Noob essentials

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Welcome and good luck
Thanks for the suggestions, I bought a python as i don’t want my wife having any excuses why she can’t change the water too, it’s a family fish tank 😁
Please keep us posted as to how you get on with this (detailed instructions and training tips welcome). I'm afraid its one aspect of fish keeping which has been an abject failure for me so far :rofl:
 
A lot of fishless cycling methods tell you to add so much ammonia that the cycle stalls. A lot of ammonia makes a lot of nitrite and when nitrite reaches around 15 to 16 ppm (which is too high for our test kits to read) the cycle stalls. The method on here was written so that ammonia is only added when specific targets have been reached which stops nitrite getting high enough to reach stall point.
Waterlife devised the first ‘bacteria in a bottle’ over 50 years ago. They also devised a bottle of bacterial nutrients which included a slow-release ammonia content (Biomature, which was originally called Seamature). It works very well, and always has. The instructions are to add daily until either ammonia reaches 5ppm or nitrite reaches 15ppm.
Although this is overkill (a tank full of fish won’t even produce 1ppm in a day) these levels will not stall a cycle. :)
It’s still the quickest method I know of to cycle a tank from scratch, often completing in 2-3 weeks.
 
The problem is knowing when nitrite reaches 15 ppm as testers don't go that high. Many people don't like trying to do dilution tests to check nitrite and they find it easier to just follow instructions as to when and how much ammonia to dose.

I am curious - @TwoTankAmin tells us that only two bottled bacteria products contain the correct nitrite eaters. Does Biomature say which bacteria it contains?
 
The problem is knowing when nitrite reaches 15 ppm as testers don't go that high.

The Waterlife nitrite kit has always gone up to 15. The ammonia kit goes up to 10.

I am curious - @TwoTankAmin tells us that only two bottled bacteria products contain the correct nitrite eaters. Does Biomature say which bacteria it contains?

Bacterlife is the bacterial culture.
Biomature is the ammonia and other ‘nutrients’.

I’ve no idea which bacteria are in it.
It worked quite quickly for me the first time so I always used it, although it’s now many years since I’ve cycled a tank. I just steal a bit of media from an established filter and stock accordingly or less at the same time.
I also know Tetra Safe Start and Dr Tim’s work well, and that they both use the same formula. And a few others seem to work sometimes. But I’ve no idea about which species of bacteria any of them use. :)
 
My mistake, I confused Biomature and Bacterlife :blush:

In the past I've used mature media when I had all fake or just a couple of live plants to speed up a cycle. But after I got a lot more live plants I found it didn't work - a quarantine tank set up with mature media took weeks to cycle. Now I just put a lot of plants in the QT and don't bother with mature media.
But the QT is all I've set up for years as I'm not allowed any more permanent tanks besides the two I currently have. My husband won't let me have a tank in the lounge as the very slight hum interferes with his music :mad: and the dining room already has the 180 litres and the only space in the kitchen has the shrimp tank.
 
The right bacteria end up in our tanks no matter what we might seed. In most cases of products which do not contain Nitrospira, the tank still develops it and whatever nitrite oxidizer might be in the other product disappears from the tank. In doing some of the research they actually used another product, identified its contents and tested it alongside their formulatuion. The nitrite bacteria from the competing bottle were gone when the tank was fully cycled. Most often this is Nitrobacter.

Mature media and substrtae as well as decor all work great for seeding a tank. The only problem is if it comes from another person's tank as we have no way to know if it also brings some unwanted hitch-hikers. Hopefully we know what is going on in our tanks.
 
I have small fish so I also got some use out of a mortar and pestle to grind up dry food to be small enough for the small fish to eat.
Brilliant - why have I never thought of that. Inspired me to go out and buy one - tonight the CPDs had powdered bug bites and say a big :thanks:
 
Welcome and good luck

Please keep us posted as to how you get on with this (detailed instructions and training tips welcome). I'm afraid its one aspect of fish keeping which has been an abject failure for me so far :rofl:

Haha I will let you know! I’m hoping to get the kids involved in all aspects too. They will probably help for a few weeks then get bored though.
 
Thanks for all the tips, I’ve been a bit out of it so not done any reading or touched it really. My wife and youngest put some more plants in and got an API master test kit arriving later in the week.

Here’s a pic, the big stone is just weighing the wood down for now

image.jpg
 
Hey gang! Since @betheboat used the bio boost could he add a big snail while he waits so there's something active for the kids to watch while he waits for it to cycle? (And thank you all, I learn a lot hanging out being wallpaper in here! I'm still saving up for my dream tank, not going to pull the trigger until I have the funds to do everything right!)
 
Snails are more sensitive to ammonia/nitrite in the water than fish. Or at least the ones we buy are, the pest snails which come on plants and Malaysian trumpet snails would survive anything.
 
Snails are more sensitive to ammonia/nitrite in the water than fish. Or at least the ones we buy are, the pest snails which come on plants and Malaysian trumpet snails would survive anything.
I'm growing to appreciate pest snails. Not so much for the cleanup. But because they tell me when I should clean up. If they are proliferating, then that's them telling me that I'm overfeeding. Or maybe that I need to watch the algae or prune some dead leaves.
 
Brilliant - why have I never thought of that. Inspired me to go out and buy one - tonight the CPDs had powdered bug bites and say a big :thanks:
In this vein, I went to a Dollar General and got a cheap small food processor for frozen foods. I've been getting things like daphnia, baby brine shrimp and cyclops that are already small. But I have some regular brine shrimp and blood worms. I run those in the food processor with some tank water to turn them it small enough pieces for the pygmy corys and neon tetras. And of course this is a dedicated food processor that I only use for fish stuff.
 

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