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Cycling Controsoil


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I have a few questions about cycling with Controsoil.......was hoping to get a bit of direction.

  • For the early part of my cycle (initial fill), should I be using RO, remin-RO, or tap?  (My tap is ph 8.1, GH-10, KH-6, TDS~220)  Should I consider using a tap/RO "blend" to obtain a more reasonably alkaline level, or is this not a concern with Controsoil?
  • If tap is recommended for the initial fill, when should I switch over to RO or remin-RO (using SS GH+)?
  • Should I be using carbon, aragonite, or purigen during these early phases?  I feel like purigen can delay my cycle, but want to be aware if there is anything I need to be removing from the tank at this point.
  • I'm setting up a 40 breeder........can I cycle the tank with less than full volume?  I'll be using both canister and sponge filtration.  If early stages are suitable with tap, this isn't so much an issue, but if RO is required then I'm just trying to be water conscious and conserve if I'm able.  

Thanks everyone for your time and responses.  SM

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Great question. I will attempt to answer your questions from my own experiences and what I plan to do this weekend when using Controsoil for my substrate in my  two new aquarium setups.

 

  • For the early part of my cycle (initial fill), should I be using RO, remin-RO, or tap?  (My tap is ph 8.1, GH-10, KH-6, TDS~220)  Should I consider using a tap/RO "blend" to obtain a more reasonably alkaline level, or is this not a concern with Controsoil? I have always and will be using RODI water from beginning to end of an aquarium setup. Usually when you have active substrate, I try to introduce RODI water from the beginning so the substrate doesn't have to buffer so much. This in my experience helps the longevity of the substrate.
  • If tap is recommended for the initial fill, when should I switch over to RO or remin-RO (using SS GH+)? N/A
  • Should I be using carbon, aragonite, or purigen during these early phases?  I feel like purigen can delay my cycle, but want to be aware if there is anything I need to be removing from the tank at this point. I never use any sort of chemical filtration in my shrimp tanks. I solely rely on 99% biological and 1% mechanical filtration. That is why I use all canister filters on my shrimp tanks, for maximum amount of biological media. Though I do know its not the most cost effective, it is worth the money in my opinion.
  • I'm setting up a 40 breeder........can I cycle the tank with less than full volume?  I'll be using both canister and sponge filtration.  If early stages are suitable with tap, this isn't so much an issue, but if RO is required then I'm just trying to be water conscious and conserve if I'm able. Ultimately to me this depends on your type of filtration. For instance I could not get away with using only half the water because I use canister filters, not only am I trying to start the cycle within my aquarium and substrate, but also within my filter itself. BUT If you are using say a sponge filter, then by all means I don't see a reason you couldn't start with half the water, as long as your sponge is submersed. This will allow for both your sponge and substrate to actively begin the cycle process.

These are all just my opinions and experiences so please take them as you wish. I hope I have helped.

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I agree with most of DETAquarium.

 

I normally don't add any carbon but I did on last set up because it was in SD's instructions.

 

I would fill the tank to the top, you are only gonna develop biofilm to the water level and I think biofilm development is an important part of the cycling process.

 

If you are worried about conserving water, add a boost pump to your RO or RO/DI filter to increase efficiency.

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Awesome stuff guys, thanks a ton for the answers.  I appreciate you giving the reasoning behind your approach.

 

DET, I saw your participation in a Controsoil cycling thread on TPT, I'm hoping I can add to the conversation as I take on this process myself.

 

Ron, I was wondering if a "half-fill" would cause issues with a water-line that I would have to end up scrubbing off later, didn't even think about biofilm development, excellent point.

 

To clarify, when you say you use RO/DI, do you remineralize the water every time, or does remineralization only become important as you get closer to adding shrimp?  Is remineralization important for the beneficial bacteria the cycle aims to colonize?

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Depending on how I am cycling dictates if I remineralize.  Normally when I cycle ADA Amazonia I perform near 100% water changes, with RO/DI, daily to flush the ammonium.  Then I use remineralized water to cycle the tank and do one more near complete water change before I add shrimp.  I do believe you need remineralized water for the cycling process.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok so I'm 2 days into my early cycle (controsoil, SS GH+) and I'm getting a pH of 5.97 (TDS 131, GH 5-6, KH 0, 79F temp, 1.5ppm Ammo).......from some reading it sounds like while a cycle is possible at this pH it isn't optimal for BB growth.  

  • Would it be a good idea to raise the pH some for the cycle or best to leave it as is?  
  • If so, what would you recommend to raise pH?  
  • How are my temps and ammonia levels.........any tweaks?

Looking for advice from anyone.......please pass along your experiences/recommendations.  Thanks  :skydive:

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Im currently cycling a 10g tank with Controsoil and SD Revive products. His instructions are very clear to not allow the pH to drop below 6.8 during the cycle. I would use some baking soda to raise the pH, I do not know the dosage you would need specifically since SD Revive has an alkaline buffer for that purpose and is easy to dose. But maybe try adding a tsp and then measure pH again a few hours later. I would raise your temp up into the mid 80's and your ammonia should be fine.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sometimes I feel like people put too much stress of the cycling part of the aquarium.  Put some water, add some ammonia, hike the temperature, and let the magic happen.  I think there are ways to speed it up like adding old media from a cycled filter.  At the end of the day the process is the same and the best way to cycle is buy some pure ammonia, dose it, and see how long it takes to convert.  

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Sometimes I feel like people put too much stress of the cycling part of the aquarium.  Put some water, add some ammonia, hike the temperature, and let the magic happen.  I think there are ways to speed it up like adding old media from a cycled filter.  At the end of the day the process is the same and the best way to cycle is buy some pure ammonia, dose it, and see how long it takes to convert.  

 

I don't think people stress about the cycling part of the aquarium, its just important. The problem is people are antsy when it comes to introducing shrimp/fish/etc. If you don't allow your aquarium to cycle we all know the deadly consequences. Alot of us that invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars in shrimp are antsy, but we understand the importance of a cycled aquarium. I would hate to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pintos, because I rushed the process.

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I don't think people stress about the cycling part of the aquarium, its just important. The problem is people are antsy when it comes to introducing shrimp/fish/etc. If you don't allow your aquarium to cycle we all know the deadly consequences. Alot of us that invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars in shrimp are antsy, but we understand the importance of a cycled aquarium. I would hate to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pintos, because I rushed the process.

 

Exactly, when you are shelling out over $100 per shrimp I am not taking any chances. I have started using testers as well, starting with neos then some cull TB before adding the pintos.

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My way to setup a tank with ControSoil.

 

1, Seed new sponge filter/HOB/canister in existing healthy tank for min one month ahead.

2. Add 1" of Controsoil

3. Fill with RO water

4. 3 days later, replace with new RO water 90%, adjust GH to 3

5, add seeded filter.

6. 3 days later, add shrimp

 

New tank in less than a week.

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I am a week in my cycle and it has stalled. I want my shrimp now but I dont want to kill them either....On Monday I did a 90% w/c with put RO because something is wrong with my tap water.

 

PH 6.0

Ammonia 0

Nitrite .25

Nitrate 10 

KH 0

Gh 4

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