How do people set-up and use a 10 gallon breeder tank?

Juggernaut

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Hi,

I switched from a 10 gallon tank to a 30 gallon tank because the 10 gallon was impossible to maintain - going out of cycle if I look at it the wrong way.

Now my Mollie is going to have babies soon, so I put it in my cycled 10 gallon tank, but after 1 week, I checked the levels again and now the tank is out of cycle. The only thing I did different was to put a new charcoal filter (let the new one sit in the tank for 1 week before replacing the old one, and I left the sponge there as per usual).

Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 10
pH 7.
Temp 78

In the past when the tank went out of cycle, most of the fish would die, despite water changes and adding safe-start, etc...

So how the heck am I supposed to have a safe tank for letting the Mollie give birth, if I cannot safely maintain a 10 gallon tank?
My 30 gallon tank is doing perfectly fine.

What do people do to make this work?

Thanks!
Juggernaut
 
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Juggernaut

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Hi Joel,

No, we just did a 30% water change before putting in the mother Mollie - we had not used the tank at all for about 1.5 months but we left the water in it, but there was no ammonia and no nitrite.

I actually am not sure if I check the nitrate level, but I cannot believe that the tank was not cycled at all at that time since there was still plenty of debris in the gravel (old food, feces) to generate ammonia when we did the water change.

So what do people do to maintain these tanks for breeding?
Should I be adding safestart every week?
Or do people get at least a 20 gallon for breeding since the 10 gallon tanks are so hard to stabilize?

Thanks!
Juggernaut
 
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Juggernaut

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Hi Aster.

The tank did not have any fish for about 1.5 months, so I see what you are saying.

However, there seemed to be plenty of debris in the gravel when we vacuumed and did a water change before adding the fish. Shouldn't all of that waste been enough to produce ammonia?

I usually do fishless cycles by just adding food to produce the ammonia, so I figured the waste was enough to keep the bacteria going...but perhaps I was wrong....
 

Aster

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I don't know how long fish waste continues to release ammonia. But the BB dying off is most likely because of starvation.
 
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