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Old 08-26-2011, 12:56 PM   #1 
Catfish8
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Still confused....

Ladies and Gents:

I'm now into 3.5 weeks of cycling my 5 gal tank; I used a shrimp to start the fishless cycle.

My current readings are: Ammonia= 7.5, Nitrite= 0.0, Nitrate= 0.0, Water temp 82F. I've replaced evaporated water with water conditioned with Prime.

I thought I'd have some Nitrite readings by now.

I have a friend who has an established, HEALTHY 10 gal tank who is willing to give me some of his gravel to aid the process along.

Assuming that this idea will work, I understand that I need to keep the gravel wet; adding some of the established water could help as well. I was thinking about adding the gravel to an old nylon so I could easily take it out if needed.

What do you think??

In advance, I appreciate any assistance!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:15 PM   #2 
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That ammonia is awfully high, I would do a PWC to get the ammonia down to about 4. If you could get some filter media from his tank it would be better than the gravel. If you friend doesn't have any filter media to spare you could put some of your filter media in his tank and let it seed then put it back in yours. I cycled my 5gal tank quickly by putting the filter media from my 5gal in my established 40gal tank for about a week then put it in the 5gallons filter.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #3 
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Hi. Without any fish in there, you don't need to do a water change. Your plan for adding gravel from your friend's tank is good, though I always worry about what else I might be adding (that those fish might have built up an immunity to), but I think I am in the minority. And might just be being silly to worry about that.

What I don't know is what the prime is doing. It changes ammonia into something else that still READS like ammonia to the water tester but is not harmful to fish. It is possible that what it gets changed to (ammonium, maybe?), also doesn't feed the ammonia-eating-nitrite-producing bacteria.

Is there a reason that you are using prime?

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Old 08-26-2011, 01:32 PM   #4 
lordadamar
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Two ways

( RO ) reverse osmosis makes water pure....

Distilled water is different from water treated through reverse osmosis because the process for making distilled water involves boiling water until it is has been totally evaporated into water vapor (gas form) and then the water vapor is collected and cooled until it condenses back into water

Distilled Water is sterile absolutely no mineral Value, So inheriantly theres nothing in the water to buffer and hold any changes made to it for an aquarium..

Aquafina Water claims to be treated with ( RO )

Another way is too:

http://www.petsolutions.com/storefro...Words=91100275

Cut to fit...

Or a http://www.petsolutions.com/storefro...teDiamond.html

and add it to your filter
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:12 PM   #5 
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For a fishless cycle in a filtered 5gal tank with plans to stock with one Betta....I would get the ammonia in the 3-4ppm area........

With use of Prime-this will change the ammonia to ammonium that is less harmful, however, it is still available to the nitrifying bacteria to cycle the tank as well as to any live plants to use as food.....

If you have access to established substrate (in a nylon stocking), filter media or adding your filter media to a healthy established tank filter as suggested by others...can help kick start the process........

I assumed that your stocking will be a single Betta since 5gal is too small for other fish along with the Betta and even if you do add either shrimp and/or snails a 3-4ppm ammonia should get you to a good colony of bacteria for the intended bioload....

Do you have any live plants-if so, how many and what species....

What is the pH

What kind of testing product are you using

What is the source water...tap, well water...etc.....if tap, is it going through a home filter or softening unit

Understanding the nitrifying bacteria-it needs surface area, oxygen and food to colonize....since they are sticky the NB adheres to all the surface areas in the tank-on the walls, decorations, plants both live and fake, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column itself.......

Distilled water should not be used especially for cycling due to the lack of dissolved oxygen, mineral and electrolyte content...

R/O water is fine if re-mineralized
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:16 PM   #6 
Catfish8
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First off, thanks for the replies!

Why Prime? Through my research, Prime kept coming up as a recommended product...I figured that if so many folks had good luck with it, why not try it.

Can do a partial R/O water change....should I still use Prime?

I'm using a Tom Aquarium mini filter; it has removable cartridges with a bit of carbon, and a sponge. What I could do is buy a new cartridge, and let it sit in my friends tank, then replace the one I'm currently using. Along with adding the gravel, what do you guys think of this option? How long would you let the new cartridge "ripen up"?

Thanks again for helping a newby...just trying to get it right before adding a little finned friend.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:34 PM   #7 
Catfish8
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OFL-

Thank you for jumping in.

I'm using the API Freshwater Master kit. Ph was 7.6+ and high Ph was 7.8.

I had my city water, softened, tested by the local fish store (not a Petco ect.). Readings came almost exactly as listed above.

We have several silk plants and a cave; no live plants.

Lastly, we plan on having only one betta.

I think my LFS sell's re mineralized R/O water. If I do a gallon (?) water change, and add the usual two drop of Prime, plus the media/filter cartridge from my friends tank-- would that work?
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #8 
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We posted at the same time.....so I am editing .....lol.....

What kind of softening unit are you using...if it is softened with salt....I would bypass that unit and just use tap water along with the proper amount of dechlorinator....these type of unit change one Ion for another that is not good for long term health of the fish...

I wouldn't buy the R/O water to use in the tank.....you pH is fine...even if the pH is higher when you bypass the softener unit...stable pH is more important when dealing with a domesticated fish as long as extremes are avoided...

Do you have the Betta already.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-26-2011 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #9 
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Too funny....!

My LFS does not sell R/O water; they sell de-ionized water. Will that work?

My home does use salt for a softening agent....I think a have a tap that does not use the softened water.

No fish yet. My daughter is very patiently waiting for Dad to "get it in gear"!

Thanks again for trying to help.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:08 PM   #10 
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DI water then....I would just use your bypassed- tap water and dechlorinator for your tanks....easier, cheaper and more stable....I would do a full test on the bypassed tap water without any dechlorinator...ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH to have a base-line to work from.....let the glass of water sit for 24h and re-test it and compare the numbers.....

I would make a 50% water change to get the ammonia/ammonium down to 3-4ppm area and maintain that....it can take 4-8 week to establish the nitrogen cycle.....

Also, you can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes.....

Awesome, that you are doing this with your daughter ...great hobby for the whole family.......
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