Stocking 75 gallon with TSS

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by cwb141, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    I'm looking at a couple different ways of starting my 75 gallon tank. My main idea is to let the tank run for a month (maybe longer) with only plants, emperor 400 filter, and a CO2 system. After that I would add a canister filter and use TSS (Tetra SafeStart) with the 17 tetras (10 rummy, 7 cardinal) from my 29 gallon tank.

    Question 1: Is doing this reasonable? I think it is because the tank will be set up for at least a month and the 17 tetras seem like they would be within the range for TSS to work efficiently in a 75 gallon tank.

    Question 2: How long should the canister filter be running before using TSS? I'm not sure if I am able to add the fish and TSS on the same day as setting the filter up. I don't plan to, probably a couple of days after running the filter.

    Question 3: Will adding TSS after the tank has been setup for at least a month affect the cycling ability of TSS? I'm worried that adding TSS later in life cycle of the tank may cause it to compete with bacteria that is already established from plant decay and possibly have a negative outcome.

    Thanks for any suggestions you have.

  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    If you have a whole month, why not do a fishless cycle during that time?

    TSS is good, but not fool-proof. Seems safer for the fish to do fishless.

  3. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    I could do that with decaying plant matter and also using gravel from established tank, fish food, raw shrimp, and excess filter media. I'm worried about adding too much of a bioload with 17 tetras though. I would have the tetras at first and then add a couple juvenile rainbows every week until I reached my goal of 10+ rainbows. Eventually I would switch the cardinals for rasboras. Also plan to add shrimp, but I'm not worried about their bioload on a 75 gallon.

  4. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    not sure why you are running it for a month still will be a new tank? but the tetras and the proper amount of tss could work..just remember tetras are more sensitive...

    Yes you can add tss, your fish, and filter all new in the same day..thats the purpose of tss....the only thing you would wait is when adding your water conditioner ..wait 24 hours after adding that then add your tss and fish

    still not sure how you are getting a cycle process with an empty tank? plants will decay yes but not enough to ensure a good cycle arent going to have enough established bacteria without an ammonia source, to worry about takes awhile for plants to decay ...

    Thanks for any suggestions you have.[/QUOTE]
  5. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    some tetras need a really well-established tank to go into.

    what if you do the stuff you've mentioned, and then when you add fish, add the TSS too - maybe that would give your (hopefully) cycled tank a boost? I know the TSS bottle mentions using it to start a new tank or when you add new fish...

    Then on your questions in the first post:
    1) i think it sounds fine
    2) I think you should add the canister now so that it can start seeding with bacteria - the filter is where almost all of the colony lives.
    3) I think Tss is supposed to be the same bacteria as what should be in your tank. There shouldn't be any competition. since you'll already have a smattering of a colony in there, it should just boost the existing colony.

    (I assume you're goiung to put a raw shrimp in there? I'd do that or the ammonia, but not the fish food. I've read it's messy)
  6. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I'm with Meenu. I don't think you will have any problems with it. I also think you should add the canister filter straight away. Remember that if you have lots of plants & they are well established before you add fish, they will use most of the ammonia before it ever has a chance to seed a bacteria colony in your filter. I don't think you need to worry about the TSS at all if you have the plants established & growing well. I do all my planted tanks by getting the plants established and growing for 4-6 weeks with the permanant filter attached. I add my otos & SAE's straight away if I'm going to use them as cleaners. After the 4-6 weeks i add my first batch of fish, usually 8-20 depending on what fish it is. I've hardly ever had any ammonia readings in any of my planted tanks. If you want to use the TSS I don't think it will do any harm though or you could just use some of the media from your 29g to get things started that way instead. The bacteria might actually die off though if your plants are using all of the ammonia before it has a chance to feed the bacteria.
  7. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    By empty tank I'm guessing you mean w/o fish. I agree with you when you say I will have a hard time cycling it, this is why I want to use TSS when I add the fish. I want to have the plants growing for a month just to get the tank started. I'd rather not tweak with it too much once I add the fish and I think adding them earlier in the project might cause too much stress. The rummy tetras I have actually seem to be pretty hardy. I had a bout of ICK a couple months ago, some problems with mini cycles, and changing decoration in my tank. None of the rummies showed any signs of stress (color changes, not eating, going to surface, finrot, etc.) while I lost 3 cardinals during the same time span. I'm more worried about the safety of the cardinals than I am about the rummies.

    I didn't mention this in the original post, my bad, but I haven't started the 75 gallon yet. I'm trying to gather as much info as possible before I do. I think I could start it now, but I'm not in a big hurry which is good for me and my future tank.

    ???Anyway, I'm a little confused by the advice from you and Shawnie. She says to add the extra filter, TSS, and fish all at the same time (which is what I plan to do and am inquiring about). If I have the emperor 400 setup for a month+ then add those 3 things will this be fine?

    Raw Shrimp: What type of rs is best to use?
  8. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    Confused again... Shawnie's post says the plants won't decay enough within the first month to produce enough ammonia for a proper cycle to start, then IMO adding 17 tetras could overload the existing bacteria and cause some problems. From what I grasp on the subject I think the plants use the nitrogen after the bacteria has converted it from ammonia, to nitrites, and finally to nitrates. Nitrates being where the nitrogen the plants use comes from. I haven't heard of plants sucking up nitrogen directly from ammonia.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  9. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Shawnie is correct when she says that the plants won't decay enough in the first month to start the cycle properly. Whatever ammonia is produced by decaying plant matter will be taken up by the plants very quickly & may not get as far as the filter at all.

    Plants use ammonia, nitrite & nitrate as a source of nitrogen with ammonia being prefered by plants as thier nitrogen source. Here's a link to help explain it:  
    With the bacteria dying off, I'm talking about if you were to seed the new filter with media from your 29g tank. The established bacteria may well starve for ammonia because the plants are using all the ammonia up before the bacteria get the chance to feed off it.

    There's lots of info out there on plants & thier effect on cycling a new tank. A google search will reveal tons of info about it.

    As far as the filters go I just don't see the point in running one filter when the intention is to replace it anyway. If any cycling does take place within the filter, any beneficial bacteria will be lost when the new filter is installed. Unless you take the media from the old filter & install it into the new one. In which case I would say it is just unnecessary fiddling about.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    You are planning on the emp 400 along with a canister, right? It's fine to add it with the TSS and fish, I just don't see any benefit in that. If you have it, you may as well hook it up and let begin to cycle.

    I'll also say in a heartbeat to trust anything nutter or shawnie tell you over me. My knowledge is almost all intellectual (being on disability for 6 weeks with nothing to do but FL, I learned a lot), but you can't beat the years of practical experience they have. :;nw
  11. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    Ah... I see. I guess what I was thinking is that in a tank that shows no ammonia or nitrites the plants use nitrogen from the nitrates. This is somewhat true, but I understood it for the wrong reasons. According to other sites as well, plants do prefer ammonia when it is present, but will use nitrates if neither ammonia nor nitrites are present. This means that traces of these two will be 0 because of the plants sucking up nitrogen from them, which would result in higher nitrate levels (possibly). Or, if plants and an established bacteria colony eliminate traces of ammonia (through plant uptake and bio-filtration) then plants will use nitrates. Basically, ammonia is like a ice cream, nitrites like pizza, and nitrates like vegetables (according to a 1st grader).

    I don't plan on replacing it, just adding another filter so that there are 2. The emperor 400s are rated for 80 gallons, I think, but I'd rather have more than enough filtration than just enough.

    I'm wondering now if having a bio-filter is necessary in a heavily planted tank. I'll still have one/two, but it seems like the plants might actually out-compete bacteria for ammonia, which means less nitrites (and thus those bacteria as well). Interesting... I hope adding TSS, which apparently stores the ammonia 'eating' bacteria in ammonia, and fish will provide enough excess waste for the bacteria to survive as well. I want a HEAVILY planted tank so I'll have to watch that.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  12. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    nutter, that is an interesting link, thanks for sharing it.

    cwb, in case I didn't already mention it, I am really impressed with all the research you are doing :)
  13. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Two filters is fine then but I'm still with Meenu on this. Hook them both up. I don't see any benefit to having one running & then adding the other later in the piece.

    It is good to see you doing your research first to. Many people start to do thier research after they have the livestock & everything set up. It's nice to see someone that wants to make sure they don't make the mistakes in the first place rather than try to get information on how to correct thier mistakes.
  14. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    Well, I would set it up as soon as I got it, but my fish account is low on funds with most of that going towards lights and substrate in the next month. A canister filter is going to cost around $150+ unless I find a good deal on craigslist or ebay. I plan on hooking it up as soon as I get it, I just don't see myself getting one until later.
  15. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Ah ha! That makes more sense then. Sorry I misunderstood. I can relate to the aquarium account being low. My tanks have cost me more than I care to contemplate.
  16. cwb141Valued MemberMember

    How do you like your rummy noses?
  17. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    They are a great little fish. Always charging around weaving in & out of the vallis leaves or playing in the current from the filter outlet. They have a tendency to nip at each other occasionally but they never do any real damage. Good colorful fish that is fairly hardy with plenty of personality. They are always the first to get to the surface & 'beg' for food when I open the lids up. I'm thinking of doing a big shoal of them in planted tank. Maybe 40 or so of them I think will look spectacular in my next planted project.

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