NANFA-- Now that's pretty cool...

Todd Crail (
Tue, 27 Jan 2004 21:34:55 -0500

Greetings Listizens,

Well I tried something different on this new tank I'm setting up. I wanted
to shock start this sandbed I'm setting up for Amazonians so plant growth
doesn't have to wait until the sandbed matures and to get "ready to rock"
bacteria into all layers of the bed from the git go. I used tank water from
a water change (the usual) but this time I dumped in a nice cupful of mulm
from a canister filter on my Asiatic system.

I also wanted to see how fast I could cycle the tank without getting any
animals involved. I've been using "live sand" to accomplish this with "no
cycle" in native tanks, but I don't have the flexibility of going down to
the creek and getting critters from there right now as everything is
frozen... Nor would I really think it prudent to do that because the exotic
fish might not handle one of our native critters too well, and they um, like
cost money, and stuff.

Day 2: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 4, Nitrate 25 (whatever the values are usually

I'm using a decent powerhead to circulate (Maxijet 1200 in a 30 gallon) so
it doesn't get all nasty, but I won't filter out the remaining mulm until I
see the Nitrite drop. It'll also be fun to watch the Nitrate drop. Some
really weird biofilm patterns growing with the current as they collect the
mulm. This is neato.

I never expected to get through Ammonia this fast in freshwater without
adding stream cultured stuff tho... That's just crazy. Especially with as
much enrichment as I gave an otherwise sterile system.

The mulm also helped to suck out all the crap that comes off the Flourite
too. Nice bonus. The water is totally clear, besides mulmy and generally
tannic (duh :) in two days. That's almost worth it on it's own, based on
how long I've had to wait in the past for Flourite granules to hydrate and
settle out. I did rinse it, per usual, but I didn't rinse it to the point
where my finger nails were all scraped up either ;)

And don't worry... There's pictures... I'm gonna slap together a little
"This is what I do... Anyway" kind of web ditty. This may be a great way to
fast start a sandbed if you're still squeemish about bringing home cultures
"in the wild".

Note: No fish were harmed or even stressed in this experiment. Our methods
are Feeder Guppy and Goldfish Ethics Association certified and approved. :)

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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