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Old 12-28-2010, 09:47 PM   #1 
sjones
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Can I cycle with just the ammonia test, not the entire API kit

I am really wanting to do a cycle, i was at the petstore today and noticed they now sell the ammonia test kit individually.
When I was reading the thread here how to do the pure ammonia cycle it said you have to test for ammonia and add more each day depending on how much is present. it also said test for nitrite, although it seems that the real indicator that the tank is cycled is that the ammonia no longer shows up.
Can I get away with just buying the ammoina test kit and then taking it into the petstore when i believe the cycle is done (no ammonia) and having them do a nitrate test.
I can't afford the entire kit..thoughts? tanks!
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:27 AM   #2 
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The ammonia test would be better than nothing and if the pet shop is near by to do your test for you....good......what size tank are you cycling and stocking plans-can you get some established healthy media to seed the tank.....

Remember-ammonia is bad for fish, but the nitrite is worse...you know the nitrogen cycle is complete when ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm and nitrate 5-10ppm...this can take 4-8 weeks

Also, Dr Foster and Smith had the API freshwater master test kit on-sale for $19.99 I think....you can also go to wal mart web site and get it for less than that and have it delivered to the store for free...if you have a local walmart...that is.....just a thought....
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #3 
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I believe Petco sells a nitrite kit individually as well. Buying both the ammonia and nitrite kit individually saves you a good $10 bucks.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #4 
jessiepbg
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There's a strip test available for it too. It's one of those all-in-one strips, but it's only like $8. I don't know how accurate it is though. OFL might have some more info on that.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:09 AM   #5 
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I use both the strips and the liquid reagent testing products.....the strips I use for a quick look-but only with established aquariums-I don't rely on the numbers/readings per se..... just color change and this tell me I need to do a full test with the master kit.....I cut my strips down the middle to get two test out of them and in the long run...test strip will cost more than a kit when you are doing daily to twice daily testing...personally, I wouldn't use them to cycle a tank, however, I think most of the pet shop use them when they do the free test...not 100% sure on that...never done it...although it is good to take your water to the pet shop for free test when you don't have the product on hand....try to collect the water and get to the pet shop ASAP...the water can degrade and you may get skewed results.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:11 AM   #6 
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These are all great solutions! Thank you! I didn't realize Walmart delivers to the store for free, and YES I saw the Nitrite kit in petco yesterday too!
I am considering buying the 14 gallon kit on sale at petco as well as trying to cycle a 5 gallon critter keeper, and more excitingly I have ordered some hornwort with some possible other floaty plants I believe!
Anyhow looking forward to improved water quality and moving towards cycling!
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #7 
jessiepbg
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I wouldn't recommend going to Petsmart at least for water tests unless you really need to. I brought mine in when I first started setting up my 10 gallon and they just used the liquid test for ammonia and a low-end 6-way test strip for everything else. It was a bit of a waste of time for me.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:19 PM   #8 
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It's been a long time since I've had to re-cycle, but I used the ammonia drop test and the all in one strip tests for Nitrite and Nitrate.
They are accurate enough so you know where you're at in the cycle.

Once the cycle is done, keep a piece of the filter foam hidden in the tank or filter somewhere..should you buy another tank, you can pop that in your new filter and you're off to the races!
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:01 PM   #9 
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Yes, I was just thinking that once I cycle one I'm set to jumpstart the others! Tanks!
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