noJust a few questions about cycling my first 5.5gal tank.
Is it required to do water changes DURING the cycle (Ill be doing a fishless, pure ammonia)
don't use mechanocal filters. so can't advise. sorry.About the filter eventually getting dirty/clogged, the box says buy a new media every month, but from my knowledge that would be pointless, i wonder why they even say that? Anyways, is this same filter media going to last you...forever? And I hear every month you're supposed to swish/rinse it in old tank water. This seems a little vague to me. Do you just swirl it around in a bowl of old tank water? Will that effectively clean it? On the other hand, can you cause too much disturbance on the media by swishing it too hard?
Don't do water changes. Perhaps others can advise.On the same topic, when you gravel-vac for water changes, do you plunge the vac into the substrate to insure you collect all waste, or do you just skim the surface in order to not create disturbance of bacteria on surfaces?
Something for you to consider especially if you haven't started already. I use a little peat moss in the substrate with sand on top. Heavily plant the tank with a mix of fast growing plants (anacharis, vals) and slower growers (crypts, swords). Wait a week. Add a single fish. Wait a week with no food being added. More fully stock up the tank and start feeding a single flake per day. No filters, no circulation no water changes. Ammonia never spikes, nitrItes have minor spikes for a day, nitrate can jump up initially then drops down 3 weeks later.Ive read that you should always keep the ammonia at around 4-5ppm every day during the cycle. In regards to the first stage of the cycle, when the ammonia-eating bacteria are only just developing, doesn't this mean that the ammonia won't start to go down until the first stage starts to complete? Example: If I add in 4ppm ammonia on the first day of my cycle, won't it pretty much stay that way until week+ later when ammonia eating bacteria develop?
What I have found out over the years is that the plants provide the best environment with least amount of "messing around" on my part.
But that's just my .02