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Old 09-12-2012, 11:42 PM   #11 
Hallyx
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Originally Posted by whiskandbowl View Post
Eeep...horror stories? Must have missed them when I was reading about cycling. Care to elaborate? I don't want to hurt my fishes.
Nothing dangerous. You can breath...LoL But you rarely hear about this stuff in a cycling how-to article.

Rotting fishfood or shrimp/fish can get Saprolegnia mold. It's not dangerous but it's not wholesome and its not easy to clean out once established. Some people think it causes Columnaris because it has a similar appearance. This is unsupported and not true. But it does get into your filter and onto your plants and decor.

Then there's the smell. Because the dose cannot be controlled, often the tank gets overdosed---the lag from decomposition makes this easy to do. You want the tank open so that bacteria can get in, but sometimes the smell makes that impracticable.

Sometimes the overdosing will stall the cycle. The too-high ammonia can kill the bacteria.

The cloudy bacterial bloom which sometimes accompanies a cycle, while harmless, is unsightly and can be worrisome if it persists.

All things being equal, if you want to perform a fishless cycle, I consider it worth the effort to get "pure" ammonia that does NOT foam-up when shaken.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #12 
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Here's another question for you whiskandbowl - do you have a local pet store? If you trust their tanks, they may give you some gravel which should be loaded with the right kind of bacteria. You can put it in your tank and help it get going. You can also put it in a nylon if you don't want that color of gravel. (Or so I understand.)
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:52 PM   #13 
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I actually work at a petstore. I've never brought any gravel home because I'm wary of spreading anything (not that the tanks are disgusting or diseased) I'm just cautious.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:25 PM   #14 
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Just an update: FINALLY have an ammonia reading. *dances around* I feel like I've been waiting forever. I actually stopped testing because I was getting so discouraged.
I've been crushing the food pellets instead of just dropping them in. I haven't had time to track down any pure ammonia between school and work, though, plus payday isn't until Friday.
Still have some weird algae/mold on the thermometer and heater, should I scrub it off?

So happy things are progressing somewhat!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #15 
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Okay, asking for help again. My Nitritres have been really high for at least the past week and a half. Nitratres have been the lowest reading to nonexistent. Is this normal? I got the sense that once Nitrites showed up, the rest happened pretty quickly.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:02 AM   #16 
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That's typical of a stalled cycle. Change your water down to <1.0ppm nitrite and see what happens to your nitrate.

Tell us how it goes. It would be helpful if you'd post your readings.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:52 AM   #17 
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Will do (probably tonight or tomorrow because I have family events)! Thank you
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #18 
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do you have carbon in the filter?
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:39 PM   #19 
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I just have the pads that came with the filter. It's the one that comes with the Petco bookshelf tank
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:00 PM   #20 
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The carbon probably sucked away the ammonia :P and just worn itself out recently XD
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