So, I finally decided to join a fish-forum after 12 years of fishkeeping. Why, general curousity I guess but mostly to share something I've done for the first time.
First some details about me: About two years ago I was divorced and through the extreme life-changes that came with that came a..well, a paring down of my aquarium habit. I got in to fish keeping years ago because the science and beauty appealed to me, and boy was I bitten by the bug. Years later our house had gone though 6 - 7 tank settups, as I learned about everything from the effects of direct sunlight to the dangers that can come with "inheriting" a tank. I became a sort of foster home for people less anchored than I, friends that moved every year or so and often needed help caring for aquatic friends.
Not in a million years would I consider myself an expert, I believe noone knows everything about anything.
So, 12 years later...boom! Suddenly I'm divorced (happy enough) and living on my own terms again after a decade. You'd think I'd go bananas, put a tank in every room.
No, infact I took a break from fish for awhile, learned some new things and essentially had to reinvent Jon.
Now I'm back and keeping it simple.
New Tank - 60 gal
, Freshwater, Less than 6 months old, Shooting for a "Southeast Asian Biotope", No fish inhabiting yet...why? That my new found friends is the whole point of this long-winded introduction.
For the first time ever, I have successfully cycled a tank without a single fish. I read about it but had never tried it. It was soooo easy and knowing that no fish were needed means no fish were harmed.
Simple simple simple. Here it is in five bullit points.
* Complete full settup - minus the hardy fish that always seem to suffer.
* Great aeration, I mean alot of oxygen
* 5 ppm
of straight Ammonia, no additives no scents.
* Unusually high startup temp of 85d - No fish to hurt.
* Regular filtration (I like canisters)
I added 1/2 table spoon (60 gallon tank) of ammonia daily until my ammonia tested out at 1.
Then I waited...this was the hard part.
After 2 weeks I tested my Nitrites.... and it was at .25
The next day a little higher..so on and so forth until it got all the way to 1.
Then I simply stopped testing...why drive myself crazy. For kicks and giggle at the end of the 3rd week I added a 1/4 tablespoon of Ammonia again...but no test.
Yesterday was week 5 and to my amazement (even though that's what I had expected to happen) the Nitrites dropped. Did a Nitrate test and whoopdie-do!!! .5!!
Now....its no lying that 5 - 6 weeks (I'm assuming I'll be ready for fish this weekend) was a long time to wait. My daughter is growing very impatient.
This weekend, a water change to reduce any remain ammonnia or nitrites and welcome home to a new herd of Zebras (Danios).
That's it, that's why I joined this forum...to share the news. Isn't that silly.