Originally Posted by redsea
So I don't really cycle it? Can you give me the steps in order, LOL. Thanks! By the way, I think I would be using hypo.
I honestly don't know how the tank could cycle completely. What I do...and I'm in no way an expert at this, I was just caught between a rock and a hard place...
(1) fill the QT with 1/2 DT water, 1/2 newly made water (regular salinity)
(2) over 24 hours drop the salinity down to where you want it. I've been removing a 1/2 gal
tank water and replacing it with freshwater every 2 hours or so.
(3) good idea to have a bottle of AmQuel on hand and some pH buffer.
(4) make sure you clean the bottom of the tank with the syphon during water changes.
(5) feed often
The last time I did this, I never got my tank to fully cycle. I ended up doing 40 - 50% water changes every other day (less towards the end) and using AmQuel to control the ammonia. WATCH THE PH! The lower the salinity, the lower the pH - and it WILL kill your fish. As long as mine doesn't drop below 7.8, I don't add any buffer. The whole process definitely sucks - maybe someone else has a better way lol.
Right now, I have 4 fish in a 10g QT. Not ideal, but easier for me to change 50% of the water regularly. I'm at 1.018 specific gravity right now. Although refractometers are recommended, I still use a hydrometer. I shoot for 1.012 to accommodate any error range, and then just maintain that for 4 weeks.
Hope this helps.