Cycling Question

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Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 9th 2013, 12:22 pm

I'm cycling my new 8g tank at room temperature. My question is....is it actually important to cycle the aquarium? I understand the reasons in reef tanks, freshwater tanks, and all other warmer water tanks.  With the temperatures being so low, biological processes happen extremely slow.  Is it necessary to actually cycle the tank then?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 9th 2013, 11:59 pm

Well... I'm not a big cycler. I do keep my tanks there for 2-3 weeks before addind any fish or such, but I don't "cycle" them.
You can put some bottle bacteria in there, I use Prodibio pruducts, they are really good!

Are you using live rock?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 10th 2013, 2:02 pm

I used live sand and some old live rock (more than likely 'dead' because it was in the garage for a year hah) and have it at room temp now. was considering just putting the chiller on and throwing in some bacteria and letting it run like that for a week or two then throwing in some little strawberry anems to see what happens?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by snapperhead on September 10th 2013, 9:56 pm

Yes very..More so than any other Aquarium.Room temp is fine it help .
Crabs and Shrimp are a good start to build the bio up ,I cycle mine for 6 to 8 weeks.
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 10th 2013, 11:07 pm

And every tank is different, so you should do regular testing rather than looking at the calendar.

Dead live rock is a bit of a hazard... There is a lot of dead matter inside of the rock, even if it looks really "clean" out.
If you use dead rock then a good cycle is not a bad idea.

It wouldn't hurt if you threw in a bit of fresh live rock too!
Live rock has more beneficial bacteria than sand, especially the anaerobic bacteria, which is really slow developing... To be honest, I don't believe in live sand... Might work, not saying that Wink
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 12th 2013, 11:32 am

Well, since my chiller won't be shipped out for 2-3 weeks when they're back in stock, I may as well cycle the tank completely in the mean time!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by naturenz on September 17th 2013, 2:35 pm

snapperhead wrote:Yes very..More so than any other Aquarium.Room temp is fine it help .
Crabs and Shrimp are a good start to build the bio up ,I cycle mine for 6 to 8 weeks.
+1
takes longer to cycle the colder the tank
I set up from scratch but do 1 to 2 x weekly water changes with bio load kept low
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 17th 2013, 11:07 pm

I'm soon filling my tank also. I plan to cycle it in the temperature it will be without any chillers or heaters, which happens to be rather low actually because my sump is in the basement and the temperature there is 13°C.
I'm hoping to be able to add some fauna after 3-4 weeks, then gradually drop the temperature to the desired number, which is 17°C in my case.
The first inhabitants can handle a wide temperature range, so they are great first troops Smile
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 19th 2013, 2:30 pm

Well guys, the tank is cycled....now just waiting for the chiller to come :(I want to add livestock already!!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 19th 2013, 3:42 pm

Remember that because your tank is so small there can happen some big changes in water chemistry really quickly after you turn the chiller on. Some bacteria might die, and new may pop up... 
Just keep an eye on the water quality for a day or two before you add the animals. 

I just had a close call with my 10 gallon tank... I fed the anemones on monday and again on tuesday. The next morning the whole room smelled like death! The anemones had spat out the shrimps I gave them, and I had to do a 50% water change at 4:30 in the morning! 
Even such small a thing as uneaten food can be dangearous with these small tanks... I always keep some water ready if I need to do an emergency water change for the 10 gallon.
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 19th 2013, 10:48 pm

Yeah, i expect there to be a little die off when the temperature swings...I'm only planning on adding one or two corynactis sp. the first livestock add...then waiting a week before something else. Since i work at a huge pet store we have ready made salt water to use whenever i need it...i'll be testing this tank every single day!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 20th 2013, 12:37 am

That's great! Is the tank at the store?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 20th 2013, 10:45 am

Unfortunately no, I've been trying to get them to do a temperate setup for some time, without any luck.  Hopefully, if I am successful with my own 8g, they'll give in! fingers crossed! haha! You may have actually heard of the store....that fish place in lancaster pa?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 20th 2013, 4:07 pm

I've heard the name... Well, read not heard really Laughing 
And I'm European!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 22nd 2013, 10:58 am

haha okay well that makes sense.  pretty cool how the hobby brings people together across continents
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 22nd 2013, 1:27 pm

LOL! Makes sense? Suspect 
No seriously... I think that coldwater brings even more people together because this is rather special kind of fish keeping. I know coldwater hobbyists from all over the world.
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 22nd 2013, 7:49 pm

lol 'read not heard' makes sense...
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on September 22nd 2013, 11:13 pm

Haha! So, any pictures yet?
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by thherste on September 23rd 2013, 11:19 am

I'll get some pics up asap!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by C-Rad on October 3rd 2013, 6:35 pm

I kept a 60 gallon 55-63 degree tank for a few years, with California two-spot octopus, various anemone, and gorgonians.  The word "cycling" is misleading.  What you are really trying to do is establish a stable population of beneficial bacteria that is large enough to break down the waste your animals will produce.  The important words in that sentence are "stable" and "Large enough".  if it's not a stable population, it will shrink suddenly, and not be there to do it's job.  If it's not large enough, then you'll get an ammonia spike, which could crash your tank.  "New tank syndrome" is all about having bacteria populations that are either not stable, or not large enough.  A "cycle" just means that you had measurable ammonia, and enough bacteria were eventually present to convert it to nitrite, then enough different bacteria were present to convet nitrite to nitrate -once.  If you stop feeding the tank after a cycle, and most of your bacteria starve, then your tank won't be ready for new animals (population wasn't stable).  If you add just enough animals to produce just enough waste to keep your bacteria population going, then it's stable, and large enough, so no problem.  If you add too many animals you get an ammonia spike, and the animals in the tank suffer through it (another cycle).  I don't think about "cycling", I think about being a bacteria rancher, and building up a nice big herd of bacteria that have a steady diet (of ammonia/waste) and a safe (stable) large enough place to live and expand into (like a big pile of bio balls).  Then I replace whatever is producing the ammonia that I'm feeding my "herd" with the livestock I want to keep.  The I very gradually increase the livestock, or feeding, and let my "herd" of bacteria slowly grow as their food supply (ammonia) grows.

The population of bacteria is your bio-filter, and a tank without a sufficient bio filter is a bucket of rotting fish food.  I recommend thinking about cycling as building a big enough bio-fiilter, and that's important in a cold tank too.

That being said, one thing that might make the stability of your bio filter less important in a cold tank is the fact that, compared to tropical reef animals, tide pool animals are tough as nails.  The environment of a reef is very stable and constant, so the animals tend to have a glass jaw when it comes to changes in water chemistry.  Tide pool animals, like most of what you can get for a temperate tank, can deal with a lot of adversity (of certain kinds) and just shrug it off, so you can get away with some things, sometimes.

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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Mike Savage on October 3rd 2013, 11:59 pm

Well put!
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by Rapide on October 4th 2013, 3:37 am

Very well, indeed...
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by naturenz on October 5th 2013, 2:37 pm

well said, 
it is not a given that what you find in a tide pool usually lives in a tide pool
tide pools are flushed with new water twice a day
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Re: Cycling Question

Post by NanoTopia on November 30th 2013, 12:34 pm

Hello,

New here, but I am wondering if anyone has tried carbon dosing to cycle and maintain bacteria populations?

I carbon dose my 20 gallon tropical reef tank (Zeovit method) and have some pretty good success with it.

When I started my initial cycle on my pico temperate I dosed bacteria and some carbon to get things rolling, I have now added some shore crabs and barnacle rock along with a couple bivalves (muscles), snails, and pods to complete the cycle. Everything seems to be doing quite well with daily additions of phytoplankton and some frozen clam for the crabs. Still early in the cycle, about 6 weeks, and I am performing large water changes weekly. I hope to change out some of what I have in the tank for some more colourful and diverse species in about 6 weeks when I trust things will be more stable.

I have always found you just can't rush nature but it helps to supply it with what it needs to do it's job.
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