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Sinubux 12-04-2009 01:20 PM

Tank Cycling 101
Shall all the members here contribute on articles pertaining to the topic tank cycling for guppies, so that the consolidate posts can be summarized and that maybe could be put as a sticky so that new members can have their learning curve cut short. The reason I think this thread will be beneficial is because I see a trend of new hobbyists picking up this hobby and that their guppies do not last long under their upkeeping. So how people, what do you think of this suggestion.

Sinubux 12-04-2009 11:39 PM

A series of the more common guppy tank setup will be further elaborated in my contribution to this thread. I do hope that for members here that may not agree to what I have contributed, can well chip in to make this explaination of tank cycling more comprehensive.

Tank Setup 1:
Dimension: Standard 2 feet tank
Filtration: Undergravel
Stimulant: A Humble Air Pump that is fitted with an air valve control to regulate the amount of air being introduced to the undergravel system to stimulate water flow.
Substrate: Normal Aquarium Sand as long as it will not alter the water parameters too drastically.

I guess for this setup, it is pretty normal as long as the undergravel plate is well covered by the aquarium sand. As for the height of the outlet, I like the outlet of the water to be protruding out of the water surface so as to agitate the water surface for a better gaseous exchange. As for cycling of such tank, you can either do substrate seeding where once the water is well aged, introduce just a handful of substrate from a well seasoned tank into the new tank and also bacteria to colonize in the new tank. During this period of colonizing, I will introduce just a small spatula of live daphnia as I feel their size and numbers are just nice for the decomposition to take place at a much quicker rate. In order to determine whether the tank is ready for fishes, use any of your fingers to feel the bottom half of the tank. You will notice that the surface is slightly slimy and this is a good indication to show that the bacteria colonization is up to expectation. Then you can introduce fishes into your tank. However do take note that this does not mean that you can pour the fishes in directly, but need to slowly acclimatize them step by step. You will notice that once the whole acclimatization is complete, if you were to tilt the container to allow the guppies to swim into the tank, they will do so freely as if the water really matches to their liking. From day 1 to day 13 of the fish introduction, always maintain a light feeding to your fishes as the fish waste generated will almost certainly cause an ammonia spike in your tank. At day 14, do a 5% water change and replenish the water with good aged water, and lastly you are good to go. The tank only requires a weekly of up to 10% water change and for every 3 months, you will need to do 40% change which requires you to vacuum the substrate for all the deposited waste that are found in the substrate during this period of time.

nefish 13-04-2009 12:06 AM

Maybe u would like to add to this thread as sticky:-

Alots of discussion on the needs to keep the guppies.:)

Sinubux 11-08-2009 11:03 PM

Time to carry on where I left off.

Tank Setup 2:
Dimension: Standard 2 feet tank
Filtration: Hang-on Filter
Stimulant: Electricity.
Substrate: Coral Chips or any bio filteration substrate; loosely packed in a filter bag or in a mesh.

I guess this setup is pretty standard as the flow rate in and out is ideal for total circulation within the tank. As you can see above, based on the specifications, I have omitted the carbon filtration media is because carbon is only good in the beginning. Once it reaches its threshold, all hell will break loose. The toxins and all the harmful substances that were once being absorbed by this same carbon will be re-introduced back into your water bit by bit, hence cause some casualties to take place. You will also notice that if you left this same carbon inside the water and continue to change water as per normal, you are merely delaying the expiry date of your fishes by only diluting the poison that is slowing and surely being introduced back into the water. Now I shall explain as to why I used coral chips in substitute to any other substrate that is available. As your tank begins to mature, the bio bacteria count within the tank is either on the rise or fall, depending on your feeding, the temperature of the tank and so on. In addition, it is almost a common practice that when a hobbyist make purchases of their guppies, they will surely purchase some plants. As we have been always exposed that hardy plants are ferns or nanas. But where are all these plants being attached to, driftwood. It is these drift wood that not only cause the water to colour but also causes its pH within the water to go hay wire. Hence the coral chips will counter that. Coral chips have quite a long shelf life as in they do not disintegrate easily after prolong use, hence they can be used as good bio bacteria ground for colonization. Hence the point as to why i stick to coral chips.

Sinubux 11-08-2009 11:18 PM

Tank Setup 3:
Dimension: Standard 2 feet tank
Filtration: Nothing
Stimulant: Nothing

This setup is quite commonly found in fish farms where instead of tanks, they may utilize concrete ponds or whatsoever. The key point for this setup to be successful lies in ones patience. Firstly setup a tank filled with tap water and then add some water conditioner to help get rid of all the harmful chlorine and chloramine. After 3 days or best 4 later (dont worry, no mosquitoes eggs will be laid), like what I mentioned in tank setup 1, you can introduce some daphnia or if not, put a tiny piece of non fat meat into the tank. The size of this meat can be like this [ ]. Let the tank matures further until you can slowly see that piece of meat begins to disintegrate. Once the meat is gone with takes a total of 4 days depending on the location of your tank. The warmer the tank is, the faster will be the bacteria colonization. I dont have scientific proof as to why but this is what I have been experiencing with my outdoor tanks versus my indoor ones. Now time to introduce fishes into your tank. Do take note that when you introduce your fishes into this tank, you must be very disciplined in terms of the amount to feed and the frequency. Start with small meals first. I know, you may feel heart pain that the fishes might not have enough but I am telling you, it pays to be the devil for about a week. Cause during this time, a slight overfeeding will foul the water quick and that you may have a hard time savaging the fishes once the tank parameters go haywire. This setup is very well used by seasoned guppy players. This is just an assumption on my part and I may be wrong. So do not take it as any form of offence.

digichris 11-08-2009 11:18 PM

wow... bro Sin, this is good stuff... cheers... :eek:

Sinubux 11-08-2009 11:20 PM


Originally Posted by digichris (Post 7100325)
wow... bro Sin, this is good stuff... cheers... :eek:

Wait till I exhausted all my different tank setup permutations that maybe you can come in and share your experiences with the setups that were being mentioned already, and fine tune whatever that I may left out.

detritus 11-08-2009 11:26 PM


Originally Posted by Sinubux (Post 7100335)
Wait till I exhausted all my different tank setup permutations that maybe you can come in and share your experiences with the setups that were being mentioned already, and fine tune whatever that I may left out.

i'll definitely be tuning in :)

digichris 11-08-2009 11:37 PM


Originally Posted by detritus (Post 7100349)
i'll definitely be tuning in :)

of cos bro... u are the man... dont run horz... :D

Sinubux 12-08-2009 09:40 AM

Tank Setup 4:
Dimension: Standard 2 feet tank
Filtration: Canister Filter ala Overkill
Model: Eheim Classic 2211
Stimulant: Electricity

This setup was done previously to test whether such a setup is ideal for guppies since canister filtration has been proven time and time again as one of the leading filtration that fish hobbyists around the world are adapting to. In the filter chamber, I used purely Eheim Substrate Pro. I decided against using any form in replace of filter bags is because knowing that usually I will feed live stuff such as tubifex, daphnia or even brine shrimp, I do not want the left over to be filtered through and get trapped within the foam and start decomposing there. Making the eventual setup a huge failure in the near foreseeable future. The inlets are pretty standard such that I used a sponge like media to wrap around it. This is to prevent inquisitive fries from going through an unnecessary adventure. You guys know what I mean? As for the outlet, I adopted a rain bar to disperse the water pressure that is coming out of the filter cause without it, I can see some of the very tired fishes swirling around in the tank even though I tried my very best to play around with the taps of the canister filter. However, if I was to aim the rain bar just above the water surface, I noticed that if I switched feed to powdered feed, the fishes tend to miss the food due to the constant water movement at the surface. I tried to have the rain bar submerged by a kind friend told me that there will be case of a back flow via the rain bar back to my filter due to the different levels of water pressure in and out of the rain bar. Hence I tried ways and means to try to cut down the water pressure being introduced back to the tank. Eventually a solution was found and that is the introduction of floating plants. In my case, I used water lettuce as opposed to duckweed cause water lettuce can be easily moved around the surface, making water change and feeding much easier as compared to the “mess” that duck weed bring about. However I felt this setup not that ideal when it comes to canister filtration and serious thoughts have been given into this setup as to how to really bring out the full potential of this setup for my guppies. These thoughts brought about the birth of my next tank setup for my guppies.

Do note that the above mentioned setups was carried out by me previously as a form of an experimental purpose to gauge as to what set up is more ideal for guppies considering the scale of implementation and also the cost factors involved.

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