A VERY TIME TESTED method on keeping your water chemistry Spot-on WITH NO CYCLE'S
This Guide Rely's On A (25%+) Over Powered Filter
To with-out doubt keep your ammonia and nitrite at =0
Your bio filter has good bacteria on the sponge
it's job is to break down the bad bacteria
Bad bacteria's are:
Influenza < (left by Apple Snail's and similar (but is good for Fry)
Your filter breaks down these bacteria in this way (made simple)
Fish waste create's the bad bacteria called Ammonia.
The Ammonia takes this path after the good bacteria eats it's corresponding bad bacteria
Ammonia (Into> Nitrite
Nitrite (Into> Nitrate
so we are only left with the Nitrate
Now this Nitrate is what can cause the problems that many fear.
Hence every one's obsession with tank cycles however this obsession is totally pointless.
The reason i say that this obsession is pointless is the fact that.
Nitrate is broken up in many many ways and if the wrong environment is created in the first place then over time this will creep up at a steady rate and finally will cause a spike which are normally deadly to your stock.
(Hence the obsession with overly frequent water changes.)
ANY WATER CHANGE WILL CAUSE STRESS. < FACT<
Now yes the fish will be less stressed if the water quality is improved,
HOWEVER far too many people do water changes as party of THERE weekly/monthly routine.
Causing stress with little if any improvement to the water quality in most cases.
(This is the problem that even some of the very best keepers make.)
Avoiding the stress of the water change is ALWAYS the best way.
Another way to look at it is when i used to manage my dads 800 liter (180 gallon) tank.
Do you really think we did even yearly cycles.
The answer is no never, not even once in the whole 12 years of having the tank,
with readings of 0 Ammonia or Nitrite and a very low Nitrate count 4.0 PPM AVRG.
AND NO USE OF CHEMICALS
4 KEY FACTS TO RID OF YOUR NITRATE.
1. Enough oxygen. (So plants are helpful here but not necessarily vital as we can add air stones.)
2. The amount of light
(Now you do have to keep your light on for the right amount of time for your fish, however the right sized light and power rating is vital)
3. Also over-feeding directly add's to the Nitrate and marginally to the Ammonia and Nitrite.
4. Temp also plays its part higher the better in terms of the Nitrate.
However bear in mind you would be more likely to get a bacteria infection with your fish and it would also grow faster if you did.
parameters to aim for =
Ammoinia = LESS than 0.35 PPM
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = Between 4.0 PPM and 30.0 PPM (0 Nitrate is not as good as people make out)
That smaller tanks will change much quicker and therefore need a closer eye keeping on them and also need more frequent check of Ammonia and Nitrate you can check the nitrite if you like.
A Prime example of a Very Stable And adequate Environment using no chemicals or cycles is:
My 4FT Tank. (40 Gallon)
My fish need a ph of around 6.3 - 6.4 PH
(Very hard water in my area so other peoples tanks sit at about 8.0 with the water from my area.)
So i added a 3CM thick layer of aquatic peat to the back half of the tank before adding the gravel.
Now after 4.5 - 6 months after starting my tank the PH had only just dropped bellow 6.0 PH,
this is after it sitting steady at 6.5 - 6.2 for the whole time. (I do a 25% cycle after it drops bellow 6.0)
I also have a 8" (inch) air bar/curtain and 6 plants.
I use a 40 watt day light tube and give 10 hours of light.
Now as i plan to over stock a little i have used an over powered filter.
Recommended filter size is about's 400 liter an hour so i use a 600 liter an hour.
This setup means that my nitrate levels are very steady.
Also the over powered filter making sure that there is absolutely no chance of any ammonia or nitrite.
Hope the info and added understanding has helped.
Cold you provide a couple of links to articles supporting this?
And by cycles, are you referring to the Nitrogen Cycle, or water changes?
I ask because Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate are chemical compounds, not bacteria.
yes this was my bad i wrote this originally for an armature
so i did not differentiate between them being bacteria and chemical
but this make no odds to the guide's result's
THERE ARE NO LINKS TO EXPERIENCE my friend
i have run a 180 Gallon
for over 10 years using no chemicals or water cycles
yet they stayed on avrg at
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
the very highest i ever saw was
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 7.0
if there is a bit of the info in specific you require i will find a link with the info
i Learnt from my dad who was one of the UK'S MOST Prestigious MOLLY AND LOACH BREEDER'S
matyotto - since it seems your serious, let us help you with a better understanding.
Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are not bacteria. They are chemical compounds in solution.
Nitrosomonas bacteria oxidize ammonia, converting it to nitrite. Nitrobacter bacteria oxidize nitrite, converting it to nitrates. Nitrates are typically removed by partial water changes. If a nitrate filter/reactor is in use, anaerobic bacteria would process nitrates and release nitrogen gas completing the N2 process.
A partial water change is not called a 'cycle'. In aquarium language, the term 'cycle' refers to the above nitrogen cycle.
Snail poo promotes 'infusia', not influenza or the FLU !
Plants (if there are enough) can prevent nitrates because they will use the ammonia, stealing it from the beneficial bacteria that would ultimately convert it to nitrates. Plants will also use nitrates (as fertilizer) when available.
Although some water flow is important, fast water flow through filters does not promote or stimulate the beneficial bacteria colony. There is more beneficial bacteria in most substrates than many filters.
Although nitrosomonas and nitrobacter are aerobic beneficial bacteria that require oxygen, more O2 in the water using air stones or bubble bars does not prevent nitrates.
With the possible exception of significant algae growth and/or the healthy effect on plant growth, aquarium lighting (wattage or duration) will not reduce nitrates.
Since your water changes are few and far between but your nitrates are low (and assuming accurate testing) we would need to conclude that either you have enough plants so that nitrates or not created or you have a substrate that supports anaerobic bacteria. Your other conclusions, however, are incorrect.
I hope this gives you a greater understanding.
this is a guide wrote for those who need help with nitrates
anyone who would be able to understand what you wrote and not copy and paste would know that what i have put it true
it is a documented fact that extra light strength and extra air will help to kill nitrates
it is also a FACT that most filter with a higher flow rate also have a larger media area meaning there is more bacteria to kill the harmful Ammonia and Nitrite's
in fact the only thing that is wrong in the post is me saying that Ammonia Nitrites AND Nitrates where bacteria this was kind of a mistake i put this to cause less confusion when answering a specific post where the user had a very poor understanding of water chemistry
i had meant to change this when i added it
now yes i agree about the substrate i use aquatic peat which will help but i wouldn't add this as this is done only for PH control
also i have kept many tanks this way
some with out plants
some with plants
some with aquatic peat and some with out
as long as you get the setup right and environment will follow to some extent which is what most keepers rely on
how ever getting the environment right it's self is a hard task
if what you say is so true why have i always kept to these rules in many situations and never had a problem
and i spelt infusia very wrong indeed as it was off memory and i have a disability limiting my spelling
also look at my stocking levels i am counted by most as over stocked before taking into account my equipment capability's
Your tank is planted and as such it is the plants which are helping to remove and keep your nitrates low.
Not the oxygen you are putting in your tank, all the bubbles are doing is removing Carbon Dioxide and adding oxygen back.
With plants in your tank then it is quite possible that given your small fish then you may never have high nitrates and thus not need to perform as many water changes.
Water changes do benefit tanks by removing dissolved organics one cannot see as "floating", use the example of, would you still use bath water after another person had used it, covered in mud after playing say rugby (like football in the US/ Canada).,,chances are you would not.
Fish need water changes to give them an environment more beneficial to their heath, unlike us they breath and poop / pee in the water adding toxins harmful to them..not just ammonia but other items as well.
Not to mention when you add fresh water you are also adding nutrients for your plants, theres a difference between a tank that survives and a tank that thrives, I believe fish and plants benefit greatly from a routine water change.
"Waits for Byron to comment"
LOL.... yes the guru will sort all this out!
By the way, this forum should be used for everyone to help each other out, not sure getting defensive when someone corrects you is beneficial to anyone.
@Abbeysdad I found your reply to be very clear and concise, I believe I am experiencing a similar situation in regard to is my tank cycled/cycling isn't it etc.. but I have a ton of live plants in my tank which are growing really well, so they are probably responsible for the low ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings I get. tank is just over 4 weeks old with 14 small fish doing really well. So something is working in there!
.....still waiting for Byron haha.:-D
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