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Old 16-01-2004, 08:03 PM
Harry Muscle
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

I'm close to being ready to get my 55G planted tank up and running, which
means it's time to figure out how I'm gonna cycle it as well as the
quarantine tank, and how/when to introduce the first fish, etc. So I'm
wondering if I could get some feedback about what I'm thinking of doing
(it's sort of a morph of what Chuck Gadd recommends on his web site).

First, since I want to quarantine even the first fish (3 siamese algae
eaters & 6 ottos), I need to get the cycling of my 5.5G quarantine tank
underway. I though of doing a fishless cycle using fish food. I would also
try to get a nice growth of algae going in the quarantine tank so they have
something to munch on. I'm guessing this cycle should take 4 weeks (correct
me if I'm wrong, please).

Once the quarantine tank is cycled I'm gonna purchase the first 9 fish. By
this time the 55G should be ready to be setup (still waiting for a few parts
& pieces). I'm going to setup the main tank with all the plants put in
right away. After two weeks of letting the plants settle in, I'm gonna
transfer the first 9 fish into the main tank, and also move a sponge filter
from the quarantine tank into my Fluval 404 filter (attached to the main
tank). This way I have a cycled filter that is perfectly ready to take on
the 9 new fish (since it was already doing that in the quarantine tank).
Since I will also have a Duetto 50 in my quarantine tank, which gets left
behind, I now will have cycled 55G tank and a cycled 5.5G quarantine tank,
ready to accept the next batch of fish (right after I clean off all the
algae).

So how does that sound?

Thanks,
Harry




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Old 16-01-2004, 11:34 PM
Sue
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

Your 5.5 gallon is only big enough for two otos or one ( two if minute)
SAE. Remenber even once cycled it's still a "new" tank.
A quarantine tank needs to be big enough for the largest fish you may have
in the main tank.
I would suggest a 10g minimum and 15g would be better for quarantine.

Your tank will cycle more efficiently if you can get some used filter media
from a healthy tank.

Sue


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Old 17-01-2004, 12:02 AM
Flash Wilson
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 14:53:02 -0500, Harry Muscle wrote:
right away. After two weeks of letting the plants settle in, I'm gonna
transfer the first 9 fish into the main tank, and also move a sponge filter
from the quarantine tank into my Fluval 404 filter (attached to the main
tank). This way I have a cycled filter that is perfectly ready to take on
the 9 new fish (since it was already doing that in the quarantine tank).


Not quite. True, you will have some of the good bacteria in your
filter, but not enough to process the bigger load of a tank that
is ten times the size of what it's used to IMO. I did similar
taking filter media from a 2ft tank to a 4ft, I'd even worked
out that I'd need a lot more media and had that in the 2ft tank
(in a breeding net cage, so the bacteria could be populating its
surface in advance of getting the bigger tank) and I still took
a few days to cycle the tank and needed to seed it twice - once
so the ammonia-munchers would increase, then again so the nitrite-
eaters would increase. The nitrite-eaters won't grow while there's
any ammonia in the water, so you do need to consider it in two
stages. YMMV obviously but that's what I found.

See http://www.gorge.org/fish/beatingcycle.shtml for an account
of my experience trying to hurry the cycle up!

I appreciate that in your case the filter being used is the same
as on the big tank, rather than seeding a brand new filter with
used media, but you will still find that filter hasn't experienced
the same load as in a big tank and need to allow time for the
bacterial colonies to grow.

At least that's what I think - I'd love to hear what happens.



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  #4   Report Post  
Old 17-01-2004, 12:35 AM
Andy Hill
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

"Harry Muscle" wrote:
I'm close to being ready to get my 55G planted tank up and running, which
means it's time to figure out how I'm gonna cycle it as well as the
quarantine tank, and how/when to introduce the first fish, etc. So I'm
wondering if I could get some feedback about what I'm thinking of doing
(it's sort of a morph of what Chuck Gadd recommends on his web site).

First, since I want to quarantine even the first fish (3 siamese algae
eaters & 6 ottos), I need to get the cycling of my 5.5G quarantine tank
underway. I though of doing a fishless cycle using fish food. I would also
try to get a nice growth of algae going in the quarantine tank so they have
something to munch on. I'm guessing this cycle should take 4 weeks (correct
me if I'm wrong, please).

Once the quarantine tank is cycled I'm gonna purchase the first 9 fish. By
this time the 55G should be ready to be setup (still waiting for a few parts
& pieces). I'm going to setup the main tank with all the plants put in
right away. After two weeks of letting the plants settle in, I'm gonna
transfer the first 9 fish into the main tank, and also move a sponge filter
from the quarantine tank into my Fluval 404 filter (attached to the main
tank). This way I have a cycled filter that is perfectly ready to take on
the 9 new fish (since it was already doing that in the quarantine tank).
Since I will also have a Duetto 50 in my quarantine tank, which gets left
behind, I now will have cycled 55G tank and a cycled 5.5G quarantine tank,
ready to accept the next batch of fish (right after I clean off all the
algae).

So how does that sound?

Couple of points:

(1) The Nitro-yadayadayada bacteria colonize pretty much all surfaces of the
aquarium, not just the stuff in the filter. Transferring the sponge filter
will help jumpstart the big tank, but you'll still have to cycle the big tank
(your spikes will be smaller, but they'll still exist).

(2) Products now exist that contain the Nitro-yadayadayada bacteria. If
you're in a hurry, they can help jump-start the cycle (although some filter
material from an established tank is more foolproof).

(3) IME, otos do *not* take well to being transferred between tanks (they're
pretty unkillable once adjusted to a new tank, but their initial mortality is
sickening). A double transfer is probably asking for trouble.

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Old 17-01-2004, 02:42 AM
Chuck Gadd
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 14:53:02 -0500, "Harry Muscle"
wrote:

I'm close to being ready to get my 55G planted tank up and running, which
means it's time to figure out how I'm gonna cycle it as well as the
quarantine tank, and how/when to introduce the first fish, etc. So I'm
wondering if I could get some feedback about what I'm thinking of doing
(it's sort of a morph of what Chuck Gadd recommends on his web site).


The main point of the "Cycling a planted tank" article on my website
is that for a medium-high light, CO2 injected planted tank,
traditional cycling isn't needed (or really even possible) because the
plants will consume the ammonia waste very quickly. The method
outlined in the article relies on several factors: 1) Lots of fast
growing plants established in the tank. 2) Optimum plant growing
conditions. 3) Low fish stocking levels.

As for the quarantine tank, I keep a 10g quarantine tank filled, but
it often has no fish in it, which means that the filter probably
doesn't contain a large biofilter bacteria colony. When I have a fish
or two that need to live in the quarantine tank for a while, I make
sure to add lots of fast growing plants to the 10g. Usually plants
like hygro, hydrocoytle, wisteria, water sprite, ambulia, etc. And I
leave them floating. This gives them high amounts of light, and
access to CO2 from the air.


Chuck Gadd
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua


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Old 19-01-2004, 01:30 AM
nikolay_kraltchev
 
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Default Tank Cycling Strategy

Harry,

Andy has good points. It all depends on how you want to approach it
but adding any sort of material seeded with bacteria helps a lot (old
filter sponges, old gravel). You can also sprinkle bacteria culture
on the gravel when you are putting it in. Squeezing an old filter
sponge is the simplest way to do it.

Chuck's method of cycling a tank is very much foolproof. But you need
a lot of plants to do it. It also implies growing the plants untill
the tank is established and replacing them with other plants later -
something that I personally don't like. An option is to have bunches
of plants attached to the glass with suction cups, that way they can
be removed easily without disturbing the substrate.

If I was you and I had no access to an old substrate I'd get some Eco
Complete and use it as a top layer over whatever gravel you have.
Also I'd not use SAE's - they get too big for my taste and some of
them love to eat Java Moss and fine leaved plants. Otos are a better
option but it is true - they don't adapt well, plus you need at least
15 for a 55 gal tank. Amano shrimp are another option but you do need
a ton of those and they are sensitive to Ammonia which may peak for a
day or two even if you use partly bacteria seeded materials.

One last thing - make sure your CO2 is indeed 20 - 40, and that you
indeed have zero P or N. If the plants grow well you are doing good.

--Nikolay
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Old 19-01-2004, 01:45 AM
nikolay_kraltchev
 
Posts: n/a
Default Tank Cycling Strategy

Harry,

Andy has good points. It all depends on how you want to approach it
but adding any sort of material seeded with bacteria helps a lot (old
filter sponges, old gravel). You can also sprinkle bacteria culture
on the gravel when you are putting it in. Squeezing an old filter
sponge is the simplest way to do it.

Chuck's method of cycling a tank is very much foolproof. But you need
a lot of plants to do it. It also implies growing the plants untill
the tank is established and replacing them with other plants later -
something that I personally don't like. An option is to have bunches
of plants attached to the glass with suction cups, that way they can
be removed easily without disturbing the substrate.

If I was you and I had no access to an old substrate I'd get some Eco
Complete and use it as a top layer over whatever gravel you have.
Also I'd not use SAE's - they get too big for my taste and some of
them love to eat Java Moss and fine leaved plants. Otos are a better
option but it is true - they don't adapt well, plus you need at least
15 for a 55 gal tank. Amano shrimp are another option but you do need
a ton of those and they are sensitive to Ammonia which may peak for a
day or two even if you use partly bacteria seeded materials.

One last thing - make sure your CO2 is indeed 20 - 40, and that you
indeed have zero P or N. If the plants grow well you are doing good.

--Nikolay


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