Jump to content

Is it normal to get a cycle bump when upgrading to larger tank?


andry6

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

I think what Hinfin might be saying is that the bacteria may have been initially starved as the ammonia levels in the tank would have been lower / more diluted at first. Some of the bacteria may have died off or not splitting as usual. If they decreased in numbers and then time passed allowing the fish to fill the tank with ammonia, the remaining bacteria may not have been able to keep up. Again, this is just a maybe. Although it seems reasonable because the tank showed no nitrite or nitrate, indicating no ammonia converting bacteria.

Edited by DieselPlower
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Regular Member

I am just saying it is theoretically possible, i do not know what exactly happened.

Another example is when a filter does not keep running. If no water with ammonia passes trough the filter media the bacteria cultures could decrease in numbers drastically within hours. After a filter has stopped you can also expect a cycle bump and increased ammonia levels.

I must admit its a bit offtopic, back to getting the cycle back up!

Edited by Hinfin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Bacteria do not up and die if their nutrient supply is exhausted. In nature, bacteria regularly use up their food supply. They don't have the capacity to walk or fly to a new food source, and even if they can swim, are unlikely to find a new food source in their body of water for a while. They just simply stop growing and can stay in this state for a long time. Here is an explanation. Here is another that isn't part of a commercial site.

Many of us have accidentally left a filter off in a tank for days, changed water, rinsed out the filter, and started it up again without the slightest cycle bump. Your personal results may be different.

Of course you can decrease the population of nitrifiers in a filter transfer. The biobugs don't know that they are supposed to only grow in biomedia, and those growing on the tank surfaces and surfaces of substrate, plants, ornaments, are usually lost in the transfer. People setting up a new tank are eager to make it sparking clean may also scrub out the filter and replace mechanical filter media, losing more nitrifiers. Since nitrifiers have a long doubling time -- a day or more -- it may take several days to get the population back up.

Yes, very green water can suppress the growth of nitrifiers, since the algae are using ammonia, but the nitrifiers are still there, even if in smaller numbers. In this case, they are going to be mainly in the filter medium where debris that is sucked into the filter rots and feeds the microbes that are happy in the dark. Most (but not all) people who abruptly kill green water algae with UV do not get a cycle bump as a result, indicating the nitrifiers rebound rapidly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I think what Hinfin might be saying is that the bacteria may have been initially starved as the ammonia levels in the tank would have been lower / more diluted at first. Some of the bacteria may have died off or not splitting as usual. If they decreased in numbers and then time passed allowing the fish to fill the tank with ammonia, the remaining bacteria may not have been able to keep up. Again, this is just a maybe. Although it seems reasonable because the tank showed no nitrite or nitrate, indicating no ammonia converting bacteria.

This is exactly what I mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Bacteria do not up and die if their nutrient supply is exhausted. In nature, bacteria regularly use up their food supply. They don't have the capacity to walk or fly to a new food source, and even if they can swim, are unlikely to find a new food source in their body of water for a while. They just simply stop growing and can stay in this state for a long time. Here is an explanation. Here is another that isn't part of a commercial site.

Many of us have accidentally left a filter off in a tank for days, changed water, rinsed out the filter, and started it up again without the slightest cycle bump. Your personal results may be different.

Of course you can decrease the population of nitrifiers in a filter transfer. The biobugs don't know that they are supposed to only grow in biomedia, and those growing on the tank surfaces and surfaces of substrate, plants, ornaments, are usually lost in the transfer. People setting up a new tank are eager to make it sparking clean may also scrub out the filter and replace mechanical filter media, losing more nitrifiers. Since nitrifiers have a long doubling time -- a day or more -- it may take several days to get the population back up.

Yes, very green water can suppress the growth of nitrifiers, since the algae are using ammonia, but the nitrifiers are still there, even if in smaller numbers. In this case, they are going to be mainly in the filter medium where debris that is sucked into the filter rots and feeds the microbes that are happy in the dark. Most (but not all) people who abruptly kill green water algae with UV do not get a cycle bump as a result, indicating the nitrifiers rebound rapidly.

So my point is not that they "up and die" necessarily, but that they certainly aren't growing in a new tank without a food source -- hence they are starved, at least at first. Transferring filter media and objects helps, but without feeding the BBs, they won't take off in the new home. In this case, everything was moved and it took time to see ammonia, so perhaps the BBs are dormant because of that lack of ammonia.

If this was a fishless cycle, she would be expected to add ammonia to create a cycle. I'm saying that perhaps the lack of ammonia from not much waste in a big new tank has "starved" the cycle, meaning it wasn't enough to feed the BBs for growth. Maybe they still are there, but without a food source, they aren't growing.

As for nitrate, ponds might not have it, but most tanks do. If only we could all have ponds like yours, Professor. ;):please:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

OMG!!! Get out the rubbermate!

Do not panic, i have read many times from translated texts that you need a certain amount of ammonia to keep strong and heathy fish, observe and if you feel things are going the wrong way keep the fish in fresh and treated water. 100% WC daily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

So my point is not that they "up and die" necessarily, but that they certainly aren't growing in a new tank without a food source -- hence they are starved, at least at first. Transferring filter media and objects helps, but without feeding the BBs, they won't take off in the new home. In this case, everything was moved and it took time to see ammonia, so perhaps the BBs are dormant because of that lack of ammonia.

If this was a fishless cycle, she would be expected to add ammonia to create a cycle. I'm saying that perhaps the lack of ammonia from not much waste in a big new tank has "starved" the cycle, meaning it wasn't enough to feed the BBs for growth. Maybe they still are there, but without a food source, they aren't growing.

There are fish in the tank. The same fish as were in the old tank.

Fish produce ammonia. The same fish fed the same amount of food produce the same amount of ammonia.

You add ammonia for a fishless cycle because there are no fish in the tank.

The test says there is ammonia in the tank, therefore there is a food source, and any ammonia oxidizers present are growing.

There are cycled tanks that do not have nitrate, therefore the absence of nitrate does not mean the tank is not cycled.

Edited by shakaho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

So my point is not that they "up and die" necessarily, but that they certainly aren't growing in a new tank without a food source -- hence they are starved, at least at first. Transferring filter media and objects helps, but without feeding the BBs, they won't take off in the new home. In this case, everything was moved and it took time to see ammonia, so perhaps the BBs are dormant because of that lack of ammonia.

If this was a fishless cycle, she would be expected to add ammonia to create a cycle. I'm saying that perhaps the lack of ammonia from not much waste in a big new tank has "starved" the cycle, meaning it wasn't enough to feed the BBs for growth. Maybe they still are there, but without a food source, they aren't growing.

There are fish in the tank. The same fish as were in the old tank.

Fish produce ammonia. The same fish fed the same amount of food produce the same amount of ammonia.

You add ammonia for a fishless cycle because there are no fish in the tank.

The test says there is ammonia in the tank, therefore there is a food source, and any ammonia oxidizers present are growing.

There are cycled tanks that do not have nitrate, therefore the absence of nitrate does not mean the tank is not cycled.

Actually, right before I upgraded, I had the two larger fish (70-85 grams a piece) in the 29 gallon tank. The two babies were in QT for about two months or so.

I started a prazi treatment right before the upgrade so I put all 4 fish in the 29 gallon about a week and a half before I introduced them all to the new tank.

Since I was going from a 29 to a 75 gallon, I had to get two entirely new filters for the new tank. I am sure I had to have lost BBs there, but the cartridges from the old filters were pretty dirty when I transferred them over to the new ones, along with all of the ceramic media. I figured that with 4 fish in that small tank more ammonia had to have been produced feeding the BBs and I was hopeful that the cartridges had enough waste in them to keep the cycle going. Plus, everything else was taken from one tank to the other - substrate, air stone, plants.The only things that changed, besides the actual new filters were the glass and amount of water! Everything else remained the same.

So far, today, my ammonia still appears to be .25, maybe a hair darker but definitely not .5ppm.

Nitrites - 0,

Nitrate appears to be zero, but when I compare it to the tap, it looks like it has a very faint shade of orange to it, whereas the tap is definitely a bright yellow. (it is more noticeable looking straight down the tube rather than straight at it.) I am hoping that something is starting to happen.

I also wanted to note that when I first got my fish about a year and a half ago, and had to cycle the tank with them in it, I never got a nitrite spike. My ammonia just dropped and nitrates started to show up - just an fyi for whatever it's worth :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

You just did a very fine job of explaining what happened. It also appears things are going very well.

What would have worked a little better (for future reference) is to just put the old filters in the new tank along with the new ones. Then you would have had exactly the filter nitrifiers that you had in the old tank, including those living on the walls of the filter. While nitrifiers live on surfaces, when they divide and the local surface space is filled, one (or even both) of the daughter cells floats away until it finds a new space to attach itself -- like on the media in the new filter. After a couple of weeks, you remove one of the old filters, adding its biomedium to one of the new tanks. After another couple of weeks, you do the same thing with the other old filter. Usually this process is bump-free.

When you did your initial fish-in cycle, did you do lots of large water changes to keep ammonia virtually zero?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Yes! I sure did...and it was an excruciatingly long process. Ask Lisa! She had to send me some BBs to give me a jump start. I had the tank that just wouldn't cooperate. I thought it was never going to cycle. But those super hero BBs of hers :flex: did the trick! I am forever indebted to her :teehee

Edited by andry6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I think we followed the ammonia + nitrite less than 1, Prime and test again the next day, didn't we? Ammonia + nitrite more than 1, WC, Prime, test in 24 hours? :idont

All I remember was that something wasn't going away (ammonia or nitrite) and I was ready for it to be done so I could only imagine how Christine felt. :tomuch:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

One thing to consider is that if the media in the old filters was very dirty, there may not have been much benificial bacteria to begin with. Unless it was just the filter pads that were dirty, and not the biomedia. The BB's won't grow on a material covered in debris. They need a clean surface with high levels of oxygen to operate efficiently. Bury them in poop and they will do nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I think we followed the ammonia + nitrite less than 1, Prime and test again the next day, didn't we? Ammonia + nitrite more than 1, WC, Prime, test in 24 hours? :idont

All I remember was that something wasn't going away (ammonia or nitrite) and I was ready for it to be done so I could only imagine how Christine felt. :tomuch:

It was the ammonia! I was so sick of the color green after that whole ordeal.

One thing to consider is that if the media in the old filters was very dirty, there may not have been much benificial bacteria to begin with. Unless it was just the filter pads that were dirty, and not the biomedia. The BB's won't grow on a material covered in debris. They need a clean surface with high levels of oxygen to operate efficiently. Bury them in poop and they will do nothing.

It was just the filter pads that were dirty...and when I say dirty, I don't mean disgustingly dirty :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

One thing to consider is that if the media in the old filters was very dirty, there may not have been much benificial bacteria to begin with. Unless it was just the filter pads that were dirty, and not the biomedia. The BB's won't grow on a material covered in debris. They need a clean surface with high levels of oxygen to operate efficiently. Bury them in poop and they will do nothing.

Nitrifiers are soil microbes that also live in water, typically in detritus at the bottom of the lake/pond, or on the slimy biofilms on other surfaces. They normally operate in a community that contains ammonifiers and other heterotrophic bacteria bound together in a matrix that includes the food for those bugs -- detritus. The bacteria that fishkeeping legend calls the ammonia and nitrite oxidizers -- Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter -- are sewage bacteria. In fact these are not the primary nitrifiers in most aquaria, soil, fresh water, or marine environments, but may predominate in sewage. In sewage, oxygen is typically the limiting factor in nitrification.

So nitrifiers are not clean freaks, whatever the koi pond people believe. If you can provide scientific studies to the contrary, please do so. Of course they are perfectly happy to live on clean surfaces if they are getting lots of ammonia. Efficiency in nitrification becomes important if your koi pond is in the tens of thousands of gallons. It doesn't matter much if you have a small pond and room for a big filter. Nitrifiers require surface space, oxygen, and ammonia to function. Any one of these can be what limits the rate of nitrification. If the ammonia level in your tank or pond is zero, ammonia is the limiting factor. Only if your ammonia level is above zero do you have to consider adding oxygen or increasing surface area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

One thing to consider is that if the media in the old filters was very dirty, there may not have been much benificial bacteria to begin with. Unless it was just the filter pads that were dirty, and not the biomedia. The BB's won't grow on a material covered in debris. They need a clean surface with high levels of oxygen to operate efficiently. Bury them in poop and they will do nothing.

Nitrifiers are soil microbes that also live in water, typically in detritus at the bottom of the lake/pond, or on the slimy biofilms on other surfaces. They normally operate in a community that contains ammonifiers and other heterotrophic bacteria bound together in a matrix that includes the food for those bugs -- detritus. The bacteria that fishkeeping legend calls the ammonia and nitrite oxidizers -- Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter -- are sewage bacteria. In fact these are not the primary nitrifiers in most aquaria, soil, fresh water, or marine environments, but may predominate in sewage. In sewage, oxygen is typically the limiting factor in nitrification.

So nitrifiers are not clean freaks, whatever the koi pond people believe. If you can provide scientific studies to the contrary, please do so. Of course they are perfectly happy to live on clean surfaces if they are getting lots of ammonia. Efficiency in nitrification becomes important if your koi pond is in the tens of thousands of gallons. It doesn't matter much if you have a small pond and room for a big filter. Nitrifiers require surface space, oxygen, and ammonia to function. Any one of these can be what limits the rate of nitrification. If the ammonia level in your tank or pond is zero, ammonia is the limiting factor. Only if your ammonia level is above zero do you have to consider adding oxygen or increasing surface area.

Theyre not going to get much oxygen covered in poop. That is why biofiltration comes after mechanical filtration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Poop is not impermeable to oxygen, and poop that makes it into the filter is flaky or crumbly little particles. In flowing well-aerated water there's plenty of oxygen for the inhabitants of the filter. The problem comes if that water is not aerated. For example, if you pump the water from the bottom of the pond to the bottom of an upflow filter without inserting air, the water will be low in oxygen by the time it gets to the top. Still, people do that all the time and still have zero ammonia and nitrites which means the biobugs have enough oxygen to handle all of the ammonia from the pond.

What do use for mechanical filtration in your pond?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Today it has been six days since my last water change. Ammonia has been holding steady at .25ppm until today. Today it is .5ppm. I have been dosing with Prime.

ph is 7.6

Nitrites - 0

Nitrates - not 0, but not .5 either. You can see orange when you look straight down the tube. That's how I know it's there. (Tap is 0)

I am going to change out enough water to keep the fish covered. 75 gallon tanks are a pain to do large water changes on that's for sure. I miss my 29 gallon tank only for this reason :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Poop is not impermeable to oxygen, and poop that makes it into the filter is flaky or crumbly little particles. In flowing well-aerated water there's plenty of oxygen for the inhabitants of the filter. The problem comes if that water is not aerated. For example, if you pump the water from the bottom of the pond to the bottom of an upflow filter without inserting air, the water will be low in oxygen by the time it gets to the top. Still, people do that all the time and still have zero ammonia and nitrites which means the biobugs have enough oxygen to handle all of the ammonia from the pond.

What do use for mechanical filtration in your pond?

Rocks.

If it was not important for BB to have a clean environment, why does every single filter ever made that I know of have mechanical filtration before biofiltration. I would be there is probably a standalone biofilter that does nit have mchanical filtration built in, but the directions will say to mechanically filter the water first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Today it has been six days since my last water change. Ammonia has been holding steady at .25ppm until today. Today it is .5ppm. I have been dosing with Prime.

ph is 7.6

Nitrites - 0

Nitrates - not 0, but not .5 either. You can see orange when you look straight down the tube. That's how I know it's there. (Tap is 0)

I am going to change out enough water to keep the fish covered. 75 gallon tanks are a pain to do large water changes on that's for sure. I miss my 29 gallon tank only for this reason :(

What water change problems are you having? They are a breeze in my 125 with the Aqueon water changer.... Just takes a bit of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Still using buckets :( ...4 gallon buckets :(

I didn't want to invest in the water changer because I don't want to have to keep my faucet running the whole time I'm draining it. My water bill is already through the roof!

I was planning on getting a small pump and a hose to drain and then connect the hose to the faucet to refill, but in my crazy, busy life, I just haven't made a point of stopping during my travels to buy them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Here is what I'm talking about when I test the nitrates:

The tube on the left is the tap. The one on the right is the tank.

Looking at them straight on, they both look like 0. From above, the tap is yellow and the tank is orange.

59fdd260-f61b-4e31-be50-863d0670b84c_zps380eac92-bc3b-4423-aece-db09db048168_zps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Still using buckets :( ...4 gallon buckets :(

I didn't want to invest in the water changer because I don't want to have to keep my faucet running the whole time I'm draining it. My water bill is already through the roof!

I was planning on getting a small pump and a hose to drain and then connect the hose to the faucet to refill, but in my crazy, busy life, I just haven't made a point of stopping during my travels to buy them.

I do not have to run my water at all to empty the tank. As long as the input of the water changer in the tank is higher than the output where the water is draining out, gravity and suction will empty the tank. I put the end of my 25' hose out the sliding door.

The pond pump is also a good idea but with that you can not suction the debris off the bottom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The good thing for me is that I have mostly a bare bottom tank. (I'm finally posting a picture right now in the photo section :D ) The filtration is so good that nothing ever settles on the bottom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Here is what I'm talking about when I test the nitrates:

The tube on the left is the tap. The one on the right is the tank.

Looking at them straight on, they both look like 0. From above, the tap is yellow and the tank is orange.

59fdd260-f61b-4e31-be50-863d0670b84c_zps380eac92-bc3b-4423-aece-db09db048168_zps

Wow that is quite a difference. What we need to know is... How does the manufacturer of the test recommend a person view the water? From the top or from the side? I don't recall it saying anywhere in the directions. Here's another way to look at it... If a pond looks green when viewed from the top down, but then you take a glass of water out of it, it is nearly clear. The amount of water you are looking through definitely makes a difference. Someone should contact them and ask the proper way to view the test.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The good thing for me is that I have mostly a bare bottom tank. (I'm finally posting a picture right now in the photo section :D ) The filtration is so good that nothing ever settles on the bottom

Nice! That is one of the main things i enjoy about my bare bottom too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...