A few questions regarding cycling.

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by gerlewis, 6 Jul 2009.

  1. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Hi guys, a quick few questions regarding cycling:

    Q1: If I do this am I going down the right track, or do I need to change any of these steps?

    1. add water and de-chlorinator and bactinettes

    2. add some plants and start dosing with TPN+

    3. add some food every day for a week

    4. add some plants and start dosing with TPN+

    5. change water every day for a week (50%)

    6. after 1 week test my tank for nitrites.

    7. if they are at 0 then its safe to add fish, if not wait another week etc.

    (7a.) - when is it safe to add some shrimps?

    8. for the future continue to dose TPN+, and do weekly 50% water changes.


    Q2: The only thing Im checking for is nitrites, is this ok? - I read here: http://www.ukaps.org/higher-tech-tank.htm

    " You only need to test for Nitrite as that will only occur once the filter breaks Ammonia into Nitrite, then into Nitrate."

    but I don't quite understand the sentence, but it seems to me that I could get away with just 1 test kit, right? - trying to keep costs down, and not wanting to get unnecessaraly* techie.


    Q3: My tank is 95 litres, how many shrimp would I add to do a good job of keeping things clean?


    Thanks
    Ger
     
  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire

    why add plants, stop, then add more plants or is this a typo??

    You can add shrimps once ammonia & nitrite is undetectable on the test kits.

    what that sentence means is...

    NH3 > NO2 > NO3

    no NH3, means you cant get to NO2. so therfore if NO2 is 0, then NH3 must be 0 (unless some ammonia has just been produced and it hasnt had time to be converted)

    What shrimps are you getting? If it is something like amanos, then you need more than you would red cherries, as those things breed like crazy and you would soon have sufficien numbers even if you only add 10 lol
     
  3. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Thanks , that was a typo. Yes Cherry shrimp, so should I get 10?

    So would I be ok with just a nitrite test kit, and once it has reached 0 im good to go?
     
  4. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    about 15-20 would be sufficent

    you should only have to wait a couple of days to add the shrimp, as long as plant health is good. If they rot then they will produce ammonia but that is what the water changes are for :p
     
  5. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Thanks again.

    The article says to add plants before filing with water. But is the any problem with me adding plants in a few weeks, once I have decided what ones to get? Plus I kinda dont wanna buy all my plants having never kept them before, incase I spend £30 and they all die!

    Ger
     
  6. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire

    it is easier to "plant dry" than when the tank is full as the plants float etc. That is all it means.
     
  7. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    awesome, I'm getting an education here!

    Last one: Do I need a fair few plants in order for the shrimps to survive?
     
  8. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    it is reccomended you have a minimum of 75% substrate coverage to utilise any ammonia to stop deaths & algae outbreaks. The shrimps arent too bothered about the plants though, they will pick the biofilms & micro-organisms on the leaves, or you can just feed them an algae wafer (but not too much)
     
  9. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Just to clarify, will a nitrite test kit be sufficient? just wait till the readings peak, then go back to zero once again? :?
     
  10. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    you shouldnt see a peak in the nitrites as nothing will be producing ammonia, cycling with plants isnt like the conventional way of fishless cycling.
    We have a tank full of plants and 50% daily water changes to keep ammonia at 0ppm at all times, this way, there will be a minimized chance of algae, and also importantly safe for fish/ shrimp. This is why you can add fauna after a couple of days, because there will be no toxins in the water.

    keeping ammonia at 0ppm, means nitrite will also stay at 0ppm. Hence there is only a need for Nitrite test kit.
     
  11. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    just to add,the addition of water to the level of the substarte will help planting...not completely dry. 8)
     
  12. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I also have a spray bottle handy for misting the plants too during lengthy planting sessions.

    Dave.
     
  13. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Hi guys, well Im up and running, and yet again have a question.

    24 hours ago, I filled the tank, added bactinettes, and brought it up to temp. Then, I added 3.5ml of ammonia to make 3.5ppm.

    now, its 24 hours later, I have added a mix of plants, and just done an ammonia reading, which still reads 3.5ppm....

    ...what should I do right now? a water change, or let things settle, should I add TPN+ yet?

    also, what should I do tomorrow?

    Thanks guys. I will post a pic once the dust cloud has dispersed!
    Ger
     
  14. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i didnt realise you were fishless cycling, i thought you were doing a silent cycle which is when you add 75% substrate coverage of plants, then they use the ammonia produced by the fish or shrimp - which is why you stock lightly to avoid NH4 building up to lethal levels, and also to stop algae.

    ammonia + light = algae.

    I would do a 100% water change, to remove the ammonia, then keep measuring the Ammonia or nitrite levels so they are 0 and you can add a few fish or shrimp in a couple of days. Any ammonia produced will be utilised by the plants. Runing zeolite/ ammonia remover or purigen in the filter also helps although the bactinettes should act as one of those chemical removers.
    Continue with the TPN+ dosing as usual.
     
  15. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Thanks, yeah hair algae (i presume) has started to take a grip. So Im gonna do a water change in the morning if things are any worse.

    Ok, thanks for the for Arron.

    Geraint
     

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