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Old 09-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #21 
TigerRegalia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
If you have an air pump & air stone throw it in the tank and turn it UP.
  • You want to add EXTRA oxygen to your tank for the new guests & leave everything else alone. No water change at all.
  • Your results for ammonia & nitrites should be lower tomorrow morning.
  • Nitrate levels should increase, but that's what you WANT to see.

  • If you use the airstone on full blast like I suggest... on your next water tests, you will see....
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 2.0ppm (Ideally this number will be 0)
Nitrate = guessing 50-60ppm?


Also.....
  • Do you have any live plants in the tank?
  • What is the current temperature of the tank?
Thanks for the reply, MSG!! I do not have an air pump & air stone; I am using the Hagen Elite Mini Filter - it has a tube that delivers oxygen into the filter's compartment, though.

I just retested the water params, and pretty much nothing has changed since my last post from yesterday; the ammonia is still .25ppm; the nitrite is still really high, like 5ppm; and the nitrate is way high, like 50-60ppm.

I do not have any live plants in the tank, & I have the temperature cranked up because I was told that doing so would speed up the cycling process. Anyway, the underwater heater is set to approx. 88 degrees F.

What should I do??
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:56 PM   #22 
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  • Now that you mentioned the model filter you're using, this makes complete sense why your cycle has progressed so slowly. Granted you didn't use the "seeded media" method, but still seems a bit slow.

I'm not familiar with that model, so I did some research on it, and I think I have a desktop fountain pump just like it.

  • A Hagen Mini Elite is designed for 1-3G tank. Based on what I konw, a pump filter that size EVEN when established, will have such a small amount of b-bacteria on that little "butter sized" packet of a internal sponge, I'm not sure it's going to be able to maintain the bio-load of more than 2 fish.
If you insist on using this filter after you're done cycling, you will need to eventually buy some live plants to help out depending on what you stock the tank with.

I would keep an eye out for a tried & true HOB filter in case you want to slap another one onto the tank. You can never have enough filtration, but that's just my opinion.

  • For the time being, just try the air pump method I recommended, it should decrease your results tomorrow. The addition of oxygen will help speed things up, it won't hurt/slow anything down.
I'm not sure if anyone else is using this particular mini elite, but if you are, feel free to chime in.

  • My 10G tank was @ 95F-97F instead of 89F. I did turn the heater up all the way, but never thought it would get that hot. Regardless of the temperature, it didn't hurt anything. To kill the b-bacteria I think you have to exceed at least 120 degrees
  • Once the Nitrites show up, then you blast the tank with oxygen. I tried it, worked great & mentioned it to ProDrum & I think Fairy too.
  • Keep in mind when I speed cycled my tank in about 6-7 days. I used about a half a kleenex box sized amount of filter media distributed among 5 HOB filters.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:07 AM   #23 
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Originally Posted by TigerRegalia View Post
Sorry if this is kind of turning into a journal of the latter stages of my cycle!!
Other than your stress, I'm glad it has. It's a great opportunity for us all to learn something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerRegalia View Post
....Hagen Elite Mini Filter - it has a tube that delivers oxygen into the filter's compartment, though.
That's what I use (because it's so quiet)and it's adequate even for 5g and up. The air-bleed is a nice feature for cycling and for stability of the cycle once established. You should be running it full blast. Its only shortcoming, as MSG points out, is the small amount of filter foam for the bacteria to colonize. I've added foam to the intake and outlet of my Mini-Elites in order to support a larger colony. Remind me to post a picture.

However, in one 5g, I have only the unmodified Elite-Mini and a few plants. It's eating 2.0ppm ammonia every couple of days as I wait to stock that tank.

The warmth is good for bacteria. Keep it up.

Try this. Stir up the gravel, then do a very large water change >80%. You won't hurt your cycle; there aren't many bacteria in the water column. Get a pinch of fishfood, a few grains of salt (any kind), and some seashell scrapings or other calcium. Put that in your filter to feed the bacteria some minerals. Then dose 2.0ppm ammonia and continue.

This is a new refinement that I just learned from Thunderloon, a very experienced member. Let me know if it helps.

MSG's suggestion of adding plants is good. It will help moderate nitrates as well as offering more surface area for bacteria.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-13-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #24 
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Thanks for the tips to the both of you! I just retested the water, and so far they look exactly the same as yesterday. I haven't tested the nitrAte yet, but thus far the ammonia and the nitrIte are the same.

I am definitely going to try out the things you have both mentioned, as this cycle has been difficult! I can add some more filter foam to my filter if I need to, too.

As for the live plants-- are the plants they sell at PetSmart healthy and good to use? I was considering buying a couple of the live Amazon Sword plants from there that are packaged in plastic tubes, but wasn't sure if they are good quality, healthy, etc.? Any experience with those?
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:23 PM   #25 
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I've purchased three different styles of Anubias from Petsmart...small, medium and long-leaf (longifolia). Also one sword-thing, which is doing well in a terracotta pot, and some wisteria, which is ssslloowwlllyyy dying (I think it's my warm temps >78*)

No snails (guaranteed by Top Fin). The grow gel is easy to wash off with warm water.

The have Java fern. Amazon sword, money plant and other substrate-planted types. A little pricey, but they work well for me.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #26 
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
That's what I use (because it's so quiet)and it's adequate even for 5g and up. The air-bleed is a nice feature for cycling and for stability of the cycle once established. You should be running it full blast. Its only shortcoming, as MSG points out, is the small amount of filter foam for the bacteria to colonize. I've added foam to the intake and outlet of my Mini-Elites in order to support a larger colony. Remind me to post a picture.
Hallyx, could you please post a picture of this for me? Thanks a bunch!!
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #27 
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I went to PetSmart and bought a medium Amazon Sword plant. It was $8!! What ticks me off is that half of the leaves in the tube were either discolored (the instructions said to prune those) or detached from the roots D:<

Anyway.. I did an ~80% water change, stirred up the gravel, planted what was left of the Amazon Sword plant into the gravel, and then added the salt, food, and seashell scrapings into the filter's compartment. I then dosed the ammonia. I will test the water params in the morning and let everyone know what they are then.

Last edited by TigerRegalia; 09-14-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:01 AM   #28 
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Sorry you got a bad plant. Take it back. Petsmart doesn't mess around. They'll refund.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:53 AM   #29 
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Sorry you got a bad plant. Take it back. Petsmart doesn't mess around. They'll refund.
I may or may not take it back- the closest PetSmart is 25-30 min away from here, so it's hard on my gas money. I didn't know they were good about refunds though, so I may take it back. However, I do just want to get this cycle over with!

I just retested the water params... and I am trying not to give up:

Ammonia: .5 ppm
NitrIte: maxed out
NitrAte: in between 5 and 10 ppm; perhaps around 7 ppm

I thought I had dosed the ammonia last night to 2 ppm (I measured it), so I don't know if it's already gone down since last night or if I didn't put enough in. But the Amazon Swords are in the gravel now, and I have the tank's light on, so hopefully those will start producing some oxygen soon to bring down the nitrite levels.

Add more ammonia? PWC? Sit back and wait?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #30 
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PS When I say the Nitrite is maxed out, I mean the color isn't on the chart - the color that results is a pretty magenta color rather than a dark fuchsia as represented on the API color chart for the highest PPM. I will retest the params later and post a picture of the test tubes.
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