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Old 09-11-2012, 08:15 PM   #1 
whiskandbowl
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Cycling Help

First real thread, yay!

Okay so about a month ago I set up a new tank (August 22 to be precise), the 6.6 gallon bookshelf tank from Petco. Used the filter that came with it, ViaAqua heater.
I wanted to do a fishless cycle and have been using fish food. Gets "fed" 1-2 times daily, about 5 pellets each.

I have yet to get an ammonia reading, or any reading for that matter. I haven't been testing every day, but every 3-4 or so and have yet to see anything change. Am I doing something wrong? I'd really like to get Powerball moved out of the Kritter Keeper and in to his new tank.

Oh, and I noticed that the heater and suction cup thermometer have this weird white, wispy stuff hanging off them. What could it be?
I also have to add water about once a week, it seems to evaporate really fast here.

Thanks for any advise you can give!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Pet stores sell aquarium cycling supplies like the live bacteria which died and is ammonia that should help or just order bottled ammonia for aquariums.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #3 
dramaqueen
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You might want to add more pellets. Maybe add a 3rd "feeding" of 5 more pellets. You can also use a piece of raw shrimp but I hear that it can get pretty nasty smelling. I have no idea what the white stuff is. Maybe someone else can answer.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:57 PM   #4 
wombatgirl
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I'd second the reccomendation to add more food, or maybe to start adding a little ammonia (make sure it's pure ammonia before adding it). I'm working on a fishless cycle of a 5 gallon myself, but I'm sort of cheating - I added a mystery snail (who poops up a storm) and a few of my plants decided they didn't like the tank, and started to do brown and icky. So my ammonia was definitely up there, and now I'm just waiting through the nitrite part. But it feels like it's taking forever.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #5 
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I'll definitely start feeding it more then I was worried about doing too much, can you tell this is my first tank? I really want to add live plants, but eek, scary!

I would have tossed a shimp in there, but alas, I ate the rest of them for dinner last week.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:35 AM   #6 
Hallyx
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That white wispy stuff sounds like mold which formed on your pellets, then spread around your tank on the current. Could this be right?

This is why many keepers do not recommend fishfood or shrimp as an ammonia source. If you absolutely cannot get "pure" ammonia (from ACE hardware or from Dr Tim's online), at least crush your pellets to try to prevent mold. Both fishfood and rotting shrimp/fish can be a smelly mess.

@wombatgirl. Using a snail to create ammonia is similar to using cycle fish. Not very nice for the snail. How many ppm is he generating?
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:41 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
That white wispy stuff sounds like mold which formed on your pellets, then spread around your tank on the current. Could this be right?
Hmm possibly. I haven't been crushing the pellets and the heater is right where the current flows towards (i hope that makes sense)
It's not anywhere else in the tank.

I don't have an Ace Hardware near me, just Lowes and Walmart and a small local hardware store. At this point, I think it would be easiest to go with straight ammonia. (If you shake it and it bubbles, it's not pure right?)
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #8 
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@Hallyx - don't worry. I'm making sure to change the water whenever it gets over safe limits in ammonia or nitrates (or is it nitrites - whichever is first). I'm not trying to hurt the snail, and he seems to be thriving. They need good water, just like fish, but they are hardier.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by whiskandbowl View Post
At this point, I think it would be easiest to go with straight ammonia. (If you shake it and it bubbles, it's not pure right?)
Absolutely correct.

Lowes and Walmart near me don't have it.

After having used shrimp, myself, and having heard the fishfood horror stories on here, I'm more adamant than ever in suggesting "pure" ammonia as an ammonia source for cycling.

@Wombatgilrl

I meant no criticism. Snails are super tough in my experience, living and reproducing in fishless cycle environments. Just making sure you had it covered ;-}
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #10 
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Eeep...horror stories? Must have missed them when I was reading about cycling. Care to elaborate? I don't want to hurt my fishes.
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