:45 pm

peter212693 wrote:I live in southport, Ive been looking at maidenhead aquatics in Wigin, fish look health and staff seem quite knowledgeable.


Seconded, always pop in when I am up that way, very handy, just off the M6 :)
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:20 am

I'm getting close to giving up in this now :( no movement again on the ammonia still about 1ppm. If its not at 0 after work tonight so 48 hours after dosing I may go crazy!
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:43 am

Can I have your tank? :lol:

Try another couple of spoons of bicarb. That's the only thing I can think of -- running out of KH.

Either that or the water supply has chloramines in it. What dechlorinator are you using?
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:51 am

I've tested my KH this morning and its still nice and high at 9oDH.

I'm using quite high strength dechlorinator needs 10mls per 200 gallons. Is this too strong? Can it be too strong?
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:57 am

Which dechlorinator is it? (What make?)
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:15 am

Shorai its from eBay. It dose say it removes chlorimines too. My uncle has used it for years.
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:27 am

I'm at a loss to explain this ammonia reading sticking at 1mg/l really.

Sometimes a dechlorinator will "bind" ammonia, making it safe for fish but it will still produce a reading on a test kit. Even if that happens, the filter bacteria should convert that ammonia to nitrite. Chloramines can be used by water companies as a more robust chlorination treatment and these can break down and release ammonia over a period of days. The declorinator may break the chloramine into chlorine and ammonia but I don't know what the expected levels would be.

The thing that doesn't make sense is the reading sticking consistently at 1mg/l. You've done a water change and seen it go down so it appears not to be the test kit.

The only thing you've done that's unusual is use a strong pond dechlorinator -- I worked that out as just over 1ml per 100 litres. That's going to be difficult to dose accurately in 50-70 litre water changes but I don't know of any specific problems with using too much. It doesn't mention metal chelation I note -- most aquarium dechlorinators chelate heavy metals like copper and lead to detoxify them but that shouldn't cause the ammonia problem.

Eventually you are just going to have to go for it, accepting that you might need to do more frequent water changes if you see ammonia readings. That's not a bad idea in the first few weeks of stocking anyway, even in a cycled tank but play it safe with the fish you choose.
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:56 pm

I will just cross my fingers and hope when when I get home that my ammonia has dropped. :(

I think I'm going to get some fish at the weekend regardless. So will depend on how many depending on ammonia consumption. I take it if I'm in this situation and get fish I will just treat it like a fish less cycle? But having had a little headstsrt?
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:25 pm

Still no change in ammonia. Really am stuck now...
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:37 pm

So am I. :? Bacteria don't just set a level and stop. The test must be skewed by something.

Final suggestion would be to try a big water change (take it right down to the gravel) to take ammonia down and get a small bottle of a standard aquarium dechlorinator for the replacement water. Put in a 2mg/l dose of ammonia again and see if it sticks.
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Re: Fishless Cycle Help / Advice

Postby peter212693 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Im really temped to switch and finish with a fish in cycle with around 6 zebra danios. I clearly have near completed the cycle as my tank is producing nitrate so tempted to start to build up my fish now keeping an eye on the water..

I may try the dechlorinater change and see what happens first though im not sure...
12 Neon Tetras
8 Rummynose Tertas
1 Bristlenose Plec
5 Cherry Barbs (2 Males 3 Females)
6 Five Banded Barbs
6 Zebra Danios
5 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Zebra Loaches
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