Cycle help

  1. A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    Can some one give us noobs a breakdown of cycling , from beginning to end, I'm sure there is a link on here but can't find anyone,,,, thanks
     
  2. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112 Valued Member Member

    Basically, in a tank, you need water, fish, a filter, and heater (heater depends on temp for fish).

    Your water will provide a GH/KH for your PH so it doesnt crash (if you have soft, you can add shells, or crushed coral to increase your KH) along with minerals (iron, potassium, etc etc) some fish need a higher amount of this, thus hard/soft water.

    But, to get to your question, in a nut shell, your fish, food, decaying plants, will create ammonia. Basically, this is just a waste product. Ammonia is very toxic to fish, and many will proclaim fishless cycling is best.

    Ammonia is then broken down by your beneficial bacteria (in your filter bio media, generally a floss, or sponge, but also on your substrate, plants, etc)

    This broken down form is then named Nitrite. This is still very toxic to fish, BUT youre almost there. Your beneficial bacteria will also break Nitrite down, into Nitrate.

    Nitrate is still harmful, but not to the same extent. Nitrate is removed from waterchanges, and plants.

    Basically, to sum this up more, when you start your tank, I highly recommend adding a bacteria (yes they are also in your tap water, BUT not many) TSS Safestart I think is very popular on this forum, along with I think theres a cheaper API product at petsmart/co.

    This will ensure you have the bacteria to cycle your tank.

    If proceding with a fish-in cycle, I highly recommend Seachem's Prime. This will dechlorinate your water, and neutralize ammonia making it harmless. This still allows your bacteria to break it down, yet keep your fish safe.

    If proceeding with a fishless, I suggest a pure ammonia, but decaying food (fish flakes/pellets) work also, but not as fast.

    Basically, once your cycle is done (1 week to 1 month) you should never have to recycle given certain precautions!

    Ask if I missed anything, or if you need more in depth.
     
  3. Calum98

    Calum98 Valued Member Member

    I'm still a beginner aswell but maybe I'll be able to help
    Basically the cycling means the Nitrogen Cycle within your tank
    As waste decomposes it turns into Ammonia, Ammonia is poisonous to fish. But after a couple of weeks Bacteria will start to grow that breaks down the ammonia, and turns it into Nitrites.
    The problem with this, is nitrites are also harmful to fish, but after another couple of weeks a different kind of bacteria establishes itself that breaks down Nitrites and turns in into Nitrates.
    Nitrates are a lot better than Ammomia and Nitrites but it can stress fish out and become toxic at higher levels so it's important to take this out of the water and replacing the water with Conditioned Water. the water you replace must be treated with some.form of TapSafe as the Chlorine in it will kill the bacteria that is converting the Ammonia and Nitrites into nitrates.
    So basically the nitrogen cycle within your tank will be like this:
    Fish waste > Ammonia > Nitrites > Nitrates > Water change.

    After your tank has been running for a while the bacteria should be able to handle the bioload of your fish (The waste the fish produce) and as waste turns to ammomia the bacteria will turn it into nitrites and then the other bacteria will turn the nitrites into nitrates, so after that is happening if you have an API Master Kit (Or similar water testing kit) it should read "Ammonia 0ppi
    Nitrites 0ppi"
    The nitrates will continue to rise but you lower that by changing the water.
    Hope this helps
     


  4. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112 Valued Member Member

    Thanks Calum98 I enjoyed reading that. A second style. =]
     
  5. OP
    OP
    A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    Thanks guys I'm more clear now
     
  6. Calum98

    Calum98 Valued Member Member

    Skyy2112 Anytime :') I thought it might be easier to understand a beginner explaining it :') Andy N kat I'm glad we could help
     
  7. OP
    OP
    A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    I found out what I was doing wrong, I kept cleaning my tank , and was also over cleaning my filter, losing all my good bio, and pretty much starting over , it would get the cloudy stage and I would think man its trashed again but didn't know that was close.to the end of cycle,,,,,,,, I'm getting better readings bow, after research I'm going to get a liquid testing kit other than the dip stick,,, my hardness is is still off charts , my ph, is low , no ammonia and the I think nitrates is a Lil high and zero.nitrites or vice versa , new to this, , so a water changes should help with that, I'm gonna check tap water after gassing out over 24 to see what the ph is, then may need to add some crushed coral ,,,,
     
  8. WeepingShadesOfIndigo

    WeepingShadesOfIndigo Valued Member Member

    When cycling your PH can get a bit wild. Mine went all over the place. If your tap water is a decent PH and your doing fishless and have no fish in there what I did was a quick fix by raising PH with baking soda to keep it above 6 to help the bacteria hoping it would start to read closer to the tap once done with crazy cycling water readings.

    If you do have fish in there or have no KH crushed coral is a great idea and worked great for my KH, it was not reading at all and I got it up with a few handfuls of coral in my filter. Just try to add it more slowly then I did as it raised my PH rather quick when I added several full handfuls. Went up a few colours on the chart in about a day or two. Luckily I had no fish at that point.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    If I add baking soda and raise it slowly with it ever regulate and stay close to where I need it ? I have fish in tank, I placed a bubble wand and have a few plants, [​IMG] can kind of see it in the back ground , it didn't rise ph at all , and been about a month, I do weekly 1/2 tank water changes as someone said it would help and put some chemicals for water change and it said to level.out , but my either nitrates or nitrites went down as they was really high , ph and hardness is what I'm looking at now to get ideal range,,,[​IMG] you can kind of see the plants now ,,,,
     
  10. WeepingShadesOfIndigo

    WeepingShadesOfIndigo Valued Member Member

    I am really unsure about that, hope someone that is good with water chemistry pops up for you. I used baking soda but I used it during a fishless cycle and it never stayed in my water for long. Seemed that I would dose it up then the next day my PH would be back to where it was so I went for corral. Just my experience with it while cycling it did not seem to be stable at all but I had no idea what I was doing, just knew that I wanted my PH above six to cycle.

    If your tap PH is okay you could just do more water changes until your cycle is done perhaps? Again I hope someone with knowledge pops up.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    Thanks , yeah tap.was test straight out of the tap , didn't let it set with bubler in it over night ,, I read that drift wood will lower , but I have no wood in it, just pea gravel, and some river rock , sand stone
     
  12. CindiL

    CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, I answered your other thread and we can figure it out from there I think :)
     
  13. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Valued Member Member

    I have added a filter sponge that was seeded in an already cycled aquarium .... will that reduce the length of time for my tank to cycle? It is only a 5.5 gal FYI)
     
  14. CindiL

    CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes it definitely will, but you should probably start your own thread :)