My daughter and I are working on a 36g bow front she got for Christmas. I've had tanks in the past with good success but that was before the internet and all this INFORMATION was available at my fingertips.
We are doing a fish-in cycle because that is just the way it worked out.
It is a freshwater tank with a South American/Amazon theme.
Tap water readings:
0/0/0 and 7.6-7.8 (colors are hard to tell)
kH was 6
GH was 14
We basically started the tank right before New Year's and started getting ammonia readings about 8 days ago.
Now we are doing water changes every other day and using Prime every other day to keep it down. I am also on day 3 of the 7 day Seachem Stability routine.
We are on about day 17 now and no sign of Nitrites.
There are four 6-8" live plants and I'm adding 2 more pieces of Mopani driftwood today. 1 small, 1 medium and 1 "large" (by the seller's standards). I just have to finish boiling out the brown.
Anyway, I'll be lurking in the forums and posting questions as they arise.
You don't mention what fish you have or how many. What is the ammonia reading? What test kit are you using - strips or liquid?
A suggestion - since you're doing a fish-in cycle, get some Dr. Tim's One & Only. Many people will tell you that bottled bacteria don't work, but this one DOES. I've used it many times and it never lets me down. It's worth every penny. You can get it here:
I just used it about six weeks ago and cycled a 45g in 7 days. Ammonia never went above .25 and nitrite never went past .12. This was with a seven inch goldfish in it. I have also used Stability and wasn't happy with the results at all. Prime is awesome, though. I hope this helps and good luck with your tank!
Thanks Tank Girl. I looked for Dr. Tim's in several shops to no avail. I know Amazon has a great price on it and was waiting to complete an order when made the mistake of finding another product that someone (probably a spammer) recommended online. It did no good at all that I can tell.
By the way, we are using the API Master Kit and we ordered the separate kH and GH kit recently too.
Tap water and tank water's parameters are the same so far.
The good news is that after I posted the original message this morning over coffee, I tested the water before my WC and I had .25 ppm Nitrites!! The Ammonia was 2.0 but dosed with Prime. I did a 50% WC and added Prime and Stability.
First time it has budged off blue so far.
The only think different is a day has passed and I bumped by tank temp up from 75 to 79 yesterday evening.
I'm embarrassed to say that the tank has 6 Green Cory's, 7 Black Phantom Tetras and a Clown Pleco.
I know that sounds like it could be a train wreck but I am able to closely monitor the fish and the numbers right now.
We are going out of town in about a month so I need it to be cycled by then though!
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