using cycled rain water to help cycle my freshwater tank?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sapphiretigress, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. SapphiretigressNew MemberMember

    Ok, i am sure this is a super wierd question but...i have a plastic tub that i had left out over the winter and forgot about until now, and its full of rainwater and algae. I just tested my freshwater tank which was put together on 3/11/2012 and it is in stage 3, but my nitrite spike will not go down and i've been doing 60% water changes everyday. I am cycling with an axolotl because i didnt know better X_X

    Now I have some wild caught Chinese Mystery Snails (Cipangopaludina chinensis) that i want to breed for my lizards, but they require cycled water also. However, my bf remembered the algae filled water outside, so i tested it, and its 100% cycled! levels are ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, and nitrate = 0!

    There are no bugs in it, live or dead, and no larvae that i can see, just algae and flower detritus. Could I put my wild snails in this water? Could I use this water to help seed my fish tank with nitrite zapping bacteria?---------------------
    Current axie tank parameters:

    Size: 10 gallon tank
    Temp: 65-70 *F
    yesterdays readings: a = 0.0ppm, 2 = 5.0ppm!!!!, 3 = 2.0ppm
    I've had a huge nitrite spike since 4/10/12 and have been doing 40 to 60% water changes nearly every day, and i have only gotten the nitrates to go down, havent even touched the nitrites. should i do 100% change if i cant seed with the rainwater?
    ---------Thanks in advance, A.

  2. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Rainwater is not safe to use as it may contain pesticides and other pollutants.
  3. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum

    First things first, filters are cycled, not the water, so the readings of 0's across the board don't indicate anything.

    Since the 10 is not cycled yet, I would not add anything to the tank that would add to the bioload. Also, I would severely cut back on how much you are feeding the tank. The more you feed, the more waste is produced and the harder it is to keep the levels down. I would only feed a few times a week until the tank has completed the cycle. It's much better for it to be hungry than poisoned. I would continue with the water changes and not use any of the rain water.

    Those snails you have - have you contacted the Department of Fish and Wildlife? They will want to know where you got them so that they can keep track of it's expansion, since it's a non native species.
  4. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    The water wont help you at all.

    I agree that focusing on the cycle of the tank at the moment will be the simplest thing to do.

    i.e adding prime, continuous WC's, feeding VERY little...
  5. Matt68046Valued MemberMember

    I actually tried that. I grew tons of "green" water in like 50 glass gallon jars using just water, grass clippings, and the sun. LOL, you get some crazy ideas when one is just getting into the hobby, i would say that it might actually help with seeding the tank, if you can get good bacteria no where else, but i don't reccomend it. It will likely just turn your water brown and introduce parasites. Is rainwater safe to use? I imagine that it is, but i would give it plenty of carbon to remove airborne chemicals like Co2 and Methane, and whatever else is floating around when the rain happens to come down. But these guys are right, Prime (or amquel + works too) feeding very little, and water changes until the tank is cycled, sometimes when you start a new tank from scratch you just got to wait it out. Once you get the brownish good bacteria, the battle is over, save all your used filter cartriges and spoonges and next time just use those used ones and you will have a much faster cycle.
  6. EchostaticWell Known MemberMember

    All zeroes actually indicates a cycle is not in place, a cycle will give a nitrate reading unless heavily planted and very lightly stocked.
  7. SapphiretigressNew MemberMember

    darn! Should have realized the nitrate readings being 0 meant there was no cycle SMH. (i hate being a noob at this lol) thanks for all the replies though. Just to clarify: the snails are NOT going into my partially cycled axie tank. I guess i will have to see if i can do as fast as possible of a fishless cycle with my other 10 gallon tank and keep the tiny baby snails i have in a KK until the cycle is finished with that tank.

    Would adding substrate from the lake i got them in add the helpful bacteria?

    This species of snail has already been reported in the area that i found it, partly how i was able to ID it since i know nothing about snails :p
    I'm not going to sell them, re-release them, or do anything other than breed them for lizard food (and maybe people food (for me) if i can find out how to make sure they are parasite free). If i was ever going to dispose of them, it would be after euthanizing them. I dont want to make more of a problem then there is already. I found these in a local lake where they are a pest so i dont feel bad about taking them. I'd rather make use of the invasives and lower their wild population if i can :)

    Also: what size water changes should I do to drop my nitrites to a safe level?? these every day 60% ones are not even touching it.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  8. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That's a very responsible plan :)
  9. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    As far as I know, lakes are not cycled. A lake is actually a complete eco system that manages to balance itself without bacteria.
  10. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I would agree, hence all the plants and such. This is also why heavily planted aquariums may never have nitrate readings, and also why you can have an NPT without filtration.

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