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  1. #1

    Default Ammonia halved on day 3 of fishless cycle?

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all,
    I set up a 36g bowfront on Saturday with driftwood, gravel, and ammonia enough to read 4ppm on my api kit test. The water was very murky from the gravel, so we decided to let it settle over night. Sunday I vacuumed the gravel, extracting ~ 5g. Then I dumped 5g worth of water change and mulm from an existing tank, tossed in a big chunk of java moss from the cycled tank, and dosed the new tank back up to 4ppm ammonia. We are running two filters (aqueon quietflow 30 and aquaclear 50) and have them set to high flow about 3 inches above the water line to make bubbles.

    It has been about 30 hours since that dosing and I just tested again. The ammonia is only reading 2ppm now. ? I was expecting it to take a little longer to do that. There is nary a nitrite in sight ( which is what I WAS expecting).

    Is having a plant in there throwing off the process? Or perhaps just speeding things up?

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    I expect the mulm from the existing tank you threw in is what is speeding things up...that stuff is chock full of BB...dose it back up and see if it drops like that again...
    With your existing tank, you could have done an "instant cycle" by taking some media out of your running filter and putting it in the filters on the new would have seen nary a blip of ammonia depending on how heavily you stocked it.
    Last edited by sheamurai; 09-16-2013 at 09:30 PM.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!

    That is good to know about the instant cycle. I will dose up to 4ppm again tonight and see what happens.

    Eeep! I haven't finished plotting stock yet! I thought it would take longer 0_o

  4. #4


    1 Not allowed!
    lol you'd be the first person on the forum to ever complain that their tank cycled too fast...

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Weeelllll, it was a surprise tank! Someone gave it to me and it showed up a little earlier than expected.

    I was a mistake making fool the first go round and have only been planning for another small tank for my son. So, less actual planning on my part and more reading up on what would work for the size we had picked out (and more importantly what won't) so I could retain veto power, but not actually pick. Here and there,I had been looking at other fish for a maybe tank for much later on, but not with any real studying.

    Now I get an early chance to pick out some fish that I find interesting, but there are a LOT of fish out there! Meanwhile the more I read, the more I realize I need to read more. (I mean it took me at least 10 or more articles before I realized that "pair" wasn't just referring to two... ). And I know I want plants, but the fish seem to determine the plants, which determine the lights, but I keep running into "I like these fish! Oops... Maybe not for my tank" so....

    Not ready.

    Good thing I have a gallon of ammonia and can keep feeding the bacteria for a while.

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Exact-ally! You might wanna take a piece of filter material or gravel from the established tank and place it in the filter(s) of the new tank for insurance. That will seed more beneficial bacteria and you can grow the colony by feeding ammonia.

    Quote Originally Posted by GobleWarming View Post
    Good thing I have a gallon of ammonia and can keep feeding the bacteria for a while.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    There is mulm and a clump of java fern from the existing tank in the new tank. The other tank just has one of those cartridges (aqueon quietflow 30) ... Do i just pull off some of the padded bit?

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    when you are ready to change out that cartridge, just put the whole thing into your new filter...cut it to fit if required...the more of it you can manage to transfer, the better...

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!

    Which leads to a whole nother question... I have read that you don't want to change out filter cartridges until they are starting to practically disintegrate. Cycled tank is 5 months old, About how long will it take to need to change that filter? ( we do water changing swishes).

    There is that layer of fluffy stuff (batting?) on both sides. I could conceivably pull out the old filter, cut it out and put one of those layers on the new filter cartridge for the existing stocked tank and one in the cycling tank.
    I do want to leave some of the filter cartridge in the old one also, don't I?

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    To tell you the truth, most of us don't use those cartridges once the originals are used up. We just replace with floss/batting/pillow stuffing, and throw in some bio-media (which last forever) and only put carbon in when we need to remove some kind of contaminant.
    How long it takes before replacing is different for every filter - it depends on your bio-load, how often you clean it, etc etc.

    The other good thing to do, rather than cycle a new tank - if you know its going to be awhile - is just to run the new filter along side your old filter, if your existing tank can handle the extra flow. Then you never have to worry about how much media to transfer or not - you just take the new filter off the existing tank and pop it onto the new one when you are ready to stock. The only thing you need to watch, is that you don't stock your tank with more bio-load than your existing tank has, as that's all the BB you've got will be able to easily support in the new tank.

    A lot of us also run two filters at all times anyway - that way you can alternate cleanings, and have media to spare and still always have a fully populated filter running. Also good backup if one craps out on you.

    Once you have one cycled tank in the house, there's no need to ever cycle a new one the long way.

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