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Old 05-14-2013, 10:46 PM   #1
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New member, first tank ever

Hello! For two weeks I've been reading about setting a tank, and over this past weekend, I took the plunge. I gave away my ball python, gave the tank a good scrubbing, and started my aquarium.

So now my 30 gallon tank has gravel (fine, volcanic looking - made for planted tanks) an awesome large rock, a couple small ones, and a piece of African root wood(I think it's called), a fluval 206 canister, and the following plants
Crypt Balansae - x1
Crypt Wendtii Red - x1
Anacharis Wild - x2
Moss Ball - x1
Anubias Barteri - x1

I currently still have my single tube reptile light that was purchased for turtles, and used for the snake. This weekend (or next) I will be getting a proper aquarium hood and lighting.... My plan is to shoot for 1.5-2.5 WPG... I think that should be enough if I stick to lower light plants- would y'all agree?

On day 1 I added a danio, but took it out and gave to a friend after finally deciding to fishless cycle. This was Saturday, 4 days ago. Yesterday I finally found pure ammonia, and added a capful... But I had already (barely) tested positive for low levels of nitrite . The capful brought me to an ammonia level of 4.0 ppm

Today, about 30 hrs since adding ammonia, ammonia was down to about 1.0 ppm, Nitrites at 1-1.5, and tested positive for Nitrates (I can't tell how much though, but it wasn't yellow, but a light shade of orange- on my kit, yellow is neg, orange means present)

So I'm super excited about the cycle starting, but I am surprised I already have progress on the nitrite to nitrate conversions... Is it crazy to think that I might be fully cycled in <10 days?? I am incredibly impatient, yet committed to doing this the right way...

So my first question..... Do I continue adding ammonia? If so, what's my target ppm? Do I still shoot for 4-5 ppm, or lower amount.... And how long should it take for the tank to fully digest 4ppm of ammonia, to 0 ammonia and nitrite.

Btw: for those who may ask, my plan is stock the tank as follows: (spoiler. This is based of a suggestion I think I found somewhere in these forums)
2 Blue Rams (mated pair)
1 Bristlenose OR 5 Otocinclus Catfish
5 corydoras
8 Small Tetras or 5 endlers livebearers


I would love to hear some feed back from some vets or anyone who knows more than me!!
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30 gal tank (36"x 12"), Fluval 206 canister, 17x2 watt SolarMaxHE... Eco complete substrate, all natural rocks a nod wood... 1 baby BNPleco,8 bleeding heart tetra,11 neon tetra,4 Cory,1 dwarf gourami
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:56 PM   #2
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Looks great!!!! It will look amazing when the plants grow in. Your stock looks good. You could probably add a few more fish (depending on the type) to the list
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:58 PM   #3
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Thanks! So maybe I would add some tiger barbs to the mix.. Any input on the cycle? Do I keep adding ammonia?
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:46 AM   #5
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Tiger Barbs, IMO should only be kept with cory cats, plecos, tiger barbs, serpae tetras, and other semi agressive-agressive barbs. They're aggressive and pretty nippy. They also get kinda large, so small fish like neon tetras, endlers, etc could be eaten!

You could do something like:
1 Pair of Rams
3 Otos or 1 Pleco
5 Cory Cats
6 Small Tetras
3 Endlers
1 Honey Gourami

Are you sure the tank is only 30 gallons? It looks a lot bigger!

And yes, keep adding ammonia and changing water as needed till ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 30 or under.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:48 AM   #6
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Thanks convict. Scottyhorse, thanks for the advice. Yea, it's a 30 (I did maths), maybe for tanks, the camera adds 10 gallons
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Welcome. Tank looks nice.

The time I have read on this and other forums for converting 4 ppm ammonia to zero (and zero nitrites) is generally 24 hours. Since it is fishless, the high nitrates should not be an issue but water changes should bring those down.

Did you use media from another tank or any additives (bacteria boosters) during the cycle? My latest tank cycled in 15 days; I used ceramic media from a filter running in an established tank and I believe that sped up the process.

I would add at least a pair of each type of crypt. Plants look nice in groups of odd numbers such as three.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Also, I would hold off on the Otos until you have a nice lawn of diatoms and algae.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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Fresh, thanks for feedback. Yeah, I used a bacteria culture suspended in some ammonia solution... Recommended by guy at lfs... I plan on getting a bristlenose pleco (golden albino if i get lucky) if I can find one over the otos... So I imagine by the time i find one ill have enough growth. I agree on the plants, but I was getting in trouble with how much I already spent to get this far! Something tells me ill get in trouble again when it comes time to stock.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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Bacterial suspensions appear to work though I am not sure they go about and secure themselves on the appropriate surfaces (bio filter media).
Purchasing plants online may be more cost effective or even more so from users in this forum.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:45 PM   #11
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Well I did buy a bunch I plants from the lfs... Seems like a good store with huge selection and good staff (FWIW)... I never rinsed or shook out the roots before planting, and I also threw in a soaking wet moss ball...


Oh, and the substrate I bought came wet... Bag said they were cultured.

Lastly, don't the trite and trate readings indicate that the bacteria are present?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHCPeppers85 View Post
Well I did buy a bunch I plants from the lfs... Seems like a good store with huge selection and good staff (FWIW)... I never rinsed or shook out the roots before planting, and I also threw in a soaking wet moss ball...

Oh, and the substrate I bought came wet... Bag said they were cultured.

Lastly, don't the trite and trate readings indicate that the bacteria are present?
What is the name of the substrate?

The last statement seems a bit odd...no nitrates? If the ammonia and nitrites have been converted, then the nitrogen compounds had to go somewhere (in the form of nitrates presumedly). Which test kit are you using?
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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The substrate i used was Eco-Complete Plant Substrate. (used 2x 20LB bags, 1 black, 1 brick-red)

What i meant to say, with Nitrates present, wouldnt that indicate that I DO have the right bacteria? How much Ammonia-->Nitrite-->Nitrate can be done by plants (if at all)?

As of last night, my readings were as follows:
pH: 7.8 (down from 8 - i think from the plants that shed a few stems - LFS said that could happen, but my pH was too high anyway, so i figured 'why not')
Amm: 2 ppm
Nitrite: 5 ppm
Nitrite: 20 ppm...

Adding about a capfull of ammonia adds a little more than 3ppm, I do this when i get down to 1ppm.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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I personally like bacterial supplement. My first tank cycled in 2weeks with API stress zyme. As for plants, go to e classified section and for a small fee and shipping (usually less than commercial sites) you can gt a lot of really good plants.
The tank looks good! Good luck, and come back often with questions and your own comments.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHCPeppers85 View Post
The substrate i used was Eco-Complete Plant Substrate. (used 2x 20LB bags, 1 black, 1 brick-red)

What i meant to say, with Nitrates present, wouldnt that indicate that I DO have the right bacteria? How much Ammonia-->Nitrite-->Nitrate can be done by plants (if at all)?

As of last night, my readings were as follows:
pH: 7.8 (down from 8 - i think from the plants that shed a few stems - LFS said that could happen, but my pH was too high anyway, so i figured 'why not')
Amm: 2 ppm
Nitrite: 5 ppm
Nitrite: 20 ppm...

Adding about a capfull of ammonia adds a little more than 3ppm, I do this when i get down to 1ppm.
I like EcoComplete.

Nitrates present? Oh, that makes sense and yes it indicates the bacteria are present for the conversion from nitrites to nitrates.

I do not believe that plants will not do the same conversion; rather they will consume nitrogen in one form or another.

Sounds like you are cycling. I would hold off adding ammonia until it gets to zero. Some folks get stuck in the 0.25-.50 area; not sure why. Then redose and watch it drop and watch the nitrites rise and fall. You are getting there.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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Thanks Fresh.

I'm going to try that... I guess ill update in a few days once i have gotten amm to zero, back up, and back to zero (hopefully)

should i keep posting here, or is it time to move to another section?

(its not just aquariums that Im new too... i've also participated in an online forum.... im a serial reader, not so much a participator)
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:53 AM   #17
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Thanks Fresh.

I'm going to try that... I guess ill update in a few days once i have gotten amm to zero, back up, and back to zero (hopefully)

should i keep posting here, or is it time to move to another section?

(its not just aquariums that Im new too... i've also participated in an online forum.... im a serial reader, not so much a participator)
I stalked for months before I first posted. So much to learn.

You could start a new thread with something like "Peppers 30 gallon tank". Recap what's happened so far and continue to post updates and pics there.
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