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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the situation.. I rehomed the the single Julie that was left in a 20g long, that I have had running for a couple of years now. That was 3 days ago..and my plan was to order fish today and add them later this week.
Turns out I won't be able to order them until Monday of next week,..since I will be leaving town later this week for a few days and won't be here to receive the new fish. That will leave the tank up and running but with no fish in it for close to 2 weeks.
I have 3 filters running on the tank 2 aquaclear 30s (HOBs) and a small Eheim canister filter. I started adding 'Stability' (Seachem).. the day after I removed the last fish.

My question is.. will the tank remain cycled and safe to add the new fish after being empty for close to 2 weeks? I plan to add 10 fish (4 Julie Ornatus and 6 Multies). Any suggestions on having the tank ready for 10 new fish?
I had thought about taking the 2 HOBs off and running them on one of my other Malawi tanks until the new fish arrive..but didn't know if this would help or hurt things. Any ideas are appreciated!
 

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If the tank was fully cycled with ammonia it will remain cycled for 14 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got it, thanks DJR. Should I continue regular water changes or no?..and would adding water occasionally from another tank with 12 Mbuna in it help? Also, will the 'Stability'..used for 8 days (per directions) help I assume? I plan on adding some sand and a few rocks from another well established tank, the day before the new fish arrive. This tank was never cycled with amonia.. just jump-started with established filters, media,..sand etc. from other tanks. The water parameters have always been perfect.. but there has only been 1-2 fish in it for a few months now. so I want to be cautious adding 10 fish at once.
 

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Could you add a bit more media from an old tank on the day that the new fish come in, just to be safe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I can definitely do that. I think I should be fine..just wanting to make sure.
 

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A few months with 2 fish is different than 14 days with no fish. I would add ammonia and make sure it is being processed within 24 hours still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DJR.. can you give me a basic rundown on how to add the ammonia exactly in a 20g?.. i.e. how much (1 drop? 2 or 3?) and then when to test..and what to test for exactly. Honestly I've never used ammonia to cycle or test a tank. I've read articles on fishless cycles etc. but have never tried it. I have a good test kit... just been a while since I've needed to use it. Thanks!
 

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Check the fishless cycle articles in CF Library, and skip to the end. I think you add in small amounts until the tank tests 2ppm and then wait 24 hours and test again.

I would try adding ammonia to a gallon to try to get the amounts right and then extrapolate for the 20G.
 

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When I end up with an empty tank and plan on restocking it, I'll add ammonia to 1ppm or less and test after 24 hours. If everything is good, I add ammonia (same amount) about every other day after that. When its time to restock, I'll do one or two large water changes to get the Nitrates down to about 10ppm or so and add the fish. If you have multiple tanks, you can try rehoming a few fish in the empty tank until its time to restock. I use the method also, works equally well. Just need to keep the nitrogen cycle alive.
 
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