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Old 10-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #1
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Question 2g Fluval Spec...no ammonia or anything after two weeks?!

Hi all,

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to set up a 2 gallon fluval spec. I decorated it with some rock, artificial plants, and a little java moss. After talking to my LFS, I put in two fancy guppies. They LOVE their home and are doing well. One has even healed a bite in his fin that was present at purchase. I've been feeding them Tetra Color Plus twice a day.

When I got the tank, I started adding .25 capfuls of Seachem Stability each day for a week. I also put in a used filter cartridge from a friend's goldfish tank to try and jump-start the cycle. I did a partial water change (25%) a few days after purchase to clean up some junk that fell off of the old cartridge. I removed the cartridge after a week (it was harboring some algae) and the water is clear.

Sounds good, right? Well, so far I've been testing the water daily and have not seen ANY ammonia, nitrites or nitrate readings! This is weird, as I am constantly watching it with my bettas and they can generate detectible levels within 3-4 days. It's been two weeks now with my Spec!

Am I doing anything wrong with my Spec? Is is going to cycle or has it already done that?
My main reason for asking is because I would like to add 3-4 shrimp in the near future. I want my water quality to be perfect before I invest in them.
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2 gallon Fluval Spec: 2x Fancy Guppies, 4x CR Shrimp
1 gallon betta bowl: Short-tailed plakat, .5 gallon bowl: 1x unknown fry
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Fish888
Hi all,

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to set up a 2 gallon fluval spec. I decorated it with some rock, artificial plants, and a little java moss. After talking to my LFS, I put in two fancy guppies. They LOVE their home and are doing well. One has even healed a bite in his fin that was present at purchase. I've been feeding them Tetra Color Plus twice a day.

When I got the tank, I started adding .25 capfuls of Seachem Stability each day for a week. I also put in a used filter cartridge from a friend's goldfish tank to try and jump-start the cycle. I did a partial water change (25%) a few days after purchase to clean up some junk that fell off of the old cartridge. I removed the cartridge after a week (it was harboring some algae) and the water is clear.

Sounds good, right? Well, so far I've been testing the water daily and have not seen ANY ammonia, nitrites or nitrate readings! This is weird, as I am constantly watching it with my bettas and they can generate detectible levels within 3-4 days. It's been two weeks now with my Spec!

Am I doing anything wrong with my Spec? Is is going to cycle or has it already done that?
My main reason for asking is because I would like to add 3-4 shrimp in the near future. I want my water quality to be perfect before I invest in them.
The problem with the "bottled bacteria" (stability) is that it can give you a "false cycle", some people have used it with no problems, more often than not though the cycle crashes. Also when adding those products the real beneficial bacteria have to compete for food. Removing the filter you received from your friend was probably a bad idea this is where your bacteria was. They can get full of gunk so a rinse in tank water is usually what's recommended. Sounds to me like you're tank isn't cycled at all. Also 2 gallons isn't very much room for guppies, and they are best kept in a 2 female for every 1 male ratio.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:24 AM   #3
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+1

Stability is crap in a bottle. It's just a lure to get you to spend more money in the lfs.

In my personal experience, the smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep the water params healthy.

Two gallons is tiny tiny tiny. I wouldn't put any fish in anything less than 5 and even then, I'm talking about maybe 1 betta and that's it.

You have chosen a species that breeds out the wazoo. You're going to end up with that little container jam packed with guppies.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:29 AM   #4
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+1

I have had about 30 guppy fry in the last week alone, they are very pretty and interesting fish but they have a good amount of energy and need room.
Something I forgot, when your tank cycles you'll see ammo turn to nitrItes then to nitrAtes. That's why I said it sounds like your not cycled, you have no nitrAtes.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:22 AM   #5
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+, er, 3?

If you can upgrade to a larger tank it would be easier to maintain and be a better home for the fish. Removing the filter media so soon wasn't a good idea. Also I'd stop using the Stability for reasons mentioned above. What test kit are you using? If it's strips they are very inaccurate, a liquid test kit like API Master is best.

The guppies may seem happy but with so little room they aren't. Two gallons isn't suitable for anything except maybe shrimp and snails. Even a 5 gal isn't suitable for guppies. If you can upgrade to at least a 10 gal, that would be best. Just buying a 10 gal aquarium with a hood and light isn't too expensive. What kind of filter do you have? If your tank was cycled you'd be seeing some nitrates. You should be seeing ammonia by now in an uncycled 2 gal, even with just 2 guppies I would think. What dechlorinator are you using? Frequent water changes are going to be important in a tank that small; again if you can upgrade, or return/rehome the fish until you can, that would be ideal.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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I was thinking maybe its possible bacteria #1 is eating the small amount of ammo the guppys are putting out, but not putting out alot themselves? Resulting in no #2 bacteria thus no nitrAtes?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #7
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I was thinking maybe its possible bacteria #1 is eating the small amount of ammo the guppys are putting out, but not putting out alot themselves? Resulting in no #2 bacteria thus no nitrAtes?
Hm, maybe. I don't know how much ammonia each fish puts out and whether that can be converted into x number of nitrites/nitrates. But after two weeks I would think something would be showing up.....
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Yeah I don't know either after 2 weeks there should be something, maybe the bottle bacteria doing something?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
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Yeah I don't know either after 2 weeks there should be something, maybe the bottle bacteria doing something?
Small chance but could be...but still, why no nitrates?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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Maybe not doing the no3 test right? I think we need a little more info. So.................
Fish888:
Have you been doing water changes? If so how much?
Are you using API Master test kit?
Are you following API kit instructions in the book not just on the bottle?
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