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Ask Questions About Cycling

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by Chad, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Yes, you can - with some caveats.

    The biggest caveat is that some plants are extremely sensitive to ammonia, so that's a bad choice. The ones you are looking at likely wouldn't have that issue... depending on your grass choice, obviously.
    The next caveat would be that you would likely want to drop your max dosage from 3 ppm to about 2 ppm. Your initial stocking would likely be best to be a little lighter as well, but you can still stock at 50%-75% without a major problem, once you get the coveted 'double zero' reading!

     
  2. Reaeve

    Reaeve New Member

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    Thanks for the help!
     
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  3. Reaeve

    Reaeve New Member

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    My parameters are ph about 7.5
    And water hardness is very high.
    Can I cycle with hard water and later add "pure" water to soften it for my fish? Or do I need softer water to cycle better?
     
  4. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    In general, hard water is best for cycling, as the bacteria require more than merely ammonia...

    BUT... there's a bigger issue here that I want to make sure to discuss...

    There is no single 'ideal' water for keeping fish. Unlike marine set-ups where one size fits all (and even then there's minor variations), freshwater is very diverse. The best course of action is to keep fish that prefer water that comes out of your tap. There's a variety of reasons behind it but it mainly boils down to this:

    the water you have is the easiest water to keep.


    The one thing that makes fish keeping more complicated than it needs to be is when we start to mess with the water chemistry. Hard water is a pretty broad spectrum. For determining what fish would be best kept, you'll need to do some tests - or check with your water supply company. You'll want to know specifically how hard the water is... on a specific scale... either degrees or ppm. From there, we can discuss stocking options.

    The stocking options really are best to come from fish that are naturally suited to your tap conditions... then find ones that are appropriate for the size tank you have... then find fish that are compatible together...

    That just helps to narrow down the focus, because there are many many options out there.

    As for the cycle... cycle with the water you have. Higher pH and higher kH are generally good for cycling. And they can be good for fish too, as long as you choose the right ones.
     
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  5. Reaeve

    Reaeve New Member

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    My water is off the chart hard. I can test again but it read above the 213 ppm
     
  6. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Is that gH or kH?
     
  7. Reaeve

    Reaeve New Member

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  8. essjay

    essjay Member

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    If you follow the fishless cycling method on here, you do not need to do a water change until the cycle is complete. At the end of the cycle, you do a large water change to remove the nitrate made during cycling.
    The only time a water change might be needed is if you accidentally dose too much ammonia.
     
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  9. jash

    jash New Member

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    I have been following the "Cycling Your Fresh Water Tank" as posted on this site. After 3 weeks, I still have no sign of nitrites and my ammonia level is still at 4 ppm. My pH is 8.0, KH is 4.5 dKH, temperature is 79. The only thing I suspect is that because we have a whole house water filter, perhaps the ammonia-eating bacteria might have been filtered out? I do not know how small those bacteria would be. So a couple of days ago I added the recommended dosing of Seachem Stability to see if I could get something going but still nothing. Any thoughts?
     
  10. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Do you have access to an outside tap that is not filtered? Whole house filters are not recommended for fish but should not actually affect your cycle. What test kit are you using? I would suggest the first step is to verify your test kit is working. Try testing the water straight from the tap and see if it is any different.
     
  11. jash

    jash New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I did test my tap water tonight and had the following readings: pH 7.6, ammonia 0, nitrites 0. I am using an API Freshwater Master Test Kit, with chemicals showing expiration of 09/2022. Do you know if the Seachem Stability should introduce nitrites?
     
  12. seangee

    seangee Member

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    No it won't introduce nitrites. It should contain some of the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite to help kick start the cycle process. the process does take time, and there is no set time, but I would expect some activity after 3 weeks. Keep watching it for a week or so and hopefully it will either take off or someone may have an idea if there is a problem.
     
  13. jash

    jash New Member

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    Thank you again for the help. Nitrites finally showed up last night after 23 days. 0.25 ppm, but I expect things to progress well now. I'll come back if anything goes askew, but the cycling directions provided here seem pretty solid.
     
  14. stanleo

    stanleo Member
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    I’m currently cycling a ten gallon tank that has frogbit, salvania, duckweed and a little moss. The bottle of ammonia I found, at the 4th store I tried, doesn’t give how much percent of ammonia there is. So I assumed the standard on the calculator which is 9% and that gave me 1.25ml. I dosed this on Thursday and ran the test for ammonia and nitrite an hour or so later. The results were 1ppm and .25ppm respectively. I didn’t want to put more ammonia in because I had the sponge filter in the big tank for over a week and used a denitrifying sand as substrate so my assumption was that I had enough bacteria in there to do the job to that point. I ran the tests 24 hrs later with the same results. Saturday and Sunday were the same as well. I know I don’t have to do it daily but I’m weird. Anyway, on Monday the ammonia was still 1ppm but nitrite was 0ppm. I never heard of that bacteria establishing first so thought it was a fluke. Today I got the exact same results. What is going on? What should I do from here? I haven’t done a cycle in almost 4 years and that one went textbook.

    The tank is setup to be Blackwater type so there are oak leaves and branches, two pieces of not presoaked driftwood and one piece of Malaysian driftwood. Temp is 76F. As stated substrate is sand with a sponge filter. pH has been steadily dropping from 7+ to 6 or below (my API test only goes down to 6. GH is 3 dh and KH is 1 dh. pH and hardness is right where I want it to be.

    I bought this Seachem Stability stuff that is supposed to establish the bio filter instantly on a whim but by the time I got home I talked myself out of using it. I’ve never needed to use it and have read bad results about similar products. Just thought I would mention that.

    Also, I plan to keep some delicate micro fish in this tank so I want it to be cycled correctly. Thanks guys
     
  15. seangee

    seangee Member

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    What's happening to the nitrate? I also haven't done an "actual" cycle for years but can only think of two things
    1. The cycle is complete and something in the substrate is still producing ammonia
    2. The cycle hasn't kicked in yet (but can't explain the appearance and disappearance of nitrite ????)
     

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