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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble

This is a discussion on New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron Cloudiness may occur from several factors, some are bad, most don't matter. The more important thing is the ammonia, nitrite ...

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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble
Old 04-05-2011, 03:32 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Cloudiness may occur from several factors, some are bad, most don't matter. The more important thing is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I am not a fan of putting dead matter into a tank to cycle it. I prefer seeding the tank with live bacteria (with fish in it) or live plants, or both. They never fail, and the fish are never stressed if it is done properly.

If you ask, I will go into the method more.

Byron.

While I appreciate,respect your view (always),
We put dead matter in the tank every time we feed our fish, Bacteria makes no distinction between cycling time, or any other time.It will consume what Food is available.(no fish are harmed)
Not all are ready for planted tank effort, or have access to seed material from existing tank, and shrimp or fish food method in my view,,is safe way to avoid burning up gills of fishes by those who insist on using fishes with little knowledge of proper stocking /feeding for the fish in method. Other's simply don't care.They use fish to cycle,,,fish die,,,and they replace them with more fish.
Eventually through attrition,the tanks biological filter develops.
These folks would be just as well off letting the dead fish rot to feed the bacteria but no,,,they purchase more.
Smell associated with dead prawns,or fish food method is easily addressed with water change that does nothing to slow the process assuming the filter and or substrate is not disturbed IME.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:08 AM   #22
 
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Bacteria blooms can last a week or longer.Much happens in the aquarium during the cycling process and those who believe the water should remain gin clear during this time are often dissapointed.
Patience is needed,plenty of time after the biological filter has developed to address water clarity which often resolves itself.
Removing the shrimp, stops the beneficial bacteria from developing,smell can be dealt with by performing water change. So long as filter,shrimp,substrate, aren't disturbed,,the process will continue.
Fishless cycling can also be done with pure liquid ammonia.
No need to subject fish to maturing(cycling) process.
To use fish is leaving one with ZERO margin for error. Too many fish,too large of fish,too much food,will result in a cycling tank of sick fish.
Thanks for your feedback.
Food for thought - I saw an interesting video on youtube from a fish store called instant cycle. The fella took a sponge filter from an established tank and squeezed it into a glass, then poured it into the newly setup tank - instant cycle. I will add 4 or 5 fish in this 60g along with gravel (in the filter) from my existing 10g and will be sure not to overfeed. I don't believe I will see an ammonia spike, but I'll monitor. I also don't expect water so cloudy I can't see through it or a foul odor.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #23
 
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Thanks for your feedback.
Food for thought - I saw an interesting video on youtube from a fish store called instant cycle. The fella took a sponge filter from an established tank and squeezed it into a glass, then poured it into the newly setup tank - instant cycle. I will add 4 or 5 fish in this 60g along with gravel (in the filter) from my existing 10g and will be sure not to overfeed. I don't believe I will see an ammonia spike, but I'll monitor. I also don't expect water so cloudy I can't see through it or a foul odor.
What you saw on video would work for a VERY small number of fish in same size or a larger tank.
Bacteria develops in direct proportion to available food. If the tank he took the sponge filter from held but five or six small fish,, he could add no more than five or six small fish to the same size tank or a bit larger tank. He would no doubt boost the development of bacteria by what he did but the tank in question would be far from instant cycle. He would have been better served by adding the sponge filter to the new tank rather than squeezing water from it.
If he added more fish than the bacteria he squeezed into the tank, he would no doubt measure ammonia levels dangerous to toxic depending on numbers of fish.
If you borrow material from a tank holding five or six fish,,you cannot add more than that to the new tank without expecting ammonia levels to increase.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 AM   #24
 
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What you saw on video would work for a VERY small number of fish in same size or a larger tank.
Bacteria develops in direct proportion to available food. If the tank he took the sponge filter from held but five or six small fish,, he could add no more than five or six small fish to the same size tank or a bit larger tank. He would no doubt boost the development of bacteria by what he did but the tank in question would be far from instant cycle. He would have been better served by adding the sponge filter to the new tank rather than squeezing water from it.
If he added more fish than the bacteria he squeezed into the tank, he would no doubt measure ammonia levels dangerous to toxic depending on numbers of fish.
If you borrow material from a tank holding five or six fish,,you cannot add more than that to the new tank without expecting ammonia levels to increase.
I think you are incorrect in your thinking. This seeding of a bacteria culture from an established tank is a viable shortcut vs. cycling from ground zero. You are correct that the bacteria colony population will rise and fall in accordance to the environment, but the point is that this seeding transfers an established colony from a 'cycled' tank to a new fresh install which will likely prevent the dreaded ammonia spike. This is same as adding substrate and/or decor from an existing tank to a new one and very similar to the many start-up products available for this same purpose.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #25
 
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I think you are incorrect in your thinking. This seeding of a bacteria culture from an established tank is a viable shortcut vs. cycling from ground zero. You are correct that the bacteria colony population will rise and fall in accordance to the environment, but the point is that this seeding transfers an established colony from a 'cycled' tank to a new fresh install which will likely prevent the dreaded ammonia spike. This is same as adding substrate and/or decor from an existing tank to a new one and very similar to the many start-up products available for this same purpose.

No I am clearly thinking. What he did was introduce a small amount of bacteria from an established tank.
Let's say I pulled a sponge filter from a five gallon tank holding four or five tetra's and squeezed the sponge into a new tank and then added a dozen tetra's.Even if I added the sponge filter rather than squeezing the sponge,there would not be enough bacteria to support a dozen fish only the four or five tetras from the donor tank. Unless the new tank was considerably larger, allowing for ammonia created by the dozen fish to be diluted in larger body of water, you would still have less bacteria than is needed for a dozen fish.(even with seeding a new tank slow and steady stocking is the way)
Seeding of bacteria is indeed a shortcut that can save time but it does not create an instantly cycled tank. If too many fish exceed the amount of bacteria present, ammonia levels WILL increase.
Adding as much material as you can is wise for this reason when seeding a new tank.
Fishes produce ammonia through respiration and waste.Add to this frequent overfeeding and,overstocking,and biological filter is taxed until such time as the colony can multiply to adjust to the load present.
As for the start up products you mention,, views on these products and their effectiveness are mixed at best. If they worked equally well for everyone,you could not keep the junk on the shelves.Many of them are little more than dead organics in a bottle in mmy view.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #26
 
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This point about bacteria versus number of fish is flawed. Let me explain. In an established tank, the level of bacteria will match the amount of ammonia and nitrite available. These bacteria are everywhere, not just in the filter. Moving the entire filter to a new tank does not mean you can add the number of fish that were in the established tank and expect the bacteria to be sufficient to handle them; it will not be. Because transferring just the filter is only transferring the bacteria that colonized that filter. The other bacteria left in the established tank might well have been the majority, and these are not in the new tank. So the number of fish the bacteria in the new tank can handle will be significantly less than what are in the established tank.

In all cases of "seeding," however it is accomplished, one adds some bacteria to the new tank, in the expectation that it will multiply as ammonia and nitrite increase in the new tank. One should only use a very few fish in the new tank to avoid overwhelming the introduced bacteria. It takes time for bacteria to multiply. The number of fish in the new tank should always be much less than the number that are in the established tank. Unless one has live plants, which is a whole different thing.

As for squeezing water from a filter, that in my view is likely to achieve nothing but stressed fish. Bacteria colonize surfaces. And I admit I cannot say if it is possible to "move" them in such a manner, but it seems highly unlikely. I would not risk the fish.

Byron.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:55 AM   #27
 
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I think you are incorrect in your thinking.
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No I am clearly thinking.
Gentlepersons , what we have here is a semantic argument - you are both correct. Yes, using items with bacteria from established tank(s) will absolutely help establish a new tanks bacteria faster. And, as 1077 indicated, it does not instantly fully cycle the tank since the bacteria will reproduce based on the amount of resources, that "building" to the level of your stock in the tank.

I have never added anything but fish and food to start my tank cycles. Mainly because I always had only one tank at a time! Others do it differently and everyone has their preferences. The common goal is to have a happy, healthy tank. Increase stock slowly, monitor water conditions as you go, and the outcome will be good.

Posted before seeing Byron's response. I think bacteria would be transferred, but less through water than using some solid media.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:18 PM   #28
 
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This point about bacteria versus number of fish is flawed. Let me explain. In an established tank, the level of bacteria will match the amount of ammonia and nitrite available. These bacteria are everywhere, not just in the filter. Moving the entire filter to a new tank does not mean you can add the number of fish that were in the established tank and expect the bacteria to be sufficient to handle them; it will not be. Because transferring just the filter is only transferring the bacteria that colonized that filter. The other bacteria left in the established tank might well have been the majority, and these are not in the new tank. So the number of fish the bacteria in the new tank can handle will be significantly less than what are in the established tank.

In all cases of "seeding," however it is accomplished, one adds some bacteria to the new tank, in the expectation that it will multiply as ammonia and nitrite increase in the new tank. One should only use a very few fish in the new tank to avoid overwhelming the introduced bacteria. It takes time for bacteria to multiply. The number of fish in the new tank should always be much less than the number that are in the established tank. Unless one has live plants, which is a whole different thing.

As for squeezing water from a filter, that in my view is likely to achieve nothing but stressed fish. Bacteria colonize surfaces. And I admit I cannot say if it is possible to "move" them in such a manner, but it seems highly unlikely. I would not risk the fish.
Byron.
The dialog here is exciting and reveals some interesting points.
Although it would seem that bacteria colonies inhabit surfaces, they really require the nooks and crannies (can you say 'English Muffin') to adhere best to - which is why gravel and rough ceramic and the cells in foam work so well. But I'm betting if we examine the resulting slurry from the squeezed sponge under a scope, we would see a plethora of bacterium that now needs to find a new home.

To a degree we would likely agree that the overall bacteria population is somewhat relative to the available resources in the water (predominantly food and O2), however, we might also agree that if a fish or two were removed from a tank, it would not necessarily mean that a corresponding million or so bacteria would perish.

Further however, consider this... lets say I have an established tank with existing bio-media (say a sack of ceramics). The new tank with a few fish is moving along, perhaps into week 2 or 3 and ammonia begins to rise. What if I take that sack of bacteria loaded bio-media and put it in the newer tanks filter... seems to me ammonia and nitrites get processed and all is well.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more this 'cycling' is a bunch of nonsense <hehe>
We could make the case that if a new tank is not overcrowded and/or overfed and/or subjected to bad tank maintenance from the get go, the beneficial bacteria population should increase very nicely...naturally and not require any special cycling routine.

Come to think of it, back in the day (not long after we emerged from the primordial slurry) I had some 8 aquariums going breading live bearers. In those days we never knew anything about cycling a tank and I rarely if ever lost a fish - and some of those fry tanks had no gravel, decor and only very simple bubble up filters. I wonder how I managed (okay, it was a trick question as the answer of course is not over feeding and routine partial water changes).
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #29
 
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To a degree we would likely agree that the overall bacteria population is somewhat relative to the available resources in the water (predominantly food and O2), however, we might also agree that if a fish or two were removed from a tank, it would not necessarily mean that a corresponding million or so bacteria would perish.
Yes it would, though not a million, no idea on numbers. But it is a fact that nitrifying bacteria in an aquarium only exist at the level required to handle the ammonia and nitrite. If either of these toxic substances increases, the bacteria will multiply accordingly by binary division; if either substance decreases, the existing bacteria die off in proportion. It takes only a few hours for the latter to occur. Without their "food" (ammonia or nitrite) these nitrosomonas and Nitrospira cannot live. To multiply, it takes approximately 9 hours for nitrosomonas and 20 hours for Nitrospira, under "optimum" conditions (temperature and pH).

Quote:
Further however, consider this... lets say I have an established tank with existing bio-media (say a sack of ceramics). The new tank with a few fish is moving along, perhaps into week 2 or 3 and ammonia begins to rise. What if I take that sack of bacteria loaded bio-media and put it in the newer tanks filter... seems to me ammonia and nitrites get processed and all is well.
Yes. Provided the bacteria added is sufficient to handle that ammonia.

Quote:
Actually, the more I think about it, the more this 'cycling' is a bunch of nonsense <hehe>
We could make the case that if a new tank is not overcrowded and/or overfed and/or subjected to bad tank maintenance from the get go, the beneficial bacteria population should increase very nicely...naturally and not require any special cycling routine.
No, in most scenarios. In a new tank just set up, there are no nitrifying bacteria present (unless added via seeding). They appear once ammonia is present, then nitrite. But it takes time, and any fish in the tank may or may not be seriously affected during that time. In a large volume of water and with minimal fish, it would (should) work, as the ammonia from the fish has a large area to spread out in, and the fish is able to "get away" from much of it, but the nitrosomonas bacteria will settle in and consume it. Same with nitrite and Nitrospira bacteria. But in a smaller space, and with more fish, the fish are exposed quicker and to much higher levels, and it is well documented that as little as 1 mg/litre (1 ppm) of ammonia can kill plants and fish. This is when applied directly; as I said, the more water volume, the more this is spread out. The damage done to the fish however is permanent. The immune system is weakened, more by the stress this causes; internal organs can be harmed. Even if the fish appear to "survive" the initial ammonia/nitrite, it is almost always the case that they develop health issues down the road that would otherwise not have occurred, and frequently have a much shorter lifespan due to the initial poisoning.

Fish in a closed artificial system, which is what every aquarium is, are significantly affected by everything--good or bad--that occurs in that system. They cannot escape. Their water environment causes this.

Byron.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:39 AM   #30
 
Thank-you for the feedback/input.

I think I will add fish slowly in this new tank, with the advantage that 60 gal is more forgiving than smaller tanks. I added my two Red Wag Platy's last night. I think they became comfortable in the 10g and seemed initially confused by the much larger world they live in now. Today they seem to be enjoying the bubble wall on the left side of the tank and swimming all over.
I'm reluctant to add plants at this time as my distant past experiences with plants was not very good.
Floating plants may be an option if they would hold up, but still represents a risk of bringing in unwanted elements. Not sure I want much to do with cut bundles.
As this tank gets a bit further in the cycle process, I may bag gravel from the 10g which is way ahead in cycle and has a UGF to encourage bio substrate. I think this may jumpstart the bio-bag in my AquaClear 70 filter. I also picked up an ammonia remover insert for the AquaClear for a contingency in the event of excess ammonia. I think by slowly adding fish and a strategic 'seed' of bio material, I should be able to cycle w/o difficulty - we'll see.
My plan right now is to add just a few more hearty fish, leaving the neon tetras in the 10g along with the 20 or so platy fry (still in breeder net). I believe the neons should come later in the 60g cycle.
(this 60g tank is awesome! Looking forward to building the community)
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