Have to share this story (long-ish)

TFrost

HI everyone,
I need to share this story with you all.
3 years ago I purchased a 40 gallon rectangle aquarium, and transferred my 36g bow front stock over once it was semi-cycled. Some drift wood and some real plants. Don’t remember which ones tho. It was stocked with 2 angels, 2 Dalmatian mollies and some fancy guppies. 3 or 4, can’t remember. Everything went well and I shut down the bow front. Not enough time to take care of two tanks. I added 6 yo yo loaches after I encountered a snail infestation as well. About 7-8 MONTHS AGO I got lazy. Some fish died(don’t know why), and I pretty much gave up after that. The only fish left alive were the 6 loaches. Personal issues were more important at the time. I unplugged the filter and heaters and light but left the air stone going.(why, I don’t know).
2 weeks ago it happened, I decided to get it back up to standards. At this point there is about 20 gallon of old stinky water in it. Plants were all dead and virtually gone. I pulled the drift wood out, straight to the garbage. To my amazement there’s 3 loaches swimming around. AFTER 8 MONTHS OF STAGNANT WATER AND POOR CONDITIONS, THEY WERE STILL ALIVE!!!
I dismantled the HOB filter with bio wheeles, cleaned it and replace the carbon filters inside. I scrubbed the inside of the tank with a sponge cause the glass was gross. The whole tank was gross to be honest. Filled it and got the filter going(with some TLC). Once it was filled I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% or so water change. Dosed with Nutrafin aqua+ water conditioned and Nutrafin cycle to get it going. Loaches look good, swimming around and getting used to the new conditions. I was doing water changes every day (about 30% each time) and adding the proper water conditioner and cycle starter. Testing the water daily.
At this point: (after only 2 weeks)
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0.3-0.8
Nitrates ?
Ph ~7.5-8
Cycled in 2 weeks??? I’m kinda shocked
 

JustAFishServant

Great story!! And yes, a tank *can* cycle in only 2 weeks! If you add the proper beneficial bacterial supplements (like TSS, TSS+, Fluval Bio Enhancer...that kinda jazz), you'll get it going in no time!! And trust me, I've gotten lazy in the hobby at one point or another...NOT GOOD. If you're done at the moment, get rid of everything (or keep it in storage), rehome the fish, and wait until you're ready. Goodness knows a person that's not committed (even if it's just temporary) will likely not want to take care of pets. Good luck with your new tank!!
 
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PascalKrypt

Your tank never lost its cycle. In well established tanks , contrary to belief, a significant portion of the cycle is maintained in the tank itself, on the substrate and the plants and the tank walls and driftwood, etc.
So when you shut off your filter, you did not lose the cycle, only a portion of it. The decomposing plants deteriorated the water quality slowly, giving some of the hardier loaches a chance to adapt.
If you had not done a deep cleaning (which removed a large part of that cycle) you may have been even more surprised to find your tank was still fully cycled. But some part of the cycle still remained and quickly repopulated your new filter, hence it cycled that quickly.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Your tank never lost its cycle. In well established tanks , contrary to belief, a significant portion of the cycle is maintained in the tank itself, on the substrate and the plants and the tank walls and driftwood, etc.
So when you shut off your filter, you did not lose the cycle, only a portion of it. The decomposing plants deteriorated the water quality slowly, giving some of the hardier loaches a chance to adapt.
If you had not done a deep cleaning (which removed a large part of that cycle) you may have been even more surprised to find your tank was still fully cycled. But some part of the cycle still remained and quickly repopulated your new filter, hence it cycled that quickly.
I agree. All it would have taken to get this tank back up to speed is replacing the evaporated water and putting a filter on it. Changing water slowly over time while vacuuming the substrate would have cleaned it up and got it back up to speed. As long as it was done over time the fish would have slowly gotten used to cleaner water so no harm would have come to them.

The bacteria in our tanks is some pretty strong stuff and most of the time is diffucult to kill off.. As long as the bacteria in our tanks has water and food it will survive.
 
Upvote 0

Cichlidude

Your tank never lost its cycle. In well established tanks , contrary to belief, a significant portion of the cycle is maintained in the tank itself, on the substrate and the plants and the tank walls and driftwood, etc.
So when you shut off your filter, you did not lose the cycle, only a portion of it. The decomposing plants deteriorated the water quality slowly, giving some of the hardier loaches a chance to adapt.
If you had not done a deep cleaning (which removed a large part of that cycle) you may have been even more surprised to find your tank was still fully cycled. But some part of the cycle still remained and quickly repopulated your new filter, hence it cycled that quickly.
mattgirl hummm.... sounds familiar...
 
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