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    Cycle a new tank with no water changes

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    joefish72

    Posts : 530
    Join date : 2011-06-16
    Location : Fort Myers

    Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by joefish72 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:28 am

    This may sound crazy but I just finished a cycle of a brand new tank. I did no water change at all. I got the idea after changing 50% of the water on my 125 every day for a week and then said "that's it" because Iw as tired of seeing nitrites right back up the next day. The tank took another week to finish cycle and it has been great ever since.

    A couple weeks ago I set up a brand new 20 long. New tank and new filter. I filled the tank and squeezed some brown crap out of the sponge in one of my other filters directly into the tank. It took 11 days and the nitrites were off the chart when this tank started. Now they read at zero and I have changed none of the water. In addition I added 3 least killies to the tank on day two to do a "fish in" cycle, they are great for this since they also lived in the 125 while it was cycling too.

    Now the 20 long is perfect with zero nitrite, zero amonia, almost zero nitrate, and ph of 7.6
    The 125 is doing so well that plants have already colonized on the driftwood. It's starting to look really cool all fuzzy like.
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    Fern
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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Fern on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:19 pm

    Very cool!


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    williemcd

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    Location : Richmond, Virginia

    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by williemcd on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:04 pm

    Joe.. I'm with ya on that!.. We had a "heated" debate on my local group with me being the advocate for "fish-in". Our initial thread was about moving a sponge from a cycled tank over to a new tank. Your experience supports the basis of my claim/belief. I have the position that the bacteria's are rapid multipliers and are only held in check by a lack of food (ammonia and Nitrite).. Given the presence of the food allows the multiplication of the bacteria..Bill in Va.
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    zeketaz

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by zeketaz on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:57 pm

    That's how I cycled my 10 gallon. Took filter squeezings from every tank and filled 1/2 with old tank water and 1/2 with treated new water. Also used filter media from a used filter and used it as Q for my angels the same day.
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    crw.npt

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    Location : Ft. Myers, Fl

    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by crw.npt on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:24 pm

    I always just did the "feeding an empty tank, then super slowly stocking" routine. Mostly because I rarely had more than one tank running at a time and I was usually looking for specific fish that were harder to find. Always worked out for me.
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    Fern
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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Fern on Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:04 pm

    Slapping the bacteria to it you can put fish in the same day, thats how I could toss together a tank when I did an impulse buy.


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    williemcd

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by williemcd on Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:22 pm

    Well... as you can see, I participate on this forum to a degree... I support MY forum a bit heavier so this post is just ta let ya read the thread....By no way, shape or form should ya let your participation level on your forum decrease by the slightest degree.. OK?...LOL...
    I've talked with Jill and Vix in the past about the relationships that smaller/geographic concentric groups can do for each other versus the megalithic fish groups out there... So.. keeping that in mind please... here is the link to the topic being discussed on my fish group in the Virginia area:...(note.. Vix & Jill are responsible for the inception of our group.....long story)..
    http://aquaticfriendsunited.forumotion.com/t1029-transferring-filter-media
    Bill in Va.

    joefish72

    Posts : 530
    Join date : 2011-06-16
    Location : Fort Myers

    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by joefish72 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:53 pm

    williemcd wrote:Well... as you can see, I participate on this forum to a degree... I support MY forum a bit heavier so this post is just ta let ya read the thread....By no way, shape or form should ya let your participation level on your forum decrease by the slightest degree.. OK?...LOL...
    I've talked with Jill and Vix in the past about the relationships that smaller/geographic concentric groups can do for each other versus the megalithic fish groups out there... So.. keeping that in mind please... here is the link to the topic being discussed on my fish group in the Virginia area:...(note.. Vix & Jill are responsible for the inception of our group.....long story)..
    http://aquaticfriendsunited.forumotion.com/t1029-transferring-filter-media
    Bill in Va.

    You poor fella, having to explain yourself before you explain yourself, lol. It's all good here and nothing can dispute personal experiences.
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    williemcd

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by williemcd on Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:58 pm

    Joe.. thanks for the ....ummm.. cross group exchange.. This type of activity only makes both groups healthier and more vibrant!... We've a few members of our group that chime in on yours at times.. (me being the most obnoxious of course)... Smile
    Bill in Va.
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    williemcd

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by williemcd on Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:00 pm

    This should be a p.s. to the prior message.. but my avatar is that of one of the PBPS's that I swapped for from FishVixen.. and she built my avatar for me!.. Bill in Va.
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    Fern
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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Fern on Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:04 pm

    Love the link!


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    Lost Ink

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Lost Ink on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:09 pm

    OK so I will be setting up my 125 soon. so what would your recomendations be to get the cycle done on it. All brand new stuff. nothing pre established. and would love to have a tank cycle that fast. It will be a 125 with sump.

    joefish72

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by joefish72 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:12 pm

    mbuna125 wrote:OK so I will be setting up my 125 soon. so what would your recomendations be to get the cycle done on it. All brand new stuff. nothing pre established. and would love to have a tank cycle that fast. It will be a 125 with sump.
    Well I'm far from an expert and most of what I do is trial and error (kind of like the old timers back in the 70's). I have not done a traditional sump set up but my conclusion is the bacteria is the key.

    If you plan on using bio balls or some other type of media you have a few things to try. One method would be to place an established piece of sponge at the location of the "bio media" to help it get started quicker. A second option would be to wrap a piece of established sponge around the intake and let it pre-filter and help spread bacteria to the sump. This could cause the water flow to stop if it is gravity feed. If that happens than maybe place the sponge at the location of the intake feed inside the sump.

    I just squeezed the stuff right into the tank water so that should be done no matter what.

    Then you just have to test the water every day (only once a day) until you see a drop in nitrite, at that point you are 1-2 days away from a completed cycle.

    If you can't find someone with a piece of established sponge then just fill the tank and let the filter run. Check it at the end of one week and then every day once a day after that. Don't change the water at all since the nitrite seems to be what gets the bacteria going. My thought by doing water changes you remove nitrite and there by remove the food source. The more nitrite the more bacteria that can grow.
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    alan j t

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by alan j t on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:40 am

    thats what i do
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    williemcd

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by williemcd on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:52 am

    Joe.. we oughta go inta bidnez together!.. That's the exact prescription I'd have given.. Now.. I've a theory that the bacteria's will blossom once given the optimum environment.. The debate I've face is how long does it take for bac(2).. Nitrite attacking) to accelerate it's growth to keep up with the production?.. Bill in Va.
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    Lost Ink

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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Lost Ink on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:15 am

    Awesome joe thanks. Hopefuly I can find someone to help me out with a piece of established media when I get to fl and set up the tank.
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    Fern
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    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by Fern on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:22 pm

    Mbuna, I can give you filter sqeezings from Fred's filters! Its loaded with bio gook!


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    joefish72

    Posts : 530
    Join date : 2011-06-16
    Location : Fort Myers

    Re: Cycle a new tank with no water changes

    Post by joefish72 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:15 pm

    Bill.. I have been wondering about that same thing and this is my theory. The bacteria that destroys nitrite will bloom when the tank is in cycle. That is when you notice that fast drop in nitrite. Then kind of like a cold virus it pretty much starts to starve itself because it destroys all the nitrite. I believe there is no flucuation after that because not all the bacteria dies and only enough survives to feed off the current supply of nitrite.

    The hard part is figuring how many fish you can add at once without adding too much load to the tank. What I do is add 10 fish every 3 days until the tank is stocked, this is on a large tank. For a smaller tank I would stick to 3-4 smaller fish every 3 days.

    So far with both the 20 long and the 125 I have not seen any signs of nitrite, nor any mini cycle signs. All parameters have remained constant.

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