Done with cycling, I think :)

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by New fish lover, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. New fish loverNew MemberMember


    I think my tank is done cycling :)

    If so, I have some questions (always have :))

    1. Should I continue to use Prime every water change or I can just use the regular tap water dechlorinator. Right now I have the Top Fin Tap Water dechlorinator.
    2. How often should I do a partial water change?
    3. How much water should I change?
    4. I haven't changed my filter ( cartridge?) yet. I have the Penguin Bio Wheel 200 and is using cartridge C. It says in the box that I have to change this every 2 to 4 weeks.
    5. Can I change/add new artificial decorations?

    Sorry I have so many questions.
    I know that I always get some responses from this site.

    Everyone has been very responsive and helpful.

    Thank you so much!

    Attached Files:

  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    My responses are in blue :)
  3. ppate1977Well Known MemberMember

    Meenu covered everything. Just so you know I still use prime even with a cycled tank.
  4. New fish loverNew MemberMember

    Hi Meenu,

    You are so wonderful!

    Just wanted to clarify on my question # 4.
    When you say cut a slit on the top and throw the carbon, does it mean that I don't have to replace it with a new one right? So basically, just throw away what's inside then put the same cartridge back.

  5. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks. :) I am always happy to help.
    Yes, that is right. If you throw it away, you basically throw away all the work you did cycling the tank. You only replace the cartridge when it is falling apart, which can be years. To clean it when it gets gunky, you want to rinse in discarded tank water (never tap, as chlorine will kill the bacteria).

    If you want to still use carbon, there are ways - just let me know and I'll tell you how.
    And I think the 200 allows you to put in a second cartridge. You may want to do that.
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    She means cut a slit out of the top and dump out the carbon so that you don't have to throw the bacteria away just because the carbon needs to be changed.

    Since you have a biowheel, you do not need to worry about losing your cycle when changing the cartridge. However, I would use two cartridges at a time if I were you. The one in front (back of the filter) should be regular, and the one the water will pass through second should be cut and emptied as meenu suggested. You can toss the one with carbon everymonth, and replace the carbonless one every few months. You;ll have to repleace it because the integrity of the cart. media begins to break down after a few months.
  7. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Jaysee's idea is better than mine. *cough* ...again
  8. MindTravel3rValued MemberMember

    I agree with the weekly water changes, but I think that quantity is variable of your bio-load. A lightly stocked tank that is producing nitrates slowly probably only needs a 10% to 15%; a moderate to fully stocked tank will need 25% to 30%; a heavily stocked to overstocked tank will need 50% to 60%

    I also agree that you shouldn't change your filter media until it is falling apart and unusable. At that point, I would leave the unusable filter inside the tanks for several weeks as you establish a new filter media. I wouldn't use carbon unless you have a specific need such as removing medication, cleaning discolored water, etc...

    Best of luck...
  9. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Do you mind if I ask why? I don't use carbon, but many people do. I've just never seen anyone specifically recommend against using it.
  10. MindTravel3rValued MemberMember

    I suppose it's a matter of opinion. I did not mean to imply that using carbon on a regular basis would cause harm -- it will not. However, leaving the carbon in the filter too long (more than four or five weeks) can release the toxins back into the tank. It's an additional maintenance task, and has an ongoing maintenance cost associated with it. So in my opinion, if your water is clear, your water parameters are good, and your doing weekly water changes it's not necessary.

    Sorry, if I created any confusion.
  11. New fish loverNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for all the advise.
    I think using two cartridges at a time is a great idea. I will definitely do that :)

    Btw, I have one more question...

    Now that my tank is fully cycled, how often should I test the water and which test should I check? (ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate or all of them?)

    Thanks again!
  12. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I would say before each weekly water change. And a random test here and there if you want to would be okay too.
  13. New fish loverNew MemberMember

    Thanks Meenu!