dsb seed

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by naughtydragons, 25 Dec 2009.

  1. naughtydragons

    naughtydragons

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    pretoria
    Hi guys, merry xmas
    I read somewhere on masa that i can put a piece of mussel, shrimp etc, in my new dsb to rot, to seed it, did i misunderstand or is that ok.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Jurgs

    Jurgs

    Joined:
    26 May 2009
    Posts:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Benoni
    I would just put some live rock to seed it. Not to sure bout the rotting part but i am sure by tomorrow some of the other guys will have given their views.
     
  4. Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric

    Joined:
    20 May 2009
    Posts:
    294
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Pietermaritzburg Kzn
    Hi dragons, in short, no. To seed a DSB you'll need a cup of sand from another reefer to jump start the process but the critical component is time, and expect to wait for a couple of months for the anaerobic bacteria to colonize the bed and start working. Maybe get in touch with some guys close by and get a cup or two.
     
  5. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    I think you've got it the wrong way around. Some people use a shrimp to help cycle a tank by letting it rot causing the biological bacteria to multiply quicker.
    Stressed Eric is right, you need mature live sand from another reefer or from the ocean if you're close by.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Seabass

    Seabass

    Joined:
    28 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    2,383
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Gonubie
    Shrimp?
     
  7. seank

    seank

    Joined:
    24 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,984
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    North of Durban and South of Mozambique
    If you do that without any bacteria in your tank, I can guarantee you that you will have a huge ammonia spike. Get some "live sand" first
     
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Yes, you can use a dead (frozen, food-grade) shrimp to start your cycle. This used to be one of the most popular ways of ensuring a good cycle, but it has sort of gone out of fashion, perhaps because nobody has been promoting it's use...

    For a tank to cycle properly it needs a source of ammonia - this can be supplied by the dead biomass in newly bought uncured live rock, by using a few hardy fish such as damsels (not advisable, as it's cruel to the fish), adding chemical ammonia, or adding some dead biomass to decompose in the tank (such as the shrimp or prawn). Of all these methods, the fresh, uncured live rock is the best, IMHO, but if your live rock has already been cured in the pet shop (with virtually no life left on it after 6-8 weeks of being kept in dark vats...), the dead shrimp/prawn method is the second-best method (again, IMHO...). Let me explain:

    Starting a new tank with artificial sea water and play sand or dry aragonite, and with a limited amount of barren "cured" live rock, there is not much "pollutants" available to decompose and feed the ammonia eating filtration bacteria - there is also not much (if any...) ammonia eating filtration bacteria to start with, given that the sand and salt has not originated from the sea... The (human food grade, frozen) prawn or shrimp does, however, have viable bacteria surviving in it's intestines and even in/on it's body - frozen, but still alive. Adding a shrimp or prawn thus "seeds" the new tank with the proper marine type of filtration bacteria, AND introduces enough biomass (of marine origin) to feed these bacteria.

    Many beginners make the mistake of thinking that a tank can only cycle once, and that one can add lots of fish to the tank directly after it has cycled. This is plain wrong. The amount of filtration bacteria in a tank is directly related to the following:
    • Area of substrate on which to live - thus more sand or rock = more room for the bacteria to live
    • Amount of food available - even with lots of room in which to live, the bacterial population won't increase if there is not enough food for them
    • Amount of dissolved oxygen available in the water (more for the aerobic bacteria and less for the anoxic/anaerobic bacteria)
    • Environmental conditions such as water temperature, pH, etc. (but this should remain fairly constant for any given system, and can thus be left out of the equation...)
    Given that any tank would have a fixed volume of substrate, and a pretty constant supply of oxygen, it thus stands to reason that the bacterial population is directly related to the amount of food available for them to "eat". If one relies on only the limited amount of biomass available on the cured live rock to decompose, it is clear that only a limited number of bacteria will grow to consume this limited amount of pollutant. So, the tank cycles, and after the ammonia and nitrite levels drop to "zero" the aquarist starts to add fish to the tank. If he/she adds only one small fish, the filter bacteria population can easily cope, and the tank remains in a good condition. If the aquarist adds (say) two smallish fish (obviously depending on the size of the tank...), the pollutants generated by the fish would perhaps be slightly more than what the population of filtration bacteria can handle, but they will quickly increase in quantity (given that they now have more food...) and any ammonia or nitrite spike will be small, and hardly noticeable.

    If, however, the aquarist added three or four largish fish to the tank (all at the same time), the new bio-load would totally overwhelm the filtration capacity of the bacteria, and a rather large and nasty ammonia and nitrite spike will result, perhaps even killing some of the fish - a new (larger) cycle would have started...

    It is my belief that it is better to build up a large, robust population of filtration bacteria before one add any fish, especially if one is inclined to be impatient and add too many fish too soon (as is the case with most beginners...), and THIS is where the "shrimp or prawn" method comes into it's own.

    Hennie
     
  9. naughtydragons

    naughtydragons Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    pretoria
    Wow!! Thanx alot Hennie, some detail! Um can I throw crushed coral in my mechanical filter section of my sump (fisrt chamber). If got a Jebo (fresh) so im using that top tray for mechanical filter, wool floss, reason, if got a diy overflow and that dosnt seem to suck up any particles, but im sure it does suck up a little, and then goes to crushed corel chamber first???
     
  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    My pleasure. Of course, this is only my humble opinion, and being somewhat controversial, I'm sure that many aquarists might disagree - please consider their views as well before deciding.

    No, that won't be a good idea.

    Firstly, detritus will get trapped in the crushed coral, and will thus decompose there and add pollution to the tank.

    Secondly (and more importantly), water will continuously be flowing through this first chamber, and because of this, only aerobic bacteria will be able to live in/on the crushed coral. Aerobic bacteria can only reduce ammonia/um to nitrite, to nitrate, but cannot change the nitrate any further, as nitrate is only changed to inert nitrogen by anaerobic bacteria living in oxygen poor environments. The nett effect of this will result in the crushed coral becoming a "nitrate factory", and the nitrate level of your water will increase to a point where you will battle with nuisance algae. That might still be OK in a fish-only tank, but corals don't grow well in water with an elevated nitrate level, and they are easily out-competed by nuisance algae.

    The ideal would be for your display tank to have a deep live sand bed, and/or for you to have a sump with a remote deep live sand bed (and refugium). Personally, I would also remove the filter wool from your system, for the same reason, and only rely on a decent skimmer, live rock and the deep live sand bed.

    Hennie
     
  11. naughtydragons

    naughtydragons Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    pretoria
    Yes that make sense, also I have a Canister F, I've removed most of the pebles, and some wool, i've got sintered glass, LR bits, charcoal in there, that serves as my return pump, im trying to remove all, and just have charcoal and phospate remover, but now i've got the unseeded dsb, new crushed coral scatterd in my tank, so no real biological filtration yet, except not enough LR, sintred glass (in CF), PS, not sure what my question should be, maybe u can answer it, ii've got fish
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    well, if you have fish in there already then it is NOT a good idea to add a dead shrimp or prawn - this method is th START the cycle on a new tank, and NOT to "boost" the filtration of a tank with livestock in it :nono:

    Perhaps we should start at the start... tell us about your system - size of tank, lighting, filtration, amount of live rock and sand, current bio-load (fish and inverts) and how long the tank has been set up. Also, do you test your water - please post current water parameters (ammonia/um, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, pH, alkalinity and calcium would be about the minimum you need to test for...).

    Once we know what your system looks like, and how it's doing, we will be able to offer better advise.

    Hennie
     
  13. mnd123

    mnd123

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Fourways Gardens
    Thank you for a very good answer Hennie - I am 4 weeks into my cycle on my new tank, with LR from my main DT (2 years old) and seeded my DSB from existing DSB. I have added a few silversides to the mix to get bacteria count up - thanks for a great post!
     
  14. seank

    seank

    Joined:
    24 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,984
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    North of Durban and South of Mozambique
    Without any bacteria in the tank???

    I remember reading about it a couple of years ago, and also tried it when I originally started my 1st tank, but after that, could not get my ammonia down. The spot where the prawn was lying, eventually turned to a grey colour, and after I stirred the sand a couple of days later, the worst smell came from the area - I presume it was the ammonia I smelled.

    Hennie, so you say we can start a tank with absolutely nothing (bacteria wise) and bacteria will eventually "spawn" iside the tank, if you put something like a dead shrimp inside???

    Sorry if the question sound sarcastic, but it is really not, I just need to confirm for future reference
     
  15. chikaboo

    chikaboo

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Newcastle - KZN
    Sorry I remember when I first joined the forum I read something about how living organisms dying and how the magots and bacteria come out to eat the decaying corpse - Is this the same principle we referring to - Also not being funny about it - its just to clarify some questions
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Sean and Chikaboo yes, the way I understand this (and remember, I'm no marine biologist, so I could be wrong...), filtration bacteria can enter our systems seemingly from nowhere - I assume from the air... I suspect that fresh-water strains of these bacteria can and do adapt to live in sea water - however, in my experience, it does take much longer to complete a cycle if the tank is started up with no seeding from any marine source (i.e. no live rock, live sand, or anything else coming from the ocean. I have been told by some pretty clever marine biologists that the bacteria inside the gut of dead, frozen shrimp or prawns remain viable for a long time, and one only needs one or two of them (the bacteria) to start a colony. Obviously, any live (or freshly dead...) marine critter (snail, shrimp, fish...) would also contain living colonies of these bacteria. Just adding a teaspoon of water from an established tank, or real sea water, would also "seed" the tank. Live rock, obviously, also contain colonies of these bacteria, and that is why I stated that uncured live rock is IMHO the best, and the shrimp/prawn method is the second best method to start a new tank's cycle.

    True, a dead prawn can really stink... but have you ever smelled curing live rock? I don't believe that one necessarily need to leave the prawn in the tank until it has completely decomposed. In fact, the correct way is to wrap it in a piece of nylon stocking, which keeps all the "vrot" pieces together, and which makes it very easy for one to remove it after a few weeks. I would suggest that, for a normal mixed reef type setup, one keeps the shrimp/prawn in the tank until the nitrite level starts to rise, and to then remove it. Of couse, if one is planning on stacking heavily as soon as possible, it would make sense to boost the bacterial population by leaving the prawn in the tank for a while longer - at least until the nitrite level peaks.

    I must say that I've had a few turbo snails, and one or two fish, die in my tank over the years, and quite often I have only discovered this after the snail or fish had been dead for more than a week. Fortunately, the filtration bacterial population in my tank must be pretty robust, because the tank has never experienced any ammonia or nitrite spike (that I'm aware of), even though the dead bodies had decayed badly by the time that I discovered them, and had stank to high heavens when removed.

    Hennie
     
  17. chikaboo

    chikaboo

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Newcastle - KZN
    Thanx Hennie - all part of the cycle buddy - how's your ticker doing? Dont let your bacteria's out just yet - we still have a lot to learn from u!
     
  18. seank

    seank

    Joined:
    24 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,984
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    North of Durban and South of Mozambique
    Good tip, thank you, and thank you for the explanation Hennie:)
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - seed Forum Date
To seed or not to seed? General Discussions and Advice 27 Jan 2016
Thanks @AadilSeedat for sharing this amazing pic of the Cerianthius Tube Anemone... JungleAquatics.NET BLOG 22 Mar 2014
FSeedat 1.5 Mixed Reef - IN The Making Medium Tanks 30 Nov 2013
[wtd] cup of good DSB for seeding Wanted 7 Jun 2013
Seeding a new tank with coraline Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds 16 Nov 2012
different way to "seed" dsb? General Discussions and Advice 18 Aug 2012
cup for seeding DSB Beginner Discussions 13 Apr 2012