Starting a new 25H tank, the cycle.
Brought home a 25H tank on the weekend and I am making some decisions on how to set it up... technically it's my daughter's tank for Christmas so she will have a large part in this but I want to have a cycle plan going in so we can start things right away.
Basics: Marineland single bright LED array, Aquaclear 30 filter, plants, sand substrate, rocks and drift wood as desired or needed.
Just looking for thoughts or suggestions. I won't change the plan unless there is a good reason to, saving a week or two is not an issue and intentionally stressing fish is not an option.
Here are a few questions that have not been answered in my reading thus far.
Our well water is not very hard, do I need to condition it at this point?
Using the old dead shrimp cycle method. I would like to see some plants in place but I read that plants change how the whole cycle works... so I think that I will skip them. We're not in any particular rush so I figured that, once the tank is ready, I will introduce fish and plants at the same time and gradually until everyone is happy.
I assume that I need to have the filter running right off the start. Should I remove the activated carbon part of the filter? Seeing as I don't expect to keep using it I thought I could remove it immediately unless there was a good reason to run with it in for the first while, perhaps it helps with the water initially?
Does the light make any difference at this point if there is nothing else in the tank?
Is there a better temperature to leave the tank at, hotter=faster cycle perhaps?
I can't think of anything else right now. The final fish composition is up in the air but I am thinking that we will lean toward a South American setup... not invariably but as a guide. I expect that we should have lots of time to research and select the fish mix.
I would really suggest going ahead with the plants. They would have an impact on the cycle later also. If you're going to go through the cycling process, why not go about it in a way that prepares the tank for its eventual environment ? If you are going to have a very artificial tank, perhaps the dead shrimp and whatever is a good idea; however, if you plan to have a natural planted environment, start out that way. The plants take the place of the bacteria at first, but the bacteria will develop in the proportion needed.
I agree whole-heartedly. Live plants will take up the ammonia from day one, and you will have a safer environment right from the start. This also avoids the issues with the other methods.
Soft water may mean this or that to whomever; do you know the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity) and pH of your tap water? We can discuss your fish issues when we know this. It will always be easier to select fish suited to your water, rather than having to adjust water to suit delicate fish.
A couple of my aquaria are Amazon-themed, you may get some ideas; click "Aquariums" below my name on the left.
Last but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:
OK, I re-read the post on cycling from this forum and answered my other questions regarding light, filter etc... although they are moot points if I go planted from the start.
I do like the idea of starting out with plants but had figured that they might pose some issue in the cycle.
I have an established tank at work, although I have had nothing to do with it at all for the years that it has been here, that I could remove some substrate and a few plants that I "loaned" from my daughter's overgrown Betta tank and perhaps do a little bit of seeding of the bacteria that way.
Here is a quote from the cycling post
"... letting the plants take the place of beneficial bacteria as they normally would exist in a cycled tank. Beneficial bacteria will be present and as a result you will eventually get some nitrate readings in the tank (though often at such low concentrations to be of no concern). However, most of the ammonia is taken care of by the plants."
Is that supposed to be "NITRITE READINGS"? That would make more sense.
In that case is is safe to say that, with lots of plants and a small group of fish right away, there is no real concern with stressing the fish as the ammonia is absorbed directly and the nitrites don't occur in any serious quantity so the nitrospira bacteria only grow gradually as needed?
Adding more fish is then only a matter of adding a new batch and testing the water to be sure that everything is stable thereafter, right?
That being the case, I would choose to go with the planted method even if only for the fact that the tank will be nicer to look at right from the start. It does make more sense to run it from the start as it will be in the end... more or less.
BTW, those are some nice tanks Byron. That is quite a list of fish in the first one.
Correct both times.
Thank you indeed.:-)
Ok, I stand corrected on the nitrite/nitrate wording and I understand why neither would occur in any abundance. I was misunderstanding the process forgetting the formula for ammonia and why the plants use it.
Everyone here will be glad to see something other than sand and rock right off the start.
I'm going to get my water tested, one of our staff's wife works for a water quality testing company and has always offered to do "unofficial" tests. I'll know everything there is to know about our well water then.
I'm sure ill come up with all sorts of questions later..
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