Infish cycling (No water changes)

ashmeo

Hi all,

Just wanted to share my experience with what I think was a successful cycling of my new 135 gallon tank with fishes inside.

I followed the steps from a video

Within a week, after adding water conditioner (aqua science) and bacteria liquid (fritz zyme 7), my ammonia and nitrites were 0.

As per video recommendation, I'll be doing water changes when nitrate hits 40ppm.

My tank here

 

Azedenkae

Yeh, Fritz can work super well. Not all the time, but defo know a lot of people who add fish with Fritz from day one.

Has been cases of failures though.
 

mattgirl

I am happy it seems to have worked for you. To be perfectly honest though. Depending on water volume and bio-load it can take more than a week for ammonia to start rising and up to 3 weeks before nitrites to show up. If your tank has only been running for a week I would be sure to continua watching the numbers. Hopefully neither rise. :)
 

ashmeo

I am happy it seems to have worked for you. To be perfectly honest though. Depending on water volume and bio-load it can take more than a week for ammonia to start rising and up to 3 weeks before nitrites to show up. If your tank has only been running for a week I would be sure to continua watching the numbers. Hopefully neither rise. :)
Thanks for the info, I'll take another water test to be sure. It's been about 1 month now :)
 

mattgirl

Thanks for the info, I'll take another water test to be sure. It's been about 1 month now :)
That's good. Your original post led me to think the tank had been running for just a week. I have been reading some good words about Fritz-Zyme turbo start 700. I think this is the first time I have read of someone having good results with Fritz-Zyme 7 so this is good information to share.
 

KingOscar

Wow, your fish certainly get quite the workout in that setup!
 

CindiL

I wouldn’t wait for nitrates to hit 40 to do a water change though. Fresh water is always a good thing. Get in the habit of doing them weekly or bi-weekly depending on your stocking level.
 

ashmeo

That's good. Your original post led me to think the tank had been running for just a week. I have been reading some good words about Fritz-Zyme turbo start 700. I think this is the first time I have read of someone having good results with Fritz-Zyme 7 so this is good information to share.
Yes, i think it does the job. Double dosage for uncycled tank as per instructions.
Wow, your fish certainly get quite the workout in that setup!
Yes, good cardio workout for them :p
I wouldn’t wait for nitrates to hit 40 to do a water change though. Fresh water is always a good thing. Get in the habit of doing them weekly or bi-weekly depending on your stocking level.
How much water would you reckon i change each week for a 135gal? I'm using a water pump from the washroom to the tank, 10m hose. It is not strong enough to bring water to the top tank. I always drain/top up in the bottom sump tank which is quite small.
 

CindiL

How much water would you reckon i change each week for a 135gal? I'm using a water pump from the washroom to the tank, 10m hose. It is not strong enough to bring water to the top tank. I always drain/top up in the bottom sump tank which is quite small.
In a tank that big, to reduce water changes, your best bet is to have nitrate loving plant roots in the water. There are lots of threads on that here on the forum. Pothos is a popular one but many, many plants are semi-aquatic such as spider plants, the different forms of dracaena, ivy, and many others. Emerged plants will use nitrate as their primary food source where immersed will use ammonium. Either will reduce the nitrate load. There is also nitrate reducing media you can add to your filters.

When I Iived in WI I used a pump also to pump water up to my tank and also to my pond as well as the reverse, to do water changes. You just need a pump that states it will pump up 3-4 feet. It was an Ecoplus pump and it was fast but not so fast it splashed everywhere lol.

Amazon.com
So just an idea for you in tank that size.

I can’t tell you how much water to change out as I’ve never had an aquarium that large, and some of it depends on stocking, plants etc. I do think a constant level of nitrates at 40 would take its toll on your fish over time. I’d aim to keep them at 20 personally.
 

ashmeo

In a tank that big, to reduce water changes, your best bet is to have nitrate loving plant roots in the water. There are lots of threads on that here on the forum. Pothos is a popular one but many, many plants are semi-aquatic such as spider plants, the different forms of dracaena, ivy, and many others. Emerged plants will use nitrate as their primary food source where immersed will use ammonium. Either will reduce the nitrate load. There is also nitrate reducing media you can add to your filters.

When I Iived in WI I used a pump also to pump water up to my tank and also to my pond as well as the reverse, to do water changes. You just need a pump that states it will pump up 3-4 feet. It was an Ecoplus pump and it was fast but not so fast it splashed everywhere lol.

Amazon.com
So just an idea for you in tank that size.

I can’t tell you how much water to change out as I’ve never had an aquarium that large, and some of it depends on stocking, plants etc. I do think a constant level of nitrates at 40 would take its toll on your fish over time. I’d aim to keep them at 20 personally.
Thanks for the advice, i traded in my existing pump to the biggest size they had. 1320gal/hour. Now it's strong enough to reach the top of my tank 10m away from the water source. Just did a 20% water change easily, thanks again.

Don't want to go the plant route as there's factors like co2 etc introduced, and my fishes are the nibbling type.

My lfs said that frequent water changes can help with fish growth. Is that true? I thought it was just for a better living condition, the nitrates being the least impactful compared with ammonia and nitrites.
 

mattgirl

My lfs said that frequent water changes can help with fish growth. Is that true?
Fry emit a growth hormone that can inhibit the growth of their siblings so if we are growing out fry frequent water changes are needed for fast growth.
 

ashmeo

Fry emit a growth hormone that can inhibit the growth of their siblings so if we are growing out fry frequent water changes are needed for fast growth.
I see, this is new to me. Will read up more on GIH. I don't think I've any fry in the tank, they'll probably get sucked into the sump.

Feasibility wise, i think the best i can do is once a week. But the amount of water, I'll increase replacement to 50%. Thanks!
 

mattgirl

I see, this is new to me. Will read up more on GIH. I don't think I've any fry in the tank, they'll probably get sucked into the sump.

Feasibility wise, i think the best i can do is once a week. But the amount of water, I'll increase replacement to 50%. Thanks!
Now that you have made water changing easier 50% each week should keep the water fresh and clean. In my humble opinion we can never change out too much water. The cleaner it is the healthier our fish will be.

I have to think the main reason I have never had to deal with any kind of disease in my tanks is the amount of water I change each and every week. I change at least 50% weekly and then once a month I change even more. :)

When I was growing out some bristle nose pleco fry I was changing 50% every day for a while. Exhausting but necessary. Male and female plecos are no longer together in my tanks :D
 

ashmeo

Now that you have made water changing easier 50% each week should keep the water fresh and clean. In my humble opinion we can never change out too much water. The cleaner it is the healthier our fish will be.

I have to think the main reason I have never had to deal with any kind of disease in my tanks is the amount of water I change each and every week. I change at least 50% weekly and then once a month I change even more. :)

When I was growing out some bristle nose pleco fry I was changing 50% every day for a while. Exhausting but necessary. Male and female plecos are no longer together in my tanks :D

I noticed my parrot fishes being more active after the water change too, swimming in groups as if they were playing. Definitely a good motivator for more frequent changes.

My nightmare is that i forget the water conditioner and everything goes goodbye.. Will be putting the bottle in a more prominent location.

I dealt with ich before in my previous smaller tank, my fault for not qt new fish. Painful, tiring and expensive lesson especially since I just started out on the hobby.
 

ashmeo

I am happy it seems to have worked for you. To be perfectly honest though. Depending on water volume and bio-load it can take more than a week for ammonia to start rising and up to 3 weeks before nitrites to show up. If your tank has only been running for a week I would be sure to continua watching the numbers. Hopefully neither rise.
Just did a test using the api test strips

Gh 180
Kh 40
Ph 7.5
Nitrite 0-0.5
Nitrate 30-40

I guess it's time for a water change. But my gh is maxed out. Is that bad?
 

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mattgirl

Just did a test using the api test strips

Gh 180
Kh 40
Ph 7.5
Nitrite 0-0.5
Nitrate 30-40

I guess it's time for a water change. But my gh is maxed out. Is that bad?

The first thing I normally recommend is running all the tests on our tap water. If you've not done so already go ahead and do it. This gives you a base line. I suspect you are going to see close to the same numbers for your GH and KH unless you have decor in the tank that raises them.

In my case I no longer run the tests. I just go ahead and do my weekly water changes. I do run my pH test from time to time. I run crushed coral in my filters to keep my pH up to about 7.2 If it starts dropping I know the CC needs attention. I have very soft water that is very low in minerals so I run CC and also add Equilibrium with each water change.

Knowing the parameters of the water you are using for your water changes gives you a pretty good idea what the parameters of your tank are going to be. In most cases it is best to work with what you have if at all possible instead of trying to change the numbers.
 

CindiL

Just did a test using the api test strips

Gh 180
Kh 40
Ph 7.5
Nitrite 0-0.5
Nitrate 30-40

I guess it's time for a water change. But my gh is maxed out. Is that bad?
No, it just shows you have hard water. Are you adding any GH supplements or like mentioned coral or similar substrate?

I’d recommend the API Master Liquid test kit and their ammonia test also. Cost more initially but very accurate and has hundreds of tests in it.
 

ashmeo

The first thing I normally recommend is running all the tests on our tap water. If you've not done so already go ahead and do it. This gives you a base line. I suspect you are going to see close to the same numbers for your GH and KH unless you have decor in the tank that raises them.

In my case I no longer run the tests. I just go ahead and do my weekly water changes. I do run my pH test from time to time. I run crushed coral in my filters to keep my pH up to about 7.2 If it starts dropping I know the CC needs attention. I have very soft water that is very low in minerals so I run CC and also add Equilibrium with each water change.

Knowing the parameters of the water you are using for your water changes gives you a pretty good idea what the parameters of your tank are going to be. In most cases it is best to work with what you have if at all possible instead of trying to change the numbers.

I only have driftwood which lowers pH, no idea if it affects GH and KH or not. I did the test to confirm if my infish cycling was completed or not. I don't intend to do these test very often as they are expensive here. Would just stick with the weekly water changes too.


No, it just shows you have hard water. Are you adding any GH supplements or like mentioned coral or similar substrate?

I’d recommend the API Master Liquid test kit and their ammonia test also. Cost more initially but very accurate and has hundreds of tests in it.

No, I don't use any GH supplement. Substrate is just black stones like the gravel kind. I'll consider those test kits when I'm finished with my strips.

Thanks again everyone! :)
 

mattgirl

I only have driftwood which lowers pH, no idea if it affects GH and KH or not. I did the test to confirm if my infish cycling was completed or not. I don't intend to do these test very often as they are expensive here. Would just stick with the weekly water changes too.

Thanks again everyone! :)
Driftwood really shouldn't affect your pH level any measurable amount. The thing about test strips is they start to degrade over time. Since they work by dipping them in water, each time you open the container the moisture in the air adds a minuscule amount of it. If you have them you may as well use them instead of saving the for future use. Personally I use an API Master Test Kit. It doesn't come with the tests for gh/kh though. Since we normally just have to run that test to get a base line number the test strips do work well for that reading.

If I were you I would not be concerned about the gh/kh numbers you are seeing. Just be aware that you have fairly hard water. If the kind of fish you have are supposed to do well in hard water then all is good. I keep mostly various tetras and corys. They do well in my very soft water.

Where do you live? Not an address, the country is close enough. :) I know the test kits are more expensive in some places than they are here in the US. I paid about $25.00 for mine a few years ago. As CindiL pointed out you can run hundreds of test with the API liquid test kit. As far as I can tell the liquid tests don't degrade over time.
 

ashmeo

Driftwood really shouldn't affect your pH level any measurable amount. The thing about test strips is they start to degrade over time. Since they work by dipping them in water, each time you open the container the moisture in the air adds a minuscule amount of it. If you have them you may as well use them instead of saving the for future use. Personally I use an API Master Test Kit. It doesn't come with the tests for gh/kh though. Since we normally just have to run that test to get a base line number the test strips do work well for that reading.

If I were you I would not be concerned about the gh/kh numbers you are seeing. Just be aware that you have fairly hard water. If the kind of fish you have are supposed to do well in hard water then all is good. I keep mostly various tetras and corys. They do well in my very soft water.

Where do you live? Not an address, the country is close enough. :) I know the test kits are more expensive in some places than they are here in the US. I paid about $25.00 for mine a few years ago. As CindiL pointed out you can run hundreds of test with the API liquid test kit. As far as I can tell the liquid tests don't degrade over time.
I've never considered the hardness of the water when buying fishes, nor even knew such a parameter existed. I guess as long as it is stable, it should be good enough?

I'm from Singapore! Fishes are cheap here but the accessories are not. Will definitely get the liquid one.
 

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