When cycling a tank, what fish to use?
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When cycling a tank, what fish to use?

This is a discussion on When cycling a tank, what fish to use? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I am trying to cycle a 3 G tank and wonder if putting 5 babies in there (appx. 1/2 to 3/4 inch each) would ...

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When cycling a tank, what fish to use?
Old 05-17-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
 
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Question When cycling a tank, what fish to use?

I am trying to cycle a 3 G tank and wonder if putting 5 babies in there (appx. 1/2 to 3/4 inch each) would do the same as putting in one Balloon Belly Molly female? Or two? Is there a difference in bioload and what would work better?

Also reading another post, I see that my heater would be working more if right beside the bubbler, because of the water swirling away from it. Is this true? Most of my heaters are on the opposite end of the airstones, but in one tank with babies, I have them located on top of each other. Should I move one? There is an AquaClear filter there, too.

Lastly, if you are cycling, and your reading is 0.25 ammonia/nitrite, does putting in AmQuel to treat the water negate the cycling process? This is making it go to "0" by chemistry, not by circulating the water in filter... does it matter?
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:20 AM   #2
 
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If you have one cycled & mature tank you should never have to cycle a tank again, within reason. Filter media cycles, not the tank. I'd go with the 5 fry, just for reason of tank size. Take a bit of media from a cycled filter, add it to the new filter, instant cycle.

As long as you have the smallest amount of circulation the heater will work the same. With no circulation at all it will heat the water near it & shut off, leaving the water further away cooler.

Any water conditioner that claims to remove ammonia converts it to ammonium, harmless to fish but used the same as ammonia by your nitrifying bacteria.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
 
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Question Filter Media -- how to clear debris but save the bacteria

I have some filters which were doing fine until the power went off this morning. Then I couldn't get 2 of them to start up properly -- didn't get the water up the inlet tube. I put plenty of water in there, but the filter didn't siphon up the water as it should have. Water stopped about halfway up the tube, and didn't progress any further. I have AquaClear...

When "cleaning" a filter, how do you clean up the debris clogging it up, but not mess up the good bacteria? Does one put it in some aquarium water, let it diffuse some, and then what, if it won't work yet? These filters were pretty gross, so I cleaned up the outlet area of debris, cleaned the inside where water comes in and checked the pump impeller. Cleaned the tube inside where it had scum. So how to keep the good bacteria and get it working again? Any tips would be appreciated. The sponge media and the BioMax and charcoal have not been cleaned in any way yet.

When a filter loses some of its momentum, like it goes to halfway level, do you unplug it and then try to start it again, or what? Some of them do this on occasion, and I can't figure this out. Mine are mostly 20 Gal and 10 Gal.

Last edited by dancelady; 07-16-2014 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancelady View Post
I have some filters which were doing fine until the power went off this morning. Then I couldn't get 2 of them to start up properly -- didn't get the water up the inlet tube. I put plenty of water in there, but the filter didn't siphon up the water as it should have. Water stopped about halfway up the tube, and didn't progress any further. I have AquaClear...
I have an AC filter for years and years. My power has gone out quite a bit recently with the storms. Even when doing water changes, as long as the water does not fall allowing the intake tube to empty it should be no problem starting up again. I have found that the impellers are a little temperamental.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancelady View Post
When "cleaning" a filter, how do you clean up the debris clogging it up, but not mess up the good bacteria? Does one put it in some aquarium water, let it diffuse some, and then what, if it won't work yet? These filters were pretty gross, so I cleaned up the outlet area of debris, cleaned the inside where water comes in and checked the pump impeller. Cleaned the tube inside where it had scum. So how to keep the good bacteria and get it working again? Any tips would be appreciated. The sponge media and the BioMax and charcoal have not been cleaned in any way yet.
The good bacteria is in the media that sits in the large basket part. I have completely taken my filter apart leaving media in tap water and cleaned EVERYTHING inside using ONLY hot water. They can build up a brown and or green algae. Especially if you don't do a lot of filter maintenance. I clean the filter with every other water change. I squeeze sponges in the bucket of tank water but have also ran them under tap water once or twice to clean them. Mostly because I use a siphon hooked up to the tap so I don't always have a bucket of tank water. I have also ditched the bio-max and charcoal. I layer a sponge then filter floss and another sponge. Carbon isn't necessary unless you're removing medications from water. Just how I have done it for many years. My solution is not one size fits all but I have never had any major issues. Do you know that you can take the motor off by twisting it towards you? I take this off and pull the impeller out and use a q-tip to remove the stuff inside there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancelady View Post
When a filter loses some of its momentum, like it goes to halfway level, do you unplug it and then try to start it again, or what? Some of them do this on occasion, and I can't figure this out. Mine are mostly 20 Gal and 10 Gal.
I am not sure what your mean by this question. I have never experienced this. In fact, I mostly run my AC on the lowest setting except for after a water change when there is some stuff floating around the tank.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:28 AM   #5
 
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Thank you for all the notes...

This will help me to clean my filters out -- I know they should start up when power comes back on, but 2 didn't, and they were pretty clogged up with debris from the Hornwort which loses particles all the time. I have that for my fry babies, and a sponge insert on the bottom of the tube to keep the babies from being sucked up. The inlet sponge also got very full of debris, which probably reduced the flow a lot when it had to start up again. It was like, I just can't pull the water up high enough...

This is probably why the filters lose momentum from time to time, because of the algae and debris clogging the inlet up. I don't clean out the algae because it is good for the Mollies to eat, I just do the front side of their tank. I do run filters at full tilt because of the Hornwort on the top floating around which reduces the flow somewhat. And because I often check out the filters to add more floss (water purifier besides the other media), which disrupts them. Once I had a problem with the tank being full of particles, and discovered it came from the filter being very dirty and throwing the scum back into the tank. It wasn't doing its job. That was my fault for overfeeding in the past. I learned then how to take the impeller out and clean it and the inside where it resides. You can't imagine how much gook I removed from in and around the pump.

It is when you get into fry and raising them that you learn all this and the bad things that can happen -- fry are so small and you want to take care of them.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
 
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Did you try priming the filter by pouring some water into the back of the filter? I have an AC110 and I frequently have to do this. It sometimes takes minute or two for the water to reach the top of the filter.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
 
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Yes, I did everything to try to start it without cleaning

The first thing I do after a failure of the filter to run is make sure it is filled up in the back, and the plug hasn't eased out so there is no electricity to the filter. Even the other brand filters need this, as they can fail to start up, too. If the siphon isn't doing its job, then you have to worry that there is a clog in the input tube and not enough water is getting up to the top. That was my problem, the water would rise almost to the top, but not any higher, which said it had an input deficiency and couldn't work well enough to start up again.

I have also seen the clog can be inside the tube, like moss or other plant debris inside of it and not enough water is making it through. This is a common thing for me with that dumb Hornwort, I have to disrupt the junk inside and on the surface of the tube. The little sponge filter that goes over the tube (for the fry not to get sucked up into it) also can get clogged with debris, you can see it turn a bit darker, as it gloms up the junk in the tank. Lastly, sometimes the mess can get into the impeller as it works, which can stop it or slow it down, too.

All of these are things to look for, which I have learned having experienced it -- I have to clean out debris from most of the filters on a weekly basis in all my tanks. I also use some floss in there to clean up the minute particles in the tank, which needs to be dumped when it gets dirty. Some have said they never have to clean the filters, but I bet they don't have fry, don't have those inlet sponge filters, don't overfeed, and have plenty of plants for the tank that don't shed!
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