Just a quick question - at what point do you do your tests? Is it best to test at the same time every day? Obviously before a water change so that you can determine whether or not a change is necessary?
I'm not convinced that test results are the only, or even the best, criteria for determining a water change schedule. There are so many other good reasons to make regular (weekly?) water changes part of routine maintenance.
Hallyx, I read the article on TSS and TDS, and I recently purchased a meter to measure TDS (haven't used it yet). Is there a level of TDS that, when it exceeds that number, that one should change the water? The article said that freshwater has less than 1500 mg/l, but should one let it get even that high? If the answer is in that article, I missed it... :question:
This thread is genius! I've never done cycling before, and Hallyxs' post really helped me! I have a male Betta and some Ramshorn snails and few plants in a 3 gallon tank. I just finished cycling it in 1 week! I'm so happy! Thank you so much Hallyx!
I have a few questions tho. Just to clarify things..
1. What if my filter cartridge broke and changed my filter, should I do the cycling again?
2. Should I test the water again every water change?
3. Would the water change if I add more soil and plants?
4. and I've read about the activated carbon, should I add some activated carbon inside my filter too? (I don't really know how it works. lol)
(You might have answered all of these questions. But I might have not understood it very clearly because I'm a newbie. and sorry for my english)
What are your readings right now? A week is a really short time for a cycle, even with bottled live bacteria.
I'm not sure how a filter cartridge can break. If you need to replace your cartridge because it's falling apart (that's the only reason to change media), you should run both the new and old media together in the filter (or close to it) for a couple weeks to transfer some of the bacteria.
No need to test after a change. But you might do it once or twice and see if you learn anything.
The water would remain the same. But with more plants in there, more of the ammonia will be removed by the plants and less by the bacteria.
I believe carbon serves no useful purpose in a Betta tank.
right now? pH is 7.8.. Ammonia is 0ppm. Nitrite is 0ppm. Nitrate is 10 ppm. I tried to test it everyday since last thursday. and it has been the same ever since.. lol. I did a 30% water change yesterday tho. and I tested it earlier, and it's still the same.. but I have a little bit of a problem with my betta right now. lol. I just noticed that his fins are curling.. >_<
A 10g tank will cycle almost automatically. Just do your normal routine 25% to 33% water change every week, including gravel vacuuming, and test for ammonia a couple times a week. Add Prime only if you see ammonia. But, then, a water change is called for.
Your tank will cycle and you may see little or no signs of it happening. That's one of the nice things about a 10g.
After the tank is cycled, if you decide to add snails shrimp or tankmates, follow the suggestions in the tutorial. Everything will go just as smoothly.
The Prime is to detoxify residual ammonia: the amount left after a water change, or the small amount that doesn't call for a water change, yet. A few drops every day doesn't hurt, and it removes stress from both the fish and the keeper.