Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all.
Firstly, as this is my first ever post on here, an introduction. My name is Jason and I live in Cornwall UK with my young family. I've kept fish off and on for 40 years but due to kids and house moving/renovation I haven't had a tank for around 5 years. I recently however purchased a nice big 850 litre 150x75x75, my dream tank which will eventually house Malawi cichlids.
I am currently going through the process of fishless cycling which is going well, nitrites just starting to dip, I'm using the excellent guide found in the library of this site.
Going by the letter of this guide I should be dosing with ammonia every other day and carrying out %30 water changes every day until the cycle is complete and the fish are in. With a tank of this size, work and the duties of home life I find these water changes a challenge to complete but so far have carried them out diligently. I now discover there may be a problem getting my fish due to covid restrictions so I could find myself having to do them for the foreseeable!
Whilst filling the tank up again yesterday the thought hit me "does the tank need to be full?"
The chemistry in the water is a consequence of what is happening in the filters right? So as long as the filters/heaters etc have enough water to function properly and you are using the correct amount of ammonia for the actual amount of water in the tank, the tank doesn't need to be completely full thus making water changes much quicker and my water bill smaller. That being said it's probably a good idea to fill up properly and monitor a week or so before adding fish.
In theory, why could you not cycle an FX6 intended for a 400l + tank in a 100l tank or smaller? So long as the water didn't go all over the floor when you switched it on!
Your thoughts please.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

You want a tank with the full size of media the final tank will have (use the filters that you will use on the ultimate tank). You also want the ammonia to have the dilution that it will have when the fish are in the tank. So I think you are better off with the full size, fully filled tank.

You are trying to match the amount of ammonia all your ultimate fish will generate. If you put that amount of ammonia in less water, it will be too strong to grow the beneficial organisms most efficiently.

You can certainly jump start a cycle for a large tank by cycling a small tank. But then you would not want to put all the fish in the larger tank at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate what you're saying regarding ammonia concentration.
Having given this a little more thought:
The ammonia concentration is achieved by getting the right ratio of ammonia to water. Less water in the tank means less ammonia needs to be added in a single dose although with the two large externals I have running at the moment, the bacteria within would process the ammonia much faster if my tank was for arguments sake half full rather than full. Therefore I would need to dose twice a day rather than once to keep the bacteria happy. If this was kept up then the water passing through the filters would be exactly the same as if the tank were completely full.
However, the fact that I would be dosing up with exactly the same amount of ammonia albeit in two daily doses rather than one would mean nitrate levels would also be the same as for a full tank but in half as much water and in order to bring these down I would also need to do twice as many water changes. Confused? :-?
In short I wouldn't be saving myself any time at all! :roll: Serves me right for buying such a big tank I suppose!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
I don't think the bacteria would process the ammonia twice as fast. You want to add the amount of ammonia your fish generate. The bacteria or beneficial organisms will increase in numbers (as opposed to two bacteria eating twice as much, the organisms would reproduce if extra food was available so four bacteria would grow) depending on how much ammonia there is...assuming the ammonia concentration is not toxic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Pardon me if this is a stupid question but why do daily water changes if there are no fish in the tank ? I've never done one myself but people I know who do fishless cycling don't bother with frequent water changes, since there are no fish to harm.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
Too much nitrate can slow the growth of the beneficial organisms. I thought it was every other day, but whatever the article says is correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The guide says %30 water change every day and dose with ammonia every other day. Seems like it should be the other way around though as ammonia is down to zero 24 hours after dosing. I'm dosing every day after as I don't like the idea of leaving the tank on zero ammonia for 24 hours as that wouldn't be the case if fish were present.
Many thanks for the comments and happy new year.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
Sonicyouth, can you post the test results for ammonia and nitrite? Also which test kit are you using?

My understanding of the need to perform the 30% daily water change during fish less cycling is only if the nitrite gets too high during that part of the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your interest Deeda.
I began the cycle two weeks ago by dosing with 45ml of ammonia which brought the concentration up to 1.5ppm. This dropped to 0.15 after 8 days after which I dosed again. I am currently dosing with ammonia every day and the concentration is down to zero 24 hours after dosing.
Nitrite is currently at 100ppm which is as high as my test kit can read so basically off the chart which is why I'm doing %30 water changes every other day. I'm sure it will begin to drop soon though. Ph is around 8.
The kits I'm using are Salifert.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
You scared me there for a second with the 100 ppm of nitrite but saw it's actually 4 ppm.

Try skipping the ammonia dose daily and try to dose every 3rd day. It sounds like you are close with the high nitrite level.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
It shouldn't have an impact on the cycle. The ammonia consuming bacteria won't die off that quickly and it allows the nitrite consuming bacteria to catch up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good question, now that England had gone into a six week lockdown it my be a while before I can get my hands on any fish.
Controversially, I was going to attempt a mixed mbuna/peacock tank. It's a big tank, 850l or 223 us gallons so plenty of room for both, I like to think.
I was going to go for fairly peaceful dwarf mbuna:
Saulosi x10
Tropheops aurora x2
Neon spot x2
Rusties x8
Also a group of 6 acei.
Added to this a 5 or six peacocks, not decided on species yet.

Comments welcome but let me down gently!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
Is the tank 6 feet long or 8 feet long?

I would not characterize tropheops or neon spot as peaceful. And rusties are often not as peaceful as advertized. You might get away with saulosi if you first stock the peacocks and let them mature and grow large, then add juvenile mbuna.

Malawi do not pair, so I would not do 2 of the tropheops or neon spot.

For a six foot tank, just the 5 species of mbuna (1m:4f of each) would be fully stocked. If you have 8 feet and fill the tank with rock things may work better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Have to agree
I have some neon spot and they are certainly not peaceful, the Maingano stay well clear of them.
My Jalo male is the only one to put them in there place - beautiful fish though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for the comments. I'll reconsider the neon spot. Any recommendations on suitable peacock species would be appreciated. I was thinking about mix of Stuartgranti species?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
I have no experience with peacocks but I'm sure the general consensus is not to mix mbuna with peacocks.
Either a mixed gender mbuna tank or all male peacock and hap tank.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top