Nitrogen Cycle for Aquariums / How NOT to kill all your fish with your first tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by solex69, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,459
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Jhb- Roodepoort
    Not familiar with the tetra filters. How many liters is your tank, and how many liters per hour does the filter pump.

    The only reputable pH test that I would advise is an EXPENSIVE piece of equipment you buy for chemistry labs. (In my opinion.)
     
  2. Guest




  3. P.A.T.

    P.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    JHB; South Africa
    Hi Zoom,

    Thank you for all the info thus far. My tank is +-400lt.

    TetraTec EX external filter - EX1200
    Suitable for Aquarium: 200-500 litres
    Water Flow (litres per hour): 1200

    Viv.
     
  4. Laure

    Laure Cyano Terminator

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    Good filter. I have one and can't be happier. :)
     
  5. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,459
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Jhb- Roodepoort
    That filter will be fine. You could add a smaller one to supplement it.

    Even a small internal filter will help with water movement.
     
  6. scotty

    scotty

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    George
    Hi Viv, The best advice I can give is for you to start with brand new clean water, after having cleaned the tank. This should ensure no bugs are transferred from the old to the new setup. I don't understand why, especially with the products we have today, people would want to store the older water!!!! I would suggest you then start the fresh tank with the Organic Aqua starter kit for the volume of water you have. Absolutely brilliant product. Look to using the maintenance kit on a regular basis.
    20% on a weekly basis, using a gravel cleaner to siphon out the water and gunk from the gravel should be ample. The complete test kit is quite expensive. I have found, and it is the one I use, that the Nutrfin test kits are the most cost effective to use. The test strips are extremely expensive and continue to change colour so how accurate is questionable!!!
    If you have Malawi's then the Tetra Tec 1200 is fine but I would suggest you go the Exotic Aqauriums, Boksburg, and get yourself a HAILEA HL-BT1000 internal filter pump. You can never have too nuch filtration with Malawi's.
    You must religiously do your weekly water change as they thrive on this treatment.
    What 4 Malawi's do you have??? Will be getting some wild caughts in about 2 weeks time!!
    Good luck with the tank.
     
  7. Singularity

    Singularity

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Potchefstroom
    Did it actually do anything for you ? i used it and tank still went through a normal cycle, waste of money IMO, rather spend it on fish.
     
  8. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,459
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Jhb- Roodepoort
    I find most cycling products a waste of money.
     
  9. scotty

    scotty

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    George
    I have used this product, 50 tanks at home and 72 tanks in shop, for about 5 years now. The stuff definitely works. You still get the cycle occuring but believe me it is no where near where the reading would be should it not be used. My first experience was a 90cm tank, about 110 litres, and I had about 34 6-8cm Malawi's in the tank. Had a problem and needed to restart tank. Added this product and after a week, when testing the Ammonia it was on the third colour, Nutrafin test kits, a further 10dyas later the same for the Nitrites and a further week later the same for the Nitrates. Remebering that the PH was at around 8,2 thus makeing the required toxic Ammonia level to be farless than for a PH pf 7. Remebering I did have more than ample filtration on the tank.
    Cycle or Nitivec will give the system the bacteria but it will take a longer time to get established. These are good products for maintaining your bacterial levels once established. Most people make the mistake of not replenishing the bacteria, even in an established tank. They look at the costs rather than the benefits which long term will most definitely save you money.
     
  10. P.A.T.

    P.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    JHB; South Africa
    Scotty,

    Thank you for your info. Tank now running for two weeks. All fish doing well thus far. Hope to keep it like this.

    Viv.
     
  11. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    9,529
    Likes Received:
    2,127
    Location:
    JHB - Randburg
    I think I am correct in saying that a well planted tank reduces the need to worry about the Nitrogen Cycle - then again I have never seen a sustainable well planted malawi tank ;-). With that said you still need to ensure that you have good filtration and lighting. Maybe I should qualify - if you are from the the camp that has a tropical aquarium that focuses on plants-and-fish Nitrogen Cycle is less of an issue. If you are a fish-and-plant supporter, the cycle thing has some relevance and the use of certain products might be helpful, but probably less so. If you have no plants, are a breeder or love those naked bare base tanks then a good supply of additives should help you keep things in order. Then on top of all of this feeding (live food, processed and fresh).quantity and stock level also plays its part.

    On test equipment - ja, its a hobby that will allow you to spend your salary every weekend if you could ... but is it really needed? Most LFSs will do a batch of tests for you ... maybe do this the first few times before you get all analytical about something that is supposed to be relaxing.
     
  12. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,459
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Jhb- Roodepoort
    Actually F-Fish... whether you are planted orientated of fish orientated, the nitrogen cycle is exactly the same.

    Ammonia spikes followed by nitrite spikes.

    The only difference is that the rate of nitrate increase (i.e the end result of the nitrogen cycle) is slower in a planted tank because the plants absorb some of the nitrates.
     
  13. TomK

    TomK

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Klerksdorp
    The picture in post #1 shows that Nitrate is plant fertilizer.

    Is it then wise to add plant food to an aquarium that has not completed the Nitrogen cycle yet?
     
  14. johanbosman

    johanbosman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kilnerpark,Pretoria
    Thank you.Everyday something new to learn
     
  15. trik107

    trik107

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    johannesburg
  16. ash

    ash

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    cpt
    Thanks guys - those are best articles i have read on the Nitrogen cycle thus far. Glad i joined TASA
     
  17. K.C

    K.C

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town
    This is some great reading material.. It makes a whole lot more sense now!!
     
  18. PSZN

    PSZN

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Durban
    Great thread, learnt a lot from it
     
  19. Warr7207

    Warr7207

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the preferred way of starting the N cycle: NH4 chemical, some sort of organic matter or "starter" fish (guppies etc.) ?

    From what I have read, adding a couple of plants, won't be a problem, unless it dies and decomposes.
     
  20. DCWarHound

    DCWarHound

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Pretoria,Sinoville
    Well you can do a fish less cycle by adding fishfood to the tank each day and using seachem stability for 2 weeks.

    If you can find your hands on pure diluted ammonia (water+ammonia mixed,ammonia alone is illegal so it has to be diluted) then you can regulate your cycle (etc using larger then normal doses of D.ammonia to simulate a heavily stocked tank)Obviously the ammonia is dangerous to fish so you have to wait 2 days after your last ammonia dose before adding fish.

    The last one is the one with fish,hardy fish are preferred like danios or convicts if you are going to remove them afterwards.Their lifetime will be drastically shortened after the cycle and they will have gill damage and a weaker immune system.This is the reason most fishkeepers don't do fish cycles anymore and rather go with the fishless + food option.
     
  21. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    9,529
    Likes Received:
    2,127
    Location:
    JHB - Randburg
    I go - planted tank + guppies + mature filter media, no fertz for the first few weeks but CO2 seem to be appreciated the moment the lights go on. Does the is work, I assume so but have no proof since I do not fret over water - do keep an eye on the guppies and plants for issues- this with a few well timed WC seem to do the trick for me.
     

Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Nitrogen Cycle Aquariums Forum Date
Nitrogen Cycle for Aquariums Articles Jan 27, 2009
Nitrogen cycle Advanced Topics Dec 21, 2019
DIY Nitrogen Cycle Model Anything DIY related Aug 30, 2010
Lecture 2 - The Nitrogen Cycle Beginner Discussions Jul 12, 2009
Nitrogen/C02 mix in a planted tank Planted Tanks Jul 21, 2016
Nitrogen deficiency Planted Tanks Jul 14, 2011
Light Cycle Beginner Discussions Jun 7, 2019

Share This Page