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Old 01-21-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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I'm new....cycling....guide me oh wise ones :)

Two weeks into cycling my new/first 5gallon tank. Ph 7.5 always, Nitrites 0 always, Nitrates 0 always, Ammonia less than 0.5 always. Temperature is between 78-80 degrees. Been using teeny bits of fish food attempting to do fishless, then gave up and added 2 snails 3 days ago. I haven't done any water changes yet since my numbers haven't changed. The snails are very active. Seem happy but I realize it hasn't been long. Before the snail addition I didn't add any ammonia or have any bio media or anything good to drive the tank progression. Got my filter, heater, lights, one live plant, bubbler.....Just keep waiting?

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Old 01-21-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
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When I was cycling my tank, someone I knew who is an expert in such things advised that I place a raw shrimp in a clean nylon stocking and hang it inside my tank to generate ammonia. It really helped speed things up. The snails will suffer during the cycling process, like a fish would, so you'll need to watch your water parameters and do water changes, which in itself will lead to a slower cycle growing. If you can return them, I would, and use the shrimp route. The other thing I might suggest, if you're willing to invest some money, is Dr. Tim's One and Only Nitrifying Bacteria. It's not cheap and is only available online but I swear it's the most amazing stuff EVER. One of my tank's cycles had stalled completely and with the addition of Dr. Tim's, it finished cycling within 48 hours. Hope some of that helps.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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Oh wonderful! Thank you!

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Old 01-21-2014, 08:56 PM   #4
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Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Ok. Here are today's readings. Snails in....my kids were attached already so no return. No fish yet though. Ammonia 0.5 ph 7.5 Nitrites 0.5 Nitrates 20. I did a 50% wc an will recheck in an hour.

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Old 01-25-2014, 08:54 PM   #6
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Let me know if any other tweeks should be made

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Old 01-26-2014, 12:26 AM   #7
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Cycling Information

Here's a good article on cycling I saved awhile ago that should be of some help. OS.
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:27 AM   #8
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Did you add the shrimp?
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:49 AM   #9
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Ok to add a shrimp with the two snails in the tank? OS, I need to just break down and buy the API master kit. I'm beginning to see the inaccuracies of the strips :/

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Old 01-26-2014, 12:57 AM   #10
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I don't know if you can add the shrimp with the snails. They do feel the effects of toxins, which is what you're essentially trying to build in order for them to later be consumed effectively. Do you have any small container you could keep the snails in until the cycle is complete? Typically 2.5 gallons per snail is recommended. Of course, they'd still be in an uncycled tank, but this way you wouldn't have to do regular water changes on the larger tank, which will be the case if you do leave the snails and shrimp both in. Water changes slow down the cycle but protect the fish. API tests are sort of a non-negotiable part of fishkeeping, I discovered early on, though I really tried to fight it.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:58 AM   #11
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I ended up doing 2 50% wc today and now my strip is saying 1.0 ammonia. My tap is 0. Grrrrr....

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Old 01-26-2014, 01:01 AM   #12
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Yep. My next purchase. And another QT tank

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Old 01-26-2014, 01:03 AM   #13
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What's scary about that is that strips typically give you way LOWER an amount of toxins than are actually present. So you could be at 2 ppm ammonia. Which would be fine for cycling, if snails weren't involved. :/ Remind me--do you have any Prime at home, by any chance?
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:11 AM   #14
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Well that's lovely. No I don't. I have been using API stress coat and stress zyme. Still need Prime too? Ok. The list grows....

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Old 01-26-2014, 01:14 AM   #15
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May I ask what's on your list right now?
You wouldn't need anything additional as a tank additive with Prime. It does everything that API, Stress zyme, etc., etc., do, plus binds toxic chemicals for up to 48 hours. It's THE most effective way to protect your fish, along with water changes, during a fish-in cycle.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:18 AM   #16
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Prime, API master kit, second tank for snails, and a lone raw shrimp.

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Old 01-26-2014, 01:21 AM   #17
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List sounds perfect. Too bad I can't send you my snail tank. I'd love to give it to somebody who would make good use of it, as I definitely never will ever again. You're only keeping the snails in the separate tank temporarily though, right, through the cycle? If so, you could always just get a 5 gallon Tupperware (cheaper) for the interim until they're in their new home.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:29 AM   #18
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Thought occurs to me--what are you keeping in the five gallon once it's cycled? Because eventually you will need a gravel siphon to clean up fish/snail waste. Snails produce more waste than you could possibly believe for such little creatures. Again, wish I could send you one of mine. I have all kinds of leftovers from my failed snail tank that I'm just going to end up taking to Goodwill, I guess. Your tank, whatever you keep in it, will also need a filter and a heater.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #19
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I would not put snails or any type of algae eater in a brand new uncycled tank. There's no algae or biofilm formed yet for them to eat. Not to mention the stress of cycling, but mainly because of reason #1. OS.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:39 AM   #20
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Ok I will take them out and do the shrimp method. How long will they be ok in a Tupperware? Bummer, I bought them thinking they would keep my tank cleaner. Yes, I do still need to get a gravel siphon. Already have lights, filter, heater, bubbler running for about 3 weeks now. Temp stays 78.

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