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Old 01-04-2011, 01:59 AM   #1 
gopal87
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14G tank: unable to cycle in shrimp method

Okay, so my 14G tank has been cycling for the past 5 days now. for the first 3 days i had one shrimp, when the shrimp started smelling horribly bad, i replaced the shrimp with two more new ones[to speed it up]. These two were partly cooked shrimps though. and these two guys have been in the tank since Saturday.
I just got my master test kit today, and decided to test it. Ammonia level was just 0.5-1.0pp 0 nitrites 0 nitrates. I'm confused, i expected ammonia to be atleast 8pp. I do have a flourite classic substrate and a single anubias plant on a drift wood. could these be absorbing the ammonia? I've just added two more raw shrimps in there.. I'm going to plant the tank[yet to order], but still want the beneficial bacteria to take hold, just in case.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:41 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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With just one plant I wouldn't think it would have that much impact on the ammonia level-I would think that after 5 day your ammonia would be a bit higher, however, the raw shrimp method can be unpredictable..you may need to give it more time or add some pure ammonia to get the level up to at least 3ppm...the nitrogen cycle takes time...it can take 4-8 weeks

What is the temp, what kind of filter, what is your stocking plan once cycled?

You can also safely cycle the tank with fish-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and with your plans to add live plants...that makes it even safer.....
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:17 AM   #3 
gopal87
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Yep, i decided to switch to ammonium hydroxide. cant stand my room smelling like that for a week more. :). The temperature is between 78(glass thermo)-82(sticker thermo). The Filter's a 20G aqueon power filter,packed with a lot of biological sponge that i bought. Didn't trust the blue plastic to be the media where the bacteria would colonize.

Am a little fuzzy about my stocking.
You could check it out here:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?p=551293
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:12 PM   #4 
CatherineMPLS
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Another thing that may help the cycle along is trying to keep the temp above 80 and if you have an air pump/stone then turn it all the way up. Lots of O2 speeds the process.

If it were me, I'd skip the neons and get at least 6 cories, or maybe more cause I adore them! Cories aren't just bottom dwellers as some folks think :) And since you have a 14g, you could get something larger than pygmys.

I have 10 corydoras loxozonus in my 55 gallon tank and they're SUPER AWESOME with great personalities, very active... and when they're "sleepy," they all nap together on plant leaves *CUTE*

They swim all over the tank... top, bottom, middle... and love to ride the air bubbles from the bottom of the tank all the way to the top and repeat this over and over and over.... :) Although, loxozonus wouldn't work with a betta. Their max temp is 75'F.


If you do get cories with your betta, be careful the betta doesn't take their food... if it does, just feed the cories at night after the lights are off.
I have cories (trilineatus... often mislabeled as julii) in one of my betta tanks and this what I have to do.

As far as shrimp go, I have amanos with one of my bettas. They all got along peacefully for months... then one day he ate a shrimp! He hasn't eaten any since then though. So it's really hard to say if they'll get along or not.


Whatever you decide, monitor their interactions with eachother. If they don't get along, you can take them back... or get another tank ;)
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:36 PM   #5 
gopal87
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1 week ago:So i decided to quit the stinking shrimp method and start using ammonium Hydroxide. I also heavily planted my tank


Ammonia levels were decreasing from around 4ppm to 1ppm everyday, but 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates.

3days ago:
I also sold my stock filter that came with my tank and bought a Penguin biowheel 150. The Aqueon that came with the tank had this blue plastic bio grid which i didn't like. i still retained the old filter media and am using it in the second filter slot of my new penguin. I borrowed my friends filter media from his already established tank and squeezed the water from his filters onto mine, rubbed it over my filter, and jammed his small biowheel into my filter for a day and half as well. i also added about a coffee cup of his tank's water to mine. I've been checking ammonia levels and been keeping it at around a little above 4ppm. But in the past 3 days, my nitrites have shot past 5ppm and my Nitrates have touched 80 i guess. Ammonia is still around .5 - 1.0

That was super crazy and am again confused as to what to do now? should i just stop adding ammonia, wait for my ammonia and nitrites to drop to zero and 80% water change + add fish? or did i screw up by jamming my friend's established filter into my filter? And are these nitrites and nitrates because of his beneficial bacteria on his filter and not from mine?

One other thing is that ever since i got the penguin bioWheel and jammed his filter into mine for a while, my tank has been too cloudy. the bio wheel is also producing a little amount of micro bubbles even though my water level is a little higher than the lower lip of the filter, but the cloudiness seems to be because of some suspended particulate matter. I switched off my filter for about 2 hrs, but most of the particles were still suspended in the water column. what are those? is that because of a bacterial bloom?
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Since you seeded the tank and added lots of live plants-I would start making some water changes and get the nitrate under control and in the 20ppm area and add fish-continue to monitor the tank and make water changes as needed.
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