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Old 10-31-2020, 02:30 PM   #1
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You fish lovers deserve a medal - (newbie) and Hi\help

Hi everyone,

Hope you all are safe

I am a newbie to this hobby, i think that it's more and more becoming a lifestyle that a hobby lol. I find myself starring at a fishless tank lol.

I am trying (not very well) to do a fishless cycle. This has been running for 4 weeks now and no trance of anything, no ammonia (although i have only just tested for Ammonia, so there is a possibility that it could have been present), no nitrite and no nitrate.

I have a 30 gallon Fluval Flex, heavily planted 12 live plants including salvinia, monta carlo, java fern, Echinodorus 'Bleherae, Cryptocoryne Beckettii 'Petchii', X2 amazon sword, Brazilian Pennywort, NYMPHAEA RUBRA Red (bulb) and more, cannot remember them all.

The pennywort has nearly reached the top of the tank and the Rubba bulb has sprouted with new leaves appearing, i have Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' which is also growing and spreading, the plants are growing super fast and i think this is due to the substrate which is JBL Proscape volcanic mineral and JBL aqua soil.

I have a Eheim Aquarium Thermostat Heater, 150W - temperature is at 26C\ 79F

Filters are charcoal and bio in this tank as standard.
Light is led but not very strong, i think its a poor 11w but i might be wrong.
I have white slate in the tank which has green algae now appearing on it and on the back wall of the aquarium. Some of the plant leaves have brown spots on them and what looks like hair algae (long thin stands flowing off some plants like mini flags) waving in the current.
Lights are on for about 8 hours, after researching i am now leaving a 2 hour break in the middle of the day to try and cut down on algae growth. I think its a nutrient Aladdin's cave at the moment.

PH 6.5 - 7
GH 30
KH is 80

There was an early bloom and then the tank became crystal clear and algae appeared, this was on week 2. I then saw a slight nitrite spike but only about 3 and then nothing.
Nitrite and nitrate are all blank and like i said i've only just tested for ammonia because internet advise was not to bother but because of no readings for 2 weeks of NO2 and NO3 i thought i had better test for ammonia.
I have been placing a very small amount of fish flakes in the tank every morning.
I'm doing slight water changes only about 15% once a week. I use tetra Aquasafe to keep the water safe.

Wow anyone starting out in this hobby needs a medal and the patience of a saint lol.

Sorry to go and on lol. Any advice would be great, should i add ammonia i suppose would be my question or just add more patience lol? Or even add a couple of fish?

Please don't tell to take out all the plants and start again hahaha. I may buy a snorkel and live in it myself.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:08 PM   #2
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Newbie metal granted!

Did you dose ammonia or an ammonia source into the tank, like fish food or chunk of shrimp?

Sounds like you have a bunch of plants which would use up the ammonia if you had it.

You can trim and replant the stem plants as they get larger btw! More for you and more to trade off for stuff if possible, if you have too many of something.

This article and some links will help with the newbie stuff.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide...ater-aquarium/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/impor...quarium-hobby/

If you like to use test tubes and such, you can safely do a fish-in cycle, having lots of plants really helps and you might be interested in that option. Vigilance is important to keep your fish safe.

More links in case you haven't read them.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/fishi...tep-dark-side/

I see you do not have fish now, but this is useful if you do fish-in.
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/i-jus...fish-what-now/


Fishless cycle
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/tips-...ishless-cycle/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/the-a...hless-cycling/


~~~~

Extra articles /info

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/stock...s-for-newbies/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/planted-tank-basics/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/intro...-planted-tank/
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:35 AM   #3
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Thank you Autumnsky ��

Yeah i have been adding fish food every day but only a few flakes per day.

Retested today and still nothing, i've bought some snake oil (love fish filter boost) and i've ordered filter bags and coral to try and raise my PH level - my PH shows at 6.0 and this is probably lower than 6 as i'm only using test strips. So hopefully by raising my PH my cycle should begin.

* thanks for the links i will read through them tonight...... i see that you have a few medals after your name lol
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Old 11-01-2020, 03:23 PM   #4
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A few points.

Your tank wont cycle with such a low pH. Or at the best it will cycle but at a very slow pace. The crushed coral you are getting should raise your pH.

I would recommend using either ammonia or ammonium chloride rather than fish food as an ammonia source. Fish food is very difficult to judge how much to add. You need an initial dose of 2ppm. Personally, get an aquarium specific ammonium chloride product like Dr Tims.

Your plants will slow down the cycle. Not, that im suggesting you remove them, but be prepared for your cycle to take a little longer to complete. The plants will consume some ammonia and nitrate, and these are both the food source and end product of your cycle. With some of the food source being taken up, this will mean your biological colony will take longer to grow. With the end product being taken up, rising nitrate may also be missing, which is the sign of your cycle progressing. On the plus side, you wont need so much beneficial bacteria to maintain good water parameters with the plants doing some of the work. In the long run your plants are far more beneficial than problematical.
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Old 11-01-2020, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thank you Aiken

On your advice i have just ordered Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride.

This hobby is money eating machine and i haven't bought a single fish yet ol
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Old 11-01-2020, 04:02 PM   #6
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Ive just got married, bought a house etc, and im down to 1 tank. 200 litres, but it set me back about £1200 in total to set up, scape, cycle and stock, maybe another £150 total for other equipment like syphon, nets, testing kit etc. My budget for this was £600 so costs can escalate. If i had been more careful i could have done it to budget, so you have to keep an eye on things. I recon now its up and running, established etc it costs about 25p per day in electricity and about £20 per month in other consumables (food, water conditioner, ferts etc.

I hope to see pics from you when you have fish to look at.

Word of caution with Dr Tims. On some bottles the dosing instructions are wrong and they produce 4x the dosage. They changed the concentration of the product, but some bottles went out with old instructions.They may have fixed it now, but i would recommend a small dosage, test, add some more etc until you are at your required dosage (2ppm for your first dose). When you have done this once you should then know much is needed for your redoses.
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Old 11-01-2020, 05:58 PM   #7
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Correction on my previous post. Your 1st dose of ammonia should be 4ppm. When that has cycled out your redose should be 2ppm.
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:04 PM   #8
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Thank you Aiken..... and here i was going to add more ammonia that the required suggested amount just in case the plants sucked it straight out of the water.

I have spent about £700 UK pounds so far (without a single fish).

I have posted a picture, hopefully it should look better when it carpets and the plants fill out more, looks a bit scruffy at the moment.

The center piece is 2 pieces of white slate which i used an Epoxy resin to attach to an acrylic board, super glued the pieces together and then strengthened with silicone.

Congrats on your marriage and many happy years to come to you both bro.

ok i will dose at 4ppm and then redose 2ppm

PS had to use Aquascape Epoxy resin to mold the slate rock to a acrylic plastic base and then super glue the 2 pieces together, then used an aquarium silicone sealant to strengthen the super-glued joint.


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Old 11-01-2020, 06:31 PM   #9
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Sorry the picture is dark as it was late at night when taken.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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AT LAST ..... phew and thank you

Phew, thanks for all your help guys, tank is cycled. I bought and added the ammonia every other day and added good bacteria every day. *Bought some blue ramshorn snails to help with the algae and they have munched both brown and green algae. Ammonia spiked at a very low 0.2ppm and then 4 days later nitrite piked very low at 3ppm and 2 days later finally today no ammonia, no nitrite and a spike of nitrate at 30ppm. Maybe the results were low due to heavy planting!

It's a shame i have completed my cycle during lockdown so i cannot run to the pet store but i will slowly order fish online a few per week until stocked, continuing to measure levels.

THANK YOU
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:17 PM   #11
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Do a big water change to get your nitrate down, preferably below 10ppm before adding in fish.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:20 PM   #12
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Yay!!! �� Congrats. Wonderful news, a bit disappointing being in QT. But thankfully there's online.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:05 PM   #13
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Pets at Home advised that i cannot add bottom feeder (i wanted 4 Otto's) unitl after the tank is 3 months old.
I Bought 6 neon tetras today and accumulated them and fed them and they ate straight away, amazing.
Going to Wharf aquatics tomorrow, what would you advise regarding adding more fish?
Should i wait?
I have a 30 gallon tank, is it safe to add a pleco despite Pets at advice? I have the bogwood ready etc.
Or could i add otto's?
Or you would a wait, is 6 neon tetras enough for a newly cycled tank i did a 50% water change, maybe a tad under and added more good bacteria.
So exciting to see fish swimming in my tank and they exploring the whole tank, they seem ok.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:18 PM   #14
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Otos need some good biofilm to graze on, so please wait for those. Make sure you get a small one/ grows small max size like 3-4". Patience.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:29 PM   #15
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Wharf is a great store. They are limiting numbers per department so there might be a queue at the weekend. If you can, have a look in their marine section as well as their freshwater. They have a temperate department as well, and a dry goods department. I think the tank department upstairs is appointment only. I miss being able to have a wander round their store.

I wouldnt normally take much stock of what pets at home says, but they have a point about ottos. They are biofilm and algae eaters and need a good, established tank.

If you do decide on a pleco make sure you tell them in the store what size tank you have, so they can find you a pleco that is a good size for your tank. They normally have plenty of types. Bristlenose is a good choice.

You can certainly add other types of bottom feeders though. I love corys, they will scavenge off the substrate and can be added into a new tank. I got my panda corys from wharf.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:34 PM   #16
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Hey thanks Autumnsky, i will be patient.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:41 PM   #17
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Thanks Aiken,

I was looking at the longfin albino or yellow Bristlenose and yes i gave them a call earlier and they advised that there might be a queue tomorrow and that they are selling fish as long as i purchase essentials like fish food etc.
I will check out the corys also.....

Thanks Aiken.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:42 PM   #18
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Thank you both for your swift replies, much love.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:06 PM   #19
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hello and welcome shaun!
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:26 AM   #20
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Thank you DrWho42,

Quick update; my neon tetras are now no longer schooling, a bit of research tells me this is because they feel safe as they have the entire tank to themselves.

No ammonia, no nitrite and Nitrate is now at 20ppm so i will perform another water change tomorrow.

I cannot explain how amazing it is after 2 months of a fishless cycle to see actual fish in my tank hahahaha and only YOU guys understand this as none of my friends have fish apart from a work college and that's her fella really who runs the tank.

It's ok for the DR WHO just travels forward in time to see his completed cycle lol.
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