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Why mature tank?

sari

Member
Joined
24 Sep 2008
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76
Location
Basingstoke, U.K.
Hi guys,

I'm just intrigued really about the claims that certain fish require mature tank before introduction. Like neon tetras, cardinal tetras and cories etc. I and some others have introduced these fish into relatively new tanks. But then many hobbyist tank always remain as unmature/new due to methods of care and potentially never ready to receive these fish.

What are your experiences? In many ways I disagree. What about care methods, testing, waterchanges and stocking? :silent:
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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Nottingham
Some fish are more delicate to metabolic wastes and they are the ones that need a 'mature' tank. What they really need is an established tank that has fully cycled and has a well established filter and bacterial population.

If your tank or filter is matured well then they can be added in brand new tanks - you just need to know what you're doing! I've moved cardinals, wild angels, apistogramma and other fairly delicate fish into tanks after a few days that have very established, mature filters and they have been fine.

I'm a little puzzled at your statement about some tanks never maturing? What do you mean by that?
 

Dan Crawford

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UKAPS Team
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21 Jun 2007
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Daventry, Northants
Ammonia levels sore during the tank's cycle, ammonia burns the gills of a fish and subjecting fish to this is just barbaric, all for the sake of a couple of weeks.
 

George Farmer

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Cambridgeshire
To reinforce Ed's comments, think mature biological filtration, rather than a mature tank. And also consider that plenty of healthy plant growth also performs biological filtration via the removal of ammonia/ammonium, nitrite and nitrate.

I regularly set up tanks from scratch, with some 'demanding' fish species, and it's the oversized mature filter that allows this to be done safely.

Water changes, testing etc. depends on the individual set up and the techniques you wish to use.
 

Superman

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29 Jan 2008
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Cheltenham
I think we all keep fish to keep them healthy. Providing the right environment for them is a must. Sure we can make mistakes where there are ammonia spikes, but the overriding idea of keeping fish is to keep them healthy.

EDIT (Didn't finish it!): Therefore, everyone should make sure that they provide a mature filter before adding livestock.
 

sari

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Thread starter
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24 Sep 2008
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Location
Basingstoke, U.K.
Interesting! I completely agree on the mature filter business and of course the ammonia and nitrite spikes harm fish. But like said, new and unestablished tank can successfully sustain more demanding fish as long as there is a mature filter inside. What I meant by some tanks never establishing was with some hobbyists not treating water, using all sorts of chemicals and washing the filters in hot tap water etc when the bacteria has never a chance to develop and ending up having a forever cycling tank.
 

Ed Seeley

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sari said:
Interesting! I completely agree on the mature filter business and of course the ammonia and nitrite spikes harm fish. But like said, new and unestablished tank can successfully sustain more demanding fish as long as there is a mature filter inside. What I meant by some tanks never establishing was with some hobbyists not treating water, using all sorts of chemicals and washing the filters in hot tap water etc when the bacteria has never a chance to develop and ending up having a forever cycling tank.

Right, I thought that's what you meant.

Want to hear something that many 'experts' would throw their hands up at?
I wash the sponges on my filters in tap water...

Two reasons why I can do this.
First my tap water seems to have very low chlorine - I haven't needed to use dechlorinator for years (I do recently use RO now on my tropical tanks though).
Secondly I never rely on just foam to biologically filter. I don't think you should combine the mechanical and biological elements of filtration if possible and always look for a filter set up where I can separate the two processes. This is a hangover from my koi filter knowledge/experience where you want mechanical that is regularly cleaned that removes the physical waste and doesn't encourage a bacterial population that will be set back everytime it's washed (even if you use pond/tank water) and then biological filtration that is settled and undisturbed and doesn't collect waste but allows it to go through the biological media.

So I view foam in my filters as the mechanical stage and therefore do not really want a bacterial colony there and, while I know it does develop between cleanings, I'm quite happy to remove a lot of it at every cleaning and rely on the bacteria in the sintered glass or other biological media.

Also do not discount the effect of an established tank as well as an established filter. Like George I've set many 'new' tanks up and stocked with 'delicate' fish after only a few days, but I follow that up with large regular water changes. I've also seen the difference between a tank with gravel or sand substrate and a bare tank. The bare tanks are much harder to maintain as the water quality see-saws all over the place. The extra surface area of the sand/gravel makes a big difference with the higher bacterial population in the tank.
 

plantbrain

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2 Aug 2007
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If you do lots of water changes, use zeolite, carbon etc, none of it matters much, problem is, many do not do that in the initial stages. Most breeders and bare bottom tanks use this many water change approach.

Even if the filter is mature.

Want a mature filter?
Tank some old sponge material and squeeze the mulm into the new filter.... viola!, mature filter, adds exactly what's missing from a new filter.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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