It's really not confusing, I think I just make a big deal out of it all. It goes like this pretty much:
1. Add bacteria
2. Add pure ammonia (to get it between 2.0-4.0ppm)
4. Add ammonia until it disappears overnight and you have nitrites/nitrates.
5. Water change
6. Ready for fish
But step 4 is very odd. Especially if you see all my results, I've had a ton of nitrites and nitrates but now I'm just like @.@
What kind of bacteria did you use for your tank, I am setting up a 10 gallon tank, and no one in this freaking small town has a tank for me to use for bacteria..., because so far it has been a week and nothing has changed... ammonia is about 4.0ppm, 0 nitrites/nitrates, and ph is around 7.8.
You can't do a fishless cycle without adding a bacteria source to the computer. I ordered my bacteria from online. It's called. Dr. Tim's One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria. You can order it from the Dr. Tim's website.
Lion Mom - I took the day off yesterday. :) But I'm not skipping today, ha ha. I'm a college student, random schedule. :p
Thanks, I am going to buy the bottle and try it out... My 4 year old daughter wanted a fish for her birthday, so I read into what kind of fish to get and betta seemed to be the best fish to get. I remember my father getting me a goldfish in a 1 gal bowl when I was younger and I now have been reading soo many forums on fish and I cannot believe that we were doing it wrong. I didn't know that there was more to fish than just to put them in a bowl.
So I am going to do this the right way and keep the fish alive as long as I can when I get it.
This thread has pretty much a step-by-step listing of how to cycle a 5 gallon tank fishless with "pure" ammonia bought from Ace Hardware and Dr. Tim's bacteria. With the ammonia you can measure exactly how much you're putting into the water and with the bacteria you have an instant colony. I'm most likely going to clean this thread up later and post a new, clean copy on the forms for people to see the steps involved to cycling a fish tank. :)
Good news. The ammonia went down to 0ppm.
Bad news. I have a massive, sudden nitrite spike. Like, 5.0+ppm nitrite spike.
I don't know if this was caused by adding the 2.0ppm of ammonia last night or not. I don't see how 2.0ppm of ammonia could make 5.0ppm+ of nitrite. Seriously, this nitrite test is DARK DARK purple. Off the charts. And if you read back, I think on Day 11 I had tested the nitrite twice and it was 0ppm. :S
Even my nitrAtes spiked. What could have caused this? ._. I did move some plants around while doing the water change but I tested the tank after I cleaned it... If a fish was in the tank adding waste and ammonia in at smaller increments, I don't think a spike like this would happen. A little ammonia, converted to nitrite, converted to nitrate. But I just don't see how 2.0ppm of ammonia spiked my nitrites and nitrates so high over the course of today.
Comments? All I can really do is wait and see if the nitrites dropped overnight to 0 ppm like they did the last time but I'm really unsure as to what caused this. :S I'm not adding ammonia into the tank tonight so I can get the levels back down, hopefully the cycle will be OK.
I took an unexpected visit home yesterday and planned on coming home, but unfortunately didn't make it back last night. So, the tank went two days without being fed any ammonia. However... The nitrites are gone 100% and the nitrates are...