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Old 07-10-2012, 10:06 AM   #11 
Blue Fish
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
Bluefish. Are you using crushed/powdered fish food to avoid mold?
I used tropical flakes and some pellets...they were not crushed. :( I don't see any mold, but would I necessarily see mold since it's in the water?

Ahh...the things I didn't know I didn't know! ;) Oh well, learning experience. :) If I need to, I'll dump it and start again. :) If I need to dump it, then perhaps I'll already have a *little* bit of bacteria in the sponges, and maybe that'll help to move it along a bit. :) Either way, I'll check back here to see. :)
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:23 AM   #12 
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Okay, starting again:
7/6/12:
ammonia at 4ppm
two well-sponged filters going with airstones as well
temps in the 90's
5 gallon bucket, water treated with API dechlorinator
seeded with fish food for ammonia

7/8/12
ammonia at 3-4ppm
some *slight* change in the color for the NitrITE...so maybe just the beginnings of some bacteria
0ppm on the NitrATE
Water no longer stinks but is cloudy from fish food

Sorry, tried to edit last post to keep up the number of replies down, but am unable to for some reason? :(

7/9/12
ammonia at 0ppm
and no change in nitrITE or ATE...how fast does this bacteria grow and then starve?! I didn't think I could starve it out that quickly?
water is still cloudy, but less so than previously
added in another tablespoon of crushed tropical fish flakes to hopefully add in more ammonia and feed some more bacteria... :P
temps have been about 90-95, very humid, two waterfall filters and an airstone going, four sponges (two on filters, (well, and two small sponges attached to the intake filters) two floating for hopeful use as sponge filters in the future.)
5 gallons of treated water.

Also, I'm using a good ammonia water test kit, but for nitrATE and ITE, I'm stuck using those awful test strips until my LFS can get a master test kit in for me. Could the test strips be faulty and giving me incorrect readings on the nitrITE and ATE?

I'm sorry to be such a newbie at this...I really think this method will work, if I can just figure out how to cycle correctly in general. :)
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #13 
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You're doing OK. Once the bacteria are established, it takes several days for it to starve. Stopping the filter also removes food (flow). Again, alright for several days at least.

Under the best conditions it still takes over a week to get nitrites and nitrate.

You'll probably get different, more accurate readings with a liquid test.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #14 
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I cycled my 10 gallon tank with Jungle Start Zyme, which worked like a charm (I had nitrate after 2 days, which is unusual). The Start Zyme has mixed reviews, often because some people believe the bacteria may already be dead from being on the store shelf, and also because the bottle says to add it to the tank with each water change (which I don't). My first attempt, as seen in my log, was not successful because the "Pure Ammonia" I purchased was not so pure (get the stuff from Ace), and I had to painstakingly tear-down and boil my tank before attempt number 2. I also went on a 9-day vacation in there, where I asked my roommate to add ammonia (not sure if she actually did). When I got back, the tank could cycle out 3ppm of ammonia overnight. The high nitrate levels made a wee bit of algae on my tank heater, but other than that the tank has been up and running beautifully since. Without further ado:

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:10 PM   #15 
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I'm hoping to read reports from members who are trying Tetra Safestart and Dr Tim's One-and-Only.

Besides small-tank cycling, we may be debunking the myth about bacteria-in-a-bottle.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #16 
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I'd wondered about that bacteria in a bottle...and I almost tried it but started this test out first. Once I get this one going, I'll see if I can try to find some of the tetra product and see how that goes. :)

Thanks for the encouragement and the information. :) I was worried I'd starved the little buggers...I was shocked that it could go from 3-4 to 0 in just about 2 days...
The *ammonia* kit should be accurate though...it is the actual water testing kit, it's just the nitrITE/ATE that I'm using the strips for...?
Something in there took down the ammonia?
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:29 PM   #17 
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I'm not surprised the nitrosomas ate 3ppm ammonia in two days. They double every ~12hours. Less when optimized like you've
done.

That's an outstanding log, RS. Textbook. Thanks.

(Hmmm...better post my latest.)
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:36 AM   #18 
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Cycling a Hydro '0' sponge filter in a 3gal tank

3gal bare-bottomed tank with a few plants and with one Hydro '0' sponge filter (to be cycled) and one Tetra sponge filter (modified) filled with 1/4 cup bacteria-seeded gravel biomedia. Temperature 86*F

6-19 0.0 ammonia (NH3)/ 0.0 nitrite (NO)/ 0.0 nitrate (NO3) @4pm Started seeded filter

6-20 0.0/0.0/0.0 @4pm +12 drops Dr Tim's ammonia =>4.0ppm NH3 Started Hydro '0'

6-21 0.0/0.0/10.0 @2pm +12dr=4.0ppm (apparently the seeded biomedia ate all the ammonia overnight. This happened last time and confused me. Now I know what's going on.)

6-22 0.0/0.0/40 @2am +12dr=4.0ppm
6-22 .20/.20/50 @2pm +12dr=4.0ppm After 40% water change to cut nitrate to 20ppm

6-23 0.0/0.0/15 @2am +12dr=4.0ppm
6-23 0.0/0.0/30 @2pm +12dr=4.0ppm Turned off biomedia--Left Hydro running
6-23 1.0/1.0/40 @8pm

6-24 0.0/1.0/40 @2am +12dr=4.0ppm pH>8.0

6-25 .20/1.0/40 @2pm +12dr=4.0ppm After 100% water change to cut NO3 to 0.0ppm
pH 7.4
At this time I considered the new filter to be cycled.


6-26 0.0/1.0/20 @5am +12dr=4.0ppm

6-27 0.0/0.0/30 @2am +12dr=40ppm
6-27 0.0/0.0/40 @2pm +12dr=40ppm

6-28 0.0/0.0/40 @5pm +12dr=40ppm Turned on biomedia to keep BB healthy

When you think about it. What you're really doing when you cycle a tank is transferring to and growing nitrifying bacteria in the new filter----also in the substrate, decor, tank, etc, but this is of less significance.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:40 AM   #19 
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Yes! We're just feeding our pet bacteria. My family made fun of me for "growing bacteria" etc. But hey, it's way better for my fish, and for me! :P
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:46 AM   #20 
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All I wanted was to keep a couple of fish. Now I'm raising plants and bacteria. <rueful laughter>

I will not use that as my sig-line. But I sure feel it.
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