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Fastrack Cycling

Guest yabbie

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I have a 10 gallon goldfish tank that is already cycled so I thought I'd use that to fasttrack the cycling of a divided betta tank that I got second hand.

I ran a new box filter in the goldfish tank for a week with some filter media from one of their old filters. They have a cycled sponge filter running in the tank also.

After a week, I put the box filter in the new tank along with some pond water (which I thought would have lovely biobugs in it) and have been topping it up for the last two weeks with a bit of strained waste water every two days (to add ammonia) and a bit of treated fresh water. After two weeks the water level is almost to the top and the nitrites have started to rise. Is feeding the cycle a bit of waste water every couple of days going to be enough to fishless cycle the tank?

Also the divisions of the betta tank don't reach all the way to the floor of the tank, I presume for circulation, but that means I have to use gravel. The guy gave me his old gravel which I washed and baked in the oven but there seems to be a lot of white rock in it. The pH out of the tap is 7, and the water is really soft but the pH in the cycling tank is about 7.6, it still reads soft. Is the white rock raising the pH? Will water changes keep it stabilised when I eventually put fish in there? I'd prefer the water to be slightly below 7 for bettas.

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I'd suspect that waste water may not be enough, but I suppose you can actually see if it works with daily monitoring of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. Having said that, goldfish produce far more waste than bettas, so it could work.

You can check if the white rocks are dissolving with a little bit of vinegar. If it bubbles, then it is likely to raise your pH.

Slugger :)

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There have never been any ammonia readings (I test it a day after I add some waste water so maybe the ammonia -> nitrite bugs were established in the filter already) and the nitrites have dropped slightly so maybe the nitrite -> nitrate thing is starting to kick in.

I'll test the suspect bits of gravel. I would think they'd raise the hardness too... but then I suppose they could equally buffer. Thanks for the test idea.

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