150 gallon set up- Cycling help Please - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-20-2017, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Question 150 gallon set up- Cycling help Please

Greeting everyone,

I am in need of assistance. A Little back ground. We are upgrading form a 70 bow front to a 150 gallon tank. We ran across, cleaned, resealed a 150 gallon tank. In the mean time I set up and attached the new filter to the established 70 gallon set up for three days time. At which time we, with a good deal of help, place the 150 gallon tank into position, and transferred about 50 gallons of water from the 70 the the 150. Added another 35-40 gallon of filtered rain water, new cleaned gravel, a few decor items, and a few Java fern plants.

I have been testing the water twice a day with the API master test kit for fresh water.. The only reading that has changed is the PH. Which has lowered form 8.0 to 7.6.
Nitrates are 0 with bottle 1 and 5.0 after adding bottle 2 drops. Nitrites are 1.0 and have not really changed. Ammonia is at 0.

Is the tank cycled or cycling. I read somewhere in the forums that one person added pure ammonia to kick start the process. Please help.

Many Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-20-2017, 09:23 AM
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Hi Regiman,

I can see that your excited to get that tank filled, I would be too. My suggestion would be to wait. I know it's difficult but a little patience now could mean a whole lot less work and stress both on you and your future inhabitants.

Give the tank 2 weeks and watch the water parameters testing every day or twice a day as you have been. Without ammonia, your plants should take up the Nitrates soon, add either fish food or a pc of shrimp, or pure ammonia if you can get it, to supplement the lack of ammonia. If your tank is fully cycled, the nitrites should read 0, if you see a fluctuation don't panic as your tank doesn't have any fish yet. This gives you an opportunity to add more bio-media in the form of sponges, ceramic or whatever interests you, just stay away from the plastic. You should eventually see 0 nitrites and a fluctuation in nitrates which shows that the cycle is indeed occurring and that bacteria is becoming established. The more time you give your tank to become established (within reason), the more stable that environment.

Slowly add 1 fish so you can build up the bio load without overloading what you currently have in the tank. Maybe 1 fish the first week then 2 fish the next, then 3, 2 weeks later, so on and so forth. This will ensure you build up the bio load over time without stressing out the tank. If your fish become territorial during this process make sure to move around the landscape before adding the new fish. That always helped me.

That's just my opinion as you will see others have theirs. I've dealt with setting up a new tank using pre-existing water and media from an established tank only to fail by adding too many fish at once. It took me almost 2 months with a lot of stress to get things right. Save your self that possibility as 150 gal is a lot of water to worry about.

Enjoy your new tank!
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-20-2017, 04:24 PM
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Old water, unless you've messed with the water chemistry, is completely worthless. I know it seems like you should keep it, but there's just no reason to do so.

Running the new filter on the old tank for 3 days isn't enough to do anything - should have just taken the media from the 70 gallon filter and put it in the 150 gallon filter and then you would be instantly cycled, ready for fish. There is no better way to start a new tank.

In the event that you are not cycled, obtaining the used filter media should be tops on your list. It's really not advisable to do a fish in cycle on such a large tank unless you're a very patient person. That's a TON of water to change. If you're patient you can stock very lightly and wait it out, with less frequent water changes. For example, a couple of goldfish in the 150 is not going to need daily water changes.

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post #4 of 5 Old 04-21-2017, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Greeting and felicitations,

Thank you JC1 and Jaysee for the helpful information. I found it very helpful indeed.

I failed to mention that I plan to utilize two Fluval filters on the 150. A new 406 and a 404 from an established aquarium. I currently have about 90 gallons in the tank and running a Fluval 406. I went out last night to picked up a new marineland 360, connected it to the old 70 gallon tank and plan to move the Fluval 404 to the 150 gallon today. I am wondering if this sound like a sound plan.? Any suggestions..?

Many thanks,
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-21-2017, 12:44 PM
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Sounds like a plan. Ensure that you didn't have any issues with water or fish from the established tank with the 404 and you should be almost there. You could also divi up the media into both canisters to speed up the process of bacterial colonization. Remember that until your water tests confirm the cycle has completed you need to wait. You'll be there in no time.
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