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I have read articles on fishless cycling. I also struggled to get a 65 gallon cycled in the recent past. I want to do it right this time. I have two ten gallon, a twenty gallon and the 65. All tanks are Malawi, hopefully males. I plan on populating the 210 with the 30 fish in these tanks. I added extra foam filters to the four tanks as I heard these will be good source to seed the new tank. I also read to move some gravel from the four tanks to the new tank. How about water from the existing and some of the decorative rocks? Anything else? I know to do testing for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. I plan to keep the 65 gallon as a grow out tank and the twenty for breeding and fry.
 

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If you have 30 fish in all the existing tanks, and will have the same 30 fish in the new tank (that's a lot...how long is the tank?) then you are moving the bacteria with the fish and all should be fine.

But the original tanks will then have no bacteria, so I would leave the rocks/substrate there to keep them capable of supporting a few try or a trio of grow-out fish.
 

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For all-male in a 72" tank my ideal is 18 adults if they mature <= six inches.
 

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DJR;

...he says " some gravel from the four tanks to the new tank. ... and some of the decorative rocks..." ...why would you say "But the original tanks will then have no bacteria..."?...I have trouble understanding or agreeing with this statement...as I understand it, nitrifying bacteria populate all surfaces, so as long as only some of the substrate and decos are moved to seed the new tank, the bacteria populations of the old tank will remain (and adjust to the new bioload). Please explain if I have this wrong.

Cheers
 

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I think we agree, I just said leave all the décor and substrate in the old tanks to maintain enough bacteria to support fry or a couple of grow-outs.

Removing all the media does remove most of the beneficial bacteria, although there is still some on surfaces.

And yes it will grow to accommodate, but the trick is will there be enough for the first few weeks to avoid toxins in the water.

If all we needed for a full load of fish is what grows on surfaces other than media, we would not need the media.
 
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