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Thread: EI problem during a fishless cycle

  1. #1

    EI problem during a fishless cycle

    I just built a 90G tank with pressurized CO2. I have four 54W tubes. Two light up for 8 hours and the other two light up for a burst of 4hours.

    I am currently doing a fishless cycle. I am planning to dose fertilizers following the EI method, however I havenít started yet. I was planning to start dosing once the cycle is complete since a fishless cycle requires not making waterchanges.

    A lot of green algae is currently present in my tank and Iím assuming itís because of the lack of nutrients? Am I correct? Is there anything I can do until the tank is cycled?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    55
    Did you pack the tank with quick growing stem plants? Best to start up with lots of fast growing plants and with plants in the tank you need to give them food so definitely start dosing the tank. If you are using a nutrient rich substrate like aquasoil you can dose lean at first but if you are using an inert substrate dose EI at full strength. It also is a good idea to start slowly with light levels and then build them up over time. I don't think you need the 4 hour noon burst until the tank is well established and even then suggest adding the burst a bit at a time until you reach 4 hours. How are you monitoring your CO2 levels? CO2 is the hardest part to get right so spend the most time working on tweaking that. The larger the tank the more you need to pay attention to how well the CO2 is being diffused and circulated around the tank.

  3. #3
    Never do a fishless cycle with planted tanks, well.........you can, but with out plants and light. There's no need since plants directly remove NH4, so there's no bacterial cycle that is typical in a fish only aquarium.

    Adding NH4 to a new tank like this causes green algae blooms, often green water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  4. [QUOTE=ilaizm;36168]
    I am currently doing a fishless cycle. ..QUOTE]


    hello, if you already started, and have plants, then probably only Potassium will need for the first weeks, before to start fully with EI

    the quantities will depend of how many and what plants you have there.

    T.

  5. #5
    ranjohns Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    Never do a fishless cycle with planted tanks, well.........you can, but with out plants and light. There's no need since plants directly remove NH4, so there's no bacterial cycle that is typical in a fish only aquarium.

    Adding NH4 to a new tank like this causes green algae blooms, often green water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    Never do a fishless cycle with planted tanks, well.........you can, but with out plants and light. There's no need since plants directly remove NH4, so there's no bacterial cycle that is typical in a fish only aquarium.

    Adding NH4 to a new tank like this causes green algae blooms, often green water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    Tom, I'm 100 days into a fishless cycle in a fully planted tank. I dose ammonia to 4ppm everyday. Ammonia goes to 0 in 12 hours; but, nitrites go to 0 but at 24 hours. Would you recommend removing the plants?

    Thanks,

    Ranjohns

    Tank: 29 g, 30 in wide, 55W cf (AHSupply.com) raised 4 inches, HOB Marineland Penguin Power Filter 350B, an Eheim 2026 recently installed, 84+F, fully planted in Seachem fluorite, one somewhat large piece of Malayasian wood (boiled for 1 hours before placed in tank). Ferts as per Seachem recommendations for macros, micros + Excel.

  6. #6
    When you dose ammonia to that extent, to cause a big buildup of nitrifying bacteria, what happens when you stop dosing the ammonia? Doesn't that mean the huge colony of bacteria dies down to match the lower availability of their food? So, what did you gain by all of the work establishing that big colony? I have always wondered about that.
    Hoppy

  7. #7
    ranjohns Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnH View Post
    When you dose ammonia to that extent, to cause a big buildup of nitrifying bacteria, what happens when you stop dosing the ammonia? Doesn't that mean the huge colony of bacteria dies down to match the lower availability of their food? So, what did you gain by all of the work establishing that big colony? I have always wondered about that.
    I'm dosing ammonia to build the bac colonies that will reduce the ammonia to nitrates in advance of adding a full load of fish. When that happens I will introduce a full load of fish. In a fishless cycle to what level of ammonia would you suggest dosing, if not 4ppm? Ranjohns

  8. #8
    I agree with Tom that a planted tank doesn't need a specific cycling activity. Since growing plants will consume any ammonia that is generated by fish or decomposition of plant debris, it makes the best sense to heavily plant the tank from the start, let the plants get started growing, then introduce a few fish at a time until the full load of fish is present. The bacteria colonies will then build up naturally, to match the need for them.

    If ADA aquasoil is used as the substrate, the leached ammonia may be too much for the plants to consume, so big water changes every few days takes care of that.

    Cycling a tank is a hold-over from fish only aquarium practices. Those tanks have no other way to get rid of the fish waste generated ammonia, so it makes sense to allow some time for a bacteria colony to get started before adding any valuable fish. But, not for a planted tank.
    Hoppy

  9. #9
    ranjohns Guest
    Since I have a fully planted 30 gal tank, 100 plus days old, would you suggest that I slowly start to add fish now?
    My ammonia eating bac colony is fully developed. However, substantial nitrite levels remain - 1ppm - 12 hours after dosing ammonia to 4ppm.
    Thanks,

    Ranjohns
    Last edited by ranjohns; 04-30-2009 at 04:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Stop dosing ammonia, wait a few days, then add a small number of fish. After a week continue to add more fish until you reach the number you want in the tank. That is what I would do.
    Hoppy

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