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Old 01-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #11 
LittleBettaFish
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What type of test kit are you using for nitrates? If you have the API liquid one you really have to bang the 2nd bottle quite hard against a table top or something as the reagents can crystallise and mess up your readings.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #12 
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What type of test kit are you using for nitrates? If you have the API liquid one you really have to bang the 2nd bottle quite hard against a table top or something as the reagents can crystallise and mess up your readings.
I use Nutrafin Test Mini Master. http://www.petland.ca/nutrafin-fresh...-test-kit.html

Is it the same thing or?
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:04 PM   #13 
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It's similar to the API test kit, which is what most folks tend to use.

Do you have fish in the tank that are supplying ammonia, or are you doing a fishless cycle?

I've got a 20 long that's been cycling for 3 full weeks (this will be the 4th) that's planted and was seeded with bacteria. Rotting plant matter has supplied my ammonia and things are just starting to even out (1.0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10ppm nitrate).

Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? Sometimes, depending on how far you may be from a treatment plant (if you're on municipal water) you might have some excess chlorine or ammonia. Remember to treat your water with a dechlorinator, as chlorine will kill some of the bacteria you're working to grow.

If you're really reading 0 nitrites AND 0 nitrates, but you have present ammonia, I'd think your cycle has failed. If you have an established filter from another tank, add it to your filter box or squeeze it onto the sponge in the current filter to seed it.

You can perform a fishless cycle with pure household ammonia (no additives) or a small piece of shrimp, or the less popular fish food methods. I honestly find it easiest to perform a cycle with a fish or two in the tank to provide the ammonia that the bacteria will need.

Since the bulk of the bacteria will live in the filter material, it's OK to do big water changes when your ammonia creeps up if you're doing a fish-in cycle. For a fishless cycle, I just let the thing go nuts until the bacteria have really gotten into a groove. 3 weeks to 2 months, sometimes.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #14 
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Originally Posted by Virto View Post
It's similar to the API test kit, which is what most folks tend to use.

Do you have fish in the tank that are supplying ammonia, or are you doing a fishless cycle?

I've got a 20 long that's been cycling for 3 full weeks (this will be the 4th) that's planted and was seeded with bacteria. Rotting plant matter has supplied my ammonia and things are just starting to even out (1.0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10ppm nitrate).

Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? Sometimes, depending on how far you may be from a treatment plant (if you're on municipal water) you might have some excess chlorine or ammonia. Remember to treat your water with a dechlorinator, as chlorine will kill some of the bacteria you're working to grow.

If you're really reading 0 nitrites AND 0 nitrates, but you have present ammonia, I'd think your cycle has failed. If you have an established filter from another tank, add it to your filter box or squeeze it onto the sponge in the current filter to seed it.

You can perform a fishless cycle with pure household ammonia (no additives) or a small piece of shrimp, or the less popular fish food methods. I honestly find it easiest to perform a cycle with a fish or two in the tank to provide the ammonia that the bacteria will need.

Since the bulk of the bacteria will live in the filter material, it's OK to do big water changes when your ammonia creeps up if you're doing a fish-in cycle. For a fishless cycle, I just let the thing go nuts until the bacteria have really gotten into a groove. 3 weeks to 2 months, sometimes.
It is a fish in cycle with 5 small fish. 2 live plants. I cant seed it as no one i know has fish tanks. I dechlorinate the water and my tap reading show 0 of everything!
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #15 
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Hm, well, keep a close eye on the ammonia levels and perform water changes as needed. .50 is higher than you'd like to keep the fish. 0-.25 they will tolerate.

The bacteria will eventually seed in the tank, but it will take time as you aren't using an established culture or a starter pack. You may want to consider a refrigerated paste or liquid culture that you can buy from your LFS. It won't instantly cycle your tank - nothing will - but it could help inject a number of bacteria so that they can begin to reproduce more quickly.

Also, there are water treatments that will neutralize the affects of ammonia on fish, but not remove it from the water. You can use that in the meantime, as it shouldn't affect the bacteria's ability to eat it.
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