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Old 04-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #21 
Rilly10's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Pottstown, PA
Ok lets hope I get answers to all your questions! My tap water tests and 0.5ppm for Ammonia straight out of the faucet. I filled the tank with that and dosed with Prime and Stability per the label. I used gravel (rinsed) as a substrate, two decorations (also rinsed), then had one Anubias, one Java Fern, and one Marimo Moss ball. I also had a tiny bit of Salvinia floating in the tank.

For the filter I lowered the flow all the way, drilled 4 holes in the tube and added extra sponges behind the intake to baffle the flow. The flow seemed fine for the betta. I only had one male Betta in there. I never washed or cleaned the filter stuff (other than the initial rinse before setting it up).

I tested the water everyday with the API Master Kit and did a 25% change every day due to the high ammonia readings. After 3 days of that I did a 50% change with bottled spring water to try to get the ammonia down (all water I added was treated with Prime and Stability and rested for 25 hours before going in).

Attached is a pic...I have not tested anything since the fish died. I was planning on breaking it all down and making it a NPT with soil, sand cap, and a few extra plants (I was thinking a Green Ozelot and Cabomba Green). Is this a bad idea?
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #22 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Maine
I am just really surprised with that many plants, it did not get past the ammonia part of the cycle. What was the max the ammonia would get up to?

I never tested for ammonia because I was always under the impression that as long as you have a fair amount of plants (which you have the right amount) that the ammonia part of the cycle should go flawlessly.

How do you have your Anubias planted?

Also, it should be able to complete the cycle on it's own now. Is there any trace of ammonia now? Nitrites? Nitrates?

Question for anyone else, with the ammonia present in the tap water, would this person be able to even use the tap water for water changes in the future after the cycle? I would think not in a tank this small.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:38 AM   #23 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
This is just my experience, but it is helping me get through a fish in cycle on my evolve 4.

In order for plants to really buffer the cycle, they have to be growing. Most plants, when introduced to different water parameters, go through a melt period and then recover. During the melt, they are adding to your ammonia issue, but parts are growing and helping buffer the cycle.

You need WAY more plants to really make a difference. Planted tanks need roughly 70-80% of the substrate covered to go "silent cycle".

Try leaving your water out for 24 hours. I do, and it takes care of the ammonia I get from the tap. If that doesn't work, you may need to switch to RO water, which you would have to remineralize.

Since you have the option of doing a fishless cycle, do that. You can switch to NPT, just keep your gravel and filter wet while creating it. Once it I'd ready, put the gravel in some nylon stocking or sock material and leave it in the tank.
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