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Tank is officially in production!

Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
5
Everything is finalized! My tank is being made and installed in approximately 3 weeks time. My question is about cycling. Typically I understand you have to cycle your tank for 3 months to provide the best water conditions for your octo. I told this information to the owner of the aquarium shop. He exclaimed that his saltwater comes from Catalina and that I wouldn’t need to cycle the water. It would be ready to go in a few days he said. I’m wondering if this is true? Does it make a difference where the water is from? Thanks 🙏🏼
 

pkilian

GPO
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Jul 31, 2019
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142
The part that takes the longest when setting up a tank (and why some people recommend 3 months) is allowing your biological filtration bacteria to have time to grow in your system and in your bio-media. They often look like little plastic balls with ridges or ceramic tubes or any kind of small item with a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on.

Does your tank system have an area for biological media? Do you have the proper bacteria in a bottle that you can use to seed your system? Do you have a nitrogen testing kit to see how your bacterial growth is doing and how fast it can work through ammonia that is introduced to the system? These are all things you will need that will help gauge how long you will need to let your system cycle for before it will be ready to house an animal.

I've been able to set up a system from scratch that was ready to house an octopus in about 3 weeks time. The setup time depends heavily on the size of your system and the amount of bio-load (things that produce nitrogenous waste) you plan to have on it, as well as a few other factors that will determine the amount of time you will need to let your system cycle. If you can let me know more specific information about your setup I can give you more specific advice on a setup time frame.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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... and to answer your question, no, it does not matter where the water comes from. Water does not carry enough of the necessary bacteria to matter. Even the bottom substrate (usually sand) does not really acquire enough to be the primary source of converting your animal's waste from ammonia to nitrite (both deadly) to nitrate (mostly benign and removed through water changes and sometimes other filtration). I would slightly disagree with @pkilian on suggesting it is possible for a new hobbyist to shorten the 3 month of active cycling, even for a dwarf species -- somewhat because new hobbyists need to learn through observation and testing about the full cycle and tank maintenance while the tank is forgiving.
 

pkilian

GPO
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I agree with @DWhatley, the 3 week time-frame was not a suggestion or a recommendation, just a personal example of the wide range of time it can take to establish the bacteria in a system.

To be clear: I would recommend to let the system cycle as long as possible before adding any animals to it. As D said, it is a very beneficial learning experience to manage a tank while it is cycling and being set up, and should not be rushed for the sake of having an animal a few weeks sooner.
 

DWhatley

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As a side note, I wonder if your LFS was confusing cycling with using tap vs RO/DI water. The water source for your salt mix DOES make a difference as far as contaminates go (ie what is negative in the water supply like chlorine, nematodes, metals --the reason for the DI -- or pollutants). A few members have water that can simply be de-chlorinated by leaving it exposed to air for 24 hours (or more), some of us buy RO/DI water, some buy premixed RO/DI water and many make their own RO/DI at home. Using sea water requires filtering that is not typically practical for a home system but is also done where collection is known to be usable. At one time a city in CA piped in saltwater for use by aquarists (sadly, this may no longer be the case since I can't find a link).

Also note that if you buy your saltwater for water changes premixed, you will also want to keep freshwater on hand to top off your tanks as the water evaporates. Salt does not evaporate so the concentration is heavier as the water level drops, thus needing fresh water to replenish the evaporated.
 

DWhatley

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Could you please elaborate on that? I don't get it completely...
Often there are parasites, pollution and bacteria in near shore saltwater. Most aquariums pipe their water from further out than is practical for individuals and then they expose it to UV light as well as heavily filter it before using it in their systems.
 

TheSeeker

Blue Ring
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Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
31
Often there are parasites, pollution and bacteria in near shore saltwater. Most aquariums pipe their water from further out than is practical for individuals and then they expose it to UV light as well as heavily filter it before using it in their systems.
Ok, I see what you mean now...I guess in depends on location then, as I personally find sea water the most practical. But where I live the water quality is very good, even near shore. UV light is always a must of course...
 

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