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Old 11-02-2004, 09:15 PM   #1
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newbie fishless cycle (longwinded)

I have just set up a little 10 gallon aquarium with the ?how you say? filter that hangs behind it, and a heater. I also have some real live plants in there. I've been doing a fishless cycle for almost 2 weeks...here's how things are shaking out (note - I was unable to find a nitrite test kit in my little town)...
Started adding ammonia (4 drops or so per day)...after a few days, levels hit about 3 ppm. I then got a nitrate kit and started testing - yesterday I had about 1.0 ppm ammonia and 25 ppm nitrate, and even though I kept adding ammonia, today I got 0 ammonia and 50 ppm nitrate! In addition, my plants are growing like crazy.

I was able to get a bit of filter goo from a previously cycled tank, so I think that helped.

My questions...what to do next? I'm thinking:
1. Test tomorrow again - assuming that ammonia is 0, and nitrate is still high-ish (unless the plants suck it up overnight...scary), I can do a 50 or 60% water change to get rid of the extra nitrate.
2. Add fresh (dechlorinated of course) water.
3. ...do I add ammonia to feed the bacteria? or can I add fish? I'm thinking that I should maybe not add ammonia for one day, retest the next day, and if it's ok, add fishies?

Advice?

Also, I want some neon tetras...I've been advised to get a couple of corys too...how many fish in such a teeny tiny tank?
Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:57 PM   #2
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[center:f91a53dadb] Welcome to AA, sciencegirl!! [/center:f91a53dadb]
Quote:
with the ?how you say? filter that hangs behind it,
HOB
Quote:
I was able to get a bit of filter goo from a previously cycled tank, so I think that helped.
Definitely!
1. Do a 50% PWC.
2. yes
3. Keep feeding the bacteria--either by putting in fish or add a couple drops of ammonia.
Quote:
Also, I want some neon tetras...I've been advised to get a couple of corys too...how many fish in such a teeny tiny tank?
Neons like to be in groups. If you do weekly 25% PWC while vacuuming the gravel and stay on top of the water parameters, go with 4-5 neons. For the cories, there is a pygmy cory, which only gets to 1". They are great little fish. I would add 3-4. Be careful with the addition of the fish, as the extra ammonia produced by the fish may send the tank into a minicycle.

Kudos to you for cycling the tank, using water testing kits and asking questions!!
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:18 PM   #3
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Great job on the speedy cycle - I'd say those plants are consuming the ammonia so as long as the plants continue to grow well and thrive you can go ahead and add fish. With healthy plants you don't really cycle the traditional way.
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