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Old 19-08-2003, 11:23 PM
LeighMo
 
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Default Include plants when cycling tank?

Even adding several fish at once, you can avoid cycling. I recently
tore down my 125-gallon community tank to replace the substrate,
temporarily putting about 20 fish in a plastic tub.

Two days later, the tank was back together. I didn't "seed" the tank
with mulm. It's running filterless, so I didn't save filter bacteria.
I didn't do much of anything except add a lot of plants before putting
the fish back.

I must admit that I was a little nervous about this, so I diligently
monitored NH3 and NO2 levels. Nothing. Neither ever reached a
detectable level. And I'm not even using CO2 injection, and only 120W
of light!

I am now convinced that it's a lot easier to take care of the ammonia
than people normally believe. I'll certainly never cycle a community
tank again.


I'm glad it worked out for you, but I really can't recommend that everyone try
this method. I've read far too many frantic posts from newbies in a panic
because their fish are dying due to ammonia. Heck, I can still remember when I
*was* that frantic newbie.

I don't know how big your 20 fish were, but since you're running filterless, it
sounds like you don't have much bioload in your very large tank. That can be a
wonderful, low-maintenance way to keep a tank, but most of us, and especially
newbies, tend to overstock. We need our filters, and stocking such a tank
fully overnight is likely to cause nightmarish cycling problems.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/

  #17   Report Post  
Old 19-08-2003, 11:23 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

Jim et al have never found any NH4 or NO2 when starting and new tank
with plants if set up properly or the method I suggested,
I'm not just tooting here, I have Lamott test kits and have used
them...........

Many many folks have found the same thing, blah blah blah on the
fishless cycling, get it out of here.
If I can do this with Discus and not have issues(no NH4/NO2 measured),
I think I can say pretty confidently it does not have a place in a
planted aquaria.

I mean don't folks do water changes frequently in the beginning also?

I'm lucky to get any nitrogen for that matter.........I'm adding it
for pete sake.

Regards,
Tom Barr

(Jim Seidman) wrote in message om...
tose (LeighMo) wrote in message ...
I've done it both ways, and I think both methods have their place.

There are good reasons why you might want to put in all the fish at once. If
you're keeping aggressive Africans, for example, an instant crowd reduces
bloodshed. Or if you're ordering your fish online, and there's a flat delivery
charge, regardless of how many fish you order.


Even adding several fish at once, you can avoid cycling. I recently
tore down my 125-gallon community tank to replace the substrate,
temporarily putting about 20 fish in a plastic tub.

Two days later, the tank was back together. I didn't "seed" the tank
with mulm. It's running filterless, so I didn't save filter bacteria.
I didn't do much of anything except add a lot of plants before putting
the fish back.

I must admit that I was a little nervous about this, so I diligently
monitored NH3 and NO2 levels. Nothing. Neither ever reached a
detectable level. And I'm not even using CO2 injection, and only 120W
of light!

I am now convinced that it's a lot easier to take care of the ammonia
than people normally believe. I'll certainly never cycle a community
tank again.

- Jim

  #18   Report Post  
Old 20-08-2003, 12:05 AM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

Jim et al have never found any NH4 or NO2 when starting and new tank
with plants if set up properly or the method I suggested,
I'm not just tooting here, I have Lamott test kits and have used
them...........


How about for unplanted tanks? Does cycling have a place in those?

A lot of people who post here asking questions about plants don't really have
planted tanks. They have standard fishtanks that they plan to put a few live
plants in. (Often choosing plants completely unsuited for their light levels,
if not for aquariums in general.) I suspect the original poster might have
been one of those, since his main concern was not wanting to have the tank
sitting there empty for weeks and weeks. A true planted tank isn't empty, even
if there's no fish in it. :-)



Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
  #19   Report Post  
Old 20-08-2003, 02:05 AM
Josh
 
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Default Include plants when cycling tank?

Xref: 127.0.0.1 rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants:75146

just make it easy on yourseld and go buy the new Bio-Spira from
Marineland... lol sorry just had to bring that into play also! lol _ But
seriously if you want to cycle a tank fast with no problems that stuff is
amazing and it definatly works. I was workin at an LFS when it came out and
a Marineland rep came and talked to us about it, Marineland really has put
ALOT of research into this product (I think it was something like 20+ years)
and from the dozen or so people that i personally know that have tried it
said it worked perfectly and definatly could of stocked their tank to 75%
within the next few days, of course none of them did except the 29gallon
guy, and he has no problems at all. Now I prolly wouldnt use this stuff if
you are doing a serious planted aquarium and just go with that article from
Chuck, if you read it it really does make sense and I have decided a while
ago to go with that method and see how it goes. Ill let ya all kno how it
works - Josh (sorry vout the long post)
"LeighMo" wrote in message
...
Jim et al have never found any NH4 or NO2 when starting and new tank
with plants if set up properly or the method I suggested,
I'm not just tooting here, I have Lamott test kits and have used
them...........


How about for unplanted tanks? Does cycling have a place in those?

A lot of people who post here asking questions about plants don't really

have
planted tanks. They have standard fishtanks that they plan to put a few

live
plants in. (Often choosing plants completely unsuited for their light

levels,
if not for aquariums in general.) I suspect the original poster might

have
been one of those, since his main concern was not wanting to have the tank
sitting there empty for weeks and weeks. A true planted tank isn't empty,

even
if there's no fish in it. :-)



Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/



  #20   Report Post  
Old 20-08-2003, 05:03 AM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

How about for unplanted tanks? Does cycling have a place in those?

No.
If you are one of those folks that overstocks and over feeds and does
not do water changes, well, no method/advice is going to save those
fish. But if you follow general good healthy tank guidelines, the
fishless cycling is of no use unless you hav no friends with fish
anywhere close by, no LFS's close by, no other tanks around, no plants
etc.
Heck, you are pretty damn isolated if this is the case. There are a
few folks in this boat, but 99% are not.

Mulm adds precisely what you need, the bacteria.
This method works for SW, Brackish, FW, planted AF etc.
LFS's have been doing this for well over 50 years. I've never had an
issue yet. So unless you are really and truly isolated, there is no
need to wait, nor add NH4.

Planted or not.
Salt or Fresh.

Does Fishless cycling hurt if no plants/light is added? No, but it's
not needed. I see no need to use NH4 to cycle a tank.

No one has provided _any_ good argument to counter my opinion except
the total isolation viewpoint which is very rare.

Regards,
Tom Barr

A lot of people who post here asking questions about plants don't really have
planted tanks. They have standard fishtanks that they plan to put a few live
plants in. (Often choosing plants completely unsuited for their light levels,
if not for aquariums in general.) I suspect the original poster might have
been one of those, since his main concern was not wanting to have the tank
sitting there empty for weeks and weeks. A true planted tank isn't empty, even
if there's no fish in it. :-)



Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/



  #21   Report Post  
Old 20-08-2003, 12:42 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

No.
If you are one of those folks that overstocks and over feeds and does
not do water changes, well, no method/advice is going to save those
fish. But if you follow general good healthy tank guidelines, the
fishless cycling is of no use unless you hav no friends with fish
anywhere close by, no LFS's close by, no other tanks around, no plants
etc.


This hasn't been my experience, I'm afraid. Mulm speeds cycling, for sure, and
I use it, but it doesn't eliminate ammonia and nitrite spikes if you're
stocking the tank fully all at once. And as I said, there are instances where
stocking, even overstocking, all at once is necessary. African tanks are often
overstocked, all at once, to minimize aggression and to keep any one fish from
getting a "home tank advantage."

In my newbie days, I had a couple of terrible experiences with cycling -- in
established tanks, not new ones. Once when I changed the gravel in a tank, and
once when I just vacuumed the substrate in a tank with a UGF too thoroughly.
The tanks recovered relatively quickly, but I did lose some fish. Both were
unplanted; I didn't have any problems at all when I changed the gravel in my
planted tank.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
  #22   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 06:02 AM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

No.
If you are one of those folks that overstocks and over feeds and does
not do water changes, well, no method/advice is going to save those
fish. But if you follow general good healthy tank guidelines, the
fishless cycling is of no use unless you hav no friends with fish
anywhere close by, no LFS's close by, no other tanks around, no plants
etc.


This hasn't been my experience, I'm afraid. Mulm speeds cycling, for sure, and
I use it, but it doesn't eliminate ammonia and nitrite spikes if you're
stocking the tank fully all at once. And as I said, there are instances where
stocking, even overstocking, all at once is necessary. African tanks are often
overstocked, all at once, to minimize aggression and to keep any one fish from
getting a "home tank advantage."


You have not convinced me there is a place for it yet, the isolated
aquarist is the best hope I've seen thus far.

Having bred AF cichlids from both lakes for many years(15) before
coming to fully planted tanks and also by stating not overstocking
from the start I still disagree.

Small juvenile fish should be purchased if adding all the fish at once
is the goal to prevent home town advantage. Adults have different
behaviors than sub adult fish.

I did the same thing back then as I do now. I never had issues with
water quality. I simply did water changes like I do today.
Small juvenile fish cost less, often are 1 to 1.5" long and perfect
for starting a tank with or for breeding later on. When you add
adults, well you are asking for it and fish behavior is unique to each
fish, it's difficult to say what will happen even with a broad
generalization. Often you have to have other tanks waiting in case of
problems with territorialism as rule o have dead/battered fish/LFS
donations etc.

Sure you can come up with some weird situation to make an exception
for fishless cycling but hell, 99.5% of the cases are still where I've
stated. There's no need unless you plan to over stock all at once
which is bad practice and something I'd not advise anyone to do.

And here's a lynch pin even if you don't know a hoot about AF fish.

If you know you are going to overstock/fully stock etc in
advance(you'd __have to know this__ 3 weeks in advance to use this
method), why not run your filter on another tank a few weeks first,
then slap it on the new tank when you add the fish?
Takes the same time, far less hassle and no left over NO3 requiring a
series of water changes to lower..........also I/we know how
inaccurate the NO3 test kits are. Amano uses this method. So do the
LFS's.

Regards,
Tom Barr
  #23   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 06:23 AM
Racf
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?


" wrote in message
om...
No.
If you are one of those folks that overstocks and over feeds and

does
not do water changes, well, no method/advice is going to save those
fish. But if you follow general good healthy tank guidelines, the
fishless cycling is of no use unless you hav no friends with fish
anywhere close by, no LFS's close by, no other tanks around, no

plants
etc.


This hasn't been my experience, I'm afraid. Mulm speeds cycling,

for sure, and
I use it, but it doesn't eliminate ammonia and nitrite spikes if

you're
stocking the tank fully all at once. And as I said, there are

instances where
stocking, even overstocking, all at once is necessary. African

tanks are often
overstocked, all at once, to minimize aggression and to keep any one

fish from
getting a "home tank advantage."


You have not convinced me there is a place for it yet, the isolated
aquarist is the best hope I've seen thus far.

Having bred AF cichlids from both lakes for many years(15) before
coming to fully planted tanks and also by stating not overstocking
from the start I still disagree.

Small juvenile fish should be purchased if adding all the fish at once
is the goal to prevent home town advantage. Adults have different
behaviors than sub adult fish.

I did the same thing back then as I do now. I never had issues with
water quality. I simply did water changes like I do today.
Small juvenile fish cost less, often are 1 to 1.5" long and perfect
for starting a tank with or for breeding later on. When you add
adults, well you are asking for it and fish behavior is unique to each
fish, it's difficult to say what will happen even with a broad
generalization. Often you have to have other tanks waiting in case of
problems with territorialism as rule o have dead/battered fish/LFS
donations etc.

Sure you can come up with some weird situation to make an exception
for fishless cycling but hell, 99.5% of the cases are still where I've
stated. There's no need unless you plan to over stock all at once
which is bad practice and something I'd not advise anyone to do.

And here's a lynch pin even if you don't know a hoot about AF fish.

If you know you are going to overstock/fully stock etc in
advance(you'd __have to know this__ 3 weeks in advance to use this
method), why not run your filter on another tank a few weeks first,
then slap it on the new tank when you add the fish?
Takes the same time, far less hassle and no left over NO3 requiring a
series of water changes to lower..........also I/we know how
inaccurate the NO3 test kits are. Amano uses this method. So do the
LFS's.

Regards,
Tom Barr


I recall a short few years ago, fishless cycling was all the popular
rage. Anyone suggesting cycling with fish was usually flamed until
medium done. Here in 2003 I still read about fishless cycling, but its
more rare... It seems I read a lot more about adding plants these days
as a cycle solution. To me its interesting advice as I really do not
really see how that's going to cycle anything... Using someone else's
used media, fish poop, plants, etc.... will probably speed up the
process of adding in all sorts of things that are usually not
wanted.....like parasites, snails, pathogens, etc.... I guess you get a
lot of bad things also just adding in the desired fish.

I still wonder the best method for getting a new tank cycled as any
method has good and bad points, including doing nothing. Lucky me for
having more than one tank already. I wonder what will be popular in
2006..?

PS. I loved the reference to Amano and what he would do. I recently
read somewhere he uses Activated Carbon for the first week or so for
Ammonia removal.....which I thought was amazing, too...


  #24   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 10:12 PM
Jim Seidman
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

"Racf" wrote in message link.net...
...It seems I read a lot more about adding plants these days
as a cycle solution. To me its interesting advice as I really do not
really see how that's going to cycle anything...


You are correct, adding plants does not "cycle" anything. Rather, it
prevents the cycle.

The cycle occurs because NH4 builds up faster than bacteria reproduce
to process it. As those bacteria grow, NO2 builds up faster than
bacteria reproduce.

But plants consume NH4. In fact, they prefer NH4 to NO3. (Studies have
shown that many plants don't even produce the enzyme "nitrate
reductase" in the presence of NH4, meaning that they won't process NO3
when there's NH4 to be had.) So if you add enough plants, you don't
need that bacterial population.

So is my tank cycled? No. I'm quite sure that if I pulled out all my
plants today, I'd have terrible NH4 and NO2 spikes before things
settled down.

Now, is my tank stable? Yes. It was stable from the day I set it up,
insofar as NH4 and NO2 were, and still are, undetectable.

For me, having a stable tank is a lot more important than having a
cycled tank. :-)
  #25   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 10:32 PM
Jim Seidman
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

tose (LeighMo) wrote in message ...
I'm glad it worked out for you, but I really can't recommend that everyone try
this method. I've read far too many frantic posts from newbies in a panic
because their fish are dying due to ammonia. Heck, I can still remember when
I *was* that frantic newbie.


I was just discussing this with my wife last night. We both agreed
that this would be a *better* approach for newbies. There'd have to be
some careful definition of what "heavily planted" meant. And sure,
they should start off with a smaller bioload for safety's sake. But
the planted tank approach was much less stressful (for both me and the
fish!) than doing a traditional cycle with fish. (And really, how many
newbies will leave their tank empty for 6 weeks while doing a fishless
cycle?)

I don't know how big your 20 fish were, but since you're running filterless,
it sounds like you don't have much bioload in your very large tank. That can
be a wonderful, low-maintenance way to keep a tank, but most of us, and
especially newbies, tend to overstock. We need our filters, and stocking
such a tank fully overnight is likely to cause nightmarish cycling problems.


My tank isn't overstocked, but I wouldn't say it's a light load
either. They're mostly moderately-sized fish (dwarf gouramis, rosey
barbs, corys, clown loaches, etc.).

However, I'm quite confident that I could add more without a problem.
Why? Because I can't maintain my nitrate levels. When I set up the
tank, my NO3 was about 1.5 ppm. (This is the level in my tap water.)
It took less than a week for my NO3 to hit zero.

In other words, the plants are wanting to consume significantly more
nitrogen than I'm giving them in the fish food. I'm trying to get to a
chemical-free regimen, so I've been increasing the fish load to try to
get to a point where I don't have to add KNO3 like Tom does.

When you say "We need our filters," I have to disagree. It's only in
the past few decades that filters became common. The original
advertisements for the UGF called it "The Miracle Filter" and carried
the tag line, "Never change your water again!" While the hyperbole has
died down since then, I still think filters are overrated.

Think about it this way: would you rather have a filter that helps
process toxins, or plants that actually remove toxins from the water?


  #26   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 11:22 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

I was just discussing this with my wife last night. We both agreed
that this would be a *better* approach for newbies.


Only if they were disciplined enough to stick to the plan, which many of them
aren't. Heck, many of us experienced fishkeepers aren't.

However, I'm quite confident that I could add more without a problem.
Why? Because I can't maintain my nitrate levels. When I set up the
tank, my NO3 was about 1.5 ppm. (This is the level in my tap water.)
It took less than a week for my NO3 to hit zero.


Nitrate, IME, isn't the problem in a filterless tank. The problem is oxygen.
It may not be an issue in a planted tank during the day, but it can be at
night.
And it can be a total disaster in an unplanted tank that's overstocked.

When you say "We need our filters," I have to disagree. It's only in
the past few decades that filters became common.


True, but now the whole trade is set up for them. The fish offered, the advice
given, the photos of tanks, etc., are all geared for a filtered tank. The
person who posted the question that started this thread wanted a tank full of
fish, right away, and I'm afraid he's typical. The low bio-load of
Victorian-era filterless tanks would look barren to him.

Think about it this way: would you rather have a filter that helps
process toxins, or plants that actually remove toxins from the water?


I want both. :-)

This may be heresy on this newsgroup, but I actually wouldn't recommend a
planted tank for a total beginner. It adds expense and an extra learning curve
that most people setting up their first tanks don't need. As it is, the vast
majority of people who start keeping tropical fish give up. I'm all for
anything that adds to a newbie's chance of success, including fishless cycling
and powered filters.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
  #27   Report Post  
Old 21-08-2003, 11:43 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

If you know you are going to overstock/fully stock etc in
advance(you'd __have to know this__ 3 weeks in advance to use this
method), why not run your filter on another tank a few weeks first,
then slap it on the new tank when you add the fish?


That works if you're setting a small tank. If you're setting up a large one,
as this guy was, there will still be an ammonia spike.

I've had success using a combination of seeding with mulm from an established
tank and fishless cycling. Do the fishless cycle *and* add mulm or filter
material from an established tank. The tank can be fully cycled and ready for
a full bioload in as little as three days.

Takes the same time, far less hassle and no left over NO3 requiring a
series of water changes to lower..........also I/we know how
inaccurate the NO3 test kits are. Amano uses this method. So do the
LFS's.


I do it, but only from my own tanks. I don't have any local friends whose
tanks I'd trust. And the LFSs are even worse. If I didn't have an established
tank, I'd definitely stick with fishless cycling.




Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
  #28   Report Post  
Old 22-08-2003, 03:12 AM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

I still wonder the best method for getting a new tank cycled as any
method has good and bad points, including doing nothing. Lucky me for
having more than one tank already. I wonder what will be popular in
2006..?


Me too

PS. I loved the reference to Amano and what he would do. I recently
read somewhere he uses Activated Carbon for the first week or so for
Ammonia removal.....which I thought was amazing, too...


The carbon helps in the start and then turns into bio media after it's spent.

Regards,
Tom Barr
  #29   Report Post  
Old 22-08-2003, 12:12 PM
rapdor
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

The
person who posted the question that started this thread wanted a tank full

of
fish, right away, and I'm afraid he's typical.


no, thats not true--im the original poster i didnt mention wanting a
tank full of fish right away i just asked if plants should be included
when cycling a new tank

but having watched the thread, i guess what i will do is use some gravel
from my mates tank, cut the sponge in his filter in half and put it in my
tank, add some of that ager product, add a limited number of plants and
check the ph a few days later if all is well i will add a few fish and
see how we go

how does that sound as a plan?


  #30   Report Post  
Old 22-08-2003, 02:02 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Include plants when cycling tank?

no, thats not true--im the original poster i didnt mention wanting a
tank full of fish right away i just asked if plants should be included
when cycling a new tank


Okay, sorry if I misinterpreted what you said.

but having watched the thread, i guess what i will do is use some gravel
from my mates tank, cut the sponge in his filter in half and put it in my
tank,


That sounds like a good idea.

, add a limited number of plants and
check the ph a few days later if all is well i will add a few fish and
see how we go

how does that sound as a plan?


Excellent, except I would add fish right away if you're going with this method.
The bacteria from your friend's tank will starve to death if there are no fish
in your tank to feed them.

So set up the tank, add the plants, and, when you're ready, add the
gravel/filter material from your friends tank and the same time as the fish.
If you can't add them at the same time, add the fish first. It will be several
days before there's a serious ammonia spike.

And read the Krib's plant FAQ, especially this page:

http://faq.thekrib.com/plant-list.html

It will help you choose plants that will do well in your tank. (If you haven't
added souped-up lighting to your tank, then you probably have low light, and
should choose plants accordingly.)


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


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