Yet another question about cycling

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Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:41 pm

Fluval Rio 125litre, Bioflow 3.0 internal filter, 100w heater set to approx 26 degrees, 2x28w t5 lamps on for 10 hrs a day as I have about 15 scrawny plants in there, sand substrate with a few stones and plant pots and 2 pieces of bog wood. I am now on day 22 of my fish less cycle, I have used various cycle start additives plus stress zyme every day and stress coat on any water in or added to the tank. the first few days I added a few flakes of food until I found pure ammonia at Homebase :D , I added ammonia to 4ppm.
I have been testing the water every day, pH 7.6-7.8
I am now seeing an increase in Nitrites, no reduction in ammonia(probably not enough to register) and constant nitrates.
My question is, what level of ammonia should I top up to when the time comes and is there a maximum I should allow the nitrites to rise to? and obviously I will do water changes as required when the Nitrates rise.
Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby Rockfish » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:09 am

I probably wouldn't let the nitrites get above 10mg/l, maybe nearer 5 would be better - it is actually possible to reach levels where the bacteria are inhibited by their own food source, and this can stall the cycle. The same applies to ammonia, so I wouldn't go any higher than your current level with ammonia either.

The Stress-Zyme might not help much in speeding up the cycle, as it contains "heterotrophic" bacteria which are more suited to dealing with 'sludge' and solid wastes. API's newer Quick Start product is more appropriate to cycling, and there are others such as Nutrafin/Fluval Cycle that do a similar job. Some of the 'dirt' from an established filter is generally even better if you can obtain it from anyone with a mature tank!
Sean


Remember there's lots of info at The Tropical Tank main site!
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:15 pm

Thanks Rockfish,
Now I've got a better plan to work to, I'll aim to keep ammonia a little lower to allow for errors in my dosing, don't want to stall the cycle now that things seem to be happening and omit the stress zyme. Could be coincidence but it appeared to be the Fluval cycle that kickstarted things. Hopefully it won't be too long before it's ready for some fish.
If I under stock initially, i.e. less fish than the filter has been cycled for, was thinking of a few tiger barbs, would the excess bacteria dye off or go dormant?
Sorry for all the questions but this place is a fantastic resource.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
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Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby Rockfish » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:54 pm

In theory, bacteria that has no food source will start to die off, but this isn't a sudden process.

It doesn't hurt to err on the lower side of what the cycled tank can handle. Once a filter has been established initially, it should be able to increase bacterial numbers quite rapidly compared to starting with a 'clean slate'.

If you imagine a clean brand new tank with only background levels of the bacteria required, as they increase by doubling, 16, 32, 64, 128... it's a slow process. But in an established filter there will be many thousands or millions of bacteria, so if the doubling time is only say an hour, you could go from one million to two million bacteria in that time! This is why if you add stock at a sensible rate after the initial cycle, and don't overfeed, chances are you should never measure any ammonia or nitrite again, as the bacteria will increase to cope with the new waste level rapidly.
Sean


Remember there's lots of info at The Tropical Tank main site!
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:22 am

Thank you, but for now I'm still impatiently waiting for those zero readings.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby TropicalRex » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:29 pm

That's the most frustrating part...waiting!
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:05 pm

Tell me about it TropicalRex!
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby Rockfish » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:37 pm

It's definitely difficult to be patient when your staring at an empty tank, anticipating the fish you want to add! :)

It's a good time to research the species you're interested in, but of course that just makes the yearning worse! :lol:
Sean


Remember there's lots of info at The Tropical Tank main site!
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:22 am

So far i'm thinking tiger barbs and a bristlenose plec, I think 6 tiger barbs and 1 plec, a nice gentle start to the stock
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby SparkyST » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:32 am

MartinC wrote:So far i'm thinking tiger barbs and a bristlenose plec, I think 6 tiger barbs and 1 plec, a nice gentle start to the stock


Be careful with the plec they do like to poop a lot and this will put strain on a newly cycled tank.
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:11 pm

Thanks SparkyST,
I will maybe just start with the 6 tiger barbs then, after all, I've been patient waiting for the tank to cycle, would be a shame to ruin things by stocking too quickly especially as there shouldn't be much for it to eat yet.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby SparkyST » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Definatley worth stocking gradually, dont want any fatalities
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Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:42 pm

Certainly not, our little fishy friends become one of the family and get treated that way. :D
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby MartinC » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:50 pm

Just an update, after almost 6 weeks of water testing, changing and dosing with ammonia I have finally got to the stage where I have 6 lively Tiger Barbs, playing in my fully cycled tank. Watching their antics as they explore their new environment, following each other through the plants and playing in the currents has made it all worth while.
Thank you to everyone and no doubt I'll soon have more questions that I need answering and I look forward to the day I can help someone in return :D :D :D
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
MartinC
Member
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Yet another question about cycling

Postby Rockfish » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:43 pm

That's good to hear, always great to have those first fish in there, adding movement and colour after looking at an empty tank for so long! :)

The reward for patience! :D
Sean


Remember there's lots of info at The Tropical Tank main site!
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