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larryngu

Is my fish big enough to keep a 20 gallon tank cycled?

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I was planning to take advantage of the Thanks Giving sales to buy

1) Ten gallon glass aquarium

2) 10 gallon Hob

3)an air wand.

My plan is to have my fish , Goldy, TEMPORARLY live in the ten gallon.

I plan to buy some pure ammonia and do a fishless cycle of her twenty gallon tank.

My question is after the 20 gallon is cycled, will my goldfish be able to produce enough ammonia to keep the bacteria alive?

I think LovelyChaos said the answer is yes. What do you guys think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQLqUwXlQDA&feature=youtu.be

Edited by larryngu

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Why are you doing this? I'm not sure it makes any sense.

Keep her where she is, and watch your parameters as the tank cycles. It should not be difficult at all with one small fish. Why complicate things with multiple tank set ups?

You need not worry that there isn't enough waste to maintain the cycle. If you are concerned, feed her more.

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Ok.........thanks alex........Will do.

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Do you have a heater? If not, I would buy one on sale (: Keep it at 72 and her digestion will speed up with more feedings, so she will produce more waste. I agree with Alex, there isn't a reason to complicate things.

Of course, do make sure it is not toxic to her! Keep an eye on parameters (:

Edited by LovelyChaos

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Could be with him living in Vegas that his tank temp is already 72*. :) However a heater is nice to keep around just in case an illness crops up and the tank needs to be 78-80*. Especially if you're hitting a sale with some $$ to spend!

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The heater will also help cycle the tank faster since the bacteria grow faster in the heat :)

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My understanding from all the wonderful posters here is that the BB grow just enough to deal with whatever level of ammonia is in the tank, even a small amount from your little guy. Thats why when you add a fish there is a small bump in the cycle as the BB grow or multiply to handle the larger output of ammonia.

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My understanding from all the wonderful posters here is that the BB grow just enough to deal with whatever level of ammonia is in the tank, even a small amount from your little guy. Thats why when you add a fish there is a small bump in the cycle as the BB grow or multiply to handle the larger output of ammonia.

Yes, and the fish grow in the tank and producing more waste, the BBs adapt. :)

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How long has Goldy been in the 20 gallon tank? If it's more than a week, the cycling process is underway. I'm not as surprised as some people about your idea, since people here get so upset about cycling with fish, but the 10 gallon tank isn't cycled either, so you are still cycling with a fish. That's why people said to do it in the twenty gallon tank.

The nitrifying bacteria -- the guys that convert ammonia to nitrite to nitrate -- will reproduce as much as their food supply allows. When your tank is fully cycled with Goldy in it, the nitrifying bacteria will be converting all of the ammonia she produces to nitrate. But since well-fed bacteria reproduce, they become somewhat overpopulated, and all of them are capable of eating more ammonia if it were there. That's why if you add one more fish (not recommended in a 20 gallon tank), the nitrifying bacteria usually are able to eat all of the ammonia produced by both fish, even before they increase in number. But if instead you put two more fish in there, there may be a few days in which all of the bacteria are eating as much ammonia/nitite as they can, and still can't use it all. Until they increase in number, you may get a "cycle blip" in which you see some ammonia and/or nitrate.

Now I'll answer your very intelligent question about what happens to the nitrifying bacteria if the ammount of ammonia available decreases greatly. Bacteria aren't like us. When they don't have what they need to grow and divide, they just stop growing and dividing, and sit there waiting for conditions to improve. In a stable population of bacteria, some are dividing, some are just sitting there, and some are dying. The number of bacteria stay the same because the number of new bacteria produced by cell division is the same as the number of old ones that die.

Suppose you had 4 fish in Goldy's aquarium and it was fully cycled. You have a stable population of bacteria capable of processing the ammonia from 4 fish. Now suppose you realized your tank was overstocked and remove 3 of the fish, cutting the ammonia production to 1/4 of what is was before. What happens to the bacteria? As before, some old bacteria die, but virtually none of the bacteria are getting enough food to divide. So, with no "babies," and the "old folks" dying, the population declines. As time passes, the rate of decline decreases as some of the bacteria get enough food to divide. Eventually, you get a new stable population of bacteria -- just enough to eat all of the ammonia produced by your one fish.

I must vehemently disagree with those who suggested that you increase Goldy's waste production by warming the tank or overfeeding. NO! When cycling with a fish, you want to produce as little waste as possible to keep the fish healthy. Feeding every other day is not a bad idea.

Edited by shakaho

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shakaho, I love your posts. They are so detailed and I almost always learn something. I don't know if you were around when daryl, one of the past mods was around, but you remind me a lot of her. She was very well spoken and explained things to a "T".

Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge with us. :)

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Thanks, fantailfan. Even retired, I'm a compulsive teacher. :)

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Thanks, fantailfan. Even retired, I'm a compulsive teacher. :)

LOL. And even 15 years out of grad school, I'm a compulsive learner. I :heart science! Keep it coming. :)

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