Fishless cycle advise

jb153

Hi,
I am currently doing a fishless cycle on my third tank, a 60L. I dosed 3ml of Dr Tim's on day one. It has a Eheim 160 pick up filter, which had been in one of my established tanks for a couple of months directly prior to cycling.

After dosing ammonia, the ammonia level was higher than I would have liked (approx 4ppm) but not detrimentally high.

On day 8, tests showed ammonia 2-3ppm, nitrites 2-5ppm.

On day 9, tests showed around 2ppm ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 nitrates.

Yesterday (day 13), the results were the same so I did a 50-60% WC to decrease volumes of ammonia and re-seeded with some media from another tank. Tests today show 0.75-1ppm ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate.

More details below but can someone please advise me on what to do next? It feels as if my cycle has stalled.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?: 60L
What type of water are you using in your tank? (tap, well, RO/DI, other): tap
When did you start cycling the tank?: 14 days ago.
What type of filtration are you running on this tank? (sponge, HOB, canister, other): internal filter (Eheim pickup 160, sponge but seeded from an established tank)
Do you have good water agitation/surface movement?: Yes
What is the water temperature?: 26-27C

Products used while cycling
If this is a fishless cycle what ammonia source are you using? (fish food, Dr Tim’s ammonia, other): dosed 3ml of Dr Tim's on day one, as per dosage instructions.
If adding liquid ammonia how often do you dose ammonia in your tank and in what quantity? (1ppm, 2ppm etc.): Have not added since starting the cycle, was initially higher than I would have liked (approx 4ppm).
Are you using a dechlorinater and if so, which one?: seachem prime
Are you using bottled bacteria and if so, which one?: no
Did you add seeded media from a previously cycled tank?: Yes.
What other products/chemicals are you using? (list them all): none.

Testing and cycling process
What was your knowledge of the nitrogen cycle before beginning to cycle your tank? (none, beginner, intermediate (please explain), advanced): I've cycled 3 tanks previously, but I've never found the cycling process to go smoothly even though I understand the science and process in theory.
What do you use to test the water? (API liquid, test strips, other): API masterkit
Did you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, if so post the results below?:
0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, occasionally levels of nitrates <5ppm.
Have you done any water changes and if so, when?: yes, one, as discussed above. Yesterday.
How much water did you change?: 50-60%
Did you vacuum the substrate?: yes.
Did you clean your filter, filter media, decorations and/or glass?: no.
If using disposable cartridges have you replaced one recently?: no.


*Parameters - Very Important
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Tank water:
Ammonia: 0.75-1ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.4ppm

Tap water:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: generally 0ppm, occasional trace levels.
pH: 6.8
 

Azedenkae

Honestly your readings doesn't really make sense. :/

There does not seem to be a discernible pattern.

4ppm ammonia is not really very high, you are right. And day 8 results suggest ammonia oxidation has gone on, but not nitrite oxidation. 1ppm ammonia is converted to 2.7ppm nitrite, so it seems like within the ballpark figure we may expect. But the sudden disappearance of nitrite on day 9 makes no sense. 5ppm nitrate can make sense, as 2ppm ammonia converts to around 7.3ppm nitrate, so the test kit reading that closer to 5ppm is reasonable. But again, the sudden decrease in nitrite makes no sense.

The constant level of ammonia is also odd. If around 2ppm was consumed over 8 days, you'd expect about half (1ppm) to be consumed between days 9 and 13, but that's not what is seen.

And then your nitrate going to zero after the water change... that's odd too.

Your pH should be fine right now, though theoretically it was probably even higher before. Hm.
  1. What is the pH in your old tank?
  2. Do you have any plants or algae growing?
  3. Was the Eheim filter the only one running in the old tank?
 

mattgirl

Starting a tank with seeded media will normally help jump start the cycle in another tank but how well it works depends on the bio-load of the tank the seeded media is coming from. What kind of stocking do you have in the tanks the media came from? For reference, media from a betta tank will not have enough bacteria to quickly process as much ammonia as you added to this tank.

It is unusual for the nitrites to drop to zero when the ammonia doesn't appear to be going down. Tell us more about the tanks you took the media from and we can go from there.
 

jb153

Honestly your readings doesn't really make sense. :/

There does not seem to be a discernible pattern.

4ppm ammonia is not really very high, you are right. And day 8 results suggest ammonia oxidation has gone on, but not nitrite oxidation. 1ppm ammonia is converted to 2.7ppm nitrite, so it seems like within the ballpark figure we may expect. But the sudden disappearance of nitrite on day 9 makes no sense. 5ppm nitrate can make sense, as 2ppm ammonia converts to around 7.3ppm nitrate, so the test kit reading that closer to 5ppm is reasonable. But again, the sudden decrease in nitrite makes no sense.

The constant level of ammonia is also odd. If around 2ppm was consumed over 8 days, you'd expect about half (1ppm) to be consumed between days 9 and 13, but that's not what is seen.

And then your nitrate going to zero after the water change... that's odd too.

Your pH should be fine right now, though theoretically it was probably even higher before. Hm.
  1. What is the pH in your old tank?
  2. Do you have any plants or algae growing?
  3. Was the Eheim filter the only one running in the old tank?
Sadly, I am all too aware these readings don't make sense, hence my call for help.

Its the constant level of ammonia despite the original jumps in nitrite and nitrate that throws and frustrates me the most.

1. So I have 3 tanks.

Tank 1:
- 130L, a fluval u4 filter, also had the aforementioned eheim pick up, set up since december last year, has been a general nightmare since day one really. Chronically low pH for reasons I have not been able to ascertain despite a lot of research. At its highest stock it had 2 GBR, 6 cories, a handful of otos, a dwarf gourami, 7 harlequins and 5 guppies. Currently it only holds 2 GBRs and 6 cories until I figure out what's wrong with it - dont want to cause further suffering to any more fish. pH often tests around 6 for this but for the life of me I cannot work out why, but thats for a separate thread. I bought a replacement tank for it yesterday but the substrate, ornaments, plants, fish and filter are all the same. 24hrs after set up and its buffering at 6.6 ish.

Tank 2:
-130L, another eheim pick up 160 as well as a canister filter. Currently slightly overstocked due to rescues from tank 1 and waiting on tank 3 to cycle. This is where I took the media from after my WC yesterday. pH typically buffers around 7-7.4, similarly to Tank 3 and it has so far never caused me any issues that Tank 1 has which excludes tap water, plants and substrate issues since these are all common factors.

Tank 3:
Cycling.

2. I have taken some plants from the other tanks that are currently doing okay in the new tank. I also have seen algae developing on an ornament I placed in there from Tank 1.

3. No, as above it also had the u4. However, I am aware the original tank was understocked and overfiltered. But clearly bacteria developed at some point given the development of nitrites and nitrates and slight decrease in ammonia.
Starting a tank with seeded media will normally help jump start the cycle in another tank but how well it works depends on the bio-load of the tank the seeded media is coming from. What kind of stocking do you have in the tanks the media came from? For reference, media from a betta tank will not have enough bacteria to quickly process as much ammonia as you added to this tank.

It is unusual for the nitrites to drop to zero when the ammonia doesn't appear to be going down. Tell us more about the tanks you took the media from and we can go from there.
As I have just mentioned above, the original tank was somewhat over-filtered and understocked. However, bacteria have evidently developed given the results on day 8. I am not in a rush to cycle the tank, I am just trying to understand how and why such a linear process is taking place in such a non-linear manner.

Have a read through my response to the comment above and let me know if you have any further questions. :)
 

Azedenkae

Sadly, I am all too aware these readings don't make sense, hence my call for help.

Its the constant level of ammonia despite the original jumps in nitrite and nitrate that throws and frustrates me the most.

1. So I have 3 tanks.

Tank 1:
- 130L, a fluval u4 filter, also had the aforementioned eheim pick up, set up since december last year, has been a general nightmare since day one really. Chronically low pH for reasons I have not been able to ascertain despite a lot of research. At its highest stock it had 2 GBR, 6 cories, a handful of otos, a dwarf gourami, 7 harlequins and 5 guppies. Currently it only holds 2 GBRs and 6 cories until I figure out what's wrong with it - dont want to cause further suffering to any more fish. pH often tests around 6 for this but for the life of me I cannot work out why, but thats for a separate thread. I bought a replacement tank for it yesterday but the substrate, ornaments, plants, fish and filter are all the same. 24hrs after set up and its buffering at 6.6 ish.

Tank 2:
-130L, another eheim pick up 160 as well as a canister filter. Currently slightly overstocked due to rescues from tank 1 and waiting on tank 3 to cycle. This is where I took the media from after my WC yesterday. pH typically buffers around 7-7.4, similarly to Tank 3 and it has so far never caused me any issues that Tank 1 has which excludes tap water, plants and substrate issues since these are all common factors.

Tank 3:
Cycling.

2. I have taken some plants from the other tanks that are currently doing okay in the new tank. I also have seen algae developing on an ornament I placed in there from Tank 1.

3. No, as above it also had the u4. However, I am aware the original tank was understocked and overfiltered. But clearly bacteria developed at some point given the development of nitrites and nitrates and slight decrease in ammonia.
Sweet, lot's of good info here we can work with.

One thing about nitrifiers, is that there are so many different species that are adapted to very different conditions, and it seems that this includes different pH ranges. It is possible that the nitrifiers you had in Tank 1 are acidophilic, or at least better adapted to lower pH conditions (if they were ever very well established in the first place).

So transitioning to a much higher pH tank might have significantly stunted their nitrification capacity.

Still odd that you read nitrites that disappeared though. That, I still can't explain.

At least with plants and algae growing, that could have been taking up nitrate.

Regardless, my suggestion is to check that your test kit is not expired. Then if that's the case, we can start the cycling process as if from scratch (but not really).

First is pH. Set it to the pH (range) you are aiming for the live stock you plan to keep. If it varies too much from there, then the first thing to do is to remediate it so that it remains stably within that range.

Then we continue with the cycle. But yeah let's work on the pH first.
 

jb153

Sweet, lot's of good info here we can work with.

One thing about nitrifiers, is that there are so many different species that are adapted to very different conditions, and it seems that this includes different pH ranges. It is possible that the nitrifiers you had in Tank 1 are acidophilic, or at least better adapted to lower pH conditions (if they were ever very well established in the first place).

So transitioning to a much higher pH tank might have significantly stunted their nitrification capacity.

Still odd that you read nitrites that disappeared though. That, I still can't explain.

At least with plants and algae growing, that could have been taking up nitrate.

Regardless, my suggestion is to check that your test kit is not expired. Then if that's the case, we can start the cycling process as if from scratch (but not really).

First is pH. Set it to the pH (range) you are aiming for the live stock you plan to keep. If it varies too much from there, then the first thing to do is to remediate it so that it remains stably within that range.

Then we continue with the cycle. But yeah let's work on the pH first.
I have attached images of the tests on day 8 and 9 below, just to reiterate that I'm not going mental. The lighting makes the colours slightly off but you get the gist. Test kit expires in 2026.

Your theory about the nitrifiers made sense. I have always read that low pH makes it harder for bacteria to establish themselves so I assumed they'd thrive more in the new tank, but different strains makes sense. The nitrate likely also decreased with that 50-60% WC I did yesterday, so that being close to 0 doesnt surprise me so much.

I would ideally like the tank to buffer between 7 and 7.5, as it currently is. pH has been consistent throughout the cycle from what I have seen.
 

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jb153

I have attached images of the tests on day 8 and 9 below, just to reiterate that I'm not going mental. The lighting makes the colours slightly off but you get the gist. Test kit expires in 2026.

Your theory about the nitrifiers made sense. I have always read that low pH makes it harder for bacteria to establish themselves so I assumed they'd thrive more in the new tank, but different strains makes sense. The nitrate likely also decreased with that 50-60% WC I did yesterday, so that being close to 0 doesnt surprise me so much.

I would ideally like the tank to buffer between 7 and 7.5, as it currently is. pH has been consistent throughout the cycle from what I have seen.
Update: this morning's results. PH has dropped to 6.6-6.8. Nitrites have returned.
 

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Azedenkae

Update: this morning's results. PH has dropped to 6.6-6.8. Nitrites have returned.
That is definitely interesting. Haha, I am really tempted to suggest just letting it be and keep measuring parameters to see how it continues to change (or well, whether there will continue to be changes). Be keen to see if your nitrifiers truly are more effective at oxidizing ammonia and nitrite at a lower pH, or if a lower pH here is more a result of the nitrification.
 

jb153

That is definitely interesting. Haha, I am really tempted to suggest just letting it be and keep measuring parameters to see how it continues to change (or well, whether there will continue to be changes). Be keen to see if your nitrifiers truly are more effective at oxidizing ammonia and nitrite at a lower pH, or if a lower pH here is more a result of the nitrification.
Update 2: I'm even more confused, it's just yo-yoing.
 

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mattgirl

I probably should read back through the thread to see if there is a reason for working with a pH this low. If you could get and keep it up to at least 7 the cycle should keep moving forward. Adding media from your other tank(s) should have helped this tank cycle and settle fairly fast.

Seeded media normally works faster than anything in a bottle. The tanks you took this media from should have had enough bacteria to quickly cycle this tank. The cycling process slows down when the pH drops to 6.5 or so. It has been known to stall when it drops to 6 or lower.

The best advice i can give you for this tank is get the pH up to no less than 7. Higher would probably be even better.
 

jb153

I probably should read back through the thread to see if there is a reason for working with a pH this low. If you could get and keep it up to at least 7 the cycle should keep moving forward. Adding media from your other tank(s) should have helped this tank cycle and settle fairly fast.

Seeded media normally works faster than anything in a bottle. The tanks you took this media from should have had enough bacteria to quickly cycle this tank. The cycling process slows down when the pH drops to 6.5 or so. It has been known to stall when it drops to 6 or lower.

The best advice i can give you for this tank is get the pH up to no less than 7. Higher would probably be even better.
I agree and it was sat higher than that initially. I had similar trends/issues in tank 1 in terms of pH. Even after adding crushed coral, pH increased but only very temporarily. I can't seem to get it to buffer where I'd like it. I've even tried seachems buffer products to try to do it.
I probably should read back through the thread to see if there is a reason for working with a pH this low. If you could get and keep it up to at least 7 the cycle should keep moving forward. Adding media from your other tank(s) should have helped this tank cycle and settle fairly fast.

Seeded media normally works faster than anything in a bottle. The tanks you took this media from should have had enough bacteria to quickly cycle this tank. The cycling process slows down when the pH drops to 6.5 or so. It has been known to stall when it drops to 6 or lower.

The best advice i can give you for this tank is get the pH up to no less than 7. Higher would probably be even better.
For reference here are the pHs of tank 1, tank 2, tank 3 and my tap respectively.

I have no pH altering stuff in any of the tanks at the moment and my maintenance and routine for them all is identical so I cannot understand the variety.
 

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mattgirl

It is strange to see the pH so different in tanks using the same water source but of course you already knew that.

I had some thoughts on why the cycle is struggling in the tank you are trying to cycle. The pH is part of it but when i use seeded media to cycle another tank I move media and add fish right away. By doing so the bacteria is getting the same kind of food it is used to. I never see ammonia or nitrites and within a week or so I start seeing nitrates. In other words, I have instantly cycled another tank. As long as the bio-load in the new tank is lower than the tank the media came from there should be enough bacteria to prevent ammonia or nitrite spikes.

By feeding the media in this tank with liquid ammonia the bacteria may be struggling. It is used to ammonia produced by fish food and fish waste. I am going to recommend you start adding some fish food (preferably crushed flakes) to start feeding the bacteria some of the food it is used to. To keep the fish food from creating a mess in the tank put about a tablespoon of the fish food in a media bag and hang it in the flow of water. Add more fish food to the bag every third day.

If you don't want to hang a media bag in the tank just add a small pinch of crushed flakes every day for the first week. After that add it every third day. By adding the fish food you will be feeding the bacteria the food it is used to. This thread will explain my thoughts on adding fish food. PSA: Something I am seeing more and more often, fishless cycling.... | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 477380
 

Azedenkae

Update 2: I'm even more confused, it's just yo-yoing.
At this point I'd give it another day or two. One thing I am curious about is that ammonia does not seem to be significantly changing, despite that nitrite reading.
 

jb153

At this point I'd give it another day or two. One thing I am curious about is that ammonia does not seem to be significantly changing, despite that nitrite reading.
I am baffled but just standing back and monitoring it. May start adding fishfood as suggested above.
It is strange to see the pH so different in tanks using the same water source but of course you already knew that.

I had some thoughts on why the cycle is struggling in the tank you are trying to cycle. The pH is part of it but when i use seeded media to cycle another tank I move media and add fish right away. By doing so the bacteria is getting the same kind of food it is used to. I never see ammonia or nitrites and within a week or so I start seeing nitrates. In other words, I have instantly cycled another tank. As long as the bio-load in the new tank is lower than the tank the media came from there should be enough bacteria to prevent ammonia or nitrite spikes.

By feeding the media in this tank with liquid ammonia the bacteria may be struggling. It is used to ammonia produced by fish food and fish waste. I am going to recommend you start adding some fish food (preferably crushed flakes) to start feeding the bacteria some of the food it is used to. To keep the fish food from creating a mess in the tank put about a tablespoon of the fish food in a media bag and hang it in the flow of water. Add more fish food to the bag every third day.

If you don't want to hang a media bag in the tank just add a small pinch of crushed flakes every day for the first week. After that add it every third day. By adding the fish food you will be feeding the bacteria the food it is used to. This thread will explain my thoughts on adding fish food. PSA: Something I am seeing more and more often, fishless cycling.... | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 477380
 

Azedenkae

I am baffled but just standing back and monitoring it. May start adding fishfood as suggested above.
Eh I would not recommend adding fish food if you can avoid it. Since you are able to dose ammonia, that is far more preferable than adding food.
 

jb153

Given the only difference between them is the ornaments and the fact that Tank 2 (with the higher pH) has a piece of wood in it, what do you suggest I do to get the pH more consistent? I have tried crushed coral but it hasnt seemed to make too much difference. I'd like to aim for 7-7.5 given what I stock.

Your thoughts on cycling are really interesting, thank you. When doing a straight swap, like I did with Tank 1, I just moved all fish, ornaments, filters, plants, and substrate into the replacement tank and retain as much water as possible. This rarely results in a spike for me. However, the filter hasnt been in an 'active' tank for 2-3weeks now and thus is unlikely to host enough bacteria to hold off a spike. I will start adding fish food in the morning though, thank you!
Eh I would not recommend adding fish food if you can avoid it. Since you are able to dose ammonia, that is far more preferable than adding food.
I thought so too in terms of ability to dose. But what mattygirl is saying in terms of differing cycles and bacteria, it makes sense to me.
 

mattgirl

Given the only difference between them is the ornaments and the fact that Tank 2 (with the higher pH) has a piece of wood in it, what do you suggest I do to get the pH more consistent? I have tried crushed coral but it hasnt seemed to make too much difference. I'd like to aim for 7-7.5 given what I stock.
Normally crushed coral will help but since it isn't working for you maybe crushed oyster shells or some limestone will. It is very strange that it is so low in this tank while holding up in your other tanks. What is the pH of your tap water straight from the tap? I know you showed us pictures of several readings but I am not sure which one was the tap water. You can get a good idea of your actual pH by letting a container of it sit for 24 hours and run the test on it again. For some it goes up and for others, down.
Your thoughts on cycling are really interesting, thank you. When doing a straight swap, like I did with Tank 1, I just moved all fish, ornaments, filters, plants, and substrate into the replacement tank and retain as much water as possible. This rarely results in a spike for me. However, the filter hasnt been in an 'active' tank for 2-3weeks now and thus is unlikely to host enough bacteria to hold off a spike. I will start adding fish food in the morning though, thank you!

I thought so too in terms of ability to dose. But what mattygirl is saying in terms of differing cycles and bacteria, it makes sense to me.
We aren't depending in the fish food to control the amount of ammonia. This is why I recommend using both liquid ammonia and fish food. It doesn't take much fish food to give the bacteria what it needs.
 

jb153

Normally crushed coral will help but since it isn't working for you maybe crushed oyster shells or some limestone will. It is very strange that it is so low in this tank while holding up in your other tanks. What is the pH of your tap water straight from the tap? I know you showed us pictures of several readings but I am not sure which one was the tap water. You can get a good idea of your actual pH by letting a container of it sit for 24 hours and run the test on it again. For some it goes up and for others, down.

We aren't depending in the fish food to control the amount of ammonia. This is why recommend using both liquid ammonia and fish food. It doesn't take much fish food to give the bacteria what it needs.
The tank with the lowest pH is my original tank, Tank 1. I have never been able to get it much above 6.6 and it sits lower than that often. Tank 2, my healthiest tank, seems to have settled around the 7.6 mark, which is great for me. Tank 3, the one that is cycling, started at that 7.6 mark and is now at 6.6-6.8. The tap water I believe is around 7 looking at that photo. The order of the tubes is Tank 1, Tank 2, Tank 3 (cycling), and the tap water at the end.

I like your approach of both and will adopt it from here on.
 

mattgirl

The tank with the lowest pH is my original tank, Tank 1. I have never been able to get it much above 6.6 and it sits lower than that often. Tank 2, my healthiest tank, seems to have settled around the 7.6 mark, which is great for me. Tank 3, the one that is cycling, started at that 7.6 mark and is now at 6.6-6.8. The tap water I believe is around 7 looking at that photo. The order of the tubes is Tank 1, Tank 2, Tank 3 (cycling), and the tap water at the end.

I like your approach of both and will adopt it from here on.
As long as the pH in the cycling tank holds at the level it is at right now the cycle should move forward. With a pH of 7 in your tap water the crushed coral probably isn't going to do too much. I have to wonder if the pH of your tap water will go up after setting for 24 hours. If crushed coral hasn't helped crushed oyster shells or limestone probably won't either. We can work with what you are seeing in the tank right now. We just don't want it to go much lower. It is possible it can be controlled with water changes if your taps pH is higher after 24 hours.

Since the fish in tank # one are doing well and the cycle is stable we know the bacteria in it is used to the low pH. Media from it probably wouldn't have helped as much as media from tank # two. I suspect, since the pH started out about the same in this tank as what you are seeing in tank # two. eventually the pH in this tank will level out at the pH you saw when the tank first started out. The cycling process has been known to lower the pH. Once fully cycled it normally levels out.

I can't swear adding the fish food will solve all your problems but I have seen it help often enough to confidently recommend adding it.
 

Azedenkae

I thought so too in terms of ability to dose. But what mattygirl is saying in terms of differing cycles and bacteria, it makes sense to me.
I don't think it makes sense. Ammonia is ammonia, produced from whatever source - it is a very specific chemical. Plus, even if they are used to what is occurring in the original tank, it still makes no sense. What they are used to would not actually be fish food itself, but rather the poop from the fish - or the ammonia produced from fish poop. Fish food would then be a different thing than what they are used to anyways, if that was the case.

But anyways, your choice. Just for me, it makes zero sense to use fish food when ammonia-dosing is an option.
 

jb153

Still no real progress, lots of mixed results and ammonia steady at 1ppm. Tempted to clean up, do a 90% WC and then swap the 160 out for the 160 in tank 2, along with some tank 2 water and the fish destined for Tank 3. Is this okay/ethical or should I just be more patient?
 

mattgirl

Still no real progress, lots of mixed results and ammonia steady at 1ppm. Tempted to clean up, do a 90% WC and then swap the 160 out for the 160 in tank 2, along with some tank 2 water and the fish destined for Tank 3. Is this okay/ethical or should I just be more patient?
I would be tempted to just do it. Personally as long as we keep an eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed I don't see it as being unethical at all doing a fish in cycle.
 

jb153

I would be tempted to just do it. Personally as long as we keep an eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed I don't see it as being unethical at all doing a fish in cycle.
Okay, today I did the following:
Did a 95+% WC in Tank #3 and cleaned all the algae off of the glass, swapped the Eheim filters around so there's fresh Tank #2 bacteria in Tank #3 and took 30L of Tank 2 water with it to refill half of Tank #3, the other half was new water treated with prime. I have added my remaining 4 galaxy rasboras and a very handsome betta to the tank as well as some more swords and all seem happy so far. Parameters as follows:

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrates: 15ppm.
pH: 7

I have also been digging into my pH problems and bought a hardness test. gH seems fine but kH seems to be my problem, its sat at 3 degrees in all 3 tanks and the tap. In order to combat this, I have bought a canister filter for tank #1, in which I will put 1-2cups of crushed coral. Tank #2 already has a canister filter containing crushed coral but I have increased the amount and also added crushed coral to the internal eheim filter. I have added crushed coral to the eheim filter in the new tank too.

Thank you for your help so far!
 

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