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Old 06-12-2008, 12:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dallas-bloody-Texas
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Cycle Help

Great advise people. Well, I started my tank almost three weeks ago. I was going to do a fishless cycle but then got confused by someone at a (you guessed it) PetStore and added an ammonia scrubber to drop the ammonia levels. What's funny is that the ammonia levels in my tap water right now are ridiculously high (all the aquarists are griping to the city).
After spending a week waiting for the scrubber to finish dropping the levels, I read some more, got unconfused, did a water change, and started again. That was two weeks ago. My levels didn't move that first week, so last week I bought some gravel from an established tank at a local fish(y) store. Since, my ammonia levels have come down some, my nitrites are at 0.00000, and my nitrates are somewhere between 0-20.
At this point, I'm kinda scratching my head because I was under the assumption that nitrates won't appear until after nitrites appear. I have a 14 gallon tank, gravel substrate, no plants, and for the past week these numbers have been pretty stable: 6.2-6.8 ph, temp between 78-80, no chlorine, GH 75ish, KH 80ish.
I'm getting impatient!!!!! WAAAA!!!! I know, I just need to wait. Seriously though, I didn't realize growing bacteria could be so stressful. Geesh, I can seem to grow fruit flies in less than 24 hours!
I've been using small amounts of flake fish food to provide ammonia, but I like the shrimp idea. If I have frozen raw shrimp, can I defrost it let it sit out and go off (gain it's own bacteria) then put it in the tank? Should I just chuck it straight in? Will the frozen shrimp not have enough bacteria on it to help much?
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