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Old 01-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone for the help. I am not going to by Quick Start or any products like it. When I said I didn't want the hassle of buying a bottle of ammonia, testing the water, etc., I just meant I would rather avoid that step if it is possible. Clearly, it is, from what obsessedfishlover said, but I would only buy it if it works almost all the time, not some of the time. As for the cycling, peeing in my tank or throwing in a raw shrimp would be easy, but it doesn't seem, lets just say, like it will work (but it doesn't seem normal or sane either, lol). Can anyone tell me some simple steps to cycle my tank (no urine involved please lol again)? So far all of the fishless cycling sites give me like, 20 steps. Is that how many steps it really takes, or are they just making it more complicated then it really is?
And one quick thing, I planned on getting API 5 in 1 test strips, but will those not work?
for all of the help!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone for the help. I am not going to by Quick Start or any products like it. When I said I didn't want the hassle of buying a bottle of ammonia, testing the water, etc., I just meant I would rather avoid that step if it is possible. Clearly, it is, from what obsessedfishlover said, but I would only buy it if it works almost all the time, not some of the time. As for the cycling, peeing in my tank or throwing in a raw shrimp would be easy, but it doesn't seem, lets just say, like it will work (but it doesn't seem normal or sane either, lol). Can anyone tell me some simple steps to cycle my tank (no urine involved please lol again)? So far all of the fishless cycling sites give me like, 20 steps. Is that how many steps it really takes, or are they just making it more complicated then it really is?
And one quick thing, I planned on getting API 5 in 1 test strips, but will those not work?
for all of the help!!!
I've never done a fishless cycle myself, but have a good idea of how they work (from doing research myself to decide how to cycle my tank).
The easiest way is to find a pure ammonia source (this means no perfumes or surfactants at all in the ammonia) most here have best luck with ace brand janitorial strength ammonia sold at ace hardware stores. I don't have the link, but hopefully someone will pop in who has it, but there are ammonia dosage calculators that tells you how much ammonia to dose. Ok.. On to steps..
1. Add your ammonia source and dose to 4ppm.
2. Leave it alone for a while (again someone else will have to say a good time frame).
3. Test your water to get your water params.
4. Do not let ammonia drop past 1-2, if it does
It will stall your cycle. Anytime it gets in this range, dose back up to 4ppm. Beware of dosing to high; that can stall the cycle. If you do overdose just do a water change to get it down to 4ppm.
5. Test levels and dose ammonia as needed.
6. Once your ammonia is processed completely, by this I mean your ammonia reading should be 0, within 24 hours for days to a week your cycled. By now you will have sky high nitrates, just do a bug water change to get them under 20/40 (people have varying opinions on nitrate levels and what fish can handle, generally the lower the better for the fish).
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #23
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I have to clarify some things here- a cycle will not stall if the ammonia drops below 1-2ppm. I'm not sure where this misinformation came from but it's not true. The only things that can stall a cycle are a ph crash/too low ph, excess ammonia or nitrite or a lack of phosphate or carbonate aside from the obvious such as not dechlorinating the water.

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #24
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I have to clarify some things here- a cycle will not stall if the ammonia drops below 1-2ppm. I'm not sure where this misinformation came from but it's not true. The only things that can stall a cycle are a ph crash/too low ph, excess ammonia or nitrite or a lack of phosphate or carbonate aside from the obvious such as not dechlorinating the water.

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
I had read quite a few people on here say that, sorry for the info being wrong, and thanks for the clarification!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:14 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishperson View Post
Thanks everyone for the help. I am not going to by Quick Start or any products like it. When I said I didn't want the hassle of buying a bottle of ammonia, testing the water, etc., I just meant I would rather avoid that step if it is possible. Clearly, it is, from what obsessedfishlover said, but I would only buy it if it works almost all the time, not some of the time. As for the cycling, peeing in my tank or throwing in a raw shrimp would be easy, but it doesn't seem, lets just say, like it will work (but it doesn't seem normal or sane either, lol). Can anyone tell me some simple steps to cycle my tank (no urine involved please lol again)? So far all of the fishless cycling sites give me like, 20 steps. Is that how many steps it really takes, or are they just making it more complicated then it really is?
And one quick thing, I planned on getting API 5 in 1 test strips, but will those not work?
for all of the help!!!
Have you seen this? The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling It might look daunting but it really isn't. Add ammonia, test daily, when ammonia drops add more. I'd go with the API Master liquid kit over the strips; it costs more upfront but it's more accurate and it will last longer than strips anyway.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #26
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As for the shrimp, raw shrimp I understand it can be a chunk or smaller size shrimp, not necessarily a jumbo size required.

A fish to consider, which I really like is a Pearl Gourami, (male). One I am looking into is a German Blue Ram. Really pretty Fish.

If you don't mind using doing a bunch of testing and pwc I liked my fish in cycle and it was more fun, to see a few little fish in there but I used seeded media and fish tank water for a few days first, the fish tank water was the older water I was changing out. So it wasn't from scratch.

The one I did from scratch went fine, old school, (50% pwc every couple days only a couple little fish) didn't know all the stuff from here three years ago, didn't have the liquid Master test kit. P..smart has the API master kit on sale right now with your store discount card from $32+ to 24+.

Making sure the fish don't suffer....priceless.

Recommend the liquid test kit. I have used the strips too as a quick tool. Mine seemed to be accurate with the liquid kit. Make sure to keep the little moisture absorbing things inside of it and never get water in it and keep cap on tight all of the time (strips). Jungle brand was what I had last time. I verified them by double checking the results each week since I kept hearing how they aren't accurate. I will buy them again (ran out) but in addition to the master kit, not instead of.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #27
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Stocking list?

Did you already make a stocking list for the fish?

There are some more petite fish, which you may have to look for which could be options. There are Dwarf Cories, like Pygmy Cories which 3 would be like one Emerald Cory (Brochis) at their adult sizes.

6 little tetras would be like 2 mollies. I may be a little wrong on exactly how many. But you can see that some choices may work better in a smaller tank, allowing there to be enough fish to shoal or school and still not over-whelm the filter.

Also if you can fit two filter pads in the filter, back to back, I personally would do it to double the surface area for the BB.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #28
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Autumnsky, I already have a stocking list, I am just looking for maybe one more fish. Will rainbow sharks be nice and active in a 20 gallon tank?
And will the pick on other, smaller fish?
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:43 PM   #29
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Thanks Mrs.H, those steps are much simpler than what I've seen. Has anyone here ever used test strips and had a problem with them?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #30
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I would like to add that keeping temperature higher will help bacteria to multiply faster, even though if you're planning on planting the tank beforehand, this may be counterproductive.

Also, I wouldn't reccomend using urine for cycling if the urine donor is taking any meds, since urine is one of the ways we use to dispose of processed/excess meds. Otherwise, I dare say it's better than adding food or dead animals into the tanks, because there are no solids. It's just a cleaner-even-though-socially-harder to do it.

Anyways the sooner you get the filtering and air system running, with any of the ways suggested, the sooner benefitial bacteria will settle.

Good luck!
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