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Old 05-05-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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Where's my Cycle?

Thanks to all the advice I have received so far on this board -- I was able to at least get my 75g tank set up and stocked but I am having a few issues (it couldn't go perfectly now could it!)

I set up the tank on Sunday 4/30 and added the following plants:
2 Java's
8-10 Anachris
8 dwarf onions
4 coffee anubias
2 walkeri crypts

I added the PRIME to dechlorinate the water before I went to bed and let the filter run that night. Monday night 5/1, I took my DD's to the local Petsmart (believe it or not their tanks looked better and they had a much better variety than the LFS around the corner from me) and we bought 23 fish (8 zebra danios, 2 black neon tetras, 2 peppered corys, 2 albino corys, 5 platys, 3 lemon tetras and a buenos aires tetra which was a mistake becuase the fish guy didn't know it wasn't a lemon).

I had planned on waiting until Tuesday to dump in my 3oz of Bio-Spira so the ammonia would get going but the fish guy at the store said I really needed to add something right away and in my panic I did add it after the fish were settled on Monday around 10pm.

So, I have been religiously testing my water with both STRIPS and the AP kit to watch out for all the pitfalls I have read about. So far, I have had no indication of ammonia or nitrites and only a hint of nitrates (a pale pink on the stip pad and somewhere between yellow and the first orange square on the AP card).

Somewhere I read that using PRIME can affect the test results of the ammonia and after I used the bio-spira I read that you weren't supposed to use anything to condition the water except for bio-safe.

I do plan to do a 25% PWC tonight since it will have been 4 days since adding the bio spira.


Is it possible that the combination of live plants, fish load and dose of bio-spira is actually working this quickly as a biofilter or should I be waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop?
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
So, I have been religiously testing my water with both STRIPS and the AP kit to watch out for all the pitfalls I have read about. So far, I have had no indication of ammonia or nitrites and only a hint of nitrates (a pale pink on the stip pad and somewhere between yellow and the first orange square on the AP card).
I have never used Prime and do not know of the interactions it may have with other chemicals. The fact you see nitrates is usually the first sign of a complete cycle. Hopefully someone who has used Prime will help out.
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Is it possible that the combination of live plants, fish load and dose of bio-spira is actually working this quickly as a biofilter
Absolutely.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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One of the excellent reasons for having a planted tank is you will probably never see ammonia or nitrites. That being said, as Menagerie mentioned, the fact that you have a nitrate reading is absolutely great.

What we probably forgot to mention in your original thread was that nitrate is a good thing in a planted tank. You need to keep a minimum of 10ppm in the tank for the plants to thrive and not have issues with the dreaded BBA (black/brown beard algae) which loves a tank devoid of nitrates and nice lighting.

Congrats.
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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Oh Its SO NICE to read a post where something went well !!!

CONGRATS !!!

Post photos of your tank - I'd love to see it
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:23 PM   #5
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Hi 2beach...

Glad to see that the tank got started. I followed your original thread and it sounds like all the research you did ahead of time has paid off.

If you have live plants, then those tend to 'feed' off of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates - so many planted tank aquarists claim that a planted tank doesn't even need to be cycled. I'm not sure about that, but at the least - a planted tank will cycle with lower peaks in the ammonia and nitrite levels.

Anyway, it sounds like the Bio-Spira and live plants have worked well. The nitrates are great to see, and it's good to have around 10ppm for your plants - but you'll still want to avoid having too many nitrates, so try to keep the nitrate levels below 30-40ppm.

About the Bio-Safe - it sounds like Bio-Safe is simply a dechlorinator, so adding Prime shouldn't be any more detrimental. Marineland probably just wants to promote their own dechlorinating product. But yeah, you'll definitely want to add a dechlorinator for any water you add to the tank.

Can't wait to see pictures. Good luck and hope you and your daughter enjoy the tank.
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25g Marineland Eclipse (30w T-8 ):
- java ferns, anacharis, corkscrew vals, giant hygros, marimo balls, java moss
- zebra danios (5), otos (2), others TBD

6g Marineland Eclipse (8w T-5):
- anacharis, asian ambulia, java moss
- white cloud mountain minnows (10 = 6-7 inches total)
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