Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As title says, went with the pure ammonia seeding option. Made sure it was actually pure ammonia, no soaps etc, no bubbles. Got it at a hardware store and everything (It's actually the Ace hardware brand ammonia, which flat up had people reviewing it for fish tank use! LOL) I've read a LOT on it, and everyone says it usually establishes a cycle in a 10g tank within a week, two max.

My problem is this; I started with too much ammonia (Ended up with a BLUE ammonia test following the directions for how much ammonia to add from all the guides. Guess mine was too strong) so after all most a 100% water change, finally diluted down to that range between 4ppm and 8ppm, which is what the guides say too. However, almost a week after that was established, I have -0- nitrites still. :/ Tank is sitting solidly in the 77-78 range as the heat of the day fluctuates, plenty of tank decos, and even a few live plants (which I almost fried to death with that initial ammonia, but they're coming back slowly but shortly now!). One group of plants has what looks like a slime/fuzz coat, so I was hopefully I'd see some nitrites today... nope.

Am I missing something? Do I just need to wait longer? Since I have a pure ammonia food source in there already, would it be beneficial to add some of the nitrite bacteria in a bag/bottle to help the cycle along? (I know I'd still need to wait for ammonia and nitrite levels to be zero and to have nitrate levels stable before adding fish) I know some swear by them and others say they're complete duds, but has anyone used it in conjunction with pure ammonia seeding?

Y'all must be so tired of cycling questions. I'm so sorry. :p
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
If this is for a Betta tank, any dosing over 1.0ppm is an overdose. Ammonia ~ 4.0ppm is the maximum dosage if you were cycling a high-bioload community tank. More than 5.0ppm ammonia can stall the cycle by preventing the nitrite oxidizing bacteria from multiplying.

For a Betta only tank, many members find it easier -- and just as safe -- to perform a fish-in cycle, using water changes to keep ammonia down and Prime to detoxify any residual ammonia.

CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care

Tetra Safestart contains the right strains of live bacteria to speed-up the cycle, both fishless and fish-in, but neither are necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Betta tank that we'd also like snails and (probably? Possibly? We're VERY VERY new aquarists, but we want the following really badly) a small group of ADFs. Shrimps are also on the "desire list" but we know that's basically a risk of live food depending on the betta and frogs. ;)
Yeah, I figured that the pre-water change "off the scale" ammonia time was a mulligan, and my post-water change was sitting around 4ppm... but my whole house has a hard time telling the 4ppm and 8ppm color difference apart.

I've done another water cut to see if I can get it between 2-4 instead of 4-8 tonight, and I was given a buttload of aquarium supplies, which did include some API Quickstart (that says it expires at the end of September). Once my ammonia levels are closer to 2ppm, would adding that be beneficial since it's been ruminating in (high) ammonia for almost two weeks? Its bacteria list is nitrosomonas eutropha and nitrobacter winogradski.
(also eesh, my plants are in rougher shape that I thought. What appeared to be recovering leaves were just slime waiting to fall apart, and one of the leaves left behind a fibrous skeleton of the leaf veins O_O )
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Nitrosomonas eutropha is a soil-acclimated nitrifying bacteria. N. Marinis (something like that) is for aquatics environs.
Nitrospira (something) has been identified (by Dr. Tim Hovanec in his thesis research) and the nitrite-oxidizing species. Try the Quickstart anyway. Won't hurt.

Having an ammonia-handling capacity larger than 4.0ppm/day is hardly necessary. That's plants plus the cycle. If your bioload is >4.0ppm/day, your tank is overstocked. What size tank?

In any event, get your plants healthy first.

Don't stock the shrimp until the tank is established and stable (a month or more).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I did the water cut I specifically went for 2ppm so there's that. I'm not sure if the plants can bounce back at this point? The rhizomes on the anubias is still green and the stems of the java fern, but I wasn't exaggerating about the leaves just being slime. The wisteria is also dark droop. o.o I feel really bad :c I just found multiple sites saying that ammonia based cycling needed a 3-5ppm test result. Even research can be off, I guess.

It's a 10g Top Fin starter tank. Our plan was betta, get the betta stable, then introduce ADFs post quarantine. Snails at the same time as betta maybe?
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Many sites give 3.0 ppm to 5.0ppm ammonia as targets -- 5.0ppm being the max for reliable bacteria growth; 3.0ppm a nice average for a responsibly-stocked community tank This jibes with 4.0ppm being my recommended maximum for stocking purposes. Opinions differ, as you can imagine, but most responsible keepers around here concur.

A planted 10g Betta tank needs no special procedure for producing a nitrogen cycle. It will cycle automatically. The weekly change usually being enough to control ammonia. You never even know it's happening.

As for the plants, I wish I could help you there. I was always under the impression that they used ammonia for food. I was never sure about their limitations when overdosed. Thanks for the data point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is there a plant wizard anymore? I know OFL was the go to, but she seems retired.

Oh, it's not a planted tank, just 1 floating anubias, 1 floating java fern, and 1 planted wisteria. Or, was. We'll see if they can come back. I DO finally have the beginnings of nitrite readings!!! I assume that it'll be important to remove the dead/dying things by the time the cycle is done and we're talking adding critters?
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Only the Wisteria is a good ammonia-eating plant. Your tank will cycle as if there were no plants. Just as well; that way you'll learn about the nitrogen cycle.

Yes, it's better to have healthy plants before stocking.

RussellTheShihtzu is good with plants. Several members over on the Planted Betta Tank section can help you more than I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nitrites AND Nitrates! But...

So, I'm at the final stretch and I am one part worried, one part probably over-eager. 4 days ago, I had my first day of nitrites strong enough to cut ammonia down from 2ppm to 0ppm. I've been at the 0 ammonia for 3 days now, and I dose about 3ish standard eye drops as I read so the nitrite is still eating.

However, my nitrates showed up the same day as my nitrites, about 30ppm the same day I got my nitrite spike. So, 3 full days as of tonight since my nitrite spike, and I've got way off the chart nitrites AND nitrates. I have read about people doing PWC at this stage to dilute them down enough to be able to measure them, but I'm paranoid about breaking my cycle since I've already had such major set backs.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Do a water change to drop the nitrite, it's probably due to the high amount of ammonia you started with. On the plants if the roots are still green don't worry too much I've got a few swords that melt and come back every so often. if the roots turn to mush they are no good and you will have to start over
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can say with certainty that a water change(~70%) lowered the nitrates, but not the nitrites hardly any. :c Thanks Mystic for the extra insight about my plants tho, that's very helpful/comforting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Your welcome ^^
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Persistent nitrite during cycling is not uncommon. The nitrite-oxidizing bacteria can be sensitive to too much ammonia. Keep changing water until the nitrite subsides, and cut back on the ammonia dose. The fact that your cycle is producing nitrate indicates that you have some NOB working. If it becomes annoying or you run out of patience, you can add a dose of Tetra Safestart which has strong NOB.

Nice thing about a first cycle, it should be your last. From now on you'll always have some fresh live cycling bacteria to start any other tank.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top