Originally Posted by PaulO
With the tank that you are running the fishless cycle, is there a source of ammonia? *ex. Fish Food, Pure Ammonia, Shrimp Method?* If there is no ammonia the cycle won't begin and too much ammonia can stunt/destroy an ongoing cycle.
Question 1: Heaters that are adjustable usually have some sort of temperature measuring device that will turn them off when they reach the desired temperature. I have had Hydors and have a 50/50 experience with them but the one that is working now is pretty dang reliable. Unless your tank is set to be 75*F and your room gets to 80*F there really shouldn't be too much temp fluctuation. If you are still worried you can get a thermometer *in case you don't have one* and use that as a safety check. I would recommend getting something that goes inside the tank as it will measure water temperature, I usually get the ones at petsmart that have a suction cup to the glass but they also have digital thermometers as well and they are a little easier to read but more expensive.
Question 2: Did he have the molly for long or did it immediately die when he introduced it. If it was new it could be a great many of factors which include but aren't limited to stress *from transportaion, small bag, new enviroment* to improper acclimation to even water quality issues. A large amount of algae could mean improper photoperiods *length of time light are on* or high levels of either phosphates or nitrates *I forget which*. It generally isn't a bad thing I would just ask if he had used any meds in the water or if any other fish have died in it for unknown reasons. If you are still unsure about asking for used bio-media you can cycle the tank from scratch and use additives, it is just a matter of patience but it does give peace of mind, the only thing is you would need a test kit and a source of ammonia and if you need any additional help I'll link some useful links and guides.
Guide for cycling aquarium by iamntbatman: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838
List of Guides and Resources by Mo: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=99450
Yes, I am using pure ammonia for my fishless cycle at 4ppm. It has not gone anywhere. The water is conditioned and I turned the heat up to like 83 degrees, I added extra sponge to the filter for more places for the BB to colonize and I put decor in there, as well. There are two filters running at once because one will stay in that tank and one will move to my ten gallon if it ever cycles.
My Hydor Theo heaters do keep a good consistent temp, but when the temp in the current room dropped from 70-60 when winter started, the tanks also dropped a few degrees. I also have glass in-tank thermometers in all four of my tanks and I have a few extra because I had to travel out of town to get them. Our walmart here (the only store around that sells them) hasn't had any in stock for three months AND the warehouse is out, so I got extras. I'm worried that the tank temps might rise when I move them and then I'll have to play around with the stupid adjustment dials again. They are hard for me to reach because I have them horizontally at the bottom of the tanks to keep the heat consistent.
I think my brother may have had the molly for a month or longer before it died. He left his tank at his house for awhile when he first moved here because he couldn't take everything with him at once. The molly's body completely disappeared because I think the loaches ate it after it died. I'm not sure what loaches are supposed to eat, but he feeds them wardley flakes...
He also like, never changes the water. Literally. He will top it off when the water level falls. His heater, I'm pretty sure, does not work anymore because the temp of the tank is 72 degrees and it's pretty warm in my room. Also, I tested his water when he first got to my house and his nitrates were off the charts. My test kit could not read them...
He leaves the tank lights on for way too long. I bought him a light timer since he never pays attention to his tank and I set it to ten hours a day. He came down and reset it so it's on from like 6am to 9 pm. I guess when he used to work night shifts he turned the lights off when he left for work and turned them back on when he came back. When all my fish tanks are moved in to my room, I am setting his lights to turn on/off at the same time that mine do.