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Old 09-27-2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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Need Advice! Cycling...

Ok, I am still sorta new to Aquariums. A lil' about how it started.
The wife decided to show up one day (about 6 months ago) with two Betta Fish in 2 bowls. After each day, cleaning the bowls, I went out and purchased a 10Gal Tank with a Separator. Ran the tank for 24 hrs and put the fish in! (yeah yeah.. I didn't know anything then about cycling)...
Here we are now, 6 Months later, and the Bettas died 2 weeks ago after a major Gravel Vac & Water change ??? (Another thing I learned.. to clean gravel). I have been keeping the Tank running with no fish (Except for 4 Wood Shrimps still cleaning and living).

Now... After reading about how to Cycle and since I have shrimps in it, I can't really add Ammonia. I've purchased a API Master FW Kit (Since so many recommended this on this Forum). For 1 week of daily testing, I've been reading the following on my 10Gal Tank:
Ammonia -0
Nitrite -0
Nitrate -2.5 (color between 0 & 5) ?
PH -7.8 (stable)
Temp: 79
My question on this Tank (10gal) is, how do I know it is cycled? Since from the start, I didn't know anything about aquariums, and never cycled it?)

Now, on to my next project / questions.
After seeing so many beautiful tanks here, I decided to go out and buy a 60 Gallon. Went to Big Al's, purchased the following:
-60Gal Tank
-200W Submersible Heater
-Eheim (80gal) Can filter
-CoraLite Lights for FW (was recommended since I plan on having live plants)

After following their advice, I ran the tank for 3 weeks with some Bio-Start. They told me to go against the "Fishless Cycle" , and advised me to put 3 Zebra Danios to start a "cycle with Fish". Now, If it was to start over, knowing what I know now, I would have went Fishless...
My question is:
Should I transfer the Danios to my 10 Gal, and Do a fishless Cycle on the 60? Even though I am not sure if my 10Gal is cycled?
My levels for my 60Gal:
Ammonia - 0.25PPM (These levels since Sept 16th)
Nitrite - 0.25PPM (Just started showing on Sept 26th)
Nitrate- 0
PH - 7.2 (Stable)
Temp: 79

I am not sure what to do.. If I continue the Cycle with fish, will it mess up my cycle to do PWC 20% ? I was told by the store to let the tank run for 6 weeks before doing a PWC ?? Here I read different.
Also, should I be removing my Carbon filter from my Canister?

Help would be appreciated.. I know.. I got two set-ups going at once..

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Old 09-27-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA if I didn't mention that to you yet.

Your 10g tank is cycled, or at least it was. But with such a small bioload in there now, it won't be able to handle a whole lot of load thrown at it at once. So, add fish slowly and just keep an eye on things. If the ammonia starts to climb, just do a PWC.

For the new tank, I would return the danios (or maybe run them through the 10g) and fishless cycle it.

In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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You think adding the 3 Danios would be too much for the 10Gal with such a small Bio Load?
If I can do this, then I can "Fishless Cycle" my 60 Gal, then return the Danios in the 60 Gal after it has completed its Cycle.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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3 Danios are not a lot of bioload for a 60 ... you are going to take months to cycle that tank. <OTOH - you won't need to do a lot of water changes, as you have minimal NH3/NO2 at present. So BigAl's advice is OK for not doing pwc's since you have very little bioload, and the danios are considered expendable.>

Disadvantage of cycling with such low load is that the tank won't have much of a biofilter even when done, so you still have to add new fish very slowly and watch for a mini-cycle with each fish added. If you do fishless, you would have a robust colony at the end & be able to add more fish at once.

You can move the danios to the 10. this will be much higher bioload in relation to water volume. The tank is lightly cycled (ie, very small bacterial colony, shrimps don't have a lot of bioload), so you will likely see spikes, which will be bad for the shrimps/danios. You can manage that with pwc's. <It will slow down the cycle, but helps the fish survive.>

there is no right way of doing this. It depends on what you want to do with the tanks in the end & how much work you are willing to do, and how fast you want to get there.
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Alright. Thank you for the advice.

I've added 3 more Danios to the 60gal, just because I am scared of a living Parasite in my 10 gal. (2 Bettas died from unknown cause in a matter of 3 days... No signs other than sudden bloating, and staying inactive at the bottom)... I shall continue with the Cycling with Fish on my 60 gal. Hopefully, if there was a parasite in my 10 gal, it will be gone/dead since it does not have a Host.
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