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Fishless cycling my BiOrb Flow

Wednesday 7th December 2011

BiOrb Flow: Fishless cycling my BiOrb Flow.


WaterlifeAs I mentioned previously I will be using the Waterlife Biomature and Bacterlife method to fishless cycle my Biorb Flow to make it safe for fish introduction. 

I set the temperature to 80 degrees fahrenheit or just under 27 degrees Celsius the optimum temperature for a faster fishless cycle. Temperatures higher than that can effect bacteria growth and impede the cycle.

If at this stage you have access to a disease free aquarium you can borrow filter sponges or floss, decor, or maybe bagged up gravel or ceramic media to help seed the tank, (introduce bacteria colonies from another established aquarium) this speeds up the cycling process.

When fishless cycling the Biorb tanks it is important to remove any activated carbon or Zeolite pellets from under the Biorb sponge, Zeolite removes Ammonia which is not beneficial for a fishless cycle, the activated carbon could strip out the Biomature or Bacterlife from the Water.

Initially it is a good idea to make a note of your water parameters before starting the cycle to confirm what you have initially. One thing to note PH can swing during a cycle so monitoring it daily is advisable as the process is slowed if the PH level falls below 6.5, severely impeded below a PH level of 6.0.

You then add the correct measured amount of Biomature to the tank water for the size aquarium you have. I found it easier to take readings in daylight so I did my tests at a similar time each day using the API master test kit. I tested for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and PH daily in my case over a period of 27 days.

You need to add the Biomature daily until you achieve a reading of 5 for Ammonia, once you have this reading you then switch to Bacterlife and add a double stated dose daily.

The cycle took just under a month to complete and below are graphs that show how each stage progressed. Once I had 0 readings for both Ammonia and Nitrite I continued to add Bacterlife daily for a week to ensure I was fully cycled and the Flow was safe for fish introduction.

I then did a large water change to address the elevated Nitrate and to address the PH level, bringing in back in line with that of my tap water. Re-tested and everything was spot on!

The orbit filter sponge will be kept in place for the first three months, this will help the bacteria colonies to establish on the pea gravel and decor in the Biorb Flow. If the sponge gets dirty in that time a simple rinse in removed tank water will be adequate. After the three months has passed a fresh sponge will be added to the filter every one to two months. I will be running the filter activated carbon free as I do with all my fresh water aquariums. Zeolite is not necessary in a correctly maintained and stocked tank so I will not be using that either keeping the tank as natural as possible.

Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrite

PH

PH

Nitrate

Nitrate



Coming next - Aquascaping my BiOrb Flow up ready for fish...

Visit the biorbforum for other diaries, how to stickies and lots of tips and friendly advice

http://www.biorbforum.co.uk/index.php



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