Originally Posted by Markus Shark
My tanks been running for aboot 4 months, i understand the NH4, nitrite and nitrate cycle... Im still not sure what a tank cycle is, i change my water every 2 weeks max, iv got two filters running and every water change i clean out one filter.
Like i see alot of people say that they havent cycled for more than a year, i dont understand that?
My fish are happy now. But id like to know more of everything.
Otherwise i still wanna get a plant, im not sure about light, and what plant i could get. Its summer now and im getting an exponential algae problem, my tank gets sunlight, should i block sum of it out? Oow.. And will a plant grow under any TUBE light???
Hi Markus. Welcome to TFK! We're glad you joined us.
Cycling your tank. Basically it is the process of a build up of Ammonia from fish poop and old food that gets consumed by a Bacteria and this process produces NitrItes. A 2nd bacteria consumes the Nitrates and the resulting product is Nitrate.
Do you have an API freshwater testing kit. They run from about $20-$40 and it is invaluable to a fish keeper to know what is going on in his tank. Each of those 2 processes will cause a spike in numbers. This is only sometimes visible by clamped fins or hiding and being lethargic but too often the only sign we have is death.
By testing your numbers you can immediately react with water changes and if you have it, Seachem's "Prime" can neutralize these quickly. Live plants also take up Ammonia to help you thru the cycle. .25 ppm of Ammonia is about the most you want to see in your tank. NI I'm not sure of but it will also spike, then you are looking for the following numbers:
Am 0, NI 0, and NA .20 pm or less. Now...! This good bacteria that you have taken 6-8 weeks to grow is not in your water but grows on all of your surfaces... gravel, rocks, filter media, filter sponges etc. It is very important that when you are "cleaning" your filters that you use a bucket of OLD TANK WATER or a de-chlorinated tap water. Chlorine will kill the good bacteria that you just grew and potentially send your tank thru a mini cycle and put your fish at risk again. So first think about how you are cleaning your filters. Something we do not want to do is scrub our filters squeaky clean!
Fish and plants have a circadian rhythm so it is important to set your lights on a timer or keep to a schedule. Madyotto is right, direct sunshine should be kept to a minimum. When you go to your LFS to purchase plants, review the light bulbs and fertilizers they have. you may need both.
Balas do indeed love to swim the length of your tank. I kept 2 for over 10 years in a 90 gallon but this is only 48 inches long. They need min 72 inches or 6 ft tanks which are 120 gallon. How long is the current tank they are in, and the new tank?
Remember when setting up your new tank it also needs to cycle unless you move everything over from the smaller tank to the bigger. Do not let your filter dry out and just move it "as is" over to the new tank or if you are keeping both tanks running move one of your filters over until the new tank cycles.
Good luck... keep us posted and feel free to ask any questions about your tank here in your thread.