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Fishless Cycling Problem Aiming For 12Hr Clearance

Mamashack

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I'm not sure this is the right place for this but since it's a 30L AquaOne I'm trying to cycle for a betta I thought I'd try here.
I'm on day 30 of fishless cycling. I've sometimes been getting 0 ammonia and 0 nitrItes @12 hrs but never together. In the last week I've had 2 spectacular pH crashes due I think to nitrAtes converting to nitric acid @160ppm. Some articles say dose to 4ppm and aim for 12 hrs clearance and some say 2ppm and 24 hrs clearance. Did 4ppm initially then once things started moving dropped it to 2ppm. If it's 12hrs I'm not quite making it - if it's 24 hrs I'm about there.
Which is it? I don't want to put a betta in there if the filter won't cope with the bioload. Not knowing how much ammonia a betta is likely to produce I can't judge whether it's ready or not.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated
 
Aqua One 30L tank
Interpet PF mini filter
Deltatherm 25w heater set at 29° (achieved)
gravel
tree root ornament and java fern on bogwood added today.
 
 
 

This Old Spouse

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I'd be worrying about your pH crashes and wait until all that settles down. The more I read the more I see that 2 ppm is recommended.
 

snazy

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Ph crashes are normal for fishless cycle, especially with water with low buffering capacity.
It's not necessarily the nitrAtes converting to nitric acid causing it, and it's more unlikely or it's a combination of processes.
Ammonia to nitrIte conversion is a highly acidic process on it's own. Put 4ppm daily for ages, and boom, Ph crash because the Kh(buffer) is gone.
When I was cycling the latest tank the Kh went from 8 to 4. Had I used tap water with lower than 8 Kh, it would have crashed too, but I have liquid rock.
 
As for your question whether the tank is ready, I'd say 2ppm ammonia daily is probably enough, as long as when dosing daily you test 0 ammonia and nitrItes each day after 24 hrs. Some people wait till 12hrs mark, but I never did it myself.
 
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Mamashack

Mamashack

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Ooooohhh I could be nearly there then if 24hrs is acceptable. There will only be a single betta male in there and maybe an assassin snail to get those 3 common snails I spotted yesterday. If they can survive the current water quality does that also indicate it's close to being ready or can they tolerate ammonia better than fish?
EDIT: Meant to mention the water here is very soft. What do you suggest for hardening it up? Don't want to have to dose daily or anything if possible
 

snazy

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As far as I know, bettas like soft water. I wouldn't do anything, just the regular water changes to keep it stable.
The pond snails will survive any conditions, so I am afraid they are no indication of anything at all

I have them in with my betta and I never got any explosion in population but then my chap is used to be hand fed and doesn't bother chasing the food, so I feed him pellet by pellet, no left over food.
 
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Mamashack

Mamashack

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Right - not sure about the hand-feeding aspect but I'm feeling more confident that I'm getting close to being ready for a betta male!
Thanks for the encouragement snazy! I'll start looking for a nice plakat as I hear they are more disease-resistant than others and have less flamoyant finnage. My very first betta male was a royal blue veil-tail and he was absolutely gorgeous! However I fancy something a bit different to what can be found in LFSs this time.
 

TekFish

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I'd say since you'll be having quite a small bioload, aka 1 Betta, 24 hrs would be fine, your filter will either be completely ready for it, or catch up very quickly.
 
Tek oot.
 

snazy

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I've personally added fish when the ammonia was clearing up in 12hrs but the nitrIte was driving me mad taking 36hrs or there abouts.  After adding the fish, I never ever measured ammonia or nitrItes. And I only dosed 1-2ppm ammonia for the entire fishless cycle too. No fish died or got sick either, so all must have been ok. The tank is still running with the same(and more fish) since.
 
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Mamashack

Mamashack

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Thanks both! I think I'll be checking out those plakats very soon!
 
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Mamashack

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Almost there - just need something to fill in the gap at the back now!
 

snazy

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Almost there - just need something to fill in the gap at the back now!
More plants

 
He's going to love going under that trunk. Mine loves his coconut cave.
 

the_lock_man

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Agree with Snazy & Tek - with a single fighter in there, the bioload is pretty small, so you'll almost certainly have enough bacteria to cope.
 
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Mamashack

Mamashack

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Thanks TLM Just about to check after dosing to 1ppm last night. Ammonia has cleared but nitrItes at 0.5ppm @12 hrs. Was much higher at this time yesterday 2ppm but had dropped to 0 by 24hrs so I'm not too worried.
 I'm looking for violet or lavender half moon plakat preferably butterfly but not the big ears variety.
Going to a local centre later today to see what they have on offer tho I'm not holding my breath. Most of the local places seem only to have veiltails in a variety of colours and I'm wanting to get something a bit different.
Watch this space!
 

the_lock_man

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I don't think I've ever seen a plakat fighter in a shop anywhere.
 
There's a few online sellers, you could ask in the Betta section, but IIRC, bettaboys.co.uk is one of the faves, and I think you can pick up too, if Leicester isn't too far from Barnsley.
 
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