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Old 07-28-2012, 02:34 AM   #11 
Hallyx
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Until someone can demonstrate why small (~2.5 gal) tanks can't cycle or are difficult, I'll call it an myth.

Both of my 3 gals cycled quickly and cleanly, and I've had no trouble with them. I've heard of many small tank cycles here on this forum.

The filter is the most important part of the cycle. Cycle the filter, not the tank. There are two options:

---Stock your ten gal and monitor your water parameters closely for months. Eventually it will cycle, but your fish will be living in a weak ammonia solution until it does.

---Stock your 10gal and make lots of water changes to keep your ammonia well below 0.25ppm. Put your filter into the small tank and cycle it aggressively. With any luck, in about 3 weeks, you can put your cycled filter into the 10 gal which is then effectively cycled.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:47 PM   #12 
Aahnay
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Yeah, second option sounds the best. My confusion is am I reading the ammonium (?) instead of the ammonia. I dumped the start right, and am using Aquasafe now. it has diff ingreds, more like prime.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #13 
Kenny G
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FYI this is an article I researched online.

Water Conditioners/Ammonia Removers

I want to quickly clarify something about Ammonia 'removers'. They do not remove ammonia, they convert it into ammonium. Seachem Prime, Tetra AquaSafe NH/CL Formula, Jungle's ACE, Kordon AmQuel, and Kent Professional Ammonia Detox can convert ammonia into non-toxic ammonium and the effects are only temporary (12-24 hours). This will keep your fish from getting ammonia burns while still allowing your biological filter to process the non-toxic ammonium into nitrites. If the water conditioner label doesn't specifically mention that it neutralizes ammonia, then it won't help. If you have ammonia present as a result of a mini-cycle or from a new cycle, I recommend Seachem Prime. It's widely available and is a quality product.

Chloramine is another compound that you may find in your water. Most tap water sources today use trace amounts of Chlorine to help disinfect our drinking water. Some sources use Chloramine. Chloramine is less likely to dissipate before reaching the consumers tap, and is more chemically stable. All good and well except, Chloramine is essentially Chlorine + Ammonia. So if you have Chloramine in your tap water as a disinfectant, then you are adding ammonia to the tank. This is one of those situations where you are going to need a Dechlorinator/Ammonia remover. If you use a simple dechlorinator, it will break the bond between the ammonia and chlorine leaving ammonia free. Now you have to deal with the ammonia which is where the ammonia remover comes in. Prime will both 'detoxify' the chlorine, and convert the ammonia into ammonium removing the immediate threat to your fish.

Here's another twist. Ammonium is not toxic to your fish, but your test kit will most likely read it as ammonia. Most liquid test kits use a Nessler reagent to measure the amount of ammonia in a sample of water. However, Nessler reagents pick up both Ammonia and Ammonium (NH3 and NH4) essentially giving you a false positive ammonia reading. If you have Chloramine in your tap water it would be prudent to purchase a Salicylate test kit. These tests will only pick up Ammonia and allow you to determine if you are having a mini-cycle instead of always getting a false positive ammonia reading after a water change.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #14 
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Does Prime interfere with cycling a tank can you still read the nitrite and nitrate
levels ? What is a mini cycle ? Thanks !
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:17 AM   #15 
Hallyx
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Prime will not interfere with your cycle. Bacteria process ammonium equally as well as ammonia.
No difference in nitrites or nitrates.

A mini-cycle happens when an ammonia source overpowers the available bacteria---IE: adding stock or replacing filter media---leaving excess ammonia which converts to nitrite, etc. It is a temporary condition until the bacteria "catch up." Water changes will keep the toxins in check.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #16 
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Great. I dont have chloramine in my water, only chlorine is added. I dont think the aqua Im using is the one mentioned in the article, so, I have real ammonia.

Thanks for all the excellent answers.
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