Water changes during cycling....

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by luwaynecrous, 20 Feb 2010.

  1. luwaynecrous

    luwaynecrous

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    Been wondering, I have a 4ft tank with 30 kg of live rock, and has been cycling for about 4 weeks now. Have the diatoms, and the Nitrates are dropping, so everything looks well. Just want to know should I be doing water changes, and how often during cycling? :confused1:
     
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  3. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    you can do waterchanges if you want to cos the bacteria that you are cultivating are in substrate and on live rock. waterchanges will help reduce nutrients while curing the liverock but may lengthen cycling time because bacteria have less 'food'.
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Personally - I think that doing water changes while cycling is a waste of time, and if you are using synthetic salt to make-up water - a waste of money.

    Wait until your tank have been cycled for at least 2 weeks, then do a decent water change before you start adding live stock.
     
    Last edited: 20 Feb 2010
  5. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    if you are cycling a tank you would need liverock in or some seed substrate otherwise you are wasting your time or just aerating your water esp if using ro and salt mix cos none of the correct bacteria would be present. why would you do a waterchange before adding liverock? what would the purpose be? i thought that cycling was in part allowing the gunge in liverock to come out and the bacteria levels in liverock and substrate to develop enough to start handling a bioload?
     
  6. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Sorry - tiredness stuffing up my thinking and typing. I meant "lifestock"! ;)
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Think about it. What do you want to cycle. The water? Or the living organism in the liverock. Why else do you think we can do a 50% water change, but not a 50% liverock change.

    And what is the point of cycling?
    To get rid of the die off because organisms died inside the liverock during transit. Somewhere somebody took the rock out of water and you do not know when, where and how long. So the ammonia spike is those organism that died that is breaking up. And then other organisms starts that eat the dead stuff, until the dead stuff are all gone and they again starve to death, second cycle. And so it continues until eventually it balances out.

    OK, another view, the ammonia in the water is also causing other organisms to die. So YES a water change will bring the ammonia level down, and ensure other organisms do not die because of ammonia poisoning. But this is only really needed if the ammonia and nitrates levels are abnormally high. And these organisms will actually eventually also die when they run out of food. So why prolong the process.

    So let the ammonia and nitrates spike, come down, go up on second cycle and so forth until it eventually settles. And it only settles when we have the lowest order organisms, some that eat them, and some higher order. So that we at least have the beginnings of a food chain.

    Think about this statement. A complete new tank with no life in it, or any traces that there was life in it. It is completely sterile. Boiled in the kettle stuff. Completely filtered. There is no ammonia or nitrates either. So do we have a cycled tank? No ways!!! First fish that poop, and there is nothing to eat that poop.

    Another point. And here I did not receive any good answer myself. So please, guru, help me out. Must we feed an empty tank that is cycling some flake food?

    In my opinion, yes, we must. From about week 3. Else how will we ever get the cycle balanced. If there is no food, the organisms die, causing another cycle. So we must ensure that there is just enough to keep the organisms healthy and to ensure higher order organisms can evolve and survive.
     
  8. luwaynecrous

    luwaynecrous Thread Starter

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    Thanks Riaan, makes sense what you told me now. I have put 4 shrimps in the tank about a week ago, feeding them some pellets. Hopefully this will also help with the cycle.
     
  9. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    good info, that is why bio load should be increased slowly to allow bacteria to play catchup
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    anybody want to answer this statement?
     
  11. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    i dont think it is necessary to feed flake or any kind of food if you already have a source of NH3 like a prawn in a stocking etc.
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Riaan - this is one of those "do it if you want to" answers. I do not really see any gain or loss from this. Except that one MIGHT overfeed, and cause extra ammonia spikes. Other than that - I have never done this....
     
  13. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    an oyster or shrimp in stocking if you are doing waterchanges. nothing if you are not doing waterchanges. change shrimp or oyster every three days otherwise decomposes and then tank muffs, not flake , decomposes and adds to phosphates
     
  14. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    Mandarin, wouldnt you want the shrimp to start to decompose ? isnt that when the most NH3 is produced ?
     
  15. luwaynecrous

    luwaynecrous Thread Starter

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    I think there has been a missunderstanding, the shrimp I added are still alive and doing well, caught them at the ocean, when i was collecting the live rock.
     
  16. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    lol, no misunderstanding, people use shrimp or prawn meat in a stocking to cycle a tank, this gives you an amonia source to start with....
     
  17. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    LOL Luwaynecrous - no. These okes are talking about something dead and meaty to help the nitrogen-cycle/ammonia-cycle on ;)

    Not talking about your life shrimp.....
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    OK, but phosphates are only feeding algae, and that you want as soon as possible.
    Phosphates in itself is harmless. Algae is part of the cycle. So should they not get some food somewhere. Also algae is a good cultivating area for copepods. So you want that.

    But I promote that if any flakes should be added, you should do it sparingly. Do not overfeed, as there is not much to feed on it.
     
  19. vatso

    vatso

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    Any fish food would start the cycle off

    I would suggest doing a water change to learn how much salt & how you plan to change your water before you have fish & other things in the tank.

    the water change can not harm your tank
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Missed where you got them.

    What shrimps did you get? hope it is not Mantis shrimps....
    If you do not know, can you please upload a picture.
     
  21. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    stocking is not really necessary
     
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