What makes a tank mature?

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
I've read over and over again that a tank is not considered mature until it has been running succesfully for 6+ months. What is it that qualifies as "mature" at that time, as opposed to...say, a month?

I'm not arguing either way, I'm honestly curious. If your parameters are steady as of a month, why isn't it considered mature at that point?

I'm simply curious.

Thanks,
Falc.
 

AquaMonkey

New member
I believe it is cessation of die off and the multiplication of micro-bacteria. Plus the fact that your not moving everything around in your tank stirring up diatums and more stable water.

But I am sure someone here can say it better than I just tried to do.

Also there was a post a few weeks ago about this very thing if you search for it I'm sure its still around.
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
I believe it is cessation of die off and the multiplication of micro-bacteria. Plus the fact that your not moving everything around in your tank stirring up diatums and more stable water.

But I am sure someone here can say it better than I just tried to do.

Also there was a post a few weeks ago about this very thing if you search for it I'm sure its still around.

Ok, i'll search for it (i've been going back through the pages on this sub-forum for a couple days and didn't notice it, but I also wasn't looking for it).
 

themastr

New member
I left my tank cycling for like 6 months before I started to do anything to it. I think the hardest thing to do in this hobby is have the patience to properly cycle and not be urged to get new corals or fish every day. :D
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
I left my tank cycling for like 6 months before I started to do anything to it. I think the hardest thing to do in this hobby is have the patience to properly cycle and not be urged to get new corals or fish every day. :D

I definately have to agree :D

Maintenance is one thing, I started keeping a log book at Day 1, but being on RC everyday just makes me want to sprint over to the LFS and buy all new livestock and start a newer, larger tank, haha!

I'm just curious, because i've seen so many different answers in terms of cyclign and maturity (especially when concerning delicate livestock like most corals and anemones). Some people have told me (more locals than RC members) that a tank can be ready for animals within 10 days when using cured rock. Others tell me that it takes a month to a month and a half, and others like yourself wait six months! That's an amazingly long time, but it's worth it in the end, right?

So, I guess i'm just trying to find out what the consensus is on what qualifies a tank for the classification of matured.
 

floridazooguy

New member
Its more then just the parameters being steady you will see more copepods and all sorts of creatures. Also in a mature take you can add a fish and not notice any changs in new tanks you will see small spikes just for starters.
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
Its more then just the parameters being steady you will see more copepods and all sorts of creatures. Also in a mature take you can add a fish and not notice any changs in new tanks you will see small spikes just for starters.

Ok, so handling changes better is key to a mature tank? Obviously small changes, adding too much wouldn't be good for any tank, now would it? Haha.
 

pecdo

New member
it is mature when your parameters are in check even if there are changes in bioload. add one or two fish and see if parameters change. does the system take up the increased nitrogen or do the nitrates increase? same is true with alk and calcium, as you add coals can you keep up with increasing demand. go slow add to the system slowly and examine how the system responds.
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
Ok, thanks for the response! I'll definately keep track of changes next time I add something (probably won't be until late December, early-January).
 

greenbean36191

Premium Member
The difference is damped oscillations. Basically when the growth rate of a population is high, like it is among bacteria during the cycling process, the population will overshoot the carrying capacity of the environment. The overpopulation causes a crash back to below the carrying capacity. Then since it's below the carrying again, the population starts growing quickly since there's an excess of resources again. They overshoot the carrying capacity again, but a bit less than the first time. Then they crash again, but not quite as much as the first crash. The cycle repeats over and over, but because it's a damped cycle it eventually settles out at the carrying capacity.

How long it takes for the oscillations to settle out will depend on how the tank was set up. Generally the 6 month recommendation is given to newbies because it's should allow the bacteria populations to stabilize and it also allows the newbies time to figure out what's going on with their chemistry
 

cloak

New member
Experience. Parameters are parameters, whether the tank is two months old, or two years old. It's just a matter of one keeping those levels at a habitable level. I think it was stated before in an earliar post, this word really only pertains to newbies.
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
Experience. Parameters are parameters, whether the tank is two months old, or two years old. It's just a matter of one keeping those levels at a habitable level. I think it was stated before in an earliar post, this word really only pertains to newbies.

The difference is damped oscillations. Basically when the growth rate of a population is high, like it is among bacteria during the cycling process, the population will overshoot the carrying capacity of the environment. The overpopulation causes a crash back to below the carrying capacity. Then since it's below the carrying again, the population starts growing quickly since there's an excess of resources again. They overshoot the carrying capacity again, but a bit less than the first time. Then they crash again, but not quite as much as the first crash. The cycle repeats over and over, but because it's a damped cycle it eventually settles out at the carrying capacity.

How long it takes for the oscillations to settle out will depend on how the tank was set up. Generally the 6 month recommendation is given to newbies because it's should allow the bacteria populations to stabilize and it also allows the newbies time to figure out what's going on with their chemistry



Ok, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks much for the info!
 

Shard

New member
I would say that each tank is unique. Some may mature faster than others. That said the explanations provided on here so far have been good. One question would be, what kind of maturity are you looking for? You could call a newly setup tank mature after the oscillations have decreased, but it may not be mature enough with copepods for something like a mandarin, so it really depends on what your seeking to do.
 

cloak

New member
A lot of people will recommend waitng a certain amount of time before adding an anemone to a tank. If your experienced enough to keep the vitals at a constant level, you can add one right away. You'll probably end up spot feeding it anyways, lighting aside.
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
I would say that each tank is unique. Some may mature faster than others. That said the explanations provided on here so far have been good. One question would be, what kind of maturity are you looking for? You could call a newly setup tank mature after the oscillations have decreased, but it may not be mature enough with copepods for something like a mandarin, so it really depends on what your seeking to do.

Well, I think I was addressing a level of maturity where one would not have to ask, "Is my tank ready for this animal?"

So, whether that be if the oscillations are done, or if the pod population is high and steady enough to support a mandarin.

All of the information provided here is very informative, and I really appreciate it as I'm sure it will help me out (I'm sure i'll have at least my fair share of SW tanks down the line) as well as others.

Thanks much for all the info!
 

jenglish

Marquis de Carabas
I think it is hard to quantify all the oscillations going on. Of those that I can see, I see a diatom bloom, a pod explosion, the rise of the filter feeding worms that grow in little circles, etc. All of these critters are in a mature tank, but I see very few of them. Populations explode and then are put in check by predation, competition, carrying capacity etc. The amount of populations finding equilibrium that we cannot easily see and track w/o a microscope are likely more numerous.
 

discus510

New member
I left my tank cycling for like 6 months before I started to do anything to it. I think the hardest thing to do in this hobby is have the patience to properly cycle and not be urged to get new corals or fish every day. :D

i personally dont like gettin fish and coral all the time. i just like to stock tank with all the fish i want at once. yesterday i stocked over 30 tangs into my tank. tested water para and everything still ok. will test again tonite and see if anythin skyrocket. like stockin all fish at once so they dont fish and all get along. after last nite everythin seem good. so far so good
 

Falconeer

Can I get another tank?
i personally dont like gettin fish and coral all the time. i just like to stock tank with all the fish i want at once. yesterday i stocked over 30 tangs into my tank. tested water para and everything still ok. will test again tonite and see if anythin skyrocket. like stockin all fish at once so they dont fish and all get along. after last nite everythin seem good. so far so good

I can't tell if you're kidding...

If not, what size tank are you putting them in? Even so, I don't see how there couldn't be an explosion in ammonia, trates and trites.
 

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
i personally dont like gettin fish and coral all the time. i just like to stock tank with all the fish i want at once. yesterday i stocked over 30 tangs into my tank. tested water para and everything still ok. will test again tonite and see if anythin skyrocket. like stockin all fish at once so they dont fish and all get along. after last nite everythin seem good. so far so good

You're kidding, right?

Unless you're pulling our chain, or are some kind of miracle reefer, you probably just flushed hudreds of dollars down the toilet...

Good luck.

LL
 
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