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Old 03-15-2017, 09:21 PM   #1
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My first tank and attempt at cycling without a testing kit, until 5 days ago. My res

HI again.

Up untill about 5 days ago, i have been attempting to cycle my 10G tank with my betta fish (Bubbles) without a testing kit, substrate, or plants.

Over the last 2 months or so, I have been wiping down the sides of the tank, the minimal decor, air tubes etc, before changing out 1.75G of pretreated, and properly warmed water i would get ready ahead of time in a smaller tank. I would do this every 3-4 days.

About 2 weeks ago, I foolishly rinsed my charcoal filter in tap water . At the time i didnt realize I had just killed any beneficial bacteria that could have grown. Realized my mistake, and kept trying to cycle.

7 days ago, I purchased 8 ghost shrimp, sand substrate, live plant and an API freshwater test kit.

After quarantining the shrimp for only 2 days (which I realize now is potentiality a disaster waiting to happen) I've added my substrate, shrimp, and plant in with my betta. I'm watching Bubbles closely for any signs of illness, or signs of ich . I really hope my huge mistake doesn't affect my betta. I'm pretty sure he has eaten 3 of the ghost shrimp already. I can't find them anywhere.

I started to test the water and here are my results. Some feedback on these readings would be great, as I am very new to this.

March 11th -
Temp = 78
PH. = 8
Ammonia = .50ppm
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0

March 12th
Temp = 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Ammonia = .50ppm
Nitrite = 0

It had only been 2 days and somewhere I read changing the water too often could worsen my cycling, so I decided to hold off one more day. Plus I was still learning about how to test.

March 13th
Temp. = 78
Ammonia = .25ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 5.0ppm

March 14th
Temp. = 80
PH. = 7.4
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 5.0ppm

Today, March 15th
Temple. = 80
PH. Between 7.8 - 8.0
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 0 ppm.

So. At this point I believe these levels are good? It's a bit confusing. It's great that the ammonia is 0, but losing the nitrates? Is that a bad thing?

What do these readings mean ? Am I still cycling? Has it Cycled?

Also, How soon would disease or illness appear? Should I be worried about Bubbles?


Thanks for all your help and Advice!

(I'll post pics as soon I figure out how! )
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephy View Post

(I'll post pics as soon I figure out how! )
Here is a picture of my tank
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:47 PM   #3
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Pretty tank. Very pretty betta. Did you do a water change yesterday or today? It's possible your plans used the nitrates. Test a few days more just to be sure, but you've got a very small bio load so it wouldn't take all that much to build up enough nitrifying bacteria to support Bubbles.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:04 PM   #4
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Hello,

So I just tested my water for today.

March 16th

Temp = 78
PH. = 7.8 - 8.0
Ammonia = 0 or slightly above. I think it looks more yellow, with perhaps a tiny tinge of green?
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 0 ppm


At this point I'm thinking my tank hasn't Cycled. Perhaps I did the first tests wrong?

Thoughts?

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Old 03-16-2017, 06:06 PM   #5
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How many of those pants in your pictures are alive?
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:14 PM   #6
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I have just the one plant that I split up into 9 pieces. The plant came in a small pot from the Tropical, 1-2 grow line. I think I got the dwarf grass. Here is a picture. In the picture it's the 2 closest to the front with the yellowish roots
I've planted it in the substrate, so I'm not sure how well it will grow.

I almost forgot I also have 2 live Moss balls. Largest one you can see in the picture is on the right, and a very small one.

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Old 03-16-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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So I've been thinking back over everything I've done in the last few days and realized 2 huge things I overlooked. I'm guessing I ruined any cycle I might have had when i attempted to prepare my tank to introduce my new decor, plants and shrimp.

Here's what I did wrong...

I emptied all the fish tank water, my betta and all the decor into a temporary holding bucket. I did not have any substrate at that time.

The bottom of the tank looked dirty and full of debris so once everything was out of the tank, I gave the tank a rinse under the tap and lightly wiped it down. I also made the mistake of rinsing my sand in tap water and didn't think of rinsing it in pretreated water before adding it to the bottom of the tank.(duh)

I added in all my new and old decor and planted my plant. Poured all the old water and the shrimp water back into the tank and hooked everything back up again. I knew it was important to not rinse all the decor, filters or change the water but didn't even clue in about the gravel or the fact that I rinsed any good bacteria off the sides of the tank.

At this point I'm assuming this means I'm starting all over again and probably explains why all my levels are at zero.

Oh well back to the beginning. At least now I have a test kit to help me along.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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So another day of testing...


Today's results

Temp = 78
Ammonia = looks like the green tinge is more pronounced. Closer to the .25 ppm.

I had decided to do a partial water change today anyways. No idea if this will help or hinder at this point.

Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0

I've had pretreated and 72 degree water that has been sitting in my other tank for 5 days now... so I just emptied out 1.5g and replaced the tank water with the 1.75G treated water. I really hope it's okay to have water sitting and treated for this long.. and still be okay to use it? Anyone know?

I didn't bother to wipe down anything or vacuum my sand. Just a water swap.

I don't have time to retest the water today..but hopefully all will be well tomorrow.


Does anyone have any comments or suggestions on what I should or should not be doing? I'm way out of my element here and trying to learn. Honestly, I could really use the advice at this point.
I don't want to make anymore mistakes.


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Old 03-18-2017, 01:48 AM   #9
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My first tank and attempt at cycling without a testing kit, until 5 days ago. My res

The overwhelmingly majority of your beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media (most highly oxygenated environment), so rinsing decor or cleaning the tank itself will have minimal impact. The cleaner the better since there is less debris, leftover food, etc. to break down and create ammonia.

Couple points I'd make- 1) There's no such thing as too many water changes. It has no negative impacts on cycling and is the healthiest thing you can do for your fish. The more the merrier.

2) Make sure you're really shaking the hell out of the nitrate test bottles for a couple minutes. They crystallize and unless you shake them like your life depends on it, it's super unreliable. It's possible the plants are removing them, but with the type and amount I couldn't confirm.

3) See if your friends have a healthy aquarium they'd give you a small piece of filter media from to stick into your filter. A single Betta should have a small bio-load, so it doesn't take much bacteria at all to consider a tank cycled as long as it's keeping up with the waste the fish is producing. A decent sized piece and you could consider the aquarium instantly cycled.

Things actually look good to me and I wouldn't be overly concerned.... just remain vigilant with testing, never be shy to change water, keep the tank clean, make sure the nitrate test is accurate and enjoy Bubbles
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:05 AM   #10
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Looks like to me that your cycle has only just started. You have a way to go yet.
If only ammonia has just started to build up it will take a few weeks before you get a nitrite reading and then finally nitrates.

You have to have nitrates building up before you know the cycle is complete!
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:34 PM   #11
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Thanks. I will continue to monitor my levels and post again when I see a change
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