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Is tank completely cycled with Dry Method ?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by rthomas, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    I have two tanks waiting to be flooded. A 60L tank this weekend and my main 600L later this month.

    The 60L is already 80% fill up with HC and will be 4 weeks growing emersed this weekend. When I flood the tank, can I add fish immediately or should I gradually add them, like adding Ottos in the fifth week and later, say, Rummynose in the 6th week. Please clarify.

    And since I am going to run the fertz method with EI, should I add my fertz right after I flood the tank, or should I wait? If the latter, then for how long b4 adding them fertz? Please advice.

    Thank you.
     
  2. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Appreciate all thoughts on this. TIA.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I will take a shot at this:

    The nitrifying bacteria colonies won't be established just with a dry start method, because there are insufficient wet submersed areas for the bacteria to colonize, and no continuous source of ammonia for them to eat.

    But, if you add the stem plants, or whatever other higher plants you plan to use, when you flood the tank, it is even better than the usual wet started planted aquarium because the carpet plants will already have roots and be growing, to take up ammonia very soon after flooding. So, I would wait a week or less before adding a few fish.

    And, the carpet plants will be growing quickly, so I would start fertillizing right away. Since you have been growing the carpet with only substrate fertilizing, your substrate must be nutrient rich, at least initially, so dosing EI at half strength could be adequate until more plants get started growing well.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The DSM as stated in the artilce uses ADA AS, and after 3-8 weeks of growth in saturated soil, it will be fully cycled and root growth will be established.

    If you have no NH4 source, then add some.
    It'll all be NO3 in a few weeks when you go to fill the aquarium.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you Tom.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The way I understand "cycling" it is all about growing a colony of bacteria on surfaces in the aquarium and filter, that is consuming the ammonia generated by fish waste and plant debris rotting. Since that bacteria can only live if it has a food supply, and the food it requires is ammonia, any tank is "cycled" only for the existing conditions. Once you double the bioload the tank is no longer "cycled" until the bacteria colony grows to match the new greater food supply.

    If that is true, then a dry started tank, having no water, no wet surfaces for bacteria to grow on, and nothing generating ammonia, cannot be said to be "fully cycled" when it is first flooded. It will be free of ammonia, if enough time has elapsed with the dry start, but any bacterial colonies will be vastly undersized once the tank is flooded and lots of fish are added.

    However, if you look at the total capacity for the tank to get rid of ammonia, you have to include the growing plants capacity for ammonia too, and that lets us do without having a "fully cycled" tank when it is first set up or flooded, as long as we have lots of growing plants, which we will have with a dry started tank.

    I'm only belaboring the point because I believe "cycling" is vastly overrated as a requirement for a well planted tank. Those who spend weeks drippiing ammonia into the tank, measuring nitrites and ammonia with a cheap test kit, and finally declaring that the tank is cycled, seem to be spinning their wheels.

    I have never "cycled" a tank. I always plant it relatively heavily, wait a couple of days, add a small number of fish, wait a week or two, add the rest of the fish. And, I don't get fish losses. Cycling is an important need for fish only tanks, but we don't have that type of tank.

    Am I wrong, and just lucky?
     
  7. phanmc

    phanmc Lifetime Charter Member
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    Dry start tanks have water in them, just enough to saturate the substrate and keep it humid. If you're using ADA AS then you have ammonia present and will be cycling the tank in the process.

    Not that you need to cycle a planted tank in the first place. The reason people cycle a tank is to remove ammonia and nitrite by growing bacteria, a large biomass of plants will achieve the same goal and usually much sooner. So it is pointless to cycle a planted tank.
     
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