Posted by Erik Lucas on Jan 19th 2018

Vin Cycling Method

Vin Cycling Method

My set up: 9.4 gallon aquarium, HMF, Approximately 3-4 cm of ADA Amazonia topped with 2 cm ADA Amazonia powder.

Vin products needed for this method (Complete Vin Product line)

  1. Ecological Bacteria Group
  2. Storm Nitrifying Bacteria
  3. Storm Activator
  4. KU Germ and Barley Tea Bags

First thing for me to do was to get my HMF filter accurately seated before adding the substrate.

After placing the HMF in the tank I added about 3-4 cm of ADA Amazonia, then I added about 2 cm of Amazonia powder on top.

The next step is to add a spoonful of ecological bacteria group to the top of the substrate, sprinkle it evenly across the substrate.

Next add approximately 10 ml of Nitrifying bacteria evenly across the substrate.

Slowly add your remineralized RO water into the tank as to not disturb the substrate.

As the tank is filling, grab a plastic container that will hold about 4 cups of water and add water and 15 ml nitrifying bacteria to the cup. Add your barley bags to the water/bacteria mixture and let the barley soak up and expand in the mix.

Whatever filtration you are using, it is also a smart idea to add 5-10 ml of nitrifying bacteria to the filter media and wait about 6 hours to turn it on. This gives it time to soak into the filter media.

When your tank is full, hang the Barley tea bag set near where the filter outflow will be, and add the bacteria water mix into the tank. Good water movement near the bags will be helpful in the process.

DO NOT TURN ON YOUR FILTRATION FOR 6 HOURS. Let water and bacteria soak into the substrate

After turning on filter you will add activator, for a 10 gallon tank, 5ml is all you need to add

Maintenance while cycling

Cycling will be an approximately 8 week process. Lights should run between 6-8 hours per day. Patience is key to a successful cycle.

Weeks 1 & 2 : On second and fourth day of each week add 4 ml of Nitrifying Bacteria. During 25% water change on seventh day add: 4 ml of Nitrifying Bacteria, 4 ml Activator and 1/3 spoon Ecological Bacteria Group.  Early on you will see a very noticeable layer of biofilm develop on the substrate, this is the Ecological Bacteria group interacting with the soil. At the end of week 2 you will start to notice this going away, and biofilm/bacteria starting to grow on the barley bags

Weeks 3 through 6. 25% water change weekly. Add 4 ml of Nitrifying Bacteria, 4 ml of Activator and 1/3 spoon Ecological Bacteria Group at each water change. About week 4-5 you should start to see good green algae forming in the tank

Weeks 7 & 8. Slightly larger water changes, 40-50%. At water change add 4 ml Nitrifying Bacteria and 4 ml Activator and 1/3 spoon of Ecological Bacteria Group. End of week 8 test your tank to check your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, should be good to add shrimp.

Weekly maintenance 

25% water change, 2-3 ml Nitrifying Bacteria, 1-2 ml Activator, 1/3 spoon ecological bacteria group weekly.  Once desired amounts of Green Algae have formed you can cut back to smaller amounts weekly.

Total Product Use While cycling a 10 gallon tank.

Barley Tea bags = 1

Ecological bacteria group= 4 spoonfuls

Activator= 37 ml

Nitrifying Bacteria= 83 ml