A safe way to cycle a tank is to use the product CYCLE. It will add ammonia to the tank plus the other bacteria to establish your filter. We fully cycled 10 2 foot tanks with a sump and goldfish in six weeks using cycle. The livebearers' bank took about 7-8 weeks and was the same size and was understocked.
I don't do water changes between doses in large tanks and with my smaller jars I keep the water changes as usual and add the protozin.
If in doubt have a look at the waterlife web site, there is loads of information there.
Yes you can filter the water but, I have just gone over to sponge filters, due to cost and the benefits for fry. I have 2 barrels that hold 240L each. So we use the water in the barrels for the bettas and do water changes on the tropicals when the readings are good. Just means that I now can't leave them (Tropicals) to do on the weekend as I have been.
Up until a month ago I been travelling along with no major problems. After our water problems several years ago that saw an infection spread through my room like a wild fire, I have had no major problems, that was until now. In the last four weeks I have finrot, fungus, popeye, dropsy and that dreaded infection again. I have lost 4 moscow black guppies, 2 solid black guppies, 1 platinum gold guppy, 1 solid green guppy, 1 DT Royal Blue Lace female, 3 Male fighters and my ablino red trio guppies that I had only a week and half. This is not including the 4 hospital tanks. Knowing that it had to be the water again, I visited a LFS and the one guy who could answer my question.
Dave is new at this LFS and knows what he is talking about. Water is tested for everything possible in every tank atleast 3 times a week and water tests are done free of charge for personal tanks. So after having a chat I went back with 3 samples. PH, hardness, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia were all okay but my phosphate levels were off the charts. There wasn't a colour dark enough to match my results.
Now phosphate is what most of us link with algea and green water blooms, which I had none in my tanks. However there are several forms of phosphate which are used to prevent water pipes from rusting and my council has changed from using the solid to lose form. This phosphate doesn't disintegrate but accumulates and severely stresses fish which then leads to infections.
So armed with this information and knowing that there a couple days each week ( the days change weekly) that the phosphate reading in our tap water is zero I have been doing massive water changes and storing as much water as possible. On the bright side my fish are looking up, fins are healing and that dreaded infection is just about gone.
So now I do daily phosphate tests. However it would have been nice to know this earlier so I could have prevented the loss of so many beautiful fish.
To do a soil-less culture you need the following:
* container with a fitted lid
* a sheet of polyester batting or filter material or a soapless scrub pad for the bottom of the container to create at least 2-3 layers.
* cover this with 2-3 layers of plastic needle point.
* opaque plastic to cover the food
From there you add enough water to cover the bottom layer, food and worms are added to the plastic needle point. Feed as normal but do water changes
every month or so. Food still needs to be moisten and moldy food removed.
To harvest rinse worms from plastic.
Added bonus is the water at the base is loaded with infusorians and young worms which make great food for young fish.
Heater can go in the the sump but as all my fish are housed in the garage in winter I have been heating the whole room. BUt this option is becoming too expensive and I am looking at something different this year.
How it is made is simple enough (especially when you have a Father who likes challanges)
Each small tank has been drilled with a 15mm threaded drill bit and fitted with a 15mm threaded outlet. This is for the overflow. 15mm plastic tube runs from the outlet down into drain pipes that are behind the frame. Each drain pipe flows into a T-section at the end and down in to the filter material and the sump. We used threaded outlets to stop leakage and 15mm so there was no chance of blockages except that the younger bettas try to see what is beyond and do get stuck. To prevent this we cover the outlet with a open mesh material held in place with rubber bands. AM in the process of changing this to something more permanent.
Filter material is contained in the drain pipe with a mozzie mesh fitting on the bottom to prevent filter material escaping and allowing the water to return to the sump.
Water is pumped up through a combination of different types of pipes that we had in the back yard. The main pipes from which the individual tanks come off are used by electricians. Holes were drilled into these four main pipes and normal garden fittings with taps and black hose was used. Taps allow you to control the flow of water into each tank.
The hose is then placed into the tank through the little lid in the lid section of the tank.
As for the frame it is one supporting piece of timber top and bottom to which the vertical timber on which the tanks sit are fasten. Legs are then attached. Mine are old coffee table legs.
Most of my fitting were obtained from shops that sell pump and such for farms.
He does reach HM just an ADHD fish. Yes he comes from a DT line. Mother was a white DT.
There is some BF patterning on the cadural fins but is not as noticable in real life.
Scalation is regular, it was difficult to get a decent shot with or without the flash.
Will try again for a better one.
This is a new line for me so am prepare to spend the time to improve it. Was hoping for golds when I paired them
up and just happy I got them. Disappointed that I lost both parents, Dad to dropsy and Mum to my cat, was not impressed with that one.
Nearly had a cat mat!
I posted at the end of Nov about my LFS find HM PK metallic male having fry with him in his 4L tank. Well sadly I lost him to drospy 4 days later.
His fry however are doing great! HM and PK ranging from Gold, platium, gold body red fins with gold on the rays and red with blue metallic through the fins.
Below is one of the gold HM long fin boys. One of his brothers got to him before I could jar him, but I am still impressed. Finally I have got my golds!
One photo is to show his form and the other shows the colour that I see(took awhile to get it right too.)
Having finally finished my report cards (all 620 of them) I finally got to give some of my boys some attention and received a surprise. A few months ago, I found at a LFS, a Gold HMPK that was bought for a customer who decided that they did not want him. He was in bad shape and they were happy to get rid of him for $8. However after some TLC, I introduced him to a nice white metallic DT female and 24hrs later....fry. Three days later, dad was removed and placed back into his jar. That was two weeks ago. I had been watching him since as he had not been his usual self. Today I found out why. My son has been doing the water changes for me as I have been busy, and so I was surprised to find in the tank 4 fry living happily with dad. These fry have been in a 4L jar with no food, heater or attention as their siblings have. They are the same size as their siblings and the only way they could have got there was by dad’s mouth. They are now with their other siblings and dad is now his usual self.
Franklin didn't make it.
By the time we went to bed, his swelling around his eyes and legs had improved slightly.
And he was a little bit more active. We were hopeful.
However when I checked him the next morning well.......
We were feeding him turtle food, bloodworms, brine shrimp, blackworms and live fish.
We set his tank up level with a window and he was in the garage with all the fighters,
which is heated to 25 - 27 C.
He had regular water changes with a filter.
His platform was out of the water.
What has got me is how quick it happened.
The day before he was active, chasing fish and eating. The next unresponsive.
We checked for fungus infections and no sign, his shell was firm and in good condition.
Sadly sometimes we can't heal everything.