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Thread: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

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    Default How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Hi all
    My question is how long can my newly cycled tank go without fish? The reason I ask is because yesterday my aquarium finished cycling and my discus that I order from Kennyís discus will be arriving on Tuesday. In the past Iíve been able to go out and purchase fish for my aquariums once they were done cycling. So this would be the first time that I have had a newly cycled tank sit without fish and I am worrying that there will be some die off of the bacteria. Or will they be fine until my discus arrive on Tuesday morning?

    Thanks in advance

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    Moderator Team and Homesteader Swedgin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Just keep adding some bioload for the bacteria to sustain themselves on until the fish arrive. Keep an eye on your parameters and you should be fine, also after adding the fish, as the bacteria will need some time to catch up with the increased bioload from the new fish.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Pics are always welcome, looking forward to seeing how you get on with the new tank and inhabitants.

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    Moderator Team and Homesteader Swedgin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Welcome to the forum by the way, you’ve found a great place to find and share knowledge and experiences with other enthusiasts like yourself.
    Tobi

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Hi and welcome to the forum. If your fish will arrive on Tuesday then you are ok, the beneficial bacteria do not keel over and die the instant they run out of ammonia/nitrites to metabolize, rather they go in a sort of stasis and will pick up as soon as there are new substances for them to utilize. If they are starved for a prolonged period of time (how long? I don't know exactly but occasionally I have left mine for 4-5 days with no detriment) there will be some die-off but this will temporarily feed some of the bacteria and allow them to survive. Obviously should there be any delays then get the ammonia in the tank back to 0.5-1 mg/l then a nice big water change the day before the fish arrive
    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 07-21-2018 at 10:59 AM.

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Ok thanks guys. That make me feel better I have one more question yesterday when I woke up my aquarium was super cloudy I figure it’s a bacterial bloom don’t know what is causing it I’ve never had this happen to me what has me stumped is that my tank is bare bottom with one peace of drift wood that’s been in there for about three weeks but if it was that I figured it would be brown not milky. And everything I’ve read says it’s caused by excess nutrients but I don’t have that issue. Will this harm my discus?

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Bacteria typically do not “die”. In the absence of nutrients, they stop dividing. With prolonged absence (think months), the population gradually decreases. Adding fish (and nutrients) means that the bacteria resumes growth and cell division.

    I’ve seen lots of angst on this site about bacterial populations. Bacteria are robust and will still be here after discus and humans go extinct. Once your filter is cycled, you can pretty much ignore it.

    Willie
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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Donít know whatís causing the clouding, but Iíd do a 100% water change, Willie
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    I had cloudiness when my tank was new. I don’t remember the cause, but I remember the cure was huge wc. I also remember Kenny advising me to do 90% wc for 1st 5 days while the beneficial bacteria caught up with the increased bioload.
    Patty
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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    My tank is empty right now....trying to figure out where to order from or looking for a local person. I place two feeder fish into the tank to keep things going....

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Quote Originally Posted by lenonh View Post
    My tank is empty right now....trying to figure out where to order from or looking for a local person. I place two feeder fish into the tank to keep things going....
    Personally I prefer to keep a tank cycled by adding ammonia, two feeder fish will most likely not represent the same load of a bunch of big hungry fish but on the other hand could well carry pathogens into the tank. But it is just a personal opinion.

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    I never thought about that....

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    I wonder if I should be patient and see if it clears up on its own from what I’ve read it says it’s not harmful to fish what do you guys think

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Definitely not harmful per se, just that it tends to happen more while the tank is cycling rather than at the end, so just make sure your ammonia and nitrites are well and truly at 0. Anyway as with most issues there is not a lot that a nice big water change can't fix!

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    Default Re: How long can a cycled tank go without fish?

    Feed the BB with ammonia or bunch of fish food dissolved in water everyday until you introduce your discus (to get the best of them ) .
    Do a 100% WC one day before your discus arrive and you are ready to start .

    Cloudiness in water is bacterial bloom that is a harmless sign of an uncomletly cycled filter .
    It may happen again after you introduce discus too but just be prepared for big WCs with aged water and don't pay too much attention about it.

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