Any Way To Start Tank Again?

Kalyke
  • #1
I have had a cycled tank for about 5 years now, and I just realized that maybe I am not so cycled after all. The tank in question is a 75, fully stocked.

I thought I was okay, a while ago, but now, I think maybe I don't understand what I am doing at all! I had an eye-opening experience while trying to cycle another tank using the filter seeding method. Now I am wondering if the materials I moved actually did not have any BBs in it at all. I have been using an ammonia detoxifier, thinking perhaps that it is a chlorine/chloramine neutralizer.

I can read, I just think that there was some sort of cognitive dissonance involved. So, do you think what I have been doing is creating a "fake cycle" using a product that detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, as well as removing the chlorine/chloramine?

Is there a safe way to begin using only a tap water conditioner to remove chlorine/chloramine? Would this mean needing to do the cycle all over at the risk of killing off my fish/fishtank?

I really want to do this. I have started to add some bacteria to the aquarium, but I wonder if I am just killing it off as I add it? If this is too dangerous at this time, I will continue using the all in one detoxifier until I have another BIG tank available.

Does anyone have any advice for this born-again beginner who wants to put things right?

edited to show:
I found this link on your fourum. Prime vs Amquel +
The product I have been using is AmQuel Plus. I have been using it for about 5 years. This thread says that amquel does not kill beneficial bacteria. This is also what it says on the back of the package.
 
skar
  • #2
What are you using to detox ammonia etc ..?
What are you stocked with in your tank ?
What are your readings ? Ammonia nitrate nitrite ?
What water conditioner are you using and water changes you're doing ?
 
Goldiemom
  • #3
Do you test with an API test kit? That’s the only sure way to know if you are cycled. Also, switch to Seachem Prime to dechlorinate and detoxify ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Get the test kit if you don’t have one. It’s an absolute must. If you do have one, what are your parameters?
 
Lh 90 gallon
  • #4
what are all your levels?
buy Prime. Prime is a water conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours. Stop adding anything else to tank. Check your water ever day/every other day and if ammonia and nitrite stay at zero over the next week or so I would say your tank is cycled. IF ammonia and nitrite increase your tank isn't cycled (I doubt this is the case). If ammonia and/or nitrite increase do water changes to get level to below 1ppm and add enough prime to dose entire tank
 
DownPat
  • #5
If you have had a functioning tank for 5 years, there is a very high probability it is cycled. Prime great like everyone else has said. You are not creating a fake cycle. As far as cycling your new tank, I'm sure whatever you used for your old tank has or had beneficial bacteria on it. You want to treat your water for chlorine 24-48 hours BEFORE you start cycling your new tank, and before you add your old seeding material, then do not treat again because you will be removing the ammonia the BB need to develop. Liquid test kit is great for testing your water
 
A201
  • #6
K
Since your 75 Gal. Has been up and running for several years and assuming your fish have survived; it's a pretty safe bet that the tank has been successfully cycled. I agree that in aquarium water management, simplicity is the best. As suggested, Prime water conditioner along with a 35% - 50% WC each week (thorough gravel vac) should be all you need. Ditch the other chemicals. Water testing kits are a good tool but don't overly depend on them. Closely observe your fish, watch for unusual behaviors. Conduct WC's when the fish appear stressed.
 
DownPat
  • #7
On your old tank just test it, do water changes to keep nitrates low, and on your new tank. Treat the new water, then a couple days later start the cycling process you choose. Remember, cycling the new tank, the BB need ammonia to start developing, whether it be decaying food, fish poop, or an ammonia additive
 
Lh 90 gallon
  • #8
If you have had a functioning tank for 5 years, there is a very high probability it is cycled. Prime great like everyone else has said. You are not creating a fake cycle. As far as cycling your new tank, I'm sure whatever you used for your old tank has or had beneficial bacteria on it. You want to treat your water for chlorine 24-48 hours BEFORE you start cycling your new tank, and before you add your old seeding material, then do not treat again because you will be removing the ammonia the BB need to develop. Liquid test kit is great for testing your water
I believe this is only true if you are adding Tetra Safe Start. If you are cycling with ammonia or doing a fish in cycle you need to add prime with every water change. prime doesn't remove ammonia, only detoxifies. it.
 
DownPat
  • #9
I believe this is only true if you are adding Tetra Safe Start. If you are cycling with ammonia or doing a fish in cycle you need to add prime with every water change. prime doesn't remove ammonia, only detoxifies. it.
Thank you, should have clarified, not treating the water after starting the cycle is only applicable to fishless cycles where you are not changing the water until the cycling is over.
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #10
I agree with the others. If you have had the tank up and running for 5 years, it's most likely cycled no matter what you added to it during water changes. Otherwise you'd have ammonia so out of hand your fish would be dying.

I don't think you need to restart with your current tank, but you're probably going to learn a lot while cycling the new one!
 
mattgirl
  • #11
The beauty of having an already cycled tank is the fact that one never has to go through a long drawn out cycling process again.

Even though you weren't well versed on cycling I feel sure your 75 gallon tank is in fact cycled. I had tanks for years before I joined this forum and read up on cycling. That was back before the internet was available to everyone but I had a booklet that gave me the basics.

I knew that my tank was growing bacteria but I didn't go out of my way to do it. I always had fish in my tanks so always did fish in cycling. They provided the necessary ammonia and I kept up with water changes.

Through all those years I didn't test for anything other than PH. I was aware that PH differences could be detrimental to fish so tested my water and the water the fish came in so I would know how long it would take to acclimate them.

A tank will cycle as long as it has an ammonia source. It has no choice so I am sure yours is cycled. And since that is the case all you need to do is move some of the seeded media from your cycled 75 gallon tank over to the one you want to cycle and if you have moved enough media you should get an instant cycle.

Set the tank up. Add the seeded media and some fish to provide ammonia and that is all there is to it.

I keep 2 dual sponge filters running in my 55 gallon tank for just this purpose. A few months ago I needed to set up a 10 gallon grow out tank for some molly fry. I took one sponge from each of those filters, replaced them with new sponges and put the two seeded sponges in the 10 gallon along with the fry. I actually put 2 dual sponge filters in the 10 gallon so put one new sponge and one seeded sponge on each of those 2 filters. Not once did I register any ammonia or nitrites but started seeing nitrates within a week or so.
 
Kalyke
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Thanks for the answers. The point was that the 75 is cycled. I took half of the mulm/filter medium out of the small filter (a SunSun
HW 402B 4-stage external canister filter 264 gph) and put it into a Marineland Magniflow 360 3-stage external canister filter 360 gph.

By taking the cycled material out of the SunSun and putting it into a much bigger filter, I think I could have caused a crash in the 75, because at the same time, I removed all of the gravel. The saving grace is that it is really full of plants and wood.

I also had the problems with the 20 that I put the SunSun on. One fish died because he got trapped, a few days ago (I posted about this) but yesterday, I thought things were okay, and I tried again and one more died, and I ended up giving mouth to mouth recusitation to another fish and it survived. Something is totally wrong with the 20 with the SunSun.

Good God!
The 75 stocking is:
14 tiny Pangio kuhliI loaches (only one is full grown)
14 Pristella tetras
5 Diamond Tetras
4 Ghost catfish
3 siamese algae eaters (full grown)
2 bleeding heart tetras (planning on getting some more)
2 brunocephalus "banjo catfish"
1 black skirt tetra
1 female betta

And an emergency container of the surviving 2 blood parrots.

The emergency container is squeezing everyone to one side, but I don't want to kill the remaining BPs.

As far as the Prime, I know it is popular, but it kills beneficial bacteria according to the link I gave. I have been using AmQuel Plus. I used a bit of clarity in the 20. I put Fritzyme 7 in both when the problem started and stress zyme.

I put the Fritzyme in after the first blood parrot died from getting caught between rocks (I thought, now not so sure) and after I did I thought it was safe to put the remaining BPs in. One died about 30 minutes later, and I had to give CPR to the other fish as reported above. It was unconscious but gasping, I compressed his torso, and shook him around in the water and made sure he got oxygen and blew in his gills and he lived.
 
YATT
  • #13
Do you have a water softner running in your house? If so, could be sodium issue which isn’t testable with simple kits.
 
mattgirl
  • #14
I checked out the link but I have to disagree with it. I know I have been using Prime for a very long time as have lots of other folks here. It doesn't kill the BB. It is first and foremost a water conditioner but the reason I recommend it over other water conditioners is the fact that it also neutralizes low amounts of ammonia and/or nitrites.
 
Kalyke
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
No water softner. But we do have very hard water. I took a strip test. There is a difference in the alkalinity in the small tank it is 180 the big tank it is 120
nitrate 0
nitrite 0
GH hard
chlorine 0
KH alkalinity small tank 180 the big tank 120
PH about 7.8 alkaline
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #16
What's the stock on the new tank? If possible, I'd keep everything in the big tank until the new one is cycled, especially since something seems to be up with the filter. Might just be too powerful for the tank size.
 
Goldiemom
  • #17
what are all your levels?
buy Prime. Prime is a water conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours. Stop adding anything else to tank. Check your water ever day/every other day and if ammonia and nitrite stay at zero over the next week or so I would say your tank is cycled. IF ammonia and nitrite increase your tank isn't cycled (I doubt this is the case). If ammonia and/or nitrite increase do water changes to get level to below 1ppm and add enough prime to dose entire tank
K
Since your 75 Gal. Has been up and running for several years and assuming your fish have survived; it's a pretty safe bet that the tank has been successfully cycled. I agree that in aquarium water management, simplicity is the best. As suggested, Prime water conditioner along with a 35% - 50% WC each week (thorough gravel vac) should be all you need. Ditch the other chemicals. Water testing kits are a good tool but don't overly depend on them. Closely observe your fish, watch for unusual behaviors. Conduct WC's when the fish appear stressed.
I agree with everything you said except regarding the testing kit. They are an absolute must. Just the other day one of my tanks appeared fine and fish were happy. However, when I checked the parameters my nitrates were well over 80ppm. Without the test kit I would never have known!
 
Kalyke
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
The 75 gallon is still cycled. I can't get the 20 gallon to cycle.
What's the stock on the new tank? If possible, I'd keep everything in the big tank until the new one is cycled, especially since something seems to be up with the filter. Might just be too powerful for the tank size.

There is nothing in the small tank after my fish was killed. They have been in the 75 behind a separate partition. I do not understand the idea of the new filter being too strong. Will you explain that?
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #19
The 75 gallon is still cycled. I can't get the 20 gallon to cycle.


There is nothing in the small tank after my fish was killed. They have been in the 75 behind a separate partition. I do not understand the idea of the new filter being too strong. Will you explain that?

Small fish and certain breeds (like bettas) don't do well with a high-power filter. They can be too weak to swim away from the suction of the filter, or the extra current can sometimes stress them out.
 
Kalyke
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Small fish and certain breeds (like bettas) don't do well with a high-power filter. They can be too weak to swim away from the suction of the filter, or the extra current can sometimes stress them out.

This is a totally different issue I believe. A canister filter uses gravity. The power statement is about how many gallons move through it per hour. The actual "strength" is such that I would not hesitate to bathe a newborn kitten in its flow. It would not really be considered a "High power filter." About bettas: The tank I have 1 female betta in is a 75 gallon tank. She has plenty of places to hide to get away from the filter. I did not mention that I have a nice power head in there too. She sleeps on top of it so it must not bug her. Also, if you don't mind me showing off, wild bettas love strong current depending where they come from. The other fish are tough Amazon type fish who seem okay. They like all kinds of bubbles and splashing water.

The fish in the small tank were blood parrots about 3-4 inches long.
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #21
This is a totally different issue I believe. A canister filter uses gravity. The power statement is about how many gallons move through it per hour. The actual "strength" is such that I would not hesitate to bathe a newborn kitten in its flow. It would not really be considered a "High power filter." About bettas: The tank I have 1 female betta in is a 75 gallon tank. She has plenty of places to hide to get away from the filter. I did not mention that I have a nice power head in there too. She sleeps on top of it so it must not bug her. Also, if you don't mind me showing off, wild bettas love strong current depending where they come from. The other fish are tough Amazon type fish who seem okay. They like all kinds of bubbles and splashing water.

The fish in the small tank were blood parrots about 3-4 inches long.

In a 75 gallon, a betta wouldn't notice the current anyway. I only mentioned that it might be too strong for the fish because you said they got stuck to it before dying. I don't know anything about blood parrots though.
 
Kalyke
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
In a 75 gallon, a betta wouldn't notice the current anyway. I only mentioned that it might be too strong for the fish because you said they got stuck to it before dying. I don't know anything about blood parrots though.

the one that died got stuck between a MopanI branch and a lava rock. He went in as though trying to make a tunnel, but could not reverse. He was nowhere near the filter. They were not "small fish" about 3-4 inches long as babies. As adults they get about 7 inches long.
 

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