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Old 02-10-2015, 10:12 AM   #1 
HapaMama
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Post Impatient Fishless Tank Cycling (2.5 gallon)

So, I'm creating this journal for very selfish purposes because I wanted to record my experience fishless-pure ammonia-cycling my 2.5 gallon tank. I'm currently keeping notes on a janky note pad that might as well be post-its, so I figured this is a much better place to record my findings!

I am going to dump a ton of notes in this first post, as this will basically be a data transfer from my janky notepad.

1/27? (Approximately): Brand new 2.5g Aqueon Betta Bow set up with pebble substrate, and a bridge sculpture. Water was conditioned with Betta H20. Pure ammonia dosed to 2.0 PPM

2/1/15 - API Freshwater Master test kit finally arrived in the mail! Tank paramaters measured at 9:00 PM
-Ammonia: 2.0
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: ~1
-PH 8.4

Action taken: None - Decision made to buy beneficial bacteria in a bottle (BBS), because I don't want to wait 2 months for the bacteria to form on it's own. Petco carries Tetra SafeStart, so decided to buy that.

2/3/15: No readings taken, 7ml Tetra SafeStart (TSS) added to tank water, 1 drop ammonia dosed

2/3/15
-Ammonia: 3.0
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 2.0

Action taken: Added 5ml TSS

2/4/15
-Ammonia: 3.0
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: not measured

Action taken: Added 1/2 entire bottle of TSS! (TSS doesn't seem that great, decided to order Dr. Tim's One and Only... now waiting for that to get shipped...)

2/5/15
-Ammonia: 2.0
-Nitrite: not measured
-Nitrate: not measured

2/6/15
7:00 AM
- Ammonia: 2.0
7:45 PM
- Ammonia: 1.5 (?)
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: ~10

2/7/15
-Ammonia: 1.0
-Nitrite: not measured
-Nitrate: not measured

Action taken: 20% water change, 7ml TSS added


Ran out of time to finish my data dump, will add more this evening.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:13 AM   #2 
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Realized I used the wrong acronym for the bacteria in the post above, should be BB!
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:35 PM   #3 
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2/8/15
-Ammonia: 0.5
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: ~7.0

Actions taken:
-Dosed 2 capfuls Dr. Time's One and Only
-Dosed ammonia up to 2.0 PPM

2/9/15
-Ammonia: 1.5
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 10

2/9/15
-Ammonia: 1.5
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 10

2/10/15
-Ammonia: 1.5
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 10

2/9/15
-Ammonia: ~0.4 - reading looked like it was between 0.5 and 0.25, but closer to 0.5
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 15

Looks like Dr. Tim's is working pretty well! Hoping to be able to move Darth Betta into his new home in the next couple of days!

Last edited by HapaMama; 02-10-2015 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:41 PM   #4 
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Here's a pic of Darth Betta and the 2.5g tank I'm cycling!
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:28 AM   #5 
Hallyx
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Your fish should be in the biggest body of water you have. If that's the 2.5g, put him in there NOW.....

Change the water until ammonia reads >0.25ppm. Dose 2-drops/gal Prime. Add all the Dr Tim's; shake and wash out in the tank. Check your readings daily until Ammonia and Nitrite read 0.0ppm and nitrate increases over time.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:50 AM   #6 
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Morning ammonia reading: 0.25

Must go to work. Testing all parameters again in 12 hours.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:35 PM   #7 
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Readings at 6:00 PM
-Ammonia: 0.25
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 20

Actions taken:
- 2 capfuls Dr. Tim's added. Trying to see if ammonia will actually ever get to 0. Tap water at my house comes out of the pipes at 0.5 PPM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:08 AM   #8 
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Readings at 7:00 PM
-Ammonia: 0
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 10

This seems weird to me that nitrates would spontaneously decrease without a water change. Perhaps I don't understand the nitrogen cycle well enough.

Actions taken: Dosed ammonia up to ~1.5 ppm to test how quickly ammonia will clear.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #9 
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2/13/15
7:00 AM
Ammonia = 1.5

7:00 PM
Ammonia = 0.5

2/14/15
-Ammonia: ~0.4
-Nitrite: 0
-Nitrate: 40

I seem to have had a huge nitrate spike without the ammonia decreasing significantly. Because I don't currently have a heater in this tank, I think the BB aren't very active over night, and do most of their work during the day when it's warmer. If anyone actually reads this journal, feel free to jump in and correct me. :)

I'm hoping the ammonia will get down to 0 by tonight. If it does, I will do a water change, add more BB, and move Mr. Darth Betta into his new house tomorrow or Monday.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:05 PM   #10 
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Ammonia reading was 0 this morning, so I did a 50% water change in the tank, moved the heater, thermometer, and a few rocks from his old tank over, and acclimated the fish for about half an hour.

I don't think he likes the filter very much. The outflow doesn't seem very strong, but he does have trouble swimming upstream! He really likes having the bridge in the tank and has been swimming under it a lot already.

Initial readings after adding the fish:
Ammonia: 0.25 (water from tap is 0.5)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: ~30

Hopefully the BB will be able to take care of the rest of the ammonia from the tap water. Prime will keep the ammonia at bay until BB can get to it!
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