My 55 Gallon Journey - Page 3

BettyD

I forget how much a test of patience cycling is. I've been keeping logs of my progress so far and it's been (and going to be) slow. Even with including pre-cycled media and adding to it with some of the off the shelf "cycle in a bottle" type products, I've still yet to see a result. But that's ok! I know this all takes time and will be worth it in the end!

Following along LOL....also have a 55 gal am doing fishless cycle with....I on Day 21, how about you? Ammonia is zero every day after dosing so I am through the first cycle but long wait for the nitrites to drop.....so spending the time contemplating what fish to put in once we get cycled!
 

Gersh

Following along LOL....also have a 55 gal am doing fishless cycle with....I on Day 21, how about you? Ammonia is zero every day after dosing so I am through the first cycle but long wait for the nitrites to drop.....so spending the time contemplating what fish to put in once we get cycled!

If I counted right I'm at about 11 days in. I'm still chilling at an easy 4ppm of ammonia with 0 nitrites. It's gonna be a while haha.
 

BettyD

well hang in there.....we want to do this right! That's what I keep telling myself. It does take patience though......

I do like your rock formations a lot, they are very nice
 

Gersh

well hang in there.....we want to do this right! That's what I keep telling myself. It does take patience though......

I do like your rock formations a lot, they are very nice

I know! I figured I'd be seeing something at this point, but that's what I get for expecting haha.
Thank you!
 

BettyD

Just FYI, my ammonia first went to zero on Day 13. soooooo maybe you are very close....
 

Gersh

Just FYI, my ammonia first went to zero on Day 13. soooooo maybe you are very close....
Maybe! We'll see in a couple days
 

BettyD

ugh my nitrates just shot up to 80! yikes! but no decline in nitrites yet I hope soon.....
 

86 ssinit

Wow 21 days! Sorry I never waited that long. I’m guessing tap water conditions are a lot different than mine. A trick I would use on a new tank was to buy a few feeder goldfish and throw them into the new tank for awhile. They are very hardy and tank would cycle much faster. Also gravel and filter media from existing tanks helps to. Waste water from water changes helps to.
 

Gersh

Wow 21 days! Sorry I never waited that long. I’m guessing tap water conditions are a lot different than mine. A trick I would use on a new tank was to buy a few feeder goldfish and throw them into the new tank for awhile. They are very hardy and tank would cycle much faster. Also gravel and filter media from existing tanks helps to. Waste water from water changes helps to.

I've semI tried this. I included some media I had extra from a cycled tank to the filter, as well as taken certain parts (decoration and what not) from other tanks and shook them in the water. Might try mixing in waste water.
 

BettyD

I did not have any old media etc. I am ok with my cycle, am willing to wait it out, I want to do fishless. It may take time but it will by good at the end. I kid about no patience, but yes I am willing to wait this out
 

RSababady

I did not have any old media etc. I am ok with my cycle, am willing to wait it out, I want to do fishless. It may take time but it will by good at the end. I kid about no patience, but yes I am willing to wait this out

Good for you .... and all the fish that you host in your ecosystem.
I cycled my 120 gallon tank for three months. It was worthing waiting as the tank is brilliant now - even though I have made some mistakes along the way that I am still fixing!.
 

BettyD

Gersh, how is your cycling going? Day 23 for me, and nitrates are not down to zero yet but they ARE declining! went from 5 to 2 overnight, so some hope..... The only concern is I can't quite get ammonia all the way down to zero, looks more like 0.25 after 24 hours from redosing....although its hard for me sometime to distinguish the difference with the colors on the API test chart.
 

Gersh

Gersh, how is your cycling going? Day 23 for me, and nitrates are not down to zero yet but they ARE declining! went from 5 to 2 overnight, so some hope..... The only concern is I can't quite get ammonia all the way down to zero, looks more like 0.25 after 24 hours from redosing....although its hard for me sometime to distinguish the difference with the colors on the API test chart.

Still at 4ppm last I checked. Decided to give it a day and didn't check yesterday to see what would happen.
 

Gersh

Gersh, how is your cycling going? Day 23 for me, and nitrates are not down to zero yet but they ARE declining! went from 5 to 2 overnight, so some hope..... The only concern is I can't quite get ammonia all the way down to zero, looks more like 0.25 after 24 hours from redosing....although its hard for me sometime to distinguish the difference with the colors on the API test chart.
Just checked and still at 4ppm. And so the march continues
 

BettyD

hang in there!
 

Gersh

Checked again today. Still at 4/0/0.

Hello darkness my old friend.
 

Gersh

Also a question, when would be a good time to add plants? Could I do it now or should I wait for the cycle to finish?
 

Tabascopanda

Also a question, when would be a good time to add plants? Could I do it now or should I wait for the cycle to finish?
You can add plants as long as there is water in the tank. Youll need to add fertalizer more often to compensate for the lack of nitrates being produced yet.. depending on the plants dosing fert till your nitrates are 20-40 ppm will work and give you a steady number to work from to nitice if youare converting nitrite to nitrate. Good luck on the cycling. Patience is key. Cant wait to see how it turns out. I'm stsrting my own 55 gallon soon and am uber jelous of your setup and stand.
 

Gersh

You can add plants as long as there is water in the tank. Youll need to add fertalizer more often to compensate for the lack of nitrates being produced yet.. depending on the plants dosing fert till your nitrates are 20-40 ppm will work and give you a steady number to work from to nitice if youare converting nitrite to nitrate. Good luck on the cycling. Patience is key. Cant wait to see how it turns out. I'm stsrting my own 55 gallon soon and am uber jelous of your setup and stand.

Ok. What is a good source of nitrates? I have flourish (just the basic one) but I don't think it has enough to maintain. Do the plants need nitrate, or can they use the ammonia as a source. If I dose to 20ppm, how will I know when I hit my cycle.

Thank you! I love my stand as well.
 

Tabascopanda

Ive never used flourish but if I understand right it is a bassic fertalizer so it will raise your nitrates but shouldnt raise anything else. As far as knowing when you're cycled, you dose to a certan level with nitrates, the plants will use them over a few days but if you aren't cycled yet you'll see the nitrates drop from your innitial dosing. If you are prossesing nitrates to nitrates then it might not change or it will rise drasticaly. It may still drop but not as much as it had been. Hopefuly that made sence.
 

Gersh

Ive never used flourish but if I understand right it is a bassic fertalizer so it will raise your nitrates but shouldnt raise anything else. As far as knowing when you're cycled, you dose to a certan level with nitrates, the plants will use them over a few days but if you aren't cycled yet you'll see the nitrates drop from your innitial dosing. If you are prossesing nitrates to nitrates then it might not change or it will rise drasticaly. It may still drop but not as much as it had been. Hopefuly that made sence.

I don't think Flourish has enough nigrate to support plants. Do you know anything that does?
 

Gersh

Wow 21 days! Sorry I never waited that long. I’m guessing tap water conditions are a lot different than mine. A trick I would use on a new tank was to buy a few feeder goldfish and throw them into the new tank for awhile. They are very hardy and tank would cycle much faster. Also gravel and filter media from existing tanks helps to. Waste water from water changes helps to.

For this, do I just take the nasty water from the cycled tank and just dump it in? Won't that foul the tank or make it nasty?
 

86 ssinit

If your waste water is foul and nasty there may be another problem. I’m guessing youve vacuumed your tank and that’s why it’s the way it is. Let that water sit till most of the sediment falls to the bottom and than add a few gallons from the top. What I do is just extract top water and add as much as 1/2 of tank into new tank. Do that twice with the filter media and gravel and I’m adding fish end of 2nd week.
 

Gersh

If your waste water is foul and nasty there may be another problem. I’m guessing youve vacuumed your tank and that’s why it’s the way it is. Let that water sit till most of the sediment falls to the bottom and than add a few gallons from the top. What I do is just extract top water and add as much as 1/2 of tank into new tank. Do that twice with the filter media and gravel and I’m adding fish end of 2nd week.

I pretty much always gravel vacuum my 20 gallon. I don't think I'll be able to do that since it's 20 to 55, but I could probably do 10. Could I just not gravel vacuum one week and just suck out 10 gallons?
 

86 ssinit

Yes that’s what I have done in the past. For a hospital tank I would fill a 20gal from my larger tank and add media to a hob filter a plug in heater. Instant tank.
 

Gersh

Anyone ever kept needle leaf java fern? A guy is selling some for pretty chean and wanna know what people think of it. Does it need any extra care?
 

BettyD

I have a couple java fern plants, only about a month or so, but they are doing great (where some other plants are not). I am not a plant expert but they look great so they must be easy. But you need to tie them to a rock or piece of wood
 

RSababady

Anyone ever kept needle leaf java fern?

I have the needle leaf Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) in my 450l tank. It is right at the front of the tank tied to a mangrove root. Its roots are hanging down into the water. It is fabulous and very hardy. Have never had any difficulties with in. All my algae eaters crawl the leaves and keep them clean. Mine has grown quite bush and I have to trim it every three months. It also produces offshoots that float away and need to be re anchored somewhere in the tank. You can see it in the middle of the tank at the forefront in the pic below.

full.jpg
 

Gersh

I have the needle leaf Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) in my 450l tank. It is right at the front of the tank tied to a mangrove root. Its roots are hanging down into the water. It is fabulous and very hardy. Have never had any difficulties with in. All my algae eaters crawl the leaves and keep them clean. Mine has grown quite bush and I have to trim it every three months. It also produces offshoots that float away and need to be re anchored somewhere in the tank. You can see it in the middle of the tank at the forefront in the pic below.

full.jpg
Since I'm still cycling will it be ok to add? I don't have any nitrates.
 

BettyD

All my plants were in my 55 gal tank all the way through the fishless cycle. It did not seem to hurt them but perhaps others have different experience.
 

RSababady

Since I'm still cycling will it be ok to add? I don't have any nitrates.

Let you into a little secret..... I put my plants in my tank first and then I started the cycle. All the plants you see in the picture above survived - no problem. I did loose a few plants though. e.g. Limnophila sessiliflora, hygr.difformis
They melted down due to water conditions. I never replaced them as I have enough growth and variety in the tank as it is.

The cycle was fishless and it lasted 3 months. The tank was cycled after 6 weeks, but since we were going away over Christmas and New Year, we decided to stock once we got back in the New Year and the kids were back at school.
 

Gersh

Let you into a little secret..... I put my plants in my tank first and then I started the cycle. All the plants you see in the picture above survived - no problem. I did loose a few plants though. e.g. Limnophila sessiliflora, hygr.difformis
They melted down due to water conditions. I never replaced them as I have enough growth and variety in the tank as it is.

The cycle was fishless and it lasted 3 months. The tank was cycled after 6 weeks, but since we were going away over Christmas and New Year, we decided to stock once we got back in the New Year and the kids were back at school.

This is the same situation I'm in. We'll be going away so we're holding off on stocking haha. How did you keep you cycle from crashing from lack of ammonia?
 

RSababady

This is the same situation I'm in. We'll be going away so we're holding off on stocking haha. How did you keep you cycle from crashing from lack of ammonia?

When I was away on vacation? I did nothing special. I have an automatic food feeder for my fish, set it to a daily cycle and fed a minimal amount of cheap food I bought at the local pet store. Worked a dream Produced enough waste to maintain the ammonia levels at what ever they should have been.
Must admit though, that this is when I knocked out about a third of my plants inspite of having the lights going on and off automatically. What really effected my tank was the amount of water evaporation over the period - around 30% as the air is dry here in Poland during winter. I think this caused high nitrates and a melt down of some plants. Did a 50% water change when I go back and another 25% within a week. Was back to normal in no time.

This situation convinced me about the benefits of a long cycle with no chemicals - I can't help but think that my AOB bacteria cultivated in a fishless cycle with no chemicals over a long period of time are really strong!
 

Gersh

Still sitting at 4/0. I decided to take the mulm (gunk built up on my sponged and media) from my cycled filter and dump it into the 55 to further seed it. That now puts me at my cycled tank mulm, and a bottle of SeaChem Stability for seeding. Hopefully I'll see some results soo.

I also ordered some needle leaf java fern yesterday. I can't wait for it to get here.

Also, for those looking for a light, I recommend the Vivagrow 24/7. It's only 40ish bucks, works just like the Finnex 24/7, and looks just as good. The company is also super understanding. After a week or two of working fine my IR sensor for the remote just stopped working. I messaged them and they sent me a return form to pay for shipping AND sent me a new light.
 

Gersh

Hey everyone.

Looks like we're on our way! I've got more nitrites than yesterday so we're on our way to a cycle!

I also got some plants in today. I ordered a portion of needle leaf java fern from a guy on r/aquaswap of reddit (great place if you're looking for anything in particular). The great guy I ordered from sent me two portions, as well as some of the hydrocotyle tripartita! Here it is in the setup:
I tied the java fern to the driftwood with some fishing line so that it can dig into it. I'm not sure if I did the hydrocotyle right. I took what looked like rooted areas of the main branch and put them in the sand. Tomorrow, I plan on getting some root tabs in order to make sure they have plenty of nutrients while the tank finishes cycline. Any tips on how to keep these guys alive?
 

Gersh

Hey everyone! It's been a while. I got BIG news though!

First thing, my cycle is done*. The asterix is because it just showed a 0 overall. So technically after tomorrow when I recheck after dosing back to 4ppm will I know for sure.

I also added a bunch of plants! First I got some . This isn't new, but it has gotten much bigger since I first put it in, so that's good! I also added some . This also isn't new, but it underwent some changes. The bundle on the left lost a lot of leaves (assuming to stress from addition), so it was trimmed back. The new plant is some ! This was added to the back right of the tank. I'm waiting for it to start to propagate so I can make a river/jungle in that corner. The only other plant I need now is a ruffle sword. That is hopefully being found by my LFS and she will find it soon.

This is the tank as of today. One way I cleaned it up some was by adding some white poster board behind it to hid the tubes and wires coming in. I also added a SunSun JVP-110 to the left side to bolster flow. It's been great!

Next steps are to find the ruffle leaf sword, and actually complete the cycle. Once the cycle is complete I have another issue. I will be gone from my house most of december for the holidays. While I'm gone, I won't be able to dose ammonia every other day. I don't want to get the actual stocking since I'll be gone and don't anything dying while I'm gone. Should I consider using feeder fish to keep the cycle stable while I'm gone?
 

TexasDomer

Keep fish in the tank that you're going to stock with, or leave something like a dead shrimp (like the kind you eat) to produce ammonia. Don't get fish that you're going to rehome afterwards. Feeder fish can carry disease as well, and you don't want them to infect your tank.

How long will you be gone?
 

Gersh

Keep fish in the tank that you're going to stock with, or leave something like a dead shrimp (like the kind you eat) to produce ammonia. Don't get fish that you're going to rehome afterwards. Feeder fish can carry disease as well, and you don't want them to infect your tank.

How long will you be gone?
If I'm going to do the stocking, which would be the best to start with? Stocking would hopefully be 2 anglefish, 8-10 rummy nose, 8-10 sterbaI cories, snails, and amano shrimp.

If I did shrimp, would it foul the water?

Off an on a couple weeks.
 

TexasDomer

If you did the shrimp, it would likely make the water smelly and cloudy, but a few large water changes should fix it right up.

If you're going to be home at least once a week (or even every other week), then I would go ahead and add the cories. Remind me how much ammonia you've been cycling with?
 

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