Starting a Cycle in a Bucket - the Experiment - Page 3

  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 37 - Success! Or Starting Over

The beard trim went really well. It can be hard sometimes, not cutting off too much. Or getting a lop-sided beard. I think this time I kept all the most important bits while retaining the ability to drink my mocha without straining it through my mustache.

On other, less critical but possibly equal awesomeness, my new water test kits finally came. Soooooooo much better. A lot easier to read too.


I switched out the media from the 20 with another bag from the bucket. I think I killed the original bag.

Bucket
Ammonia 3
Nitrite .01
Nitrate 50
dosed to 10+ -sadly, my new test kit does not show over ten

20 gallon
Ammonia .5
Nitrite .25
Nitrate100+

Very happy with those readings
....
tried to dose to 4 - it looks closer to 8

Darn it. If I have time this morning, I might do a water change to try and bring that down. I gotta get some work done first though. That took an hour using all vials

Edit: did a partial water change. Got the ammonia back down to 3. We'll see how it looks in the morning
 

Rockymountainstream

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Day 37 - Success! Or Starting Over

The beard trim went really well. It can be hard sometimes, not cutting off too much. Or getting a lop-sided beard. I think this time I kept all the most important bits while retaining the ability to drink my mocha without straining it through my mustache.

On other, less critical but possibly equal awesomeness, my new water test kits finally came. Soooooooo much better. A lot easier to read too.


I switched out the media from the 20 with another bag from the bucket. I think I killed the original bag.

Bucket
Ammonia 3
Nitrite .01
Nitrate 50
dosed to 10+ -sadly, my new test kit does not show over ten

20 gallon
Ammonia .5
Nitrite .25
Nitrate100+

Very happy with those readings
....
tried to dose to 4 - it looks closer to 8

Darn it. If I have time this morning, I might do a water change to try and bring that down. I gotta get some work done first though. That took an hour using all vials
I know what you mean trying to trim the beard. Looking into the mirror and everything is backwards. That is why I only shave it back when I can't eat anymore. Thing do look better with your test, though I am not an expert.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 39 -

I missed getting the numbers yesterday. I was too busy with work in the morning and too tired after work that night.
Today I got the expected numbers. The 20 and the bucket were both zeroes on ammonia and nitrite. Nitrates were pretty reasonable.

I dosed the tank to 5 ppm (I was aiming for 4.5 but missed) and the bucket to 12 ppm.

If the tank can clear 5 ppm tomorrow, I will assume it is fully cycled. I suppose even if it gets it down to 1 ppm, I would be pretty satisfied.
The guy building my tank said it should be done in two weeks. If the tank is really cycled, I am a bit tempted to go shopping. Any fish I get, I want to quarantine for three weeks to a month anyways. If I started them at the end of the week, that would be about right time wise. Probably foolish though.
 

mattgirl

Member
Just a thought....If the fish you are shopping for will be the first fish in the tank they really don't need to be quarantined. Your tank will actually be a quarantine tank. If all are healthy the next batch of fish will need to be quarantined in the 20 though.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
mattgirl said:
Just a thought....If the fish you are shopping for will be the first fish in the tank they really don't need to be quarantined. Your tank will actually be a quarantine tank. If all are healthy the next batch of fish will need to be quarantined in the 20 though.
Well, that's true. And I think my first batch of fish are going to come from a local breeder anyway, so the quarantine will not be so critical.
Sigh. I wish I could get started
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 40

Bucket

Ammonia .5 ppm
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 150+

Redosing to 13.5ppm ammonia

20 gallon
Ammonia 3
Nitrites 2
Nitrates 50

No new ammonia for the fishtank. Gonna wait for it to clear. I probably put too much ammonia in yesterday
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 41 - What is wrong with this tank? or The Disgruntled Beard

Ammonia - still 3
Nitrites - 7
Nitrates - 70

Is it stalling again? So frustrating

Bucket

Ammonia 3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250

No ammonia for anybody till you all finish what's on your plate
 

mattgirl

Member
Strange that the ammonia is still 3 but both nitrites and nitrates have gone up in the tank but of course I am stating the obvious.

At least you are still at 0 nitrites in the bucket. I have to wonder if you have just about reached the limit as to how much ammonia the bucket is able to process and that is why it has slowed down to a crawl.
 

John58ford

Member
I haven't read every post in this verbatim but I've been following along and rooting for you.

Is it possible that 3-4ppm is just the max on your kit and you are overdosed(stuff happens)? Have you been doing the dilution method to confirm your test?

Would explain why the other numbers continue rising.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
John58ford said:
I haven't read every post in this verbatim but I've been following along and rooting for you.

Is it possible that 3-4ppm is just the max on your kit and you are overdosed(stuff happens)? Have you been doing the dilution method to confirm your test?

Would explain why the other numbers continue rising.
How do you do the dilution test? The bucket is still growing in its abilities, but yeah, more slowly.
 

John58ford

Member
The way each of us do the test depends our measuring devices I'm sure. I personally use a graduated 10ml syringe to draw water out of my tanks for testing. It has clearly marked divisions and the easiest measurement is the ml and .5ml. API kits use 5ml of liquid so I use 1:4(1/5) or 2:3(2/5) or 1:1(1/2) ratio of tank water and fresh water to dilute sample. At 1:1 (2.5 ml tank water, 2.5 ml fresh water) in the tube, I run the test as normal, if I were to get a 2ppm result, I would know the sample water was 4 ppm. If I dilute to 1:4, and get a 1 ppm result I would know it is 5 ppm, 2ppm is 10, and so on. At 2:3 1ppm is 2.5.

The easiest to eye ball is 1/2 and 1/4. If you don't have any way to measure, fill one tube to 5ml of tank water, dump half out, fill it up to 5ml with fresh water and you are at 1/2, dump half of that and fill to 5ml with fresh water now you are at 1/4. At 1/4 dilution 1ppm is 4ppm actual. This is obviously going to get less accurate with every dilution so I don't recommend eye ball past 1/4 but it should get you in the ballpark if you are over dosed on ammonia. This works on nitrate and nitrite as well, obviously not the way to go for pH or any of the mineral/hardness tests.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
John58ford said:
The way each of us do the test depends our measuring devices I'm sure. I personally use a graduated 10ml syringe to draw water out of my tanks for testing. It has clearly marked divisions and the easiest measurement is the ml and .5ml. API kits use 5ml of liquid so I use 1:4(1/5) or 2:3(2/5) or 1:1(1/2) ratio of tank water and fresh water to dilute sample. At 1:1 (2.5 ml tank water, 2.5 ml fresh water) in the tube, I run the test as normal, if I were to get a 2ppm result, I would know the sample water was 4 ppm. If I dilute to 1:4, and get a 1 ppm result I would know it is 5 ppm, 2ppm is 10, and so on. At 2:3 1ppm is 2.5.

The easiest to eye ball is 1/2 and 1/4. If you don't have any way to measure, fill one tube to 5ml of tank water, dump half out, fill it up to 5ml with fresh water and you are at 1/2, dump half of that and fill to 5ml with fresh water now you are at 1/4. At 1/4 dilution 1ppm is 4ppm actual. This is obviously going to get less accurate with every dilution so I don't recommend eye ball past 1/4 but it should get you in the ballpark if you are over dosed on ammonia. This works on nitrate and nitrite as well, obviously not the way to go for pH or any of the mineral/hardness tests.
I might give that a try. My new test kit comes with clearly marked vials. I should be able to do all that
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 42 - Clear and Cloudy

The bucket has cleared again
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250.
Dosing to 13.5 ppm again. Hopefully it can clear in a day this time

20 gallon
Ammonia 3
Nitrites 20
Nitrates 100


I need to do a full water change on this tank and re-start it. Sadly, my spare bucket and bubbler are full of live crabs right now that my wife is going to cook tonight.

I am changing the filter on this tank. I bought the tank as an impulse buy. There was a pretty 20 gallon tank, sitting there. I needed a 20 gallon tank. And look, this tank has a built in trickle filter on the back! How cool is that?

But having a lot of space for filter material doesn't mean much with an anemic power head. The pump puts out such a low flow of water, you can't even see any water movement in the filter. I will try to add pics. I am pretty disappointed. I tried changing the pump out, but nothing else will fit.
I really regret this tank. I could've had a 25 gallon tank with the same footprint.

Anyway, I am putting a small HOB on to boost the gph. The HOB does 500 L/Hour. The tank is almost 100 liters.
Media comes from the bucket.

We'll see how it looks tomorrow and then a full water change.

If I get such wonky numbers again, i will run a dilution test too.
 

John58ford

Member
I love that tank, sorry you aren't happy with it. I build all-in-ones like that whenever I have the time, I keep my heaters in the rear chambers too. Should be relatively easy to find a bigger pump to fit that tank. You will get better flow if you run it fuller too. The head height the pump has to lift against can be fought a bit by adding water up to head. Second thing that could help that pump is look at how it's made, if it's drawing water from between it's suction cup feet, trim the hose and orient the pump so it's sitting with it's feet down. A shorter hose will help, as will lowering the suction relative to the fill level. The biggest help will be the water level though. I can hear a difference in 3 inches of water above my pumps, it's the difference in working barely, and working as designed.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
John58ford said:
I love that tank, sorry you aren't happy with it. I build all-in-ones like that whenever I have the time, I keep my heaters in the rear chambers too. Should be relatively easy to find a bigger pump to fit that tank. You will get better flow if you run it fuller too. The head height the pump has to lift against can be fought a bit by adding water up to head. Second thing that could help that pump is look at how it's made, if it's drawing water from between it's suction cup feet, trim the hose and orient the pump so it's sitting with it's feet down. A shorter hose will help, as will lowering the suction relative to the fill level. The biggest help will be the water level though. I can hear a difference in 3 inches of water above my pumps, it's the difference in working barely, and working as designed.
I'll look for another pump again. I was pretty stoked about not having any equipment visible. Gonna try re-positioning the pump too. I think it was feet down originally
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Day 43 - A Good Day

20 gallon

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 20+
Nitrates 250+

The HOB cleared the ammonia pretty well. The nitrites are locked up. In my bucket so far, I have not seen de-nitrifying bacteria work when the nitrites were much over 5.
I'm going to do a full water change and re-dose to 4.5. I suspect this tank is cycled. Find out tomorrow.
Also going to try and fix the power head like John58ford suggested, while I'm at it

The Bucket

Ammonia 3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250+

I seem to have hit the ceiling for ammonia in the bucket. It can handily do 10 or 11, but it doesn't seem able to do 13+ ppm ammonia.
It can definitely handle the nitrites though.

I am going to give the bucket a rest and just feed it a couple times a week. It's next big test, the real test, will be when I move the media to the big tank. Then we'll see if it's all been worth it.

I will probably post tomorrow with an update on the 20, but I think this experiment has run its course. I am pretty happy with the results, I think.

Thank you everyone for reading along. I have really enjoyed your insights.

-Big Beard
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Day 43 - A Good Day

20 gallon

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 20+
Nitrates 250+

The HOB cleared the ammonia pretty well. The nitrites are locked up. In my bucket so far, I have not seen de-nitrifying bacteria work when the nitrites were much over 5.
I'm going to do a full water change and re-dose to 4.5. I suspect this tank is cycled. Find out tomorrow.
Also going to try and fix the power head like John58ford suggested, while I'm at it

The Bucket

Ammonia 3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250+

I seem to have hit the ceiling for ammonia in the bucket. It can handily do 10 or 11, but it doesn't seem able to do 13+ ppm ammonia.
It can definitely handle the nitrites though.

I am going to give the bucket a rest and just feed it a couple times a week. It's next big test, the real test, will be when I move the media to the big tank. Then we'll see if it's all been worth it.

I will probably post tomorrow with an update on the 20, but I think this experiment has run its course. I am pretty happy with the results, I think.

Thank you everyone for reading along. I have really enjoyed your insights.

-Big Beard
Nice! This could be a new revolution for fish stores. They could sell cycled media to people!
 

Rockymountainstream

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Day 43 - A Good Day

20 gallon

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 20+
Nitrates 250+

The HOB cleared the ammonia pretty well. The nitrites are locked up. In my bucket so far, I have not seen de-nitrifying bacteria work when the nitrites were much over 5.
I'm going to do a full water change and re-dose to 4.5. I suspect this tank is cycled. Find out tomorrow.
Also going to try and fix the power head like John58ford suggested, while I'm at it

The Bucket

Ammonia 3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250+

I seem to have hit the ceiling for ammonia in the bucket. It can handily do 10 or 11, but it doesn't seem able to do 13+ ppm ammonia.
It can definitely handle the nitrites though.

I am going to give the bucket a rest and just feed it a couple times a week. It's next big test, the real test, will be when I move the media to the big tank. Then we'll see if it's all been worth it.

I will probably post tomorrow with an update on the 20, but I think this experiment has run its course. I am pretty happy with the results, I think.

Thank you everyone for reading along. I have really enjoyed your insights.

-Big Beard
I have enjoyed your experiment. It was fun and informative. You have also answered some questions I have wondered about. Thanks and good luck
 

mattgirl

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Day 43 - A Good Day

20 gallon

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 20+
Nitrates 250+

The HOB cleared the ammonia pretty well. The nitrites are locked up. In my bucket so far, I have not seen de-nitrifying bacteria work when the nitrites were much over 5.
I'm going to do a full water change and re-dose to 4.5. I suspect this tank is cycled. Find out tomorrow.
Also going to try and fix the power head like John58ford suggested, while I'm at it

The Bucket

Ammonia 3
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 250+

I seem to have hit the ceiling for ammonia in the bucket. It can handily do 10 or 11, but it doesn't seem able to do 13+ ppm ammonia.
It can definitely handle the nitrites though.

I am going to give the bucket a rest and just feed it a couple times a week. It's next big test, the real test, will be when I move the media to the big tank. Then we'll see if it's all been worth it.

I will probably post tomorrow with an update on the 20, but I think this experiment has run its course. I am pretty happy with the results, I think.

Thank you everyone for reading along. I have really enjoyed your insights.

-Big Beard
Please don't leave us hanging. I am anxious to see if you will have grown enough bacteria to instantly cycle your big tank enough to stock it pretty quick. I feel sure there will be enough for a low bio-load but am curious as to just how much you will have grown.

I feel sure you will test this to find out just how much ammonia the big tank will process once you move all this seeded media over to it.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
mattgirl said:
Please don't leave us hanging. I am anxious to see if you will have grown enough bacteria to instantly cycle your big tank enough to stock it pretty quick. I feel sure there will be enough for a low bio-load but am curious as to just how much you will have grown.

I feel sure you will test this to find out just how much ammonia the big tank will process once you move all this seeded media over to it.
Oh, I'll post that I can't wait to see that too. I'll test the 20 tonight too. I want to make sure that one is ready. My tank should be done in about ten days. Then cycle and work on the substrate. Then add vallisneria and let it catch hold. The fun part is almost here.
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Well, the bucket has finally come to an end. The big tank is up and running and the ceramic balls have found a new home.
I had been planning on dosing the big tank to 4 ppm of ammonia, but I don't have enough ammonia to do it. I do however, have three Africans ready to move into their new home. The tank is so big, I'm not too worried about an ammonia spike. And I believe my bucket batch should be able to handle three small fish handily. But I will keep a pretty close eye on the water quality.
Thank you all for reading along. I have really appreciated all the help too. I learned a lot through all of this. And a big special thank you to mattgirl, you are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

-Big Beard
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Well, the bucket has finally come to an end. The big tank is up and running and the ceramic balls have found a new home.
I had been planning on dosing the big tank to 4 ppm of ammonia, but I don't have enough ammonia to do it. I do however, have three Africans ready to move into their new home. The tank is so big, I'm not too worried about an ammonia spike. And I believe my bucket batch should be able to handle three small fish handily. But I will keep a pretty close eye on the water quality.
Thank you all for reading along. I have really appreciated all the help too. I learned a lot through all of this. And a big special thank you to mattgirl, you are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

-Big Beard
What's the final stocking?
 
  • Thread Starter

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
What's the final stocking?
I'll post it in the other thread. I have a lot to type on that one
 

mattgirl

Member
I am thrilled to hear this Thank you for sharing this experiment with all of us. It has been rocky at times but never boring.
 

Rockymountainstream

Member
I agree, it was very interesting and I learned alot.
 

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