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Old 07-12-2007, 12:52 PM   #1
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Not enough seed material

Hey guys,

Before I start my first attempt at a 44g planted tank, I have set up a 10g that is going to be the future home of a betta and maybe a couple of other friends.

I am going fishless of course but it seems that the cycle hasn't started yet and it's been 6 or so days. I followed the fishless cycle instructions and did a PWC to reduce ammonia (it was a little higher than the directions indicated). The only seed material I really had was pantyhose full of substrate from my 38g. I don't know if this is enough...how long should it take before I start to see some nitrite?

I could probably add a fake plant from my existing tank as well to try and speed things along. Has anyone had experience with the "bacteria in a bottle" products like Bio-Spira? Should I maybe add a bit of that to get things going?

I wanted to test the process on this 10g before I tackled the 44g.

Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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Bio-Spira should work fine. Just make sure it is refrigerated and check any dates on the packaging. It should add a bacteria colony to take care of your bioload instantly.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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Bio Spira is excellent. Be sure to add fish when you add the Bio Spira otherwise it's useless.

What do you have as your ammonia source? No reason to do a pwc unless the Ammonia reading was off the charts.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Ammonia source was pure ammonia (no detergents or fragrances). I didn't actually do the math but from what I could tell from the API kit, it was probably between 5-7ppm.

I just got home from work and tested the parameters, finally looks like things have begun:

Ammonia: 4ppm
pH: 7
Nitrite: 0.20-0.25ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

I think I'll hold off on using store bought bacteria, I'd like to do it with adding anything extra if possible. As I read, once I can turn 1-2ppm of ammonia into nitrate, I'll be ready to add fish?
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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If you are going the planted route and have plenty of plants, there is no reason to fishless cycle.

It's called a silent cycle. The plants consume most of the NH3 produced while the bacteria reproduce. The key is to add a couple of fish then wait a week or two and add a couple more.

HTH
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:44 AM   #6
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This smaller tank it not going to be planted but I think I'll try the silent cycle for my 44g.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:04 PM   #7
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No reason to add bacterial supplements. I'd just save the money. Bio Spira doesn't always work, and it's expensive. Now that your cycle is going, it shouldn't take more than 2-3 weeks until you're done.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
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Easiest way to speed it up right now is to take your filter insert from your 38 gallon and squeeze it into a bucket of used tank water (from the 38 gallon tank). Then just dump the water into your 10 gallon. That will add a HUGE number of bacteria and your cycle should go much MUCH faster.
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