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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The tank has been set up for about a week now with nothing but live plants, water conditioner, white gravel, heater, and a filter. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it because I was going to add Shif eventually to give him more space, but I didn't know how soon.

Tired of being indecisive, I finally just started it.

Day 1 - Here we go again. Bumped tank temperature to 83 and added 10mL of bacteria.

Ammonia - 2.0-3.0ppm achieved by adding 4 drops of "pure" ammonia
(10% janitorial strength, no additives, bought at Ace Hardware)
NitrIte - 0ppm
NitrAte - 0ppm
pH - ... What the crap is up with my pH?

First two are Low Range Test, 1st one is the tank 2nd one is my tap water.
Second two are High Range Test, 1st one is the tank 2nd one is my tap water.

Is my gravel screwing with my pH? I'm so confused. Nothing has been put into that tank except gravel and plants, and ammonia, and water conditioner. @[email protected]
 

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If your using gravel specifically used for aquariums then that wouldn't mess with your Ph unless its for marine aquariums and has calcium in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's just regular Topfin gravel from Petsmart... I am going to do another water prams test after class here in a bit. I couldn't even figure out what my ph was trying to read last night from those tests.
 

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Ahh, sorry I got confused on that part of your question lol.

Take some of the gravel out and put a few drops of vinegar on it, if it fizzes then its no good and you should then remove it all :)
 

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I'd wait until it's cycled to worry about ph. You don't wanna mess with it anyway. Has the tank been sitting out? Typically you'll get a different ph with water that's been sitting out then water that's straight out of the tap. My ph is always higher in the tank then out of the tap.

Also, if ANY of the ammonia testing fluid is in the tube it gives you a crazy high ph reading. Usually it's vivid purple though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welsh: I might do that with a sample of the gravel in the tank later.

It has been sitting out a bit. I let it run for at least a week and a half before I finally decided I was going to cycle it. Water prams coming in a moment. :)

Also, Vaygirl: I noticed in another thread (I'm all over the place o.o) that you mentioned white and stringy poo hinting at internal parasites. My blue CT has been pooping white and stringy frequently for awhile now but he's a major bubblenester and shows no other signs of real agitation, and eats like a pig. He doesn't act like he's got parasites and he eats Atison's Betta Food 3 in the morning and 3 at night and I occasionally pop him another with no bloating. D: Should I be concerned?

Testing tank water now in the 5g.

Edit: How is your luck with wisteria? Do you like it? Does it shed like hornwort? Because I'm over hornwort, it shed needles all over my 5g >_>
 

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I love wisteria, it grows really fast and is easily propagated :) it is by far my favourite plant and personally I don't find it sheds at all, i have the occasional floating leaf but I can deal with that :)
 

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It is a symptom of parasites. For him since he seems to be eating, I'd try the garlic soak food method. OFL is the one who usually recommends that I think. You could pm her for specifics. It will probably clear him out and it would be a much more natural way of doing it.

Wisteria rocks. It does shed the occasional leaf if you move it around too much but other then that it's awesome. If you put it in a corner, be ready for it to snake around towards the light. It messes with your aquascaping if you have something specific in mind as to where plants should go. With wisteria I've learned to just let it grow and grow and grow. I've gotten maybe 20 plants from the cuttings I've taken from my first plant.

I hated hornwort when I had it many many years ago. Same thing. What a mess. :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh my gosh I'm so exciteddd! <3

Day 2 - Eeeeee <3 NitrAItes. :D

Ammonia - 1.0 - 2.0ppm (Might add 1 drop)
NitrIte - Between 0 - 0.25ppm
NitrAte - Between 0 - 5.0ppm
pH - 8.1

I'm excited. With the plants and the filter and the Dr. Tim's and pure ammonia this baby should be ready for Shif at the end of the week. <3

Edit: Thank you very much Vaygirl. I'll start doing that just in case. I need to go to the store to get a sponge baffle for my filter anyhow. :) And thanks for the wisteria opinions guys, I'll definitely pick some up. <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Day 4 - Stalled?

Ammonia - 0.5ppm, added two drops now to get... 2.0ppm - 3.0ppm
NitrIte - 3.0ppm - 5.0ppm
NitrAte - 5.0ppm - 10.0ppm

NitrItes skyrocketed, nitrAtes skyrocketed... When will they start going down? Should I add more bacteria? My ammonia only looks a little lower than yesterday. I should be done with adding ammonia now until the end of the cycle... Once ammonia drops, nitrItes drop, and nitrAtes are I'll add two drops, and it should be gone the next day with nitrAtes, then do a 25% WC, test again, and it should be ready for Shif? Do I have this right? D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Day 5 - Still stalled?

Tank temperature - 86*

Ammonia - 1.0ppm Went down overnight, good, but...

NitrIte - 5.0+ppm They're insanely high, and...

NitrAte - EDIT: Just kidding. My nitrAtes are 10ppm - 20ppm.

My nitrItes aren't going down, my nitrAtes aren't going up. I understand that some of the plants in my tank might be eating off some of the nitrAtes but the tank isn't planted enough to achieve this. Does anyone know if this is normal? Should I add more bacteria? Change some of the tank water? Bump down the temperature?
 

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I've never done a fishless cycle either. I cram my tanks full of plants, instant cycle. Hopefully someone will come along shortly who knows.
 

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OT, BUT - LOVE the Amazon, Aunt Kymmie!!! Is he yours? I have two Blue Crown Conures that I love to death, but their noise level at times CAN set a person's teeth on edge!!!! Also have a Green Cheek Conure & a rescue parakeet. My Blue Crowns are 17 & 19 years old - how old is the Amazon?
 

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OT, BUT - LOVE the Amazon, Aunt Kymmie!!! Is he yours? I have two Blue Crown Conures that I love to death, but their noise level at times CAN set a person's teeth on edge!!!! Also have a Green Cheek Conure & a rescue parakeet. My Blue Crowns are 17 & 19 years old - how old is the Amazon?
Yes, she's mine. She's 22 and she's (and forever will be) the only bird I'll ever live with. How can you even think straight with FOUR(!) birds in the house all squawking at once?? Toby is very well behaved but every once in awhile goes on a screaming jag. It's at those times I understand how someone could strangle their bird, lol.

Back to the topic at hand: Until someone jumps in with experience in regards to the fishless cycle using ammonia I lifted this from iamntbatman's stick on cycling.

The "Fishless Cycle" Using Pure Ammonia

This is the most precise method of cycling your tank. It is similar to the fish food and shrimp methods described above but the ammonia source is pure bottled ammonia. It is of utmost importance that you use only pure ammonia, not ammonia-based cleaning products that contain detergents, dyes, scents or any other chemicals as these can be harmful to your fish. How much ammonia to add depends on the concentration of the ammonia you're using but you want to add enough ammonia to bring the concentration of your tank to 3-5 ppm (this is usually 3-5 drops per ten gallons but can vary). Test the ammonia and nitrite levels every day, adding more ammonia daily as needed to keep the ammonia level at 3-5 ppm. Eventually, you'll notice that the ammonia concentration will start dropping, which goes along with an increase in nitrite. Continue dosing ammonia to the same concentration. Eventually, you'll reach the stage where enough ammonia added to bring the tank to a concentration of 3-5 ppm totally disappears within 24 hours, leaving you with nothing but nitrate. At this point the cycle is complete and you can proceed as above. The difficulty with this method is that testing and ammonia dosing have to be done at least daily. Pure ammonia can also be difficult to track down and the risks, should you use ammonia that contains other chemicals, are serious. Unlike the other methods, however, the pure ammonia method allows you complete control over the cycle and lets you know just how much ammonia your biofilter (i.e. the colonies of beneficial bacteria established during the cycle) can process in a given time period.


Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...reshwater-aquarium-cycle-38617/#ixzz0zzPrQiJC
 
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