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just started cycling a Fluval spec V......


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Ok, so last Saturday I started cycling a Fluval spec V. I used eco-complete planted aquarium substrate, put in several fernish looking plants, and two packs of water plant bulbs. the substrate is roughly 2 1/4" deep and I have the water pump running right now at about 3/4th's of it's peak flow, whatever that is,but will be cutting that back before adding any "fancy" shrimp to it and using unfiltered well water that I know is high in calcium.I used the bio rings but did not bother to put the charcoal in the filter, my plan is in a month from now add another bag of bio rings and then I can alternate changing them to cut down on any "bio shock" to the system. I'm also going to add one of those popular double ended foam air pump driven filters as an "assist" to filtration and pumping system already in place.

To give the cycling a jump start, I put in two Cobra guppies and 5 ghost shrimp, and have the temp set at 78.

 

It has been a good many years since I've cycled a tank, and it seems to me I should have hit the "cloudy" stage long before now, and I haven't. So is this faulty memory or did using that substrate with it's active colonies make for a very smooth cycle? or is it just making the cycle getting to the cloudy stage take longer?

 

From reading up on here I do understand that I will want to get a RO unit before I head seriously in shrimp, and I will, just like I still need to buy testing equipment and whatnot, but I wanted to get a tank cycling first just because of how long it can take to get it set-up to be stable for long term shrimp care.

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Are you going to be keeping Neos?

 

Also how long has the cycle been going?

 

If you switch to RO water the 0 KH can cause wild swings in PH that can be deadly that's why most people used buffering substrate to stabilize the tank.

 

Last thing is if you switch to RO water for such a small tank you can get away with just using store bought RO water. Get a 5g jug and if you have a grocery store with a RO water dispenser then use that for now (cost me $1.50 to fill a 5g jug). You will also need to get GH+ to add to the RO water before adding to the tank.

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Are you going to be keeping Neos?

 

Also how long has the cycle been going?

 

If you switch to RO water the 0 KH can cause wild swings in PH that can be deadly that's why most people used buffering substrate to stabilize the tank.

 

Last thing is if you switch to RO water for such a small tank you can get away with just using store bought RO water. Get a 5g jug and if you have a grocery store with a RO water dispenser then use that for now (cost me $1.50 to fill a 5g jug). You will also need to get GH+ to add to the RO water before adding to the tank.

I'll admit I haven't quite figured out which type of shrimp I'm going to start out with, still reading up on all the various types and care.

The tank has been cycling at this point for a week now.

Right after I posted this I read another post where someone brought up using RO water from Walmart, which is probably what I'll do at first until I see if I have the talent and patience to go bigger with this hobby. I must admit, while the shrimp look beautiful and I would love to get into the genetic aspect of breeding them, the true aquatic crabs and crayfish are also really grabbing my attention.I have an old 40 gallon square tank that I'm thinking would be great to set up for breeding marbled crayfish.

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Do you have another tank already established that you ca rinse the filter media in this tank? I have cycled four tanks recently and non of them got cloudy. And you do not need to swap out bio rings they will last a long time. The majority of your bacteria live in the substrate and if you are using a double sponge filter just remove and rinse one sponge a month (in dirty tank water). A fish less cycle is quicker than fish in which can take a couple months and kill fish. I personally only do fish less cycles and it would help if your temp was higher, mine are set at 86 for cycling.

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Do you have another tank already established that you ca rinse the filter media in this tank? I have cycled four tanks recently and non of them got cloudy. And you do not need to swap out bio rings they will last a long time. The majority of your bacteria live in the substrate and if you are using a double sponge filter just remove and rinse one sponge a month (in dirty tank water). A fish less cycle is quicker than fish in which can take a couple months and kill fish. I personally only do fish less cycles and it would help if your temp was higher, mine are set at 86 for cycling.

wow was I ever working on the wrong assumption! I put the fish and ghost shrimp in there under the idea that they would add to the bioload of waste products and whatnot and make it cycle faster.

 

No, unfortunately this is the first fish tank I've set up in many,many years and either the info has changed or my memory got muddy on certain aspects of cycling.

tanks. Thanks for the info about the bio rings and double sponge filter.

You did bring up an interesting point on the substrate, which this stuff is supposed to already have live cultures of the good stuff already in it.

I guess I just need to go ahead and buy my testing supplies next and stop guessing and get actual data going on.

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Fish less cycle is quicker because you can have ammonia and nitrite levels that are toxic to any fish tank inhabitants.

Makes sense. So ideally you set-up a new tank, put in substrate and plants, crank up the heat to 86, and squeeze the good stuff out of a filter from an already established tank? I have read people on here saying they cycle a tank in less then a week, is this the golden path to that? Roughly how long do you maintain the 86 deg f temp? 

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if you add enough bacteria it can be a very quick cycle.

without additives or adding bacteria i cycle in 3 weeks @ 75-80F 

 

cycle with fish,you need to keep ammonia and nitrites under 1ppm.

dose seachem prime every day.

the bacteria that turns ammonia to nitrites is faster growing then the bacteria that turns nitrites into nitrate.

when you see nitrites,you need to do water changes every other day to every day to keep the nitrites down.

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