Cycling with no LR

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by *Philip*, 4 Jun 2011.

  1. *Philip*

    *Philip*

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    Hi All.

    Can a new setup be cycled with sand only, or do I really need live rock? Don't want to take rock from my current tank and don't want to buy right now.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    yes you should have LR because you need bacteria
     
  4. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

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    bacteria can settle in the sand as well, they free float in the water as well.
    Not as effective without LR.
    Alternatively use bioballs to host bacteria until you are ready to mak ethe change over.
    Slowly remove bioballs after adding the live rock...over a 2-3 month period.

    Im sure you can get bioballs for nothing, or hair rollers :lol:
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    you still need the bacteria to come from somewhere :whistling: .. You could just use a bacteria source like biodigest or stability then throw in a piece of a fresh fish, but I would suggest a LR with biodigest
     
  6. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

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    of course you need to ADD bacteria.....:thumbup:
     
  7. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    :lol:
     
  8. zs1adc

    zs1adc

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    @*Philip* If you want bio balls I have 2 buckets full you can pick up free. I'm also in Table View so if you are interested I'll pm you my number.
    Reg.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. *Philip*

    *Philip* Thread Starter

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    Thanx for the input guys.



    Water from aquarium will give bacteria, right?

    Thanx, I'm very interested, but think I will borrow, when finished with transition, will give them back to you. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    yes but very little. You want there to be some die off so the bacteria can grow. Lol If you were in JHB I would just give you a rock. Best is to just take one rock from you tank
     
  11. *Philip*

    *Philip* Thread Starter

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    LOL. Cool, will do that.
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Cycling is really a misnomer, and many people don't really understand the process, hence the many myths that surround it.

    "Cycling" is just achieving a balance between the "filtration" bacteria and the "bio load" - all the living and decaying organic matter in the system. You CAN "cycle" the tank with no substrate, but it will then only be able to sustain a very small bio-load. It works like this: as with most living organisms, bacteria need three things to multiply:
    • enough food (in our case the fish waste, decomposing organics in the tank, and the food we put into the tank to feed the fish, corals, etc.). Even is all the other criteria are met, they just won't increase in population if they don't have enough food - this is why we need to "feed" our systems with ammonia, "frot" decomposing things in uncured live rock, or fish pee (but the latter is cruel to the fish, and thus not advisable). If you do not have any of the aforementioned, you need to feed them with any other handy food source, such as the expensive shop-bought "mutis", skimmate from another tank, or just a simple piece of seafood that can decompose in the tank (I prefer to use frozen human food type shrimp or prawn)
    • enough "housing" substrate, be that rock, sand, bio balls or even inside living sponges. The bacteria don't care if their substrate is rock or sand - what they do care about is to have enough SURFACE AREA to populate, and fine sand just happens to have a much larger surface area than rock.
    • enough "air to breath", this being oxygen (for aerobic bacteria) or sulpher, methane, nitrate (the important one for us...) or whatever the anaerobic bacteria use for respiration
    • and of course some dim lights and soft, romantic music to get Mrs. bacterium into the right mood :whistling:
    Now, where do the bacteria come from? If you're patient enough, you don't need to add ANY bacteria to your tank - they are in the air all around (and inside) us - (yes, "marine" bacteria can be found as far as 1000km or more inland...). Of course, they are bound to be very scarce (even lowly bacteria would prefer not to live in Gauteng :biggrin:), and it is practical to add sources of "proper" filtration bacteria to our tanks. A very good source of this is, of course, live rock. Alternatively, you could add some cultures that you buy from your LFS (expensive), or you could just import them in the gut and body of the frozen shrimps or prawns I mentioned earlier (that's why I prefer to use this method to feed my cycling tank...).

    Of course, if you have an existing tank, you could just rinse one of your rocks in the new tank, and then place it back into the old tank - that alone should dump a good deal of bacteria into the new one...

    Hennie
     
  13. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you could start a tank from scratch eg: nothing from the old system but then you would need to wait for bacteria to accumulate and settle as hennie has basically said..

    by adding rock, sand etc from your old tank you are introducing a starain of bacteria to the system that will rapidly multiply to assit in achieving this balance. but you also run the risk of introducing spores of items (eg: hair algaes, aptasia etc etc) with anything you introduce into the new system..

    i have started 100% fresh with my current tank, and i have washed sponges that were in my old one off in the new system to add some bacteria in the hopes that i will see the system and get going a little quicker, but if i dont add LR i will have to wait approx 30 days after which i can start stocking slowly at a rate of basically 1 fish per month for the first 6 months or so..

    i have not used purchased bacteria cultures as of yet and i do intend to explore these but to start off with im keeping it simple and whaith what i have done in the past..
     
  14. *Philip*

    *Philip* Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys, thats awesome info. Will start with aragonite and use your tips to get bacteria going. Whoohoo
     
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