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Old 04-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #1 
Jexx
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Maintaining cycle while fish is in hospital tank?

Galileo's normal home is a 5 gallon aqueon bowfront. It is filtered and heated and has been running since January. It is cycled. He is currently in a sterilte tub on my kitchen table and will remain there for another 8 days while he completes 2 rounds of medication. Even though he is the sole inhabitant of his tank I put him in QT because it is easier to perform daily 100% changed on a bare bottom tub. I have left his filter running since he was removed as turning it off would have surely killed all the bb by now.
My question is this: will the cycle maintain its self even though he is not in there? I did not change the water since I removed him. What should I do to keep the cycle going?
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #2 
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Nitrifying bacteria need an ammonia source to survive, so without a source of ammonia (i.e. fish, decaying food, etc) the bacteria will eventually die off and your cycle with stop.

You can keep it running by either buying another fish, or adding pure ammonia to the tank in low doses. Either way will keep the cycle going.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #3 
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how long with out a source of ammonia before the bb die? He has been out of the tank since Tuesday night. can I put food in the tank and let it decay a few days? I don't want to buy a fish solely for the purpose of keeping a cycle going. what would I do with the fish after?

Last edited by Jexx; 04-12-2013 at 01:23 PM. Reason: adding info
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #4 
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I just tested the water. Ammonia= 0ppm. Nitrites=0ppm. Nitrates = 5ppm
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #5 
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I'm not sure exactly how long the bacteria would survive, but 8 days is certainly pushing it.

Many hardware stores sell pure ammonia in bottles. That's probably your best bet if you don't want to risk having to re-cycle when your fish returns to his normal aquarium. Plus you can keep the bottle for the future if you ever decide to do a fishless cycle on another tank.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:15 PM   #6 
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What about just adding his "dirty" water change water into his old tank? As long as you have a carbon cartridge in the filter it'll absorb the meds, but it'll provide your cycled tank with the ammonia it needs.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:19 PM   #7 
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None of my filters are carbon filters. I use bio sponge for all of them... however when I change esmeralda's and sesshomaru's water I could put theirs in his tank. I dropped some fish food in there today. The cyc;e seems to still be going re my numbers above. I don't want to use his because the medicine he is using stains everything.
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