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Heater and Cycling....

575 Views 11 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Foisair
So I've finally finished moving into my new apartment and am excited to get my 10 gal finally set up how I want it. (cycled, live plants, snails, cories and Merlin) I have the filter, new sand substrate, decorations (1 skull and 1 drift wood) and some live plants I will be transplanting from my 2.5 gal here at work (so 1 Amazon Sword and some Java Fern "babies").

Is this enough surface area to get started on my fishless cycle?

Can I add the heater later or should I wait to start until I have it? Does the tempature affect the cycle much?
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Sorry you didn't get a reply! I will do my best to answer :)
90% of bacteria grows on your filter sponge, so surface area in the tank really isn't that important.
I know bacteria grow fastest at 80F, so that could boost your cycle speed.
Be wary of high temperatures and cycling with food- mold will grow on your food. You can either remove it as soon as it gets moldy, or use a product such as Pimafix that will not harm your bacteria. I dropped in some Pimafix and my mold all but vanished (I was kind of lazy on keeping up with dosing so there is some left), since you do a large water change after the cycle completes, there should be no worry of Pimafix affecting your betta, as some say it can damage them.

I do not understand why you have no ammonia. You're testing for 0ppm? Have you testing nitrite/nitrate? It is possible that you are not putting in enough food, the plants could be gobbling up all the ammonia.

The wood is releasing tannins- this is healthy to a betta, but I don't think really brown is that great. You can boil the wood to release it's tannins faster (I would store the brown water from the boiling, and put it in periodically for health benefits). Slime is also quite common- this could be from the wood, or it could be water mould from the food.

here is a post I found, your slime looks like that? I would take it out and clean if, even if it can have some benefits, it is not very attractive to look at ;)
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Have you tried buying ammonia from the grocery store (only ingredients ammonia, water)? This would be much more effective..
I'm not really sure of the relation of plants to ammonia levels... I know it's possible to cycle in a planted tank, but depending on how much plants you put in, it could not be, you could just end up with a natural planted tank that never has ammonia due to a large amount of plants.. Adding in a few at a time would make sense after the tank is cycled, I am currently cycling with a huge hornwort, and my ammonia can't seem to get above 0.25ppm on week 3.. I have around 3ppm nitrite though, so I know it is progressing, I will just have to add fish more slowly over time. I am however getting a large shipment of plants in next week and have no clue how this could throw off my tank. To me it makes sense to cycle with/without plants in the beginning, add fish, then more plants.. or to cycle a large amount of ammonia with no plants, add fish, then plants.. I am no expert on that however, but adding them in the middle of a cycle might slow things down more.
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That article I posted says something about the gunk turning black I think..
Did you follow your test kit instructions really well? That's sometimes the problem.
I saw that too and didn't really get it. I always take it from the top, maybe try taking it from the middle just to see. Can you turn up your filter power a bit to circulate water more?
The internal whisper has a pretty strong flow, does it not? You could try aearation though. Other than that, sounds like a plan :p
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