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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my tank is almost completely cycled after doing a fishless with straight ammonia. I'm going to be out of town a couple times over the next few weeks. Once for 5 days and once for 10days. I don't wanna lose any of the bacteria I built up while gone.

I'm planning on getting my stock of mbunas but think I wanna wait til my trips are over so I don't have to bother Anyone to come and feed fish...plus worried since they will be babies that I may lose a couple and don't want people feeling bad that watch my fish.

Question is, I'm planning on having bn plecos with my fish...if I put 4 baby bn plecos in my tank, will they produce enough waste to create enough ammonia to keep my cycle going or will it not be enough. I have a 125 gallon that I've been dosing to 4ppm ammo. I was thinking of putting in a few of those vacation feeders as well, more than what would be needed to try and produce some more waste.
 

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Waiting for your trip to be over is the smartest thing you can do to stock.

I can't answer if the plecos and feeder blocks will be enough to sustain the cycle, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.
 

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Honestly I would just wait until you are back home and pick up where you left off. I don't think the 2 trips will negatively affect the cycle.

You could dose the tank with ammonia before you leave for the 5 days, check when you get back and dose again before the 10 day trip and recheck on your return if you are concerned.

I would not add the BN Plecos and definitely not a vacation feeder which I assume is a food feeder block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Deeda said:
Honestly I would just wait until you are back home and pick up where you left off. I don't think the 2 trips will negatively affect the cycle.

You could dose the tank with ammonia before you leave for the 5 days, check when you get back and dose again before the 10 day trip and recheck on your return if you are concerned.

I would not add the BN Plecos and definitely not a vacation feeder which I assume is a food feeder block.
Right now I'm dosing to 4ppm a day and its getting to the point where ammonia disappears completely after 12 hours. My Nitrites are pretty much almost down to zero, which is why I think the cycle is almost done

So not as worried about the 5 day weekend trip, but as far as the 10 day trip goes, I can dose to 4ppm and it will be gone after 12 hours...so you're saying it would be ok to leave the tank for 9 days without any ammonia source and when I get back the cycle would not be crashed? I really do not want to wait another month to get fish if the cycle dies.
 

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I don't think the cycle will crash after the 10 day trip. I've finished cycling a tank and waited a couple weeks before picking up fry or small juvenile fish at my local club auction, I just check the parameters a couple days before the auction and everything was just fine for fish.

If your plan is to buy larger juvies or adults, just dose ammonia and monitor for a few days prior to expected delivery.

What is your nitrite level now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Deeda said:
What is your nitrite level now?
NitrItes at .25 I think....its gone from bright purple to almost light blue over the course of this week. I wouldn't be surprised if its showing 0 by the time I get home
 

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Agree, don't add fish or gunk and stock when you return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DJRansome said:
Agree, don't add fish or gunk and stock when you return.
Bacteria won't die after 10 days? I've read around and there are so many differing opinions...some people say beneficial bacteria will only last a few days without ammo, some say a couple weeks. Not sure what to believe!
 

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The bacteria should not die but may go dormant so it's 2 different things. Just test the tank when you come back from your 10 day trip and if needed, add ammonia and see if it's 'used' up the next day. Once the cycle is complete, you should see some level of nitrate over zero.
 

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I'd worry if you were gone more than a month maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Deeda said:
The bacteria should not die but may go dormant so it's 2 different things. Just test the tank when you come back from your 10 day trip and if needed, add ammonia and see if it's 'used' up the next day. Once the cycle is complete, you should see some level of nitrate over zero.
So my 10 day trip is over.
Before I left, the cycle was complete and 4 ppm of ammo was being converted completely into nitrate in a 24 hour period.
I did not do anything to the tank accept dose 4ppm right before I left.
Now that I returned I put another 4ppm in after the 10 day trip at 10pm on sat night. I checked again this morning at 8am and their is still ammo in the water, looks like maybe 2ppm.
Does it take a while for the bacteria to become active again? Have any bacteria died off while I was gone?
 

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Did you test for ammonia before you dosed to 4 PPM again?

Are you still testing for nitrite and nitrate? If so, what are the results?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Deeda said:
Did you test for ammonia before you dosed to 4 PPM again?

Are you still testing for nitrite and nitrate? If so, what are the results?
yes, it was 0, 0 and then off the chart nitrates when I came back from my trip, then I dosed to 4ppm ammo and there is still ammo present.
before my trip 4ppm of ammo converted to nitrite and then into nitrates completely in a 24 hour period. Now it is not. It does appear that ammo is still going down just not nearly as fast anymore
 

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I would say that since your nitrates were off the chart, you might be cycled. I suggest doing a 50% water change to drop your nitrate by 50%, wait 24 hours then test all 3 parameters again and post the results.

Do not add any ammonia at this time. The water change will not affect the bacteria colony so don't worry about that at this time.
 
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