Starting To Cycle

blissfulbunny

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Hi, I am setting up my 29 gallon. No fish yet, I have a plant order on the way. I was going to work on cycling after planting. But it looks like a little cycling is starting. Any reason why I shouldn't nurse that now? I do have some Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride and Seachem Stability to get going (haven't used them yet).

My stats stayed the same (until now).

Previous stats:
pH 8.3
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrates 0

I did put some fish food in my aquarium a few days ago, and it seems to finally be starting to cycle, at least a little.

New stats:

pH 8.2
ammonia .25 ppm
nitrite .25 ppm
nitrate 0

Yay! Pretty big deal for me!

Working on more stats:
KH 9/161.1 ppm
GH off the scale? API General Hardness Test Solution: I kept adding drops up to and past the 12, no change in color. I think I went to fifteen drops. Anyone encounter this?
 

AWheeler

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I'd go ahead and add that ammonia and the stability. I actually just looked it up and my gh readings were off the charts too, I ended up using 17+ drops. My ph also runs about 8.2. I think my kh is a little higher though.

I wouldn't worry about that though, unless you need to (and evidently you don't need to as much as I always though you need to)
 

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Hi, you might as well start the cycle. Do you know when you're hoping to get fish?

Your KH is ideal at 161ppm it means you'll have a very stable ph.
Your GH just shows you have hard water. Most captive bred fish can adapt to a higher ph and hardness.
 
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blissfulbunny

blissfulbunny

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Thanks for that info. I'm getting advice as I go along about steps in setup. I will definitely need some advice about when to add fish. I'm in no hurry but of course would like to introduce them when it is best for them and the water cycle.
 
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blissfulbunny

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So I dose until I reach 1.0 ppm? Then add the Stability bacteria starter?

Last night I did status check tests, then added about 20 drops of Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride (way less than it says on the bottle).

Last night (before ammonia):
pH 8.1 -- ammonia 0 -- nitrites .25 -- nitrates 0

This afternoon:
pH 8.2 -- ammonia .5 ppm -- nitrites .5 -- nitrates 0

Should I add some more ammonia (to get to 1.0 ppm)? When should I add supplemental bacteria?

I am looking through that article.

This is so weird. I'm trying to farm ammonia eating bacteria without starving them or wiping them out, LOL.
 

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Yeah, I'd bring it to 1.0 and then wait and test from there.
You add the bacteria supplement now while cycling.
 

CindiL

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You can post your results daily if you want, we can keep our eye on it for you too.
 
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blissfulbunny

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Hi, today's stats. The only change is nitrites went from .5 back to .25. I added ten drops of ammonia.

pH 8.2
ammonia .5
nitrites .25
nitrates 0
 
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blissfulbunny

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My plants came. I did a 1/3 water change getting them planted. The replacement water had a small amount of Prime (it doesn't take a lot). I'll post a photo of new plants when water clears.

I'll do a chemistry test round tomorrow. Planting underwater is VERY EXHAUSTING.

I really appreciate your help
 
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blissfulbunny

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HI I will wait until ammonia/nitrites drop to .25 to dose any more ammonia.

pH 8.0
ammonia 2.0
nitrites 1.0
nitrates 0
 
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blissfulbunny

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Hi, what happened I got distracted! This is important.

I tested this evening and it was grim. It explains the cloudiness not clearing by the filters.

Don't worry I didn't swap out my filter, LOL. I bought a AquaClear 70 on advice from experienced fishkeepers. Per these EFs, LOL, it's best to have a filter rated twice the tank capacity. I had a lot of detritus flying around after planting, so I set up the AquaClear to start getting some BBs there too. Let me tell you the detritus in my tank cleared up FAST.

Is it possible to have too much filtration?

Test results:
pH 8.0
ammonia 8.0 !!! I tested this twice
nitrites 1.0
nitrates 0

UPDATE: I now think I confused my pH test for my ammonia test. A goofy mistake. I'm goofy sometimes!

I immediately did a 50% water change and retested for ammonia: 2.0 ppm. Better. My poor plants. I used Prime for treating the incoming tap water.
 

CindiL

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Ok. Your plants will love the ammonia (if that's what you were referring to).

It is possible to have too much filtration if its blowing your fish around but other than that generally its only a good thing.
 
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blissfulbunny

blissfulbunny

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CindiL said:
Your plants will love the ammonia (if that's what you were referring to).
Yes, I thought the very high pH all day might have injured some plants. Mostly the chilensis broad leaf, the Vals and the Amazon Sword. They all seem to have long melting/brown at the tips. So they like ammonia? It must be something else. Maybe it's normal to get some tip die off with time, especially during transplant. Or maybe I didn't keep them completely wet when planting.

pH 8.0
ammonia 2.0
nitrites .25
nitrates 0

Should I wait? Or add BBs? (I haven't done that since last Monday). Another water change? (the water is a lot less cloudy after yesterday's 50% water change, but is still a bit cloudy).
 

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