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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank for Cycling Fish-In Method

Fish: Zen (Halfmoon)
Snail: Ram's Horn (1)
Plants: (one each) Moss Ball, Anubia, Tiger Lotus
(lotus to be added later)

Tank: Mr. Aqua 5.2 gallon Bowfront Cube 10x10x12
Heater: Hydor Theo 50 watt
Filter: ATI Hydro-Sponge I
Light: Dolphin LED Clip-on
Test Kit: API Master Freshwater
Water Conditioner: Seachem Prime
Substrate: Five pounds Pure Water Pebbles

Day 0

This method includes plants and obtained BB media, as well as Seachem Prime.

Tank arrived today, and it is beautiful. Filter arrived. Obtained substrate, BBmedia, and one Ram's Horn snail, as well as 1.5 inch diameter moss ball. Have anubia. Heater on way but old heater is holding.

Started tank. Applied media. After substrate and plants, tank holds 3.75 gallons water. Used .5 ml Prime per gallon. Allowed filter (which seems huge) to absorb media and clear water for a good two hours. Added snail and Zen. Aquarium store told me to give snail a green bean to feed him. He is eating bean now. Tank at 80 degrees fahrenheit. Zen exploring, fanning out his fins nicely. Tank is tall for a betta tho, 12 inches.
Placed two layers of white pebbled foam drawer liner under tank, using xacto knife to cut to size. Attached airstone inside filter. Plastic wrap on top until I do the lid construction.

More to come. All is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Tank Log

Day 1: tank set up and running for 18 hours

Baseline tap water test:

Ph: 7.6
Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrites: 0.0
Nitrates: 0.0

Tank Read: 1:30 p.m.

Ph: 7.6
Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrites: 0.0
Nitrate: 5 ppm (being conservative, it actually seems between 5 and 10 ppm)

I am not making this up! I am looking at the test tubes right now. Now what?
 

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That looks nice. I really like the look of that glass substrate. Float some of that Anubias as shade and hammock. They love it.

The nitrate reading is a little high for this early in the cycle. But it happens. Don't even worry about it until it gets near 40ppm.

What is your "high-range" pH reading? Sourcewater?

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Sourcewater: My well.
High Ph reading: 8.2 tank
High Ph reading: 7.4 well water

Now that is weird too...what would crank up the Ph that much? Something acidic for sure

Dang, Hallyx, I was hoping I was cycled in 18 hours. :twisted: Magical!!!
Truthfully, I don't know what to make of this. Am I cycled? Am I not cycled?
Just test for nitrates? Nitrates and Ammonia? I am all off my game, lol, this wasn't supposed to happen for a couple weeks at bare minimum so I hadn't planned this far ahead!!:roll: Can anyone weigh in on how to proceed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am a little dyslexic about Ph, so I just realized the high Ph read means the water is more alkaline. It could be the new gravel substrate.
 

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Your pH readings are identical to my well. When under pressure -- like in a well, or even with city water -- the CO2 is infused in the water which keeps pH lower. When pressure is released, it out-gasses and releases the CO2. This raises your pH.

Are you shaking the #2 Nitrate bottle energetically? Nitrate reads a bit high when it's not shaken well enough.

TSS usually doesn't take as long as a couple of weeks to cycle. Four to seven days is not unusual. As long as your ammonia is 0.0ppm and you have Prime, your fish is safe and happy. Just test every day and keep it below 0.50ppm with water changes using Prime, and 1-drop per day until nitrate consistently increases between changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Tank Log Day 2

Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 5-10 ppm

Same as Day 1.

I tested Ph of tap water and fridge filtered water after leaving them out all night. Right on Hallyx: sure enough they must be outgassing CO2:

Tap water overnight: 8.0
Fridge Filtered water overnight: 8.2

Hmmm, Hallyx, what do YOU do about Ph in your well water? I would be interested to know!!!

Yes, I am for sure shaking Nitrate 2 solution as well as test-tube as indicated.
Following all directions specifically. I will have this memorized shortly, lol.
P.S. it was not TSS, it was media from LFS. Probably more or less same difference.
P.S.S. Using Prime 1 drop per gallon daily as suggested.
 

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TSS is the same live bacteria you got from your LFS.

My fish live comfortably in >8.0pH. It's not ideal, but Betta are tough and will accommodate high pH. They don't really "adapt," but they put up with it without any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tank Log: Day 3

Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: .25-.50 (tinge of green in the yellow)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 5

Completed 50% water change, dosed with Prime.
Thanks, Hallyx for info about Ph and what you do with it.
 

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Are you feeding the tank? Adding fish food to the system just increases the bioload on the filter.

As I understand it, the bacteria attaches to the biofilm that develops on surfaces, so that means that the bacteria would have to wait for that to develop before they can begin colonizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Jaysee! not sure what you mean by feeding the tank...i am feeding Betta his little pellets twice a day. As well, i fed the snail green beans the first two days. some light brown film is accumulating on the little betta cave, and the filter is covered with it. I removed the left over green bean, what I could find of it, lol. does that answer? Is there another way to feed the tank? the snail is rambling all over everything and there is accumulation on the gravel as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tank Log: Day 4

Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 5.0 ppm
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tank Log: Day 5

Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: .50
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 5.0

Will do 50% water change with outgassed tap water, so as to not have a Ph swing, gently heated to tank temp.

So right now, looks like a 50% change every 2 days.
 

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You can use temperature-matched water from the tap. Shake it up a bit to outgas, if you must. But a pH excursion of up top 0.3pH points is no big deal. In other words, refilling 50% of your 7.6pH tank with 8.2pH water is fine.
 
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