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Old 08-01-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycle Log - 37 galllon

Admins: Feel free to merge this with my "questions" post from last week.

Saturday July 23rd
I bought a starter 37g tank from Petsmart, their Topfin brand, that came with a 200w heater, a powerfilter 40, and some sample conditioners and food. Based on advice I read in these forums, I added a master test kit and a Python, an air compressor with an airstone and a bubble wall, some plastic plants, live plants, ornaments for fish hiding spots and lastly my son chose a SpongeBob Pineapple undersea dwelling!

We'll probably start with some Platies once the water is ready.

We did some initial tests and found 0.25 Ammonia, 7.8 Ph, no tests for Nitrite or Nitrates. Why did I have 0.25 ammonia? I don't know, I tested my tap water and it was 0.0. Maybe something in the plants or a residue in something else?

1 day after the initial setup I added 2 live plants and put in about a half cup of crushed coral as a stabilizing buffering agent for the PH.

Then I had a to wait a few days while I found the right kind of ammonia. Finally on Thursday the 28th I found the Ace Janitors ammonia and added it in (calculator suggested about 6.2ml).

I got a 5.0 reading and normal PH.

Sat, July 30th, I visited the same PetSmart where I bought the tank and convinced the guy there to give me some gravel from a tank. he gave me a double handful from a tank that had some healthy looking fry in it.

I suffered the embarrassment of purchasing knee high stockings at the supermarket and put the PetSmart gravel in the stocking, tied it off and shoved it into the filter compartment right next to the filter media.

A reading later that day gave me 5.0 ammonia and a spiked Ph of 8.4!

Sunday, July 31
I worried, but I had 5.0 Ammonia and Ph of 7.4.

I'm now patiently waiting to see when the NH3 will drop.

My only concern is that my water level is dropping about a half inch per day due to evaporation I think. The heater is cranked up, temps around 86F. Should I think about a PWC before I see ammonia drop?
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:58 PM   #2
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Do you have a cover/hood on the tank? Open tops evaporate really fast. Also, try minimizing the amount of splashing from your filter. That can also lower your level over time.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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Yep I have a cover, a glass one that came with the tank. It only covers 80% of the top, leaving room for the HOB and Heater in the back.

Splashing from the filter only gets worse as the water level goes down. I'm not so worried because I know the temperature will be much lower when the fish arrive.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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Day5

Monday, August 1st
Added some fish food, a very very small pinch less than my pinky fingernail. Hope this adds some nutrients for BB growth.

Ph was 7.4, Ammonia 4 to 5ppm and Nitrites 0.0.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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Days 6 & 7

8/2
pH 7.8
NH3=4.0
NO2= 0.0

8/3
pH 8.1
NH3=4.0
NO2= 0.0

Nothing much happening to my levels. the pH seems to bounce around a bit. not sure why and not sure if it has to do with the difference between my eyes and my wife's when reading the test tubes. I think I need a better work light with daylight temperatures, my house is all tungsten (yellow).

I also stopped trying to scoop up and dribble out water to get exactly to the 5ml line, now I just use a 5ml syringe that came with my kids medicine (don't worry it's clean!) the lines on the API tubes are definitely not uniform, as noted by many others here. This may also be responsible for the change in apparent ph.

Based on advice from a member here, I ordered a mag sponge filter from Angels Plus with Active bacteria. All you have to do is to read this guys web site and you know it's all about the passion for the hobby. It's a great education just looking at everything he has there. They also have simple stuff like check valves for air lines and silicone airline by the foot, all at very low prices.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Day 8: I see Purple!

August 4
ph = 8.1
NH3 = 4.0
NO2 = 0.25 A pretty convincing glimmer of purple in the blue!

Very exciting!
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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good for you, keep at it.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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Really Cyclng Now. What next?

Friday August 5th:
Day 9:
NH3 = 4.0
NO2 = .35
Ph 8.2

Sunday August 7th
NH3 = 1.0
NO2 = 2.0
High Range Ph = 8.0

Totally Cycling now!

I have a question: I purchased an Active MAG Sponge filter from Angels Plus. I want to install it tomorrow, but I am worried that this is the wrong time to potentially spike the system with too much bacteria. I was planning on putting more ammonia in tomorrow but don't want to get everything confused.

Any Advice?
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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There's no such thing as too much bacteria. Add it in!!
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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Stocking?

Any Advice on This Stocking Plan?

6 x Zebra Danio or Glowfish
4 x Platies
1 x Bristlenose Pleco
2 x Dwarf Gourami
1 x Angel
10 Ghost Shrimp

I don't really want to breed fish. Can I rely on the store offering these fish as either male or female? Which should I choose, or avoid if a homogeneous group doesn't work?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:58 PM   #11
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I usually do not trust LFS's because they will usually mark fish as one sex when it is the other. So I would find out how to tell the gender of each species platies are easy fish to sex. as of ur danios if you get a school of fish (5 or more) you will probably get variety of sexes as danios not only are hard to sex them but are peaceful so with the danios you should be fine with the different sexes. Also just remember for every male platy you should have two female platies the same rule is applied with ghost shrimp. Female ghost shrimp are larger than males so get about seven inch long ghosties and three half inch long ones(males). As with the dg pair u may want to research how to sex them because the male gourami fish will fight another male. Side note, from my experience gourami fish and other labyrinth lung fish will fight angels for the territory at the top of the aquarium so u may just want to get either 2 angels or 2-3 dg fish. Anymore questions, just Ask! We're here to answer. Oh, and plecos are awesome!
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Cycling Days 12-15, WHAT NEXT?

August 8
HR Ph= 7.8 NH3 = 0.25 NO2 = 2.0 NO3 = 40
Added 2ml Ammonia after this reading.

August 9
Added Active Sponge Filter, 50% Water Change, 2 ml Prime
HR Ph = 7.4 NH3 = 1.5 NO2 = 2.0 NO3 = 30

August 10
Added tiny pinch of fish food
HR Ph = 7.4 NH3 = 0.5 NO2 = 5.0 NO3 = 60 ppm

August 11
Reg Ph 7.6 NH3 = 0.0 NO2 = 3.5 NO3 = 40ppm? Could be 60, hard to see

What do I do now? Add More Ammonia?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyep
August 8
HR Ph= 7.8 NH3 = 0.25 NO2 = 2.0 NO3 = 40
Added 2ml Ammonia after this reading.

August 9
Added Active Sponge Filter, 50% Water Change, 2 ml Prime
HR Ph = 7.4 NH3 = 1.5 NO2 = 2.0 NO3 = 30

August 10
Added tiny pinch of fish food
HR Ph = 7.4 NH3 = 0.5 NO2 = 5.0 NO3 = 60 ppm

August 11
Reg Ph 7.6 NH3 = 0.0 NO2 = 3.5 NO3 = 40ppm? Could be 60, hard to see

What do I do now? Add More Ammonia?
Yep. Pick a time of day, test every 24 hours, and top off ammo as needed. Check out the guide in my signature for info
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:33 PM   #14
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Add Ammonia

Answered my own question after re-reading Eco23's Fishless Cycling Guide, I know the answer is to add more ammonia and see what happens tomorrow.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:55 PM   #15
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Good deal. Almost time to get Spongebob some company in there, lol. Everything looks perfect.
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Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #16
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Days 16 - 21, Am I stuck ?

I'm having trouble reading the high end of the Nitrite test tubes, it always looks like i have more red in my purple than the test card, and the shades for 2.0 and 5.0 look almost the same to my eyes.

That said, the tank is cycling 4-5pp if ammonia within 24 hours on a regular basis, and it looks like the Nitrites are just stuck between 2 and 5.

Not sure what else to do but keep adding ammonia.

Any thoughts?


August 11, added 5 ml Ammonia

August 12, pm
Ph= 7.4, NH3= 2.0, NO2 = 4.0, NO3 = 60

August 13, am,
NH3 = 0.0, NO2 = 5.0+

August 14, pm
NH3 = 0,0, NO2= 5.0+, NO3= 20
50% PWC, 2ml Prime, 5 ml Ammonia added

August 15,am
NH3= 0.0 NO2 = 5.0

August 15, pm
Ph 7.6, HR Ph 7.6 NH3=0.0, NO2 = 3.5, NO3 = 80
added 5 ml ammonia, tiny pinch fish flakes

August 16, am
NH3 = 1.0, NO2 = 5.0

August 16, pm
NH3= 0.0 NO2 = 2.0 NO3 = 30? hard to see
Added 6ml ammonia

August 17, pm
NH3 = 0.0, NO2 = 2.0, NO3 = 80+
added 6ml ammonia
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:03 PM   #17
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Now it's just a matter of waiting it out a bit longer. Things still look right on track.

Personally I'd do a massive (80-90%) water change to knock the no2 down to ~.5, then just dose the ammonia to 1ppm for a few days. That'll give the no2 > no3 bacteria a chance to catch up without being overwhelmed by high no2. Just don't be surprised if the nitrItes jump up again the next day.

Other than that, just hope the test tube turns blue soon
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #18
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Days 22-23

8/18 pm Following Eco23's advice I did a 90% PWC on 8/17, addeed Prime and 2 ml Ammonia

8/19 pm NH3 = 0.0 N02 = 0.0, added ml ammonia

8/20 am Ph =7.5, NH3 = 0.0 NO2 = 0.5

Looking to see zero Nitrite this evening

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Old 08-20-2011, 11:24 AM   #19
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I'll be watching for your nitrite, nitrate report tonight too! I am getting anxious for my cycling to be completed too! Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:07 PM   #20
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Days 24-25

Got home too late on Saturday to do a test, but I threw in 1.5 ml of ammonia.

Tested Mid-day today, 8/21 and got
NH3 = 0.0 NO2 = 0.0 and NO3 = 40

Dropped another 1.5ml of ammonia in.

My son has been pretty patient so far, but on Friday he came home from camp with an imaginary fish in a container with a rock and a leaf!
Really hoping to put some pets in here soon!
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