Instant cycle info

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by DanB80TTS, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Just need a bit of info from somebody that has successfully instant cycled a new tank.

    I've had my Fluval spec 5 running for about a week without the biomax, it's just been running with substrate only. I have had the biomax that came with the tank running in an AC50 for maybe 2 weeks.

    Well yesterday my second pack of biomax for the spec came, I'll be using 2 biomax packets instead of the carbon. I put in the new biomax and the one I've had running in the filter for a while. I have not tested the spec since setting it up until today. When I added in the biomax yesterday I also threw in some fish food flakes.

    Sunday means tank maintenance, so testing all my tanks, I tested my spec and I got these readings.
    Ammonia - 2-4ppm
    Nitrite - 5ppm
    Nitrate - 5-10ppm

    I was pretty suprised that I had nitrate readings, based on the step I've taken setting up this tank, would it be ok to assume that have been successful in a somewhat instant cycle?
    The tank will be getting just shy of a 100% water change today and I will be adding in my cholla wood and maybe some Java moss or subwassertang and maybe some other clippings depending on what gets trimmed today.

    Just to add I am no longer a begginer in the hobby, I know what I'm doing, when to add stock, the nitrogen cycle etc. but I would like a some direction in where it/I should go next, if it is possible that it is almost instant cycled and how you did an instant cycle on a new tank.

    I know I have bacteria of each colony since I have nitrates, I'm wondering if my tank was cycling already but I didn't ever add an ammonia source, I used silicone to modify the tank a bit but it was not an ammonia based silicone and it was aquarium safe also and I let it sure for 2 days. My water change is to remove the high levels of ammonia and nitrite, I stil have the flakes sitting on the substrate so there should still be a small ammonia source for bacteria.
  2. TolakWell Known MemberMember

    I do it so often I did up a little article;  
  3. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't call your readings an instant cycle, I wouldn't even call it mid-cycle because of the ammonia readings. You appear to have the beginnings of some of the bacteria colonies from the bio-max you ran in your ac50 but what is your ammonia source? The flakes from yesterday I don't think would've created that much ammonia.

    Have you tested your tap water parameters?

    Are you using a bacterial source like TSS+ in addition to the seeded bio-max?
  4. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    That is exactly what I thought.

    If you had an instant cycle, you would have had a measurable amount of ammonia, that dropped to 0ppm within 24 hours. And some kind of reading for nitrate. Sometimes when using cycled media, you won't get a nitrite reading.

    Did you start dosing ammonia when you set the tank up?
  5. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    No tetra safe safe start used.
    My tap gives out less that 0.25 ammonia and no nitrite or nitrate.
    I also didn't think the flakes could produce that much ammonia, I did nothing to the tank, I set it up and just let the filter run, if you are familiar with the Fluval spec it was running with just the sponge and carbon, I did not add anything except water, substrate and prime, then just left ur running whilst I waited to get my second biomax packet in the mail.

    I have the tank refilling after emptying almost all of the water. I know it's not entirely cycled by any means, but I'm wondering if what I did has put me any closer than a from scratch cycle, I've only ever really done cycles from scratch. I am in no rush to add stock, but am kind of exploring a new cycle technique.

    This will be a cherry shrimp tank and I'm fully aware of the needs for neocaridina species so I won't be rushing to hurt any livestock.
  6. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Then if the flakes and tap are the only ammonia you've added, then that's where it came from. I guess in a small tank a little food goes a long way.

    I'd just let it sit until you have 0ppm ammonia and nitrite.

    What is the stock in the tank the bio max came out of? I'm guessing if it was a AC 50, it's a smaller tank. You may not have gotten that much bacteria from it.
  7. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    The AC50 is on a 29g, that has a dwarf gourami, BN plec, 7 tetras, hundreds of snails and a few shrimp. The full info on 3 of the other tanks is all in my profile.
  8. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    This is my thought. The brand new bio max didn't get enough bacteria from your AC 50. I'm sure it got some, just not enough. One thing you can try, and this is what I do when I set up a new tank, is trade some of the established media for the new media. Having a canister running on that tank might mean that the AC 50 is just not holding that much bacteria. But who knows?

    If you want to speed things up in the new tank, trade the bio max from the AC with the bio max from the Spec 5. Since your 29 has been running for a few months, and is lightly stocked and planted, trading one media bag of bio max for another should not cause any problems. Keep an eye on the 29's water though too. Having some Seachem Stability can help when doing this as well.
  9. Et tuValued MemberMember

    Yes, it could be helping to seed things up. Do you not want to use liquid ammonia? I have used raw shrimp in a mesh bag to supply ammonia. The shrimp start to decay within hours, and give a steady supply of ammonia for about a week or so. I feel that it is not as iffy as fish flakes.
  10. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    Just tested the water today.
    the ammonia is at 0.5ppm
    nitrite somewhere between 0-1.0ppm
    did not test nitrate, but I think that shows that a little bit of flake food goes a long way, I will just leave it as is, obviously the bacteria is there and a food source is available so they will continue to multiply.
    So not an instant cycle, but kind of an in between. Should deffinatley be way faster than a fresh cycle, not bad for only 2 weeks of seeding for the media.
  11. DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    So I did go ahead and crammed all the media into the spec, a tight fit.
    I'm still showing nitrites in the 0.5ppm range, I find that kind if crazy. I am guessing since my canister is packed with biomedia on the 29g that it must be housing most if the BB.

    Dont have a measurable amount of nitrates on the spec but I did do a full water change 2 days ago, I haven't added any other ammonia source since the original flakes, so either they have been creating ammonia all this time, or the cholla wood is providing ammonia source as it slowly breaks down, but I thought that would be unlikely.

    Ive added Java fern, Java moss and some hornwort now too, the tank is looking really nice. I'm questioning how effective the filter is though.

    All in all it looks like I'm going through a full cycle, despite my efforts to speed it up.
  12. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    Die off and detritus from the biomax out of the 29g probably caused more ammonia than anything. The BB left on the biomax is working on that ammonia and multiplying, but your source (flakes) is hard to be consistent with. Good Luck