Cycling question

kerberos

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I just put together a 29 gallon freshwater tank. I bought this product by Seachem called Stability. I don't know much about it but I started using it. My question is can I use pure ammonia to cycle along with this Stability product?
 

Luniyn

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Yes you can. Stability is along the lines of products like Cycle. It is supposed to add the good bacteria to help make the cycling process faster. Let us know how long it takes you to cycle the tank, I know I'm always interested in if these types of products help. With the products "Cycle" I've seen about a 50-50 split between people that say it helps and people that say it doesn't. If it takes you 2 weeks to cycle your tank then it worked. If it takes 6-8 weeks then you went through the normal cycling time and it didn't help much if at all. Good Luck!
 

COBettaCouple

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We'd love to know how it works out for you too. We used to use Cycle and have had better luck NOT using it, and are considering Zymbac-FW (hope I spelled that right) by Kordon as a near-BioSpira product, but are curious if Stability works as advertised - particularly watch for if it creates mini-cycles, which is what the Cycle did for us.
 
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kerberos

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Thanks for the advice and I'll definitely let you guys know how its coming along. I'm new at this so I hope I don't do it wrong. Oooh and one other question.... If I spend x amount of weeks cycling, and then do a water change right before I get fishies, won't that void the whole cycling process?? I'm sure it doesn't but I just don't see how that works.
 

COBettaCouple

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kerberos said:
Thanks for the advice and I'll definitely let you guys know how its coming along. I'm new at this so I hope I don't do it wrong. Oooh and one other question.... If I spend x amount of weeks cycling, and then do a water change right before I get fishies, won't that void the whole cycling process?? I'm sure it doesn't but I just don't see how that works.
I'm not an expert on the cycle at all, but my guess is that a partial water change doesn't void the cycle because so much of the good bacteria is in the gravel or the filter, etc.
 

Luniyn

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All you need to do is keep adding ammonia at a steady rate (5 drops or so a day) and wait. Follow the instructions on Stability (1 cap full for every 10Gal of water in your tank the first day and then 1 cap full for every 20Gal of water in your tank for 7 days after that) as well. I'm not entirely sure if you are supposed to continue using Stability after that first week or not other then once a month, before adding fish, or during a water change... but the directions just say 7 days. In any event, you do not do any water changes in a fishless cycle UNTIL you reach 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 10-20 nitrate. However, note that because you haven't done any water changes you are more then likely to get somewhere along the lines of 80 nitrate before you are done. This is normal... and also why it is a MUST that you do a 50% water change before adding fish. That water change will only drop the amount of nitrate in your tank, and as long as you don't let your filter dry out, the good bacteria won't die during the process. Just be sure to treat the new water you are adding with at least something like Aquasafe, NovAqua+, or some other chlorine remover. I prefer to use Prime (made by the same people that make Stability) simply due to having ammonia readings right out of my tap water, but that's me. You could also use Amquel+ or several others out there. However, if you add just the straight tap water... that will start the process all over again. As the chlorine will kill most of the good bacteria that you worked so hard to grow.
 

AnnaEA

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kerberos said:
Thanks for the advice and I'll definitely let you guys know how its coming along. I'm new at this so I hope I don't do it wrong. Oooh and one other question.... If I spend x amount of weeks cycling, and then do a water change right before I get fishies, won't that void the whole cycling process?? I'm sure it doesn't but I just don't see how that works.

The bacteria that make your bio-filter -- what you are building during cycling -- don't live in the water. They live primarily on the filter components, plants, gravel, etc, and aren't affected much at all when you change the water.

What accumulates in the water are the chemicals the bacteria feed on and produce -- the ammonia from your fish (or ammonia bottle), the nitrites and the nitrates. Luniyn is spot on about needing to do a water change to cut the nitrates.
 
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kerberos

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ok it's making sense now... So what would you suggest I do if the chlorine in tap water would kill off most of the bacteria? Would it be better to have the water in gallon jugs with the chlorine drops in it already, and then change the water with what's in the jugs? And especially if the fish are already in... would the drops kill the chlorine fast enough?? Sorry I have a million questions, and a lot of wrinkles to iron out. I just want to do it right with minimal deaths....and what about a filter change, how often, and should I change it right before I insert fish?
 

Luniyn

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It's better to ask questions then go at it blindly, besides that's what these boards are for .

All you have to do when adding water to your tank is add the right amount of tap water treatment to your bucket of new water before you put it into the tank. I went to my local hardware store and went to their paint supply section. You can find a cheap 5 Gal bucket there that will be very strong and not break after carrying one or two loads of water. With my 20 Gal tank, 1 bucket is a 25% water change for me, so that's perfect. For you it would be a 17% water change which again will work for your normal water changes, but will require 3 trips for your first water change at the end of your cycle. First things first... turn off power to your tank. I would get everything plugged into a power strip and then you can just flip the switch on the strip. It's important to not have power running... unless you like to be electrocuted then leave everything plugged in ;D. Now go ahead and start to siphon out the water from your tank. You can dump it right into the bucket, that way you know if you remove one bucket worth and replace one bucket worth you will have pretty much the exact same amount of water in your tank when you are done. Once you have removed 50% of the water from your tank, fill the bucket with fresh tap water. Now take your water treatment and put in the required amount. Most of them say use X amount of ml which you can guess at, or go to your local pharmacy and get a medicine dropper that reads out in ml. It's really not that critical as putting a little too much won't really do anything to the water (i.e. I just guess). Put it into the bucket water and stir it around a bit. I use the end of my gravel/water siphon to do that. The tap water will be all ready to go after just a few seconds (yep it works that quickly). Now to get the water back into the tank. I happen to have a tall dresser next to my tank (a table or anything that gets the bucket up to the level or your tank or higher will work), so I lift the bucket to the top of that, and put in my water siphon right into the bucket. Then I take the other end and start up the siphon and let it flow out of the bucket right back into my tank. Then I'm not dumping the water and displacing my gravel or decorations, it's just gently flowing back in. When that's done you start back up the electricity and you are all done.

If you can afford to then you can do without the bucket set up. Then you just add the water treatment right to the tank as you are filling it with new water. I don't mind the extra work with the bucket, but to each his/her own.

As to the filter change, that would depend on the type of filter you have. The mechanical filter will have some of the good bacteria on it, so changing it out on some filters will cause you to lose a lot of the good bacteria which would be bad right before putting in fish. So for the time being I would get the fish in and let the tank get used to them. Meanwhile the tank will be getting more and more bacteria built up so changing out the mechanical filter won't hurt so much. Now as I said it also depends on the type of filter you have. With a bio-wheel you can change out the mechanical filter without worry as the wheel has all of your bacteria your tank needs on it. With a whisper filter, though it has a sponge to help collect bacteria, it's not quite enough without some additional help. Before this post gets any longer with my ramblings, why don't I just let you answer what type of filter do you have and we can go from there.
 

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I personally treat my water with a dechlorinator before adding it to the tank. Once or twice I've added the dechlorinator to the tank and then topped it off with tap water, and that hasn't seemed to hurt anything at all -- I think as long as the dechlorinator is in place first, adding it too the tank and then adding the new water would be fine.

If you're using jugs right now, I would seriously recommend getting yourself a two gallon bucket -- I've found it way easier to use then trying to use water jugs (I've used 1 and 5 gallon jugs).

I clean my filter cartridge once a week, to get rid of the gunk trapped in it --- what I do is take the filter off the tank completely, and hang it over the side of my gallon jug, and fill the gallon jug with tank water. Then I take out the filter cartridge, turn it around and put it in backwards, and let it run for a minute or so -- this cleans the gunk out of it very effectively. Not a trick that would work with all filters though. If I'm in a hurry, I just pull out the filter cartridge, and slosh it back and forth in some of the tank water I've taken out, then put it back.

I put in an entirely new filter cartridge whenever I notice the current one starting to shred and come apart. This seems to be every three-four months. Usually I take part of the old cartridge and put it in the filter behind the new cartridge for a week, so that I don't lose too much of my bio-filter. I take it out at the next water change.

I wouldn't want to switch out to a new filter right before adding fish -- both a complete filter change and adding fish stress the bio-filter, and I'd be reluctant too do both at once.
 
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kerberos

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ok I have an Aqua-tech power filter. Its the 20-40 model. It came with the tank I bought. I'm pretty sure it's just your basic filter, nothing special. Maybe I'll upgrade some day. thanks dude I appreciate your concern.
 

Luniyn

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From what I see, it seems to be a bio-wheel filter without the wheel and under a Walmart brand name. I see that there is a filter pad in there, is there a sponge of any sort? Basically you need something that is semi-permanent in there to hold most of the good bacteria so when you change the mesh filter you don't lose all of your bacteria. If there isn't a sponge then I would suggest something which I think (not sure) will fit your filter (it says it fits the 10-20 but I think your filter is the same frame as the bio150). Even if you do have a sponge already, I would also get this filter so you have 2 sponges which should be more then enough bio filtration. I am using a similar setup with a whisper filter so that I can toss the mesh filter whenever I want and pop in a new one without worrying about losing to much bacteria. Even still, don't change out the filter till after your tank has gotten used to having a few fish in it. If you want to keep using your current filters that's fine too, just cut a piece of the mesh filter out and toss it in with the new filter so it helps add bacteria to the new filter.
 
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kerberos

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that's exactly where I got it lol. yeah there's two layers, the bio-fiber layer, and that never gets replaced, it's almost like a steel brillo pad. Then there's the filter layer. I couldnt find a website for you just this ebay sale... they are my exact filters now. I will try the onces you suggested also.
 

DefFishLover

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kerberos said:
that's exactly where I got it lol. yeah there's two layers, the bio-fiber layer, and that never gets replaced, it's almost like a steel brillo pad. Then there's the filter layer. I couldnt find a website for you just this ebay sale... they are my exact filters now. I will try the onces you suggested also.

Hey dude, I used have that before, It pain my ass and waste money.. It a lot of work replace the filters. I bought 200 dollars called the "Fluval "
 

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