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Old 09-29-2013, 10:26 PM   #21
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Most oto's are wild caught but remember the oto's you commonly see and buy are otocinclus arnoldi, but there are many species of oto's. Just a couple includes Nannoptopoma sp. Vampire oto, Otocinclus cocama "Zebra Oto", and many others. I've been thinking about getting some Vampire oto's myself but they aren't cheap.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #22
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Am I the only person here who doesn't own chickens?
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:09 AM   #23
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Am I the only person here who doesn't own chickens?
Nope I'm right there with you!
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #24
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Yes you can do a water change while fishless cycling. In your case, I'll do a 80-90% WC, removing ammonia, nitrites, excess nitrates, and silicates (is your tank brand new?)
Make sure you don't run filters while WCs. make sure you add dechlorinator before you run filters.


What's your current KH ? It must be low if your PH dropped that much... I'll add a bit ARM&HAMMER for helping cycling process.

Cycling process can take up to 1.5 month. You can add BB (beneficial bacterias) to speed up the process. In my case, I add Nutrafin Cycle direct into the filter bios, and I cycled my 30g tank in 10 days.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #25
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Quick update!
Alright so things seem to definitely be on track again! Ammonia is going from around 1.5ppm to 0 easily in 24 hours (can't test it every 12 atm because of work), PH is steady at 7.6, and nitrites seem to have lowered this morning! They're still at least at 5 ppm, but the solution hardly turns purple anymore once it hits the bottom of the tube.

That, and I finally have a nitrate spike! It's at around 30/40ppm as of this morning.

Now, question: Do I need to worry about nirate levels while the tank's cycling, or should things be OK for a week (I think the cycle may be done by then, but I'm giving more time in this week estimate)? I just don't want to stall out again.


Thanks guys! Sorry about the quiet; I have an interview for an agriculture biologist job this friday and so I've been preparing all week.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:06 PM   #26
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Just don't let the nitrates get too high. IMO if they hit 60ppm I'd do a WC to bring them down to around 20ppm. The problem with letting them get really high is that it can often take a few large WC's to bring the levels down to 20ppm or below before you can stock the tank.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #27
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Just don't let the nitrates get too high. IMO if they hit 60ppm I'd do a WC to bring them down to around 20ppm. The problem with letting them get really high is that it can often take a few large WC's to bring the levels down to 20ppm or below before you can stock the tank.
Yeah, you're fishless cycling, you can do a big WC, anyways the main magic of the cycle happens in the filter's bios.

If I had to deal with this situation, i'll do 100% WC and add some bottled bacteries directly to the filter bio.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #28
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Hey, guys. Update!

So things looked pretty stable, still do I think, though ....I guess the tank's still cycling? The low-down is:
In 24 hrs ammonia goes from 2ppm to 0
PH is keeping steady at 7.6 with oyster shell as a buffer
Nitrites today are at .5ppm (yay finally?)
and the Nitrates are at 40ppm.
Still a lot of diatoms, plants WERE looking good until a couple days ago when a bunch of creeping charley seems to be losing its leaves. There were a couple days when I couldn't dose the usual CO2, but that's normal again and I added some Comprehensive.

I think my real question is about the nitrates. I did a HUGE/90-95% water change on Tuesday, and nitrates measured at 3ppm afterwards. Now it's Sunday and they're at 'lethal level' at 40ppm, meaning they were probably at least at 20ppm (way too stinking high) on Friday... just THREE days after a huge water change.

Is this type of Nitrate...growth (?) normal? Am I seriously going to have to do full water changes every three days when I get fish? Or is this typical for a cycling tank and it'll change once NitrItes are zeroing out?

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #29
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I wouldnt panic just yet. Things are super unstable while the tank is cycling. Once you know you can add 4ppm Ammonia one day and have 0ppm Ammonia and Nitrites 24hrs later, then do a HUGE water change (or multiple huge water changes) as sort of a palette cleanser. Check your Nitrates and make a note of the results. Then dose 4ppm Ammonia again and check your levels again 24hrs later. Make sure you still have 0ppm Ammonia and Nitrite and see how much of an increase you have in Nitrates.
Also, keep in mind that its highly unlikely that the fish you stock your tank with will produce 4ppm Ammonia in a day, so you'll be starting out with more BB then you'll ultimately be using.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:20 PM   #30
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Okay, I'll keep trucking along. Thank you!
Should I be adding 4ppm ammonia a day NOW, or should I wait till nitrites zero out the first time ....?
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:03 PM   #31
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Dose in a some Ammonia to keep that particular breed of bacteria fed.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #32
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I think 1ppm ammonia transformed can do 10ppm nitrates... Not sure about the ratios...
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:53 AM   #33
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OK..... How do Nitrite and Nitrate levels go from 0.25ppm and 10ppm, respectively, to 3ppm and 40ppm in a DAY? :| .......Tank, why must you DO THIS UGH.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #34
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1. Maybe your tests are wrong ?
2. Maybe you're dosing ammonia ?
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