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Old 06-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #1
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Post Log for cycling my new tank.

Hello all. I'm new here, I just setup my first 20 gallon tank. I've got all of the decorations in place and now I need to cycle my tank. I'm going fishless and following this helpful guide on how to do this Flake pointed me to.

I was going to just keep a little notebook but decided it would be easier to just post my experience in a thread. Plus maybe someone else will learn from any mistakes I make.

Day 1

Decided to add a bubble bar to the tank before I start the cycling process. So I bought one and a pump for it. Unfortunately when I got home and plugged in the pump it was VERY loud. Broken loud. So I took it back to the store and bought a Petco air pump. Got it home and it is very quiet. Also picked up a thermometer to put inside the tank. The little stick strip one that came with the tank is useless.

Step 6a (fully set up your aquarium) of the guide is complete.

Step 6b
(add your dechlorinator) was part of step 6a, so that is also done.

Step 6c
(crank your heater up), done. My tank water it sitting at 76 degrees, cranking it up to get it to 85.

Step 6d
(crank the bubble wand up), done. It isn't bubbling quite as smooth as I would like but I think it just needs to get broken in a bit.

Step 6e (add ammonia). I went to Ace Harware and bought a 32 oz. bottle of Ace Ammonia Janitorial Strength Formula. They didn't have smaller bottles. I wasn't sure how much to start with to get to the needed 4ppm so I started by adding in 20 ml, measured out in a Nyquil cap. Now waiting for it to get mixed in well, in the mean time I'll be reading the instructions for my API Master Test Kit. Be right back...

Yikes! Okay that was clearly WAY too much ammonia, have to do a partial water change to get the level down. Then I'll test again. I change out about 1/3 of the water with new water. Took the opportunity to use warm water from the sink to up the temperature. Added some water conditioner to kill the chlorine in the new water...

Good gravy. I'm still way over were I need to be time to change out more water....Okay this time I changed out about 2/3 of the water. I'm still quite a bit over my target of 4ppm, however I'm close enough to feel okay moving forward.

Step 6f (seeding material). I don't have anyone I can get existing tank bacteria from so I bought some called Mardel Freshwater Biozyme. I'll add some and then test the water again tomorrow.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're starting out great, and thanks for using the guide and doing a fishless cycle .

FYI, the link in my signature is to the actual thread where there is an updated and revised version of the guide (I don't think they've changed the actual article yet).

We look forward to watching your progress!
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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Good luck! I have a 20 gal too and I'm using the ACE ammonia. It's powerful stuff, you don't need much. About 9 drops got mine up to about 3 PPM ammonia. It's better to add a few drops at a time and then test after a half hour, then if you need to add more, do another few drops and test, etc. It's better to add than have to take out (as you've already learned lol).
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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Yep, I can already tell the water changing is going to be the part I dislike about this.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zparticle
Yep, I can already tell the water changing is going to be the part I dislike about this.
Three words, Python...Water...Changer
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zparticle View Post
Yep, I can already tell the water changing is going to be the part I dislike about this.
LOL yeah pwc aren't fun, especially for larger tanks. But the good news is during a fishless cycle you won't have to change water until maybe part-way through if nitrItes get stuck to high and then once at the end before you get fish (unless, er, you overdose the ammonia )

Do you have an automatic siphon? I don't have one yet but heard they are fantastic, I'm definitely getting one when I get fish (even though hopefully even then pwc will only be 1-2x weekly).
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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Nope, don't have a automatic siphon. Have to look into that. Python Water Changer?
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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Get a python. If you think water changes are bad, imagine what it's like with people that have dozens of tanks.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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Just ordered a siphon from amazon.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:19 PM   #10
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Just ordered a siphon from amazon.
Looks good, definitely one of the best investments for fishkeeping
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