Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Planted Betta Tanks
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #1 
strangelove
New Member
 
strangelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY
Need some advice on cycling

Hello all,

I am sure the number of threads involving people asking for help regarding cycling must be high on this site, and so I apologize if this has been beaten to death. I suppose I would just like someone to hold my hand and let me know I am doing things correctly (or incorrectly!).

I have been running my Aqueon Evolve 8 tank for a few weeks now with no fish in there. It is heated to 80 degrees and filtered. I also have live plants, all of which I just replaced yesterday (as per my thread asking about LED lights and the sickly look most of the old plants had developed). I have done some reading here on the planted tank cycling method, and also got some good advice from Olympia. I am trying to process it all - it mostly makes sense to me, but as a beginner I just want to be sure I am doing things right before my imported fish arrives!

Since I am using the planted tank method, I have not been adding any food or other ammonia sources, assuming that the beneficial bacteria will grow slowly. Is this incorrect? Because the one thing that boggles my mind is where this bacteria will come from if there isn't anything but plants and driftwood in there. I have done 25% water changes every week though I am not even sure this has been necessary. Admittedly I have not been testing my water very much, though I do have the API master test kit. I guess I figured it's not really necessary because nothing is really "going on" in there.

This all seemed okay to me until I realized A: I might be completely wrong in my assumptions and B: My fish that I've spent a lot of $ on and waited so long for will be here next week, and I can't be sure he is being introduced to an optimum tank!

If anyone could let me know your thoughts I'd sure appreciate it. I have never done this before (is that obvious?) and would just like some advice specific to my tank to make me feel better. Thanks all!!
strangelove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #2 
mikylarsen
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
My understanding is you, or rather the tank, would need some sort of ammonia source to kick start the nitrogen cycle.

I cycled two 29G planted tanks with pure ammonia, 0.5ml / 10g / day. I seeded with bio-media from a cycled tank. Process took 7 to 10 days to get 0 ammonia and nitrIte and some nitrAte [20-40pm] readings. Then I performed a 50% PWC to reduce NitrAte level 24 hours prior to getting the fish(es).
mikylarsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #3 
strangelove
New Member
 
strangelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY
Very interesting. See, I thought you don't need to add pure ammonia to a tank that has living plants in it based on some of the things I have read (because in the guides there seem to be the option for a fishless cycle using pure ammonia, and then a separate option for planted tanks). Also, I don't have a cycled tank to seed from, that sure would make things easier :)
strangelove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 04:00 PM   #4 
babystarz
Member
 
babystarz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Planted tanks will have a silent cycle :) You can put a fish in for the ammonia source right away (or whenever your fish arrives), and the plants will buffer the effects of the cycle. There isn't really any need to worry about it, if you're doing appropriate water changes the cycle will inevitably happen on its own.
babystarz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #5 
strangelove
New Member
 
strangelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY
WHEW, okay thanks babystarz! That's what I have been assuming all along, but you know what they say about that ;) I guess I just needed someone more experienced to tell me it was right.
strangelove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #6 
Trackpadtactics
New Member
 
Trackpadtactics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Virginia
Quote:
Originally Posted by strangelove View Post
WHEW, okay thanks babystarz! That's what I have been assuming all along, but you know what they say about that ;) I guess I just needed someone more experienced to tell me it was right.
Babystarz as it right. Allow it can take weeks to months for it to start. Without a ammonia source ( aka fish) it will take very long to it to start. Also, remove carbon from the filter as this filters out chemicals and kills what the plants need to feed from. I would do a reading every other day or two days depending on the levels. Once ammonia hits .25 or higher do a 20 to 30 change and keep an eye on it. Eventually you will read 0 on ammonia and nitrite you are good.
Trackpadtactics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 07:32 PM   #7 
Leopardfire
Member
 
Leopardfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Texas
Try putting Tetra Safestart in to speed up your cycle. My tank was cycled in less than 2 weeks and I never had any nitrite and my nitrates stayed at 5ppm. It really works!
Leopardfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #8 
strangelove
New Member
 
strangelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY
Thanks for those tips guys! I have been thinking of removing the carbon from my filter cartridge, or even getting sponge to put in its place. Also, I have considered the Safestart but didn't know too much about it!
strangelove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 06:39 AM   #9 
Geomancer
Member
 
Geomancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Careful now.

It's true that you do not have to do a traditional cycle if you have enough fast growing plants, but the key here is fast growing. Most stem plants (but not all) and more especially floating plants are your fast growers. Plants use Ammonia as their main source of Nitrogen (they actually prefer Ammonium and will convert Ammonia to Ammonium). That is why you do not have to 'cycle' with bacteria, the plants use the Ammonia before the bacteria could have a chance at it.

However, even with using this method you have to go slow and steady. I assume you are only putting a betta in, so that may be fine, but don't add anything else for at least 2 weeks (snails, shrimp, etc). What size tank? If this is something really small, you still may have problems. Once you add your Betta, test for Ammonia and Nitrite daily. You will probably see at least 0.25 ppm Ammonia but if it goes beyond that you'll need to do a water change. If you see anything for Nitrites, do a water change. Using a water conditioner like Prime will allow you to go 2 days between water changes if you have ammonia/nitrite problems.

For your filter, yes remove the carbon. All it is doing is removing nutrients for the plants. Speaking of nutrients, do you have a plant fertalizer? If not, pick up Florish Comprehensive (check the label, Seachem has many products under the Florish line). You will need to dose that once a week, a day after water changes, to ensure the plants have enough nutrients to continue growing (and using Ammonia).
Geomancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 07:08 AM   #10 
1077
Member
 
1077's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: missouri
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Careful now.

It's true that you do not have to do a traditional cycle if you have enough fast growing plants, but the key here is fast growing. Most stem plants (but not all) and more especially floating plants are your fast growers. Plants use Ammonia as their main source of Nitrogen (they actually prefer Ammonium and will convert Ammonia to Ammonium). That is why you do not have to 'cycle' with bacteria, the plants use the Ammonia before the bacteria could have a chance at it.

However, even with using this method you have to go slow and steady. I assume you are only putting a betta in, so that may be fine, but don't add anything else for at least 2 weeks (snails, shrimp, etc). What size tank? If this is something really small, you still may have problems. Once you add your Betta, test for Ammonia and Nitrite daily. You will probably see at least 0.25 ppm Ammonia but if it goes beyond that you'll need to do a water change. If you see anything for Nitrites, do a water change. Using a water conditioner like Prime will allow you to go 2 days between water changes if you have ammonia/nitrite problems.

For your filter, yes remove the carbon. All it is doing is removing nutrients for the plants. Speaking of nutrients, do you have a plant fertalizer? If not, pick up Florish Comprehensive (check the label, Seachem has many products under the Florish line). You will need to dose that once a week, a day after water changes, to ensure the plants have enough nutrients to continue growing (and using Ammonia).
+one
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need some advice on cycling a 2.5 914joe Betta Fish Care 8 08-17-2012 04:20 AM
Looking for cycling advice tlyons01 Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 3 10-30-2011 02:36 PM
Advice on cycling a 10 gallon? lemonpebbles Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 22 08-05-2011 07:36 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.