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Old 08-31-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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old rookie

Hi, i'm not really new to aquariums but it's been a long time since I had one. I'm 41 now and I last had a tank when i was 15 or 16. i had 3 piranhas; i wanted to see fish eat fish...i was too young and stupid to know how young and stupid i was)

I never ever heard anything before about "cycling". WHen i had my tanks, old water out, new tap water in. All of the water..i let them flop around while I got new water (not trying to be funny, it was what it was though). I didn't knwo any better and no one told me any different (no, i didn't ask either)

Anywho, i asked my wife for an aquarium for our anniversary...i wanted an Audi R8 Spyder...she considers this meeting in the middle somehow. It's a 37 gallon with an AquaClear 50 filter. I'm trying to do this right becasue i'd like to get at least 2 more tanks in the near future. With this being said, fishless cycling method is torture!!! I have the API Masterkit and i'm testing the water like crazy. I didnt have access to any seed material so I'm going the ammonia route. I'm dosing it to 2ppm, which drops to .25 or so within 24 hours easy. however, my NITRITES reading stay purple (off the chart).

I did a big water change Monday (75%) and redosed ammonia up to 2ppm...again, no NITRITE drop at all. I think at this point I'm confused with all of the information out there (too many voices). i've been at this for about 3 weeks now and am getting antsy.

Not that it means anything but **** my water looks really crystal clear right now!!!!: fish1:

Thanks for any advice/words of patience you can provide

Phillip
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site

I know you're already inundated with fishless cycling info, but if you haven't seen this one...check it out. There's also a FAQ which might help answer a few questions. It sounds like you're just at the point you've got to wait it out. Good luck
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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I stopped in my lfs (petsmart) and talked to the lady in there. I told her my ammonia was down and nitrites were up, way up. She suggested adding a bit more Prime in my water to help bring the nitrites dwon and to put a pinch of fish flake, ground up to dust, in teh tank to help feed the bac. Any truth to this?
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw1731
I stopped in my lfs (petsmart) and talked to the lady in there. I told her my ammonia was down and nitrites were up, way up. She suggested adding a bit more Prime in my water to help bring the nitrites dwon and to put a pinch of fish flake, ground up to dust, in teh tank to help feed the bac. Any truth to this?
Well....she's 50% helpful, and 50% clueless. The ground up fish food adds phosphates and other nutrients to your water which can help the bacteria colonize. The reason it should be ground into dust is to prevent potential mold / fungus issues.

However, Seachem Prime does not reduce nitrItes. It will temporarily neutralize them for 24-36 hours (which can be helpful during a fish-in cycle), but it does not lower them whatsoever.

Sooo...fish food = good idea, Prime to reduce nitrItes = incorrect information.

If you want to lower your nitrItes before the beneficial bacteria fully colonizes and can convert them...the only way is using a bucket.
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:52 PM   #5
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
If you want to lower your nitrItes before the beneficial bacteria fully colonizes and can convert them...the only way is using a bucket.
lowering my nitrites BEFORE the beneficial bacteria fully colonizes and converts them = good thing? I should keep doing water changes (which really isn't that much of a chore because I work from home...i'm here all day)

Thanks eco...your info really is appreciated
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw1731

lowering my nitrites BEFORE the beneficial bacteria fully colonizes and converts them = good thing? I should keep doing water changes (which really isn't that much of a chore because I work from home...i'm here all day)

Thanks eco...your info really is appreciated
Happy to help .

The definition of a cycle being completed is that it can constantly convert ammonia and nitrItes so they are consistently at zero by their own doing.

That said, there are some useful things that are accomplished by doing water changes during a fishless cycle. First, the nitrifying bacteria constantly use up buffers in the water (that hold pH stable) as well as micro-nutrients they need to colonize. Doing a couple water changes will refresh those things and prevent stalls and pH crashes during your cycle.

The second issue is nitrIte toxicity to the beneficial bacteria. This is an issue of debate. I do believe that there is a certain level where super high nitrIte levels become an issue and can potentially disrupt the bacteria from multiplying. However, in my experience the stalls during cycling are normally pH or nutrient related...not from the nitrIte. People have done fishless cycles for years and years without ever changing a single drop of water, and everything went perfectly. That said, doing a few or at least one massive water change at the height of your cycle to lower the no2 may shave a few days off, and also prevent the issues I mentioned before.

The main point is that water changes during a fishless cycle can be helpful and have no negative impacts. I personally advise doing them during key parts of your cycle. But....doing constant water changes every time the no2 gets high (which will happen within hours at the height of your cycle) totally defeats the purpose of cycling "fishless". If I wanted to change water every couple days while cycling, I'd add fish from day one so there's something to look at . It would basically defeat the purpose and take away one of the main benefits of fishless cycling.
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw1731 View Post
lowering my nitrites BEFORE the beneficial bacteria fully colonizes and converts them = good thing? I should keep doing water changes (which really isn't that much of a chore because I work from home...i'm here all day)

Thanks eco...your info really is appreciated
to AA! You've gotten good advice from Eco23 ... as usual! Just keep up the maintenance and enjoy your new aquarium. You could try buying a hand sized model of the Audi R8 spyder and use it as decor.
Not the real thing but ........
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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Ha, i just realized that the 1st guide that i used to attempt to start cycling my tank was the one from here...the fish gods must be trying to tell me something
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