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Old 01-02-2018, 10:04 PM   #1
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I just set up a 29 gallon freshwater tank with plans for some community fish after cycling. It's been 10 years since I have had a tank. I was a single mother and my son LOVED fish (so do I) so we set up various size tanks mostly cichlids. We had a small saltwater at one time, but the last tank was a 75 gallon as my son fell in love with a tiny Oscar that grew to be about 13" long. She lived for about 5 years before jumping out of the tank (Please no lectures, it was a family member who left the lid open.)

So here I am again doing a tank for myself. I live in a different city and the water is so hard the little bubbles left deposits in my tank in 24 hours. I went to the local fish expert and he said they use RO water and I can buy his water at 79 cents per gallon. (I cannot lift the huge container, so that's out. lol)

I also asked for some sponge or gravel to help start the cycle and he said that was very "old school" and suggested I use the stuff in a bottle to do a fishless cycle. (Their tanks are amazing, crystal clear healthy fish!) I think I'm going to stay old school..buying the test kit tomorrow (API Master). I read the entire post on using pure ammonia, feeling shaky about that.

Peace - Coral.

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Old 01-02-2018, 10:39 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! I like the old school cycling method; somewhat skeptical of the bottled solutions. Thatís too bad about your tap water. Amazon is having a sale on the API FW Master kit ($21.24 prime eligible).

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Old 01-04-2018, 08:33 AM   #3
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #4
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Welcome back to the passion.
100 Gallon Reef Tank - Work Tank
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:23 AM   #5
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never tried the insta-cycle bottles either. I guess they can work, but I learned to be patient enough to cycle the long way - no ammonia (which works too tbh), just feed the tank a little every day. strange he can't give you a piece of media though...

as for water it is indeed a problem I'd hate to have. in your situation I think I would consider purchasing a simple RO filter, just for the convenience of not running with gallons of water from the store.

good luck!

I actually noticed your location. chances are we are using water from the same big lake of Michigan. so yes, it is hard water (and I guess it is possible yours is harder), but its not to much of a problem - running from tap here, unmodified. so far not to bad. we even had a local discus breeder running on tap water.

125 Gallon , 55 Gallon
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:06 PM   #6
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Hello and thanks!

I rent a very nice basement apartment and it has only a bar sink in the kitchen. My landlord has been contemplating a whole house RO system. Maybe I will poke them a little LOL. If not I will look into my own RO there is a plumber in the family . It's going to be a while though.

In the mean time I added the ammonia -omg. Have you ever done something really stupid? I never used the API Master test kit before and I did not read the directions. I used only bottle #1 of ammonia and kept getting ZERO. So I must have added 6ML of the stuff and ammonia went off the charts. I had to drain the tank about 60% to get to 4ppm.
Lesson Learned.

I see you are in the Chicago area also! Stay warm.

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