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Old 10-15-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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Talking would well water help in cycling?

I have well water that has been tested by the state and it is better than most municipal water (and without the chlorine) It does have a slight rise in nitrites from the surrounding farmland but that is it, I let the tank cycle for 2 weeks and then added 3 glofish, they have been happy in their new home for 3 weeks and show absolutely no signs of stress, I test daily and have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites (which amazed me) and 0 nitrates. I do regular PWC's and am not new at the hobby (I had a 20 gallon for 15 years before I got married and had kids, I am now bringing my 6 year old son into the hobby.. hence the handle..) so the only thing I have come up with is that I seeded the tank with BB from my well and pipes ? I might think I got a false reading from a test but ALL of them?? and if it was wrong I would notice stress in my glofish wouldn't I?? I guess I should not be posting as I actually DONT have a problem, I guess I just find it odd... anyhoo glad to find a forum I can ask strange things like this on and am glad to be here

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Old 10-16-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Welcome!!! Healthy well water is great for your fish-i have city water and HATE it! Im glad your doing well with your tank and are testing daily for amm/nitrite/nitrate along with regular pwcs. I am a bit surprised that you have zero nitrates though. Are you shaking & banging the bottles for nitrate test thoroughly (liquid tends to clump/crystalize)? That said, its unlikely you seeded your tank from your well water because very few bb actually live freely in the water. They congregrate & stick on the surfaces of everything. Keep up the good work and keep an eye on everything!!!

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Old 10-16-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!
[CENTER]Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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Thank you

It is nice to be welcomed warmly! hope to be a part of this community
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your stay.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard. We are glad you found us here at AA.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Hi, and welcome to the AA forum. I, also, have well water, and have had many questions with regard to it. My daughter had a small freshwater tank for almost 4 years, and the water was always tan to brown, so she quit using tap water, and bought spring water at the store for pwc's. Last summer she bought a slightly larger tank which I ended up setting up and taking over cause she had so little time. So, since I knew nothing about freshwater fish or freshwater fishkeeping, I began to research, found this forum, and discovered fishless cycling, API liquid test kits, etc. I have researched at great length, the issue of well water, and to the best of my knowledge, it seems that the worst problem I have is in regards to the amount of dissolved carbonates and other minerals, and that the pH is a tad on the high side, from usually 7.6 but sometimes as high as 8.4. Don't know what causes the occasional spike, but then again, Texas has been under the worst drought in its recorded history this year. That may have some bearing on it.

So...that said, IMO, I think it is very strange that you have no nitRATES, and, in any case, BB's would have little effect on your trates. Perhaps, your tank hasn't really cycled yet. Maybe, the ammo load on your tank is too small, so you haven't been able to get the ammo spike, followed by the niTRITE spike, which would then both drop to 0, as I'm sure you already know. I'm just thinking out loud, here. Could you throw some extra fish food, or a shrimp in to start an ammo surge, and see if your filters can convert it?
Anyway, it's a very interesting challenge, and I hope you find the answer soon. But I DO think well water is very good for African Cichlids, since they like alkalotic, hard water. Something to think about, when you get this cycle issue resoved. Have fun with your son. I have a 5 year old granddaughter who helps me with her mommy's tank. She loves it.

Sorry to be so long winded. Promise I won't do it again.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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I am honored that you put that much effort into a response please feel free to do so again, input such as yours is always welcome and appreciated and that is why i am enjoying this site
Thanks again
26G BF, fish-in cycling,(Aqueon 30)(Soon to be AC70) 3 GloFish, 2 Peppered Corys
90G,fishless cycle, (AquaClear 110 & Aqueon 75) (my MTS flared)
Both Tanks: Prime,API Kits,Not Planted
Don't remember the question, the answer is large PWC's, Prime, and OVERfiltering...
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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I would definitely NOT advise intentionally overfeeding or dropping a shrimp into the tank. That's basically doing a fishless cycle with fish in the tank. If the ammonia and no2 is at zero...great! . Just stock the tank slowly (only a few fish at a time every couple weeks), continue testing, perform pwc's as necessary and give the beneficial bacteria an opportunity to adjust to the increased bio-load.

To me, the API nitrAte test isn't necessarily the best tool to decide where you are in a cycle. For one, it's very finicky, and if not done exactly as advised in the booklet (involves LOTS of shaking) the results won't be accurate. Also, if you have a small bio-load in your tank and have been doing water changes, it's possible the no3 simply hasn't reached testable levels.

Being "cycled" simply means you have a large enough colony of beneficial bacteria that proportionally it's capable of converting the waste your fish produce. With a small bio-load it won't take as much bacteria...so a 3 week cycle is perfectly possible. It's just moving into the future where you'll need to continue being cautious because the BB will need to continue colonizing and increasing in numbers as they adjust to the new fish that are being introduced.
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:43 PM   #10
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Pretty well said there Eco, I'm impressed.

@ the OP, one of the most common missconceptions in this hobby is that an aquarium has to experience these massive spikes in ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in order to be fully cycled. As Eco pointed out, cycled simply means having enough bacteria to handle the bioload of your tank effectively. So long as you stock slowly and carefully, and keep an eye on levels, you shouldn't have any issues. And welcome aboard.

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"Listen to some of these guys talk, and it's like they were born from their momma's belly with a fishkeeping encyclopedia in one hand and an API kit in the other" (unrevealed).
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