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Old 06-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #1 
Seki
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Question Silly cycling question(s)

Today's the day I'm finally getting my 10 gallon set up and cycling! So excited to get my sorority up and running!! But now I have a few silly cycling questions just to make sure I do this right.

1) I am going to use some substrate from my established 5.5 gallon to make things go a bit faster. Are there any fish I could put in to speed things up as well? I would remove them later and put the girls in. I thought I had read about people using certain fish to jump-start their cycles?
2) Cycling with live plants... good idea? Bad idea? How about a moss ball? My goal is to have everything in there and set, let the cycle establish, and then put my girls in and let it be (no more rearranging if possible). If I can put live plants in today, when I start my cycling, that is most convenient for me.
3) Driftwood... I'm putting some in, and I sorta like the idea of the tannins in my tank from it. But is that going to mess with establishing my cycle? Are they all going to leech out and not be there for my girls by the time the cycle stabilizes? In other words... should I just let the tannins soak out for a few days before putting the wood in, or is it alright to just boil the wood to kill anything on it and cycle with the tannins?
4) I'm going to have to cycle for a few days without a heater, until mine arrives from Amazon. Is that going to be a problem?

I think that's all the questions I have for the moment. If I think of more, I'll post them here!
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #2 
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Originally Posted by Seki View Post
Today's the day I'm finally getting my 10 gallon set up and cycling! So excited to get my sorority up and running!! But now I have a few silly cycling questions just to make sure I do this right.

1) I am going to use some substrate from my established 5.5 gallon to make things go a bit faster. Are there any fish I could put in to speed things up as well? I would remove them later and put the girls in. I thought I had read about people using certain fish to jump-start their cycles? This would mean you are doing a fish IN cycle. Some people don't care about certain types of fish & will use them for a fish IN cycling not caring if they die, it doesn't "speed" things up.
2) Cycling with live plants... good idea? Bad idea? How about a moss ball? My goal is to have everything in there and set, let the cycle establish, and then put my girls in and let it be (no more rearranging if possible). If I can put live plants in today, when I start my cycling, that is most convenient for me. Add the plants, they definitely help IME.
3) Driftwood... I'm putting some in, and I sorta like the idea of the tannins in my tank from it. But is that going to mess with establishing my cycle? Are they all going to leech out and not be there for my girls by the time the cycle stabilizes? In other words... should I just let the tannins soak out for a few days before putting the wood in, or is it alright to just boil the wood to kill anything on it and cycle with the tannins? I don't have DW, but I don't see where it would hurt a cycling tank.
4) I'm going to have to cycle for a few days without a heater, until mine arrives from Amazon. Is that going to be a problem? Not a problem IMO.

I think that's all the questions I have for the moment. If I think of more, I'll post them here!
...
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #3 
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Awesome, thanks!! Working on cleaning the sand now... this is very time-consuming hahaha
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:44 AM   #4 
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Because you'll probably introduce all of your stock at once, you'll want to have a large strong bacteria base so as to avoid mini-cycles or ammonia spikes. To get this, I recommend your doing a fishless cycle. (The fish are just an ammonia source anyway.) It sounds like you plan on doing this. Use seeded substrate from your cycled tank; put it in your filter. Seeded filter media would help, also.

Heater helps but is not critical.

Tannins/driftwood don't matter unless your pH is really low.

Planted is fine.

--Ammonia >2.0ppm---pure ammonia is best, but fish will do.

--Temp >82*
--Filter on high
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:33 AM   #5 
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2. Cycling with live plants is good. When I set up my 5 gallon, I planted it and everything but I had to wait a while to start cycling it. The whole time, the filter was running (it was about 2 weeks). Then eventually I just decided to put my betta in it and complete the cycle with him in it, and it cycled in 2 weeks. An experienced member here told me that any type of biological stuff (including plants) can help cycle a tank. So it did take 4 weeks altogether, but I didn't realize that the time when the plants was in it was already the beginning of the cycle.

3. Tannins are good and shouldn't affect the cycling process. You could boil the wood if you don't want tannins, but they're not going to hurt anything.

4. It doesn't matter if you have a heater or not while you're cycling. You'll just need it for when you put your fish in.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #6 
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Thanks guys!! I have some seeded gravel in the tank now (in pantyhose so I can take it back out again since I am using sand for this tank) and my plants are tied in place to my driftwood and an ornament respectively.

I will be checking parameters daily with my liquid testing kit. How long do you guys think this will take to cycle? I am looking to get my girls pretty soon and start them in quarantine, but I don't want to jump the gun. I don't have separate tanks for all the ladies, so they will be staying in little temporary half gallon quarantine containers, and I would rather they not have to be in them any longer than necessary to assure they are healthy.

Do you guys think three weeks is too optimistic for my cycle to be completed?
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:28 AM   #7 
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Keep it warm, dark and flowing. Three weeks is not unrealistic, but plan for more. I think it would be OK to get your fish as soon as you see the nitrite going down. By the time they're QT'd, your tank should be cycled.

Does anyone else think that if you get them all at once from the same place, that QT would not be necessary?
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:05 PM   #8 
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Keep it warm, dark and flowing. Three weeks is not unrealistic, but plan for more. I think it would be OK to get your fish as soon as you see the nitrite going down. By the time they're QT'd, your tank should be cycled.

Does anyone else think that if you get them all at once from the same place, that QT would not be necessary?
Ohhh I have to keep the lights on for the plants though right?

Not quarantining would be awesome! You think it might be possible if I got them all from my LFS?
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #9 
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Ohhh I have to keep the lights on for the plants though right?

Not quarantining would be awesome! You think it might be possible if I got them all from my LFS?
I just today purchased 5 girls from an LFS, they were all in the same tank so I'm going to QT them all together because I have other girls already in my sorority tank. If you don't have any other fish in your tank 1st & the girls you get were in a tank together then I'd put them all in your sorority tank together. Having said that I have purchased girls in individual cups & put them into a QT tank together but its a crap shoot as to them being healthy. Go with what you're comfortable with.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:52 AM   #10 
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Always use the least amount of light your plants can flourish under. Keeps the algae down.
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