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Old 01-19-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
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20 Gallon Low Light Tank Build Journal

Yes, finally starting my 20gal high low light planted tank!!!
Materials:
Aquaclear 50 filter
Prime Water Conditioner
DrTimAquatics Ammonium Chloride-For cycling
API Freshwater Master Test Kit
Exo Terra Compact Top terranium Canopy
75W Eheim Jager Heater
CaribSea Instant Aquarium Substrate (Peace River)
Plants: Java Fern, Java Moss,Wisteria, Vals,Crypt Wendtii Brown,Anubuas Nana,Dwarf Sag
Stocking: 1-German Blue or Gold Ram,10-Cardinal Tetras,6-Panda Corydoras,1-Zebra Nerite Snail,10-Red Cherry Shrimp
Picture of tank not filled:
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January 16, 2013: Finished setting up. But looks like I made some tea in the tank. Full Tank Shot:
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Started my fishless cycle! I dosed according to package directions in order to achieve 4ppm.Did not get 4ppm got 2ppm:
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On January 17, 2013: Got the results I wanted 4ppm:
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Ammonia 4ppm
NitrIte 0ppm
NitrAte 0ppm
pH 6.8
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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January 18, 2013 My Ammonia levels are already going down! Is this possible?
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Checking again tomorrow just in case in was a fluke.
January 19,2013 Looks like My Ammonia went down some more!!!
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Parameters:
Temp 79 Degrees F
Ammonia: Looks between 1ppm and 2ppm. Maybe 1.5ppm?
NitrItes: 0ppm
NitrAtes: 0ppm
pH: 6.8

Should I be concerned? Test Kit bottles are not expired. I started with CaribSea Instant Aquarium Gravel (Peace River).
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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Hi PattyCakes!
Your tank looks good, and your stock looks good, too! Plants choices are good also.

During the cycle, your ammonia will go up, then down, then your nitrites will go up, then down, then your nitrates will get super high. Time for a huge water change. Keep dosing ammonia the whole time. After the the test results look like this for a couple days (ammonia/nitrites/nitrates/ 0.0.<20 you can add 5 cardinal tetras. A week later, 5 more. Then a week or two after that, your cory cats. A week after that, snail and shrimp. After it has been 3 months since your tank has cycled, add the ram

So your test results are looking good! Keep dosing to 4 ppm everyday, and soon your nitrites will show.

EDIT- You can add the plants anytime now.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scottyhorse View Post
Hi PattyCakes!
Your tank looks good, and your stock looks good, too! Plants choices are good also.

During the cycle, your ammonia will go up, then down, then your nitrites will go up, then down, then your nitrates will get super high. Time for a huge water change. Keep dosing ammonia the whole time. After the the test results look like this for a couple days (ammonia/nitrites/nitrates/ 0.0.<20 you can add 5 cardinal tetras. A week later, 5 more. Then a week or two after that, your cory cats. A week after that, snail and shrimp. After it has been 3 months since your tank has cycled, add the ram

So your test results are looking good! Keep dosing to 4 ppm everyday, and soon your nitrites will show.

EDIT- You can add the plants anytime now.
Thank you Scottyhorse! Made an order for plants! Patiently waiting
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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Thank you Scottyhorse! Made an order for plants! Patiently waiting
Your welcome! When will the plants arrive?
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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In few days. I am so excited. Can't wait!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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January 19, 2013: Just putting this to keep track of dosing and testing results! Re-dosed to 4ppm took 33 drops of the Ammonium solution.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
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I decided to check out how the light looks on the tank. I like it a lot! here's a pic:

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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Looking good! Have you tested for nitrites yet? When I started my fishless cycle, (which is almost done!) I got readings for all of them, right away. It was really weird.

Lights look great and when your plants get here the tank will look awesome!
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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Looking good! Have you tested for nitrites yet? When I started my fishless cycle, (which is almost done!) I got readings for all of them, right away. It was really weird.

Lights look great and when your plants get here the tank will look awesome!
Thanks Scotthorse! Yes I have test for nitrItes but it was 0ppm. I Re-dosed to 4ppm yesterday. Going to test for everything at 2:38pm (24 hrs from last Ammonia dosing). I can't wait on to the plants get here. The tank needs some green.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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Retested Ammonia, NitrItes, NitrAtes, and pH.
Current Results:
Ammonia: 4ppm
NitrItes: 0ppm
NitrAtes: 0ppm
pH: 6.8
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Jesus these results are hard to read!
Keep in mind that all these tests were taken in the same light.
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I think it's between 1 and 2ppm.
I tested it again just to be sure.
please help what do you guys think it is?



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Old 01-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #13
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Love the substrate, the wood is great, the plant list is ideal for low light and the stock list is awesome! What are you going to use for fertilizer?

By the way, I have a 20 gallon planted tank, too. ^_^
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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Love the substrate, the wood is great, the plant list is ideal fir low light and the stock list is awesome! What are you going to use for fertilizer?

By the way, I have a 20 gallon planted tank, too. ^_^
I am going to use dry ferts. Nice tank!

Can someone help me with my last pic of my test results? Need to know if its lowering and its between 1 & 2ppm so I can redose.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #15
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The ammonia looks a little low (1ppm). I'd add another dose to get it to three.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #16
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The ammonia looks a little low (1ppm). I'd add another dose to get it to three.
Thank you! Dosing now. I hope I did not wait too long to redose.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #17
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No no no. Don't give it a second thought. Even if you had waited longer to dose it wouldn't hurt a single thing. Ammonia is just food for aerobic bacteria. It wasn't close to zero so everything is perfectly fine. Some people only dose to about 1-2ppm anyway. You're doing everything right.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:03 PM   #18
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No no no. Don't give it a second thought. Even if you had waited longer to dose it wouldn't hurt a single thing. Ammonia is just food for aerobic bacteria. It wasn't close to zero so everything is perfectly fine. Some people only dose to about 1-2ppm anyway. You're doing everything right.
Thanks CorallineAlgae. I was doing everything good until right now. Dosed too much ammonia.
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Did a water change. Letting it circulate and retesting soon.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:12 PM   #19
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Sometimes it's best to wait a few hours after dosing before testing. You may find that it would've been lower the next morning than right after adding the ammonia. Of course, it may have been stronger, too. Just take your time with it. No need to be exact this early in the cycle though, you have a great mindset. Being cautious is almost as useful as having experience. Some would say it's more valuable simply because most people are so careless when they first start out and have to learn caution through failure.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:36 AM   #20
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Sometimes it's best to wait a few hours after dosing before testing. You may find that it would've been lower the next morning than right after adding the ammonia. Of course, it may have been stronger, too. Just take your time with it. No need to be exact this early in the cycle though, you have a great mindset. Being cautious is almost as useful as having experience. Some would say it's more valuable simply because most people are so careless when they first start out and have to learn caution through failure.
Thank you CorallineAlgae! When I saw how dark the green was I freaked! Three hours after the water change I retest and it was at 2ppm.

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It not bad for cycling but I have been dosing 4ppm from the beginning. So I Re-dosed to 4ppm.


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I really freaked. My family were looking at me like I was crazy!

Today going to test for nitrites again because Ammonia has been going down the last couple of days.
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