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Old 05-20-2016, 04:01 PM   #1
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Starting a 28 gallon hex tank

I was given a hex tank, rocks, filter, decorations, heater, bubbler, etc. I rinsed it out a bit because it was previously used to raise a million snails. We then filled it, treated it, and I have rinsed my daughter's established filter in the tank several times. I added some driftwood because my pH is hovering at around 8ppm, but ammonia is hovering at .50ppm as well. I am using the API liquid test kit. I've never caught any nitrate/nitrite spikes, and I've been feeding the tank every day. I did a 20% water change yesterday, treated the new water, and tested again today, but the pH and ammonia readings are staying the same. Since it was a previously established system with some old debris, and I've been adding filter scrapings, am I just not going to see the nitrite/nitrate spikes? Its been cycling for 2 weeks, with only the ammonia level rising from 0 in the beginning to .50 now. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and add some neon tetras or danios to the tank to see if it is actually cycling. The driftwood has a fuzzy white mold growing on it, so I know something is going on in the tank. I don't want to kill any fish, just anxious to add something to the tank now, if it is really ready to start working. Adding a picture of the tank Oh, it went through several days of a cloudy phase in the beginning that was probably a bacteria bloom, and has since cleared up, but I wasn't testing daily during that phase because I didn't have my test kit then. I'm wondering if I missed the nitrite/nitrates then.

Picture from today:

Picture from the bloom days earlier last week:

Thanks in advance for any advice!!

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Old 05-20-2016, 04:49 PM   #2
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What are you using to dose ammonia? Liquid ammonia or something else?
Perhaps when the tank was moved the beneficial bacteria colony died in the process? That normally doesn't happen, but the bacterial bloom and the fuzzy driftwood suggest a new tank in the process of establishing, not so much an older tank. Perhaps it needs to totally go through the whole cycle process? I doubt you missed the spike, I am guessing it needs to fully cycle.
If you want to just do a fish-in cycle and slowly add fish, that is fine too. That might help you get a better idea where you stand on the whole cycling process anyways.
I am linking an ammonia toxicity chart to help you know when levels are bad for the fish. Keep in mind of course, this is only for ammonia and not nitrate or nitrite.
If you have any other questions or need something more specific, feel free to ask and more people will likely chime in to help you out as well!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, but thankfully they both led to fish stores.
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