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Strange Fishless Cycle Problem.

shelbycole

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Hi everyone, I've been lurking here for about two years now. I've successfully cycled a 10gal tank with ammonia in the past, but I've run into a strange problem.
 
I have a 2.5 gallon that I'm attempting to cycle with Ammonia, 10% from Ace Hardware. I have an Argentina sword plant in the tank.
 
My issue is, after adding ammonia, and letting it circulate, the tests always read about 0.25ppm. This is a brand new tank, new filter medium, gravel, etc. The tank housed my old betta who passed this morning, I've nuked it and made sure it was ready for re-use. I plan on using this as a planted tank for awhile until I'm ready for a new fish.
 
I use stresscoat as a dechlorinator, and in my stupidity I used Amquel (I've since done a water change to remove the Amquel).
 
 
Is my little plant instantly absorbing all of the ammonia? Or am I not using enough? I put about 3ml in, when  the calculator only calls for 0.5 for 5ppm. Still reading zero. ???
 
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What is the nitrite and nitrate readings?
Because your Betta only passed away this morning ( :rip: ), the filter might already have the required bacteria. :)
 
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shelbycole

shelbycole

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I had to nuke the filter with hot water, salt, and sunlight, he passed away from a sudden onset of a strange fungus that appeared when we went out of town for a weekend, right after I did a PWC.
 
Nitrite looks to be about 0.10, probably from the tap water, NitrAtes are 0ppm, and PH is 8.8...

 
I managed to get it to read 1ppm earlier, and now it reads 0.25ppm again. That little plant must be eating it all!
 
I don't know what to do about this..
 
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That pH is way high, is it normally like that?
 
It is possible that the plant is absorbing the ammonia, either that or it is a false reading.
 
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shelbycole

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The tap water PH is naturally very high, but I mix it with our drinking water, with is prettty low, 6.4. It usually balances out around 7.6 or so, but I've read adding ammonia raises the PH, anyway.

Should I just put triple the amount in and hope it gets to 5ppm without the plant eating it all or dying?...
 
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You don't need to get to 5ppm, 3ppm is plenty enough. :)
 
If it is the plant absorbing the ammonia, there isn't much point in cycling the tank, because, if the plant can absorb 5ppm of ammonia then it can absorb the ammonia the fish produce.
 
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shelbycole

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I guess for a 2.5 gallon, a little sword plant is enough...that just gives me an excuse to go get another fishie D:
 

Ch4rlie

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No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
 

Ninjouzata

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Ch4rlie said:
No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
Get new plant? D:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard, any thoughts on that Blondie?
 
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Ninjouzata said:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard.
 
I think it would depend on your cleaning regime.
But yes, in smaller tanks it is harder to keep water parameters stable.
 
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shelbycole

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Ch4rlie said:
No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
I was joking when I said that. I have no desire to get another one after losing Axel like I did. That's why I opted for a planted tank.
 
 
Blondie: Knowing that, I'll wait to get another fish until we get a bigger house and I can have a 10 gal cycled for my new betta, if I'm ready for one by then. Any recommendations for my little tank here? Just plants? I love those little marimo balls.
 

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shelby - good to hear that and glad you are taking all advice on board.
 
Ninjouzata said:
 
No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
Get new plant? D:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard, any thoughts on that Blondie?
 
 
Not so sure my answer warranted such a glib response.
 
What I meant was, what would happen if the plant died and OP was relying on the plant to control ammonia and was unable to get to LFS for a new plant or LFS out of stock on Sword Plants and opted for a different plant instead and new plant does not absorb as much ammonia etc etc?
Then the betta would be suffering needlessly.
 
This is why I am saying best to make sure tank is cycled properly so that if plants die then OP has the knowledge that the filter would cope.
 
And agreed that 2.5 gal can be pretty difficult to control water parameterss but this depends on how OP does cleaning regime as Blondie said earlier.
 
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shelbycole

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Ch4rlie said:
shelby - good to hear that and glad you are taking all advice on board.
 
 


No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
Get new plant? D:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard, any thoughts on that Blondie?
 
 
Not so sure my answer warranted such a glib response.
 
What I meant was, what would happen if the plant died and OP was relying on the plant to control ammonia and was unable to get to LFS for a new plant or LFS out of stock on Sword Plants and opted for a different plant instead and new plant does not absorb as much ammonia etc etc?
Then the betta would be suffering needlessly.
 
This is why I am saying best to make sure tank is cycled properly so that if plants die then OP has the knowledge that the filter would cope.
 
And agreed that 2.5 gal can be pretty difficult to control water parameterss but this depends on how OP does cleaning regime as Blondie said earlier.


 
This has been very helpful.
 
I think I know why my past bettas seemed to have fin rot problems. I've always gotten absent-minded about cleaning their tanks, assuming that the cycle would help. Not so in such a small tank, it seems.
 
I knew I should have gotten a bigger tank when I had a chance (and I did, then I had to give it away), but with my lack of experience and my constant moving around, I think I should stay away from buying fish until I'm at a stable place.
 
 
It definitely helps that I now refuse to buy a betta from a pet store, so the temptation won't be there at all. I've been looking at Chard, from aquabid.
 
 
I'm just glad I graduated from having a betta in a large margarita glass (My dad's idea of a betta bowl when I was 9) to realizing a 2.5 is only good for a couple snails, MAYBE. I'd love to have a beautiful planted 10gal with a couple shrimps and a betta, or something similar. Four of my bettas went to a new home, they were divided in a 10GAL tank with DIY dividers. Still a huge bioload for a 10Gal, IMO, I hope they're doing well. I've gone through about 9 bettas, and I miss them all very dearly. I want my next one to live a long time.
 
Scratch that, 10 bettas. In order: Fin Lee, Kira, Melman, Phazon, Diana, Cernunnos, Alduin, Orion(Pictured), Blue Devil, and Axel Rose. Axel was my favorite, my baby, I feel like I lost a very dear family member. He had an amazing personality. I'm very upset that I never photographed him in his prime. He was a halfmoon doubletail, black with red fins and blue spots on his body.
 

Ninjouzata

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Ch4rlie said:
shelby - good to hear that and glad you are taking all advice on board.
 
 


No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
Get new plant? D:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard, any thoughts on that Blondie?
 
 
Not so sure my answer warranted such a glib response.
 
What I meant was, what would happen if the plant died and OP was relying on the plant to control ammonia and was unable to get to LFS for a new plant or LFS out of stock on Sword Plants and opted for a different plant instead and new plant does not absorb as much ammonia etc etc?
Then the betta would be suffering needlessly.
 
This is why I am saying best to make sure tank is cycled properly so that if plants die then OP has the knowledge that the filter would cope.
 
And agreed that 2.5 gal can be pretty difficult to control water parameterss but this depends on how OP does cleaning regime as Blondie said earlier.


What does glib mean? If it means something along the lines of rude I'm so sorry that it came off that way! I actually very much enjoy reading your responses to others. They're very well thought out. Unlike mine

You certainly thought about it more deeply than I did. It didn't even cross my mind that it might die and the OP wouldn't have time to get another plant.
That is partially why I asked for Blondie's thoughts, and since I quoted you I hoped it would imply I wanted your thoughts on it too.
I had heard that it was difficult from some people, and have heard others say that it's impossible. So I wanted to check on that.
Again, apologies. :(
 
*Edit* OP, I suppose just having a nice little planted tank for now might be best. Could you really not lug around a 5g? We just got one and it doesn't seem like it'd be too terribly difficult, but then again you probably don't want to put the stress on your fish when you move, and it's just another thing to worry about when you do. I'm sorry for your loss by the way.
 
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shelbycole

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Ninjouzata said:
 
shelby - good to hear that and glad you are taking all advice on board.
 


 


No, don't get any fish yet until you are sure have actually cycled the tank.

what happens if plant die?
Get new plant? D:
It's very hard to keep a cycle in these size tanks from what I've heard, any thoughts on that Blondie?
 
 
Not so sure my answer warranted such a glib response.
 
What I meant was, what would happen if the plant died and OP was relying on the plant to control ammonia and was unable to get to LFS for a new plant or LFS out of stock on Sword Plants and opted for a different plant instead and new plant does not absorb as much ammonia etc etc?
Then the betta would be suffering needlessly.
 
This is why I am saying best to make sure tank is cycled properly so that if plants die then OP has the knowledge that the filter would cope.
 
And agreed that 2.5 gal can be pretty difficult to control water parameterss but this depends on how OP does cleaning regime as Blondie said earlier.


What does glib mean? If it means something along the lines of rude I'm so sorry that it came off that way! I actually very much enjoy reading your responses to others. They're very well thought out. Unlike mine

You certainly thought about it more deeply than I did. It didn't even cross my mind that it might die and the OP wouldn't have time to get another plant.
That is partially why I asked for Blondie's thoughts, and since I quoted you I hoped it would imply I wanted your thoughts on it too.
I had heard that it was difficult from some people, and have heard others say that it's impossible. So I wanted to check on that.
Again, apologies.

 
*Edit* OP, I suppose just having a nice little planted tank for now might be best. Could you really not lug around a 5g? We just got one and it doesn't seem like it'd be too terribly difficult, but then again you probably don't want to put the stress on your fish when you move, and it's just another thing to worry about when you do. I'm sorry for your loss by the way.
 


 
That's exactly it, I don't want to stress out any more fish, and I definitely don't want another one, because no other fish will be like Axel was. I'm sure you guys know how it is to lose such a smart little friend...
 

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