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Old 02-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #1 
InfiniteGlory
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Tank Cycling: I need help

Not from the men in white coats that bring the self hugging jacket.

I read all the threads on cycling and I am not sure I am doing it 100% correct. I started the tank on 1/18/13 and my water seems to be getting worse rather than better. I have been keeping a detailed excel spreadsheet and would like someone/anyone look it over and please tell me what I am doing wrong.

Current setup:
4 gallon
HOB filter with fluval sponge, no carbon
black betta sand
live plants

The spreadsheet is ready to be shared from my Google Drive. But I want to make sure I can do this before posting the link. Feel free to PM me just to be on the safe side.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:20 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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You've only been running for a couple of weeks. Too soon yet to get readable results. The hardest part of cycling is waiting for the nitrifying bacteria to fall out of the sky into your tank. I'm assuming a fishless cycle, because you've mentioned time.

What are you using for an ammonia source? What are your ammonia readings? How are you getting your readings?

Ammonia ~2.0ppm
Keep your water temperature ~82*.
Filter (waterfall) on high for aeration.
Live plants are an excellent idea for smaller tanks. They don't speed up the cycle, but they make it more stable.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #3 
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Back when I started the tank I picked up a API freshwater test kit and tested my tap. I fully opened the tap for a few minutes before taking a test sample. Here are the numbers

Tap parameters
pH 7.2
High pH 7.4
Ammonia 2
nitRITE 0
nitRATE 20

water temperature is around 80F but I can turn it up to help. My HOB filter has an outlet sponge baffle. It doesn't stop the flow, just baffles the surface turbulance. I can remove it if you think it is hurting more than helping at this time.

so I am using my tap as the ammonia source. I am using Prime to condition the water though. Should I hold off since that may neutralize the ammonia too much?

I would be glad to PM you my spreadsheet of data I have been collecting on my tank because recently my ammonia, nitRITE and nitRATE have been climbing rapidly
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #4 
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*edit* my original nitRATE level should be 5 not 20. i was trying to go from memory.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:15 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfiniteGlory View Post
I have been keeping a detailed excel spreadsheet
I...I...I love you? Please marry me <3 I FINALLY FOUND MY SOULMATE
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #6 
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do you prefer spring or fall weddings?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #7 
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I'm free this evening, LOL
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:55 PM   #8 
InfiniteGlory
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Alright. I'll get packed for the honeymoon.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #9 
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Perfect <3

In all seriousness though, in such a small size tank (to hold a stable cycle) and the presence of live plants soaking up the extra ammonia/nitrites/nitrates, you will probably be unlikely to have the classic 0,0, <5ppm for readings. The fact that you have 20ppm nitrates honestly spells to me that you are pretty much cycled; however if you want to send me the spreadsheet I will be happy to look at it.

Adding conditioner only transforms the ammonia, so it doesn't make it go away, so the plants and your beneficial bacteria can still eat it :P
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #10 
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The numbers I posted were from my tap not from the tank. Hallyx was asking how I was providing the ammonia to my tank. So I posted what was coming out of my tap.

Since I am at work my Google Drive doesn't want to work. So I will have to send it after I get home.
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