New Tank Cycling-29 gallon.
Can someone please critique my proposed method for cycling? Here is my thoughts:
The water I am using is RODI water, nothing but straight H20 for my tanks. I am planning on adding a conditioner to the water, Stress Coat, most likely. Would that be enough to bring the water back up to adequate mineral level? My well water is pretty hard and the pH is higher than I would like (about 7.9). So I would like to use as much RODI water as I can, to keep the pH level down around 7.0. Should I put some of my water into it as well? also, I plan on using API Stress Coat Conditioner as well. I plan on using First Layer Laterite on the bottom and then pea sized gravel on top as substrate.
I would like to use some fish flakes to start the ammonia up. Then after about a day or so, I would like to add API Stress Zyme, a beneficial bacteria, to increase biological bacteria in the tank.
For my filter, I have an API Filstar XP3 with a level of filter floss, one of carbon, one of Fluval ClearMax (a nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate remover, I will add this after the cycle) and API BioChem Stars (a porous media for biological filtration).
I won't do a water change until the cycle is complete, having all of the nitrites and ammonia gone.
Also, I would like to add natural Aquarium safe driftwood, maybe a few natural aquarium safe rocks and plants. Should I add the decorations now? Should I wait to add the plants?
Is this good? Should I do anything else?
Hi There SweeneyC!
There is a great post on cycling your tank, both fishless, and fish in by Lady Hobbs here:
See the lower two red stickies at the. THey go into great detail about cycling.
As for the substrate I can't help you with that one.
I think I want a bigger tank!!
Read about fishless cycling!!
Originally Posted by sweeneyc
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
I don't know about R/O water...is it very soft? If it doesn't have any KH or GH (calcium and general hardness), is will be very susecptible to rapid and large pH swings. Again, I don't have all the info here on the water you'll be using, but it's always a good idea to know the basics about your water before you put it in the tank. "Pure H2O" is not always the best thing.
ALso, once you have that figured out, don't mess around with your Ph unless you have very soft water. That also leads to crashes and swings and possible stress/mortality to fish.
1 - 55 gallon planted community
3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.
So I would like to have my pH stable at a lower level though, I want my fish to be as close to their natural habitat as I can, which means a low pH. I have it at 6.2 right now and I want it to stay there. You are right when you say that RODI water has no GH and therefore the water is 7.0. Having the water softener pillow in there is keeping my level at 6.2 pretty steadily right now (for the past two days) so what is the problem with it?
Also, everyone keeps telling me to read the cycle methods... I have. I do not know what is a "safe" ammonia source to use. It is very hard to deduce that from the website.
I understand that there is should be no carbon in the beginning.... but are you suggesting that there should be no carbon ever?
Lastly, why does StressZyme not add Beneficial Bacteria to the water? It says so...
Last edited by sweeneyc; 11-26-2012 at 11:37 PM.
And my water being soft now (because of the pillow) will cause these sharp changes in my pH right? Is there a way to keep a low pH and a high GH or ALK to keep the pH stablized?
I don't run carbon on a regular basis in any tank, I only use it to remove meds in my QT tank.
Fish are adaptable creatures but require stability wrt water parameters. pH is no exception.
When it comes to mixing in RO and the weekly bounces up and down the pH scale that that would cause [Which as mentioned is stressful on fish].
Essentially your choices come down to this.
You can adapt/acclimate your fish to your source water parameters once.
Or you can adjust your source water to what you are aiming for in your tank every time you top off or do a water change forever. Keeping in mind that every time you don't get it spot on that is another adjustment they need to make due to a changing environment IOW: Instability & stress.
It's also worth finding out what the local LFS has wrt water conditions, They may not be far from yours and if the fish already do fine there that is a heads up that they can do well in your water - If close.
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Okay, thanks for the info. How do I keep my pH stable? I want to do rams.