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Old 06-04-2012, 02:51 AM   #11 
Hallyx
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0.25ppm is highest acceptable ammonia for fish. You don't have to yank him out every time you do a 50% water-only change to keep the NH3 down. In fact, I rarely remove my fish unless or until my tank is grungy.

OK,ok, you have enough foam already. You need a lot more "crushed" food to get that cycle started; start with a tablespoon. That's why many of us prefer to use pure ammonia. The only disadvantage is that it's hard to find. I've heard Ace hardware has it. (Shake the bottle to make sure it does NOT foam. Foam is bad.) I got mine from Amazon [ame="http://www.amazon.com/DrTims-Aquatics-Ammonium-chloride-Aquarium/dp/B006MP4QG6/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1333591202&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: DrTim's Aquatics Ammonium chloride for Aquarium: Pet Supplies[/ame] .
Or you can get it from Drs Foster & Smith.

Heaters don't need adjustment marks; that's what thermometers are for. If your heater keeps the tank at 80* consistently, you're golden.

You won't be the first keeper to be astonished by how much he's spent on those silly fish. :-}
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:56 AM   #12 
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Grats on your new tank and new fish! You should put up a few pictures of him when you feel comfortable. :)

Speaking of being amazed at how much you spent but in a year you will probably be amazed how much extra fish stuff you will have accumulated. :) I think everyone must have a box of fish stuff lol.

Wouldn't a product like StressZyme, or Cycle work to help the good bacteria take hold? I use StressZyme.... I could very well be just wasting money though If these products were proven not to work. I thought they worked kind of like seeding a tank from a piece of filter media?
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:11 AM   #13 
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Originally Posted by Twilight Storm View Post
Wouldn't a product like StressZyme, or Cycle work to help the good bacteria take hold? I use StressZyme. I thought they worked kind of like seeding a tank from a piece of filter media?
I've heard that Stress-Zyme can help a cycle along and keep it stable. But I have yet to hear anything great about any "Bacteria in a bottle" type product. Nothing works as well or as fast as living nitrifying bacteria from an established tank.

Here's the deal from professional aquarist Carl Strohmeyer who favors the fish food method. These are the fundamentals, but in detail.
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle and cycling. Methods for ammonia, nitrite removal.

'Sfunny. We got into this hobby to keep fish, and we wind up raising bacteria and plants. Hehehe... ;-}
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:27 AM   #14 
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I just reread that article and stand corrected. Stability is the product recommended. Well, read it yourself and you'll sees what I mean.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:52 AM   #15 
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Hallyx: Last night I dosed it with about a half cupful of flakes. I crush them even more between my fingers when I add them. Is that acceptable enough? I've got some nitrites, but with my previous dosing (just a couple pinches a couple times a day - I had no idea how much to add) I couldn't get my ammonia very high. I haven't tested Nitrates, since I've got a planted tank. I probably should have waited to add them, since I've never cycled a tank, but I didn't want them to die in their tubes in the mean time. I've got Wisteria, Anubias, Crested Java Fern, and Compacta (Amazon sword?).

Twilight Storm: I avoided a lot of the addatives that are supposed to 'help' cycle tanks, like the bacteria supplements and such, because I read widely on here that none of them really work. And I do have pictures of him up! Check my profile albums :D But, I suppose I can put my favorite picture in this thread

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:27 AM   #16 
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[quote=Twilight Storm;1105752]Speaking of being amazed at how much you spent but in a year you will probably be amazed how much extra fish stuff you will have accumulated. :) I think everyone must have a box of fish stuff lol.quote]


I have a bucket full already and Ive only had fish for a few months =P
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:47 AM   #17 
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Thanks Hallyx, it looks like my stressZyme is worthless for cycling by that article :D but it might be good for the crushed flake food method of cycling!! (Since it breaks down excess food waste! LOL- A silver lining to every dark cloud right? )

When I picked up a bottle to try it, I honestly couldn't think of how a bottle of bacteria could hang on and be healthy in aan airtight bottle on a shelf but some people swore by the stuff so I figured it couldn't hurt. From that article at least it's good for something, just not seeding the tank. :) I use a lot of sponges. (Hydro sponge filters are really nice, I also use sponges on filter intakes for the bacteria colony bed.) I usually added a little Zyme in when I do large water changes incase I hurt my bacteria colony. I guess I don't really need to now that I know. Thank you I should have researched it further then I did. ;)

I was trying to drum up alternatives to asking for a piece of filter material from a large chain pet store. With their central filtration systems and all the disease and parasites I've seen on the fish in some of the stores I would be scared to come home and whip a culture of all the little nasties from the pet store in my new tank.

LittleWatty - Sorry I usually take a peek at people's profiles for pictures I just have a bit of insomnia tonight/this morning. I can blame it on my pain medication too, but I would be lying if I did. :) Your betta is gorgeous. I think he might be a red devil, I have seen a couple fish with his coloring marketed as red devil on aquabid at least. I'm not an expert on coloring, and don't claim to be an expert in caring for bettas :D, I just can give advise on what i've had personal experience with mainly. :)

For what it's worth I was going to go to Ace and pick up a bottle of ammonia when I go to get more tanks up. I am interested in the food method, but ammonia seems easier. (plus I can use leftovers for cleaning.)

I've really enjoyed reading this post btw it's been really informative seeing how everything has been going :)

@Pasqua: I know, I have a 10 gallon tote full after a year... spare things, stuff I got that was wrong and I will never use but couldn't return, stuff I intend to use.. it builds up!! :D

Last edited by Twilight Storm; 06-04-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:33 AM   #18 
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Its really helping me out too. I did a check on my ammonia this morning (2.0, I believe), and my water is really cloudy. I mix up the food that settles on the bottom with a turkey baster, just so it doesn't get too stagnant, so that could be part of it. I've got two onion bulbs growing, so that must be a good sign, right? None of my live plants have died, or shown sign of them dying. I think some of my Wisteria are putting out more roots. Didn't check Nitrites this morning, but I did give it another good dose of food when I woke up. I'll probably check Ammonia and Nitrites again when I get back from work this evening.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #19 
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The water in my 6.6 has been really murky over the past 24 hours or so. I'm not sure if its because I dosed it really heavily last night and this morning with crushed betta flakes. I can barely see my filter from sitting 10 feet away, and its black. Anyway. I just did a test on all 3 of my readings.

Ammonia: at least 4.0ppm (it actually looks a little like 8ppm, but not quite dark enough)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

I had Nitrites the other day when I tested. .50ppm, I believe it was (its stated in a previous post). I'm not sure if that means I've got some bacteria? And the reason I don't have any nitrates is because of my plants.

My filter is getting really dirty with soggy bits of food that got sucked up through the intake. If I wait until my tank is fully cycled, and then just rinse the filter media (not the aquarium sponges I've got as extra surface area), would it take long for that thing to fill up with more bacteria? Would I have to dose it again and get the ammonia to a decent level, or would my cycle already be considered established, just weakened because I rinsed off the filter to get the food bits out?

Last edited by LittleWatty; 06-04-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:17 AM   #20 
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Originally Posted by LittleWatty View Post
The water in my 6.6 has been really murky over the past 24 hours or so.
That's the problem with using food instead of ammonia. It'll go away.

Quote:
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Ammonia: at least 4.0ppm
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
I had Nitrites the other day when I tested. [/quote]

That's what it should read at this point in the cycle. I think your anomalous nitrite reading the other day may have been operator error. Nitrites shouldn't show up until the ammonia goes down

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My filter is getting really dirty with soggy bits of food ....Would I have to dose it again and get the ammonia to a decent level, or would my cycle already be considered established, just weakened because I rinsed off the filter to get the food bits out?
Even with plants, as your nitrites diminish, your nitrates will soar. When your cycle is done, do a big water change to get out the nitrates and just swish/rinse the filter foam in tank water; that's all it needs. Clean the filter (plastic part) well and put everything back. You won't lose the bacteria or weaken the cycle. Any leftover will just provide food for the bacteria.

"All I wanted was to keep fish. Now, here I am raising bacteria and plants <sigh>."

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-06-2012 at 03:20 AM.
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