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How to know if your tank is cycling...

rebel

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Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,265
Darrel you need to write a cycling guide (plants only) and sciencefiction should write one for ammonia method. :joyful:

I support both methods. If you use aquasoil, then you are infact using a hybrid method. :p

For the noobs watching, your tank will cycle eventually, regardless, around the 6 weeks mark. Just keep filter running. Add plants and some ammonia (if you want) and WAIT; 6 weeks. No less.
 

Manisha

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Joined
1 Apr 2016
Messages
762
Location
Bangor Northern Ireland
Lol now im confused again :,)

Ive done two big 90% WCs but ive been told i shouldnt have as in essentially removing bacteria and its food....

Please assist :)

Thanks!
Alex

Sorry, I just found when using AS myself, similarly to you without plants, the supply of ammonia does climb to 8ppm (possibly more but the API master test only reads up to 8).

These very high levels are counterproductive as explained by sciencefiction above ☺
I have soft water & experienced a pH crash too (about 5 I think). Which can stall the cycling process (like denaturing enzymes). Therefore I would think without water changes the process would take longer.

Only two weeks into cycling is early days, in relation to my guess of 4 - 8 weeks so try not to worry & practice having patience - extremely hard with a new set up but useful when running a planted tank in general. Also practice with doing water changes is no bad thing, the more you do, the faster you get at them!

Okay so...

Further to my last readings.

I undertook a 95% water change on Friday just gone.

Ive just tested my water parameters today.

On my tap water control - I got 0 for both ammonia and nitrite.

I did two sets of water tests for each - both returned identicle results.

Ammonia - between 0 - 0.6
Nitrite - between 0.3 - 0.8

Theyre significantly reduced from my previous... good sign?

Thanks!
Alex

Certainly moving in the right direction ☺ but although your first cycle will happen the leeching ammonia can 'hurt' your bacteria in a closed tank so water changes are still necessary I found ( my low ph didn't help though)

I'm not sure how to counter this, except by pointing out that I've followed the process I described for all my tanks and never lost a fish upon introduction to the new tanks and the 1,5 years the tanks have been running.

Of course every tank is unique, I am based in Greece where for the most part the water is much harder than what you have in the UK, so that might be a factor. On the other hand, I keep tetras which aren't the most hardy of fish.

I humbly offer my advice based on my experience over the 2 years I've been involved with the hobby, I sure as hell don't know it all

This is exactly how I was taught to cycle & is the popular method for non planted tanks but feel isn't applicable when using an enriched soil or planted tank as a source of ammonia, decaying organic matter is already present, I used your method too for a pair of Jack Dempsey cichlids & also dwarf Gouramis & they thrived but if I was to do those set ups again would definately use soil & plants ☺
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,980
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Darrel you need to write a cycling guide.....
No. If he had known the kind of response that the cycling posts generated, I wouldn't have posted any of them in the first place.

It all seemed so innocuous and obvious, there was this flood of research from the aquaculture and waste water industry on constructed wetlands, and I only had to tell fish-keepers about these advances, and how they would benefit from healthier fish and more robust tanks, but from the response the posts generated you would think that I'd posted a more efficient technique for "microwaving kittens".

After some research I found that a lot of the content I'd posted actually already existed in two books on fish-keeping, Diana Walstad's <"The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium"> and Horst and Kipper's <"The Optimum Aquarium">, so it was more a case that you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
..........(plants only).
That would sort of be the point, it isn't really "plants only", it is always"plants and microbes".

The sort of seminal work was Stottmeister et al. (2003) <"Effects of plants and micro-organisms in constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment"> Biotechnology Advances 22 pp. 93–117 and the <"768 subsequent papers"> that cite it.

cheers Darrel
 

AlexH

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Thread starter
Joined
3 Oct 2016
Messages
152
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks for your awesome insight darrel!

Perhaps you may be able to assist.

When i perform WCs i use Interpret Bioactive Tapsafe Plus... many fancy words to describe something that makes water safe from metals chlorine and chloramines.

My question is RE the bacteria... how can they be alive?! is there really bacteria in here?

Thanks!
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,980
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
is there really bacteria in here?
No, it says: "Boosts good bacteria to keep the aquarium healthy and clean", whatever that means.

I don't use a water conditioner (I've never used tap water), but I know that some people are wary of conditioners that contain "Aloe vera", but other people like them.

Because it is active against chloramine and heavy metals, it is probably similar to "Amquel" or "Prime".

cheers Darrel
 

AlexH

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Thread starter
Joined
3 Oct 2016
Messages
152
Location
United Kingdom
Hey guys..

By way of an update these are my results from a duplicate test i've conducted:

31st Oct - Ammonia - 0 - 0.6 and Nitrite - 0.3 - 0.8
02nd Nov - Ammonia 0 - 0.2 (Practically clear!!), Nitrite - 0.3 and Nitrate - 5 - 10

Any thoughts? :)

Ive noticed significant improvements since adding the eheim water skimmer which has significantly increased water aggitation and oxygen diffusion.

Is the tank almost cycled (safe)? I'm getting excited to plant lol.

Alex
 

JMorgan

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Joined
18 Oct 2015
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108
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North Yorks UK
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