20 Gallon Tank Is my tank salvageable?

cloverpile

Alright all the stuff I’ve ordered for my tank has arrived! Everything except my turbo start 700 but here’s what I’ve got
-dr Tim’s ammonium chloride
- seachem prime
-fresh water test kit
- imagitarium replacement filter sponge pro
- fluval eco spec flex bio max
- medium prefilter sponge
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Here’s the current condition of my tank. I rinsed the filter cartridge for my aqueon quiet flo filter it came with in a separate bowl with tank water and it’s been like this ever since. (5 days maybe)
This tank is uncycled since I didn’t have the proper equipment for said cycle! I’m trying the fishless cycle. How would you recommend I start my set up with my arrived items? Will it save this tank or should I start over? There’s Java ferns and a piece of spiderwood covered in biofilm in the tank btw. Thank you so much for anyone’s help!!
 

CrackerboxPalace

I would remove as much of that water as possible, salvage what plants you can and then fill it with prime treated water. It'll save you the hassle of having to clean your sponge filter for the next few weeks most likely.

As for the cycle, dose ammonia until the tank measures no more than 4ppm, once your filter is set up and pumping. Keep testing every couple of days until ammonia starts to drop, and when it drops start measuring nitrite. If it drops below 2ppm, add more ammonia. Ammonia and nitrite should be at a constant 2-4ppm, keep adding ammonia/doing water changes to keep this in balance. Eventually nitrite will begin to go down and nitrate will appear. Do a water change to remove most ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, then add 2ppm worth of ammonia, and test in the next 24 hours to see if there's a nitrate spike. If there is, your tank is ready to be stocked :)

Sorry if that's a little hard to follow.
 

mattgirl

I agree with changing out most of the water so you will be starting the cycle with fresh water. Once done and you have your Turbo Start follow the direction on the bottle. I have read some good words about this product but for the best results it is best to follow their recommendations. If it gives a specific ammonia level to start with follow that recommendation. We are defeating the purpose of using bottle bacteria if we don't use it just as directed.

My recommendations for cycling a tank might be different than what it says on the bottle so do as they say, not as I say :D

BTW: You may want to hold off on the water change until just before your get your bottled bacteria. I suspect there is already some bacteria in this tank. The live plants would have introduced some. That may explain the bacterial bloom you are experiencing.

If it is going to be a little while before you get the turbo start go ahead and add enough ammonia to this tank to get it up to 2ppm while you are waiting for the bottled bacteria to arrive. Just add half of what the ammonia bottle recommends. It seems following the directions on the bottle raises the ammonia level higher than we want it to be. By doing this you will have gotten a jump start on the cycle.
 

cloverpile

I agree with changing out most of the water so you will be starting the cycle with fresh water. Once done and you have your Turbo Start follow the direction on the bottle. I have read some good words about this product but for the best results it is best to follow their recommendations. If it gives a specific ammonia level to start with follow that recommendation. We are defeating the purpose of using bottle bacteria if we don't use it just as directed.

My recommendations for cycling a tank might be different than what it says on the bottle so do as they say, not as I say :D

BTW: You may want to hold off on the water change until just before your get your bottled bacteria. I suspect there is already some bacteria in this tank. The live plants would have introduced some. That may explain the bacterial bloom you are experiencing.

If it is going to be a little while before you get the turbo start go ahead and add enough ammonia to this tank to get it up to 2ppm while you are waiting for the bottled bacteria to arrive. Just add half of what the ammonia bottle recommends. It seems following the directions on the bottle raises the ammonia level higher than we want it to be. By doing this you will have gotten a jump start on the cycle.
My turbo start just came in the mail but bad news it may have been in there for about 3 days :[ I’ve been too busy to check the mail and it was pretty hot in there when I opened the package and I read somewhere you’re supposed to keep this bottled bacteria refrigerated. Will this bacteria still work?
 

Azedenkae

My turbo start just came in the mail but bad news it may have been in there for about 3 days :[ I’ve been too busy to check the mail and it was pretty hot in there when I opened the package and I read somewhere you’re supposed to keep this bottled bacteria refrigerated. Will this bacteria still work?
Yes, TurboStart instructions does say it needs to be refrigerated. Try dosing it anyways, I can't see any harm in your case.
 

mattgirl

My turbo start just came in the mail but bad news it may have been in there for about 3 days :[ I’ve been too busy to check the mail and it was pretty hot in there when I opened the package and I read somewhere you’re supposed to keep this bottled bacteria refrigerated. Will this bacteria still work?
I fear it won't but you have nothing to lose by trying.
 

cloverpile

Yes, TurboStart instructions does say it needs to be refrigerated. Try dosing it anyways, I can't see any harm in your case.
Sorry for coming back to an older post but I ended up taking out the filter and cleaning it with some tank water whilst waiting for the bottle bacteria and the following 2 days that passed and the bacteria arrived in the mail my tank was clear again! It’s still currently clear but lots n lots of the bacteria in the tank has clung onto my spiderwood. Should I still do a water change as well as taking out the spiderwood to scrub off the film so I can start my cycle again?
 

mattgirl

What you are seeing is not bacteria. We can't see bacteria. What you are seeing is bio-film. It is natural to see it while cycling a tank 'specially when you have natural decor (your wood and plants). I wouldn't try to scrub all of it off. It is just going to take longer to cycle this tank if you don't leave it alone. Each time you clean this tank you will be setting the cycle back. Change some water as needed but stop cleaning anything in the tank.

You've mentioned more than once about starting or restarting your cycle.Your cycle started as soon as you put water and decor in the tank, turned on your filter and added any kind of ammonia. Cycling a tank simply means growing ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. Once a tank has grown enough of it the tank is considered cycle.
 

cloverpile

What you are seeing is not bacteria. We can't see bacteria. What you are seeing is bio-film. It is natural to see it while cycling a tank 'specially when you have natural decor (your wood and plants). I wouldn't try to scrub all of it off. It is just going to take longer to cycle this tank if you don't leave it alone. Each time you clean this tank you will be setting the cycle back. Change some water as needed but stop cleaning anything in the tank.

You've mentioned more than once about starting or restarting your cycle.Your cycle started as soon as you put water and decor in the tank, turned on your filter and added any kind of ammonia. Cycling a tank simply means growing ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. Once a tank has grown enough of it the tank is considered cycle.
That makes sense… would I be okay to go ahead and set up my tank with the supplies I’ve ordered? Such as upgrading my filter.
 

mattgirl

That makes sense… would I be okay to go ahead and set up my tank with the supplies I’ve ordered? Such as upgrading my filter.
Yes, upgrading the filtration is almost always a good idea. When cycling a tank it is often best not to take anything out that would have bacteria growing on it already. Adding things though shouldn't cause problems. The only thing we should be taking out is water when a water change needs to be done.
 

cloverpile

Yes, upgrading the filtration is almost always a good idea. When cycling a tank it is often best not to take anything out that would have bacteria growing on it already. Adding things though shouldn't cause problems. The only thing we should be taking out is water when a water change needs to be done.
Ok! I’m gonna add my prefilter and a piece of the sponge I got but for the inside of the filter itself I have a hob type right… but I’m currently using the filter my aqueon came with and it has growth on it already. Should I just had a sponge behind it or the bio max I purchased?
 

mattgirl

I am not sure what you are asking. I will say, don't remove anything from your HOB filter. Just make room to add the new media along with what you have in there now. Use your imagination to make it fit.
 

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