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HollyinWA 01-14-2010 11:42 AM

Water Change question on cycling tank
 
My 55 gallon tank has been cycling since last Wednesday....started to cycle it fishless with food. I had to put my daughter's fish in it over the weekend due to a high ammonia spike in her tank. There has not been any sign of ammonia or Nitrites in this 55 gallon tank yet when I test it. There has been a small amount of Nitrates.

My question is, since I ended up having to put fish in it, should I do a small water change to lesson the chance of a high ammonia spike when it gets to that point, if it does? I cannot remember what I did in the past, and opinions seem to be ever changing. I do remember not having a lot of trouble cycling my tanks. The 14 gallon tank has been the worst tank ever in my cycling history, but I pretty much know why.....I think.

Twistersmom 01-14-2010 11:49 AM

I always try to keep ammonia under .25ppm, when cycling with fish. So, if you get an ammonia reading, I would do a water change. The tank will still cycle and the fish will be happier.

HollyinWA 01-14-2010 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Twistersmom (Post 305948)
I always try to keep ammonia under .25ppm, when cycling with fish. So, if you get an ammonia reading, I would do a water change. The tank will still cycle and the fish will be happier.

Thanks. So, I should wait until I get an ammonia reading? In my other tank a water change did not even help after I got ammonia an ammonia spike, but it is a whole other situation compared to this 55 gallon. I don't think I am going to have the same issue with this tank.

Twistersmom 01-14-2010 12:02 PM

If you still do not have an ammonia reading after one week, I would do a water change regardless. The fish are producing ammonia, and the tank is cycling.

HollyinWA 01-14-2010 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Twistersmom (Post 305952)
If you still do not have an ammonia reading after one week, I would do a water change regardless. The fish are producing ammonia, and the tank is cycling.


Thanks. That is what I was thinking. How big would you suggest? It is 55 gallons.

MOA 01-14-2010 12:14 PM

Hello,

25% once a week is a pretty good ratio used by many aquarists. That means about 12.5 gallons.

MOA

Byron 01-14-2010 01:48 PM

Holly, if memory serves me correctly, there were not many fish put in this new 55g, so a minimal pwc of 25-30% should suffice. And I agree with TM, if ammonia starts to appear, increase the pwc--daily if needed and change 50%.

In an established tank, the pwc is relevant to the fish load. The more fish, or the larger the fish, the more water needs to be changed and perhaps more often. The pwc has two purposes, first to remove pollution, second to reduce nitrates or keep them in line. In a planted tank the latter is irrelevant unless the tank is out of balance, as the plants use of ammonia/ammonium will ensure nitrates are never above 20, and more likely 5-10 will be the max, but in non-planted tanks this has to be monitored.

The more significant aspect is pollution. Fish excrete urine and solid waste, and no filter can remove this, only a pwc. Plants will handle some of it, but in non-planted aquaria this benefit is missing. And the more fish or the larger the fish, the more waste is regularly added to the water. The solid can be partially removed by vacuuming the substrate and rinsing the filter media, but much of the solid is broken down by bacteria to liquid before this occurs. When you have a reasonable or normal fish load in the cycled tank, a regular weekly pwc of 50% or more would be advisable.

Byron.

HollyinWA 01-14-2010 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 306008)
Holly, if memory serves me correctly, there were not many fish put in this new 55g, so a minimal pwc of 25-30% should suffice. And I agree with TM, if ammonia starts to appear, increase the pwc--daily if needed and change 50%.

In an established tank, the pwc is relevant to the fish load. The more fish, or the larger the fish, the more water needs to be changed and perhaps more often. The pwc has two purposes, first to remove pollution, second to reduce nitrates or keep them in line. In a planted tank the latter is irrelevant unless the tank is out of balance, as the plants use of ammonia/ammonium will ensure nitrates are never above 20, and more likely 5-10 will be the max, but in non-planted tanks this has to be monitored.

The more significant aspect is pollution. Fish excrete urine and solid waste, and no filter can remove this, only a pwc. Plants will handle some of it, but in non-planted aquaria this benefit is missing. And the more fish or the larger the fish, the more waste is regularly added to the water. The solid can be partially removed by vacuuming the substrate and rinsing the filter media, but much of the solid is broken down by bacteria to liquid before this occurs. When you have a reasonable or normal fish load in the cycled tank, a regular weekly pwc of 50% or more would be advisable.

Byron.

Thanks so much Byron, for your very clear response. :) I sure do respect your input, as I do many on here. Everyone is very helpful. I will do a 25% water change today.

BTW, if I do get heavily into a planted tank...not sure yet if I am going to go all out with live plants right away....I hope my tanks look like yours. You have beautiful healthy looking planted tanks. You have a green thumb! I am on the fence if live plants are the way to go for me right now.

~Holly

Angel079 01-14-2010 02:24 PM

+1 on all the above....Just one thought...hadn't you also seeded it from a existing tank- Cause then you may never see any peaks....

HollyinWA 01-14-2010 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angel079 (Post 306026)
+1 on all the above....Just one thought...hadn't you also seeded it from a existing tank- Cause then you may never see any peaks....


Hi, I did seed it from the LFS biological whatever she got it from...not Petsmart but a LFS that has a pretty knowledgeable experience fish owner. I did this with the 14 gallon and it did not work. That is another story though. It may have gotten too cold on my way home because I HAD to make some stops and it was real cold at the time. I am pretty sure I know what went wrong on that tank though. I think I will have some good success with the cycling on this one. However, I certainly will not let myself jump the gun in getting more fish until I know it is good and ready. I don't want to go through a miserable time. I am enjoying watching the Platties and Tetras having a good time right now. I have work to do with the candle biz and all my other pets to help keep my mind from getting too anxiousl. ;-) I am looking forward to getting the main fish though.


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