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Guest Lorelei

Tank Is Not Cycling And Pet Store Thinks I'm An Idiot

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Guest Lorelei

Hi all,

This is going to be a call for help and also a rant. I cried for an hour after going to the pet store and I need advice and some straight information. This is a looooong post.

So I'm trying to do a fishless cycle. I followed the instructions on the site, and I've been looking at a lot of other webpages to see a variety of techniques and stuff to make sure I'm doing everything correctly. I have a ten gallon (I have only one fishie, and I plan on getting him a bigger one when I move in a couple of months) and it's been sitting there for four weeks and the nitrites have STILL not showed up. Ammonia has been steady at 4.0 ppm since I started, and every week that I have not seen nitrites, I've put in another capful of the bacteria I bought at the store. Nothing.

So, I decided to go to the local pet store to try and ask them if I could maybe have some of their cycled tank water so I could have bacteria from an established tank, because I suspected that the bacteria I bought in a bottle (API) was already dead when I bought it or something and perhaps that's why it wasn't working. I don't have anyone I know with a tank whose filter media I could borrow or anything. I have a 1 gallon (from before I learned that 1 gallon tanks are a horrible idea) but since I do daily or once-every-two-days water changes, I'm not sure there would be any bacteria in there for me to put in the new tank? The store only sells fish, birds, and small rodents and they're a very small business so I thought maybe they'd be more knowledgable than nnnn or something.

I try to explain that I'm doing a fishless cycle and before I even get to explain everything I'm doing or explain why I'm doing it this way, these two guys start talking to me like I'm an idiot and condescending me.

'You put hardware store ammonia in your tank?!'

'Yes. Without soap, just pure ammonia.'

'Well, you're going to kill your fish that way!'

'My fish isn't IN the tank!'

'Well, the reason nothing is happening is because the bacteria don't eat non-biological ammonia! Where did you even hear about this, THE INTERNET? HAHAHAHAHAHA.'

'Yeah, I did, actually, and it seems a multitude of people have cycled their tanks this way JUST FINE.'

So I walked away for awhile and came back to them.

'So why do YOU think is the point of cycling a tank?'

'To establish bacteria.'

'Right. And how do YOU do it?'

'Well, do you have a filter?'

'Uh huh.'

'If you fill your tank with water, put some StressZyme in it, and let it stand for 24 hours, your tank will be cycled.'

WHAT?!?!?!?!?! That isn't right, is it?! Please, someone tell me I'm not crazy. I've been reading up on this for a while and spent a lot of time researching how to cycle my tank and this just.... I mean, and then this woman claimed that the reason I'm not getting nitrite readings is because the ammonia->nitrite->nitrate cycle happens so quickly that I wouldn't catch a nitrite reading anyway (????? Is that true?!). And I KNOW I've read that turning on the filter, putting in some stresszyme, and letting the water stand for a day or two just dechlorinates the water. I'm so confused and frustrated. I actually started crying because they talked to me so condescendingly and made me feel so stupid and they just would not even LISTEN to me.

I know you guys have said that the people at pet stores don't know what they are talking about when it comes to fish. So can you help me out and tell me if they're right or what? And could I please have some suggestions for cycling my tank because I can't understand why a little 10 gallon tank is taking so long just to get a nitrite reading. I'd like to get my little guy in there soon but I don't want him to be in there while it's cycling because I don't want him to get hurt and he already has one or two scales missing and I'm afraid that with the possibility of burns from tank cycling, it would just be that much worse for him.

What should I do, y'all? :'(

Thanks,

Lorelei

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Guest Paradise-Panda

Now i'm no expert. but i'm pretty sure that if the "bottled bacteria" is not refrigerated then it is not active bacteria and is no help when cycling a tank, and you are totally right for not believeing that whole "put some stresszyme in and let it sit" schtick :) . Boispira is a good cycling product that should help you get it started I think. Personally I've never done fishless cycling but may be someone on here who has can give you a little more advice.

and P.S. your NOT an idiot, I've encounted some people like that in petstores before and the best thing to do is just do as much research as you can and try not take EVERYTHING they say straight to heart. There are siome knowlegable petstore people out there but the unknowlegable ones out number them in most cases. :D

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I'm sorry you got the biggest loser in the whole petstore industry helping you ...best thing to do is ask them nothing ..you will get the odd one that knows about fish and knows what you are talking about ..but for every one of the knowledgable help ..there is 20 that are not ..most are people putting in time and are doing what they are told to do .here is a place to start check the kh of water source if your kh is low and it should be over a 100 you will have a hard time getting nitrites ..also temp ,warmer water will cycle faster ..and ph out of tap and in tank get these tests ans a mod can help you further ...I however have never done a fishless cycle ..and NEVER be desperate enough to use any used media from the local fish store they WILL contain everything you do NOT want in your tank ..that is why a new fish is in Q for 4-6 weeks before added to the main tank so get the test results of your water source and hpefully someone with more experience will chime in

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YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! I am so sorry you had such a rotten experience-- those JERKS (for lack of a stronger word, grr) know absolutely NOTHING.

There is no difference between "hardware store ammonia" and biological ammonia-- it is a chemical formula of nitrogren and hydrogen.

There is no way that a tank cycled so fast that you "missed" the nitrite.

YOU ARE TOTALLY CORRECT. If I lived near you, I would go visit that LFS and give them a piece of my mind! They have absolutely NO RIGHT to treat you that way, I don't care WHERE you are getting your information from or HOW wrong you are!! I am so mad at them for you Lorelei! I would never go back to that store again if I were you!

As for your cycling problem, I agree with Heidi: I would not use any precycled media from an LFS, given how laden with disease all of them are. You want to start off fresh! Fishless cycling can be a huge pain and take forever and be the most frustrating thing in your whole life-- just ask Kristen (Acupunk) or Desiree! Heidi has given you some good tips, but I suggest you look up Acupunk's and Desiree's threads on their cycle frustrations and see if you can't learn something about your own process from theirs.

Good luck!

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Number one: You are not an idiot, and the pet shop is (unprintable words) for making you feel that way.

Well, I've actually done a fishless cycle on a 20 gallon tank, and it worked fine using store-bought ammonia. However, the waiting for it to cycle was very frustrating, so I feel your pain.

Have you only added the ammonia once, or have you continued to add a bit every day?

In my case, I started with the ammonia at 2.0, and I think some media from my existing tank. Is there anything like gravel or a filter on your current tank that you can take a bit of to jump start your new tank?

My nitrites started showing up after the first few days, but I stalled with high nitrites (off the chart) for 3 or 4 weeks. They only started going down after I did a water change to bring them down to less than 2.0. If the ammonia is showing at the top of your testing kit, you could actually have more in there than you think, and you could try a water change to bring the ammonia down a bit.

Cycling is a frustrating process, but at least with a fishless cycle you don't have to worry about hurting your fish as ammonia and nitrites soar.

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Oh, I just thought of something to add. You mentioned that you wanted to get cycled water from the LFS to help your cycle-- even if their water is pristine, that unfortunately won't work! The vast majority of the colony of bacteria live in the filter media, with a smaller percentage living in any gravel you might have. There's almost none in water, which is why it is safe and at times recommended to do 100% water changes.

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Guest Lorelei
Now i'm no expert. but i'm pretty sure that if the "bottled bacteria" is not refrigerated then it is not active bacteria and is no help when cycling a tank, and you are totally right for not believeing that whole "put some stresszyme in and let it sit" schtick :) . Boispira is a good cycling product that should help you get it started I think. Personally I've never done fishless cycling but may be someone on here who has can give you a little more advice.

I'll look for boispira next time i go to a petstore that ISN'T this one. :) thank you!

here is a place to start check the kh of water source if your kh is low and it should be over a 100 you will have a hard time getting nitrites ..also temp ,warmer water will cycle faster ..and ph out of tap and in tank get these tests ans a mod can help you further ...I however have never done a fishless cycle ..and NEVER be desperate enough to use any used media from the local fish store they WILL contain everything you do NOT want in your tank ..that is why a new fish is in Q for 4-6 weeks before added to the main tank so get the test results of your water source and hpefully someone with more experience will chime in

thank you for your help! i turn my air conditioner off for most of the day, and i'm in the warmest room in the house, so my fishtank is usually at 80 degrees. i tested my pH, it was sort of low, so i made it about 7.2 (i had read that the cycling goes better if the pH is higher, is that true?)... i do not have a kh test though, i will have to look for one at the other pet store. :)

and i had no idea pet store media would be so gross!! i am so glad i didn't get any. i just didn't know what to do anymore! thank you and thoughtsofjoy for telling me!

YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! I am so sorry you had such a rotten experience-- those JERKS (for lack of a stronger word, grr) know absolutely NOTHING.

There is no difference between "hardware store ammonia" and biological ammonia-- it is a chemical formula of nitrogren and hydrogen.

There is no way that a tank cycled so fast that you "missed" the nitrite.

YOU ARE TOTALLY CORRECT. If I lived near you, I would go visit that LFS and give them a piece of my mind! They have absolutely NO RIGHT to treat you that way, I don't care WHERE you are getting your information from or HOW wrong you are!! I am so mad at them for you Lorelei! I would never go back to that store again if I were you!

As for your cycling problem, I agree with Heidi: I would not use any precycled media from an LFS, given how laden with disease all of them are. You want to start off fresh! Fishless cycling can be a huge pain and take forever and be the most frustrating thing in your whole life-- just ask Kristen (Acupunk) or Desiree! Heidi has given you some good tips, but I suggest you look up Acupunk's and Desiree's threads on their cycle frustrations and see if you can't learn something about your own process from theirs.

Good luck!

thank you so much thoughtsofjoy! your post made me feel so much better (everyone's did, but i always feel comfort in someone being outraged with me, lol). i know, i was so mad and upset while i was in there and when i got out. i wrote out the dialogue while i was still mad so it sounded like i gave them a lot more attitude than i really did. i was trying really hard to just tell them what i was talking about and whatever and they all just jumped on me. :( one of them even followed me out of the store to tell me that i should just put my fishie in the tank and not worry about it. IHCIUDFHUIEFhiouEHRFIPUWHU. had they LISTENED, they'd know why i wouldn't want to do that. and i am definitely never going back there. this is the same place that while i was nicely just trying to buy some test kits and gravel and stuff for my tank, a sales associate overheard me tell my boyfriend that i was gonna go look for a thermometer and this dude tells me i don't need one. ??? i mean i guess it isn't totally necessary maybe but i got one later and it's so nice to just know what's going on in your tank in that regard! there's another local petstore and a big chain petstore (i tried to type the name in the OP but it turned it into nnnnn's?) so i will try there tomorrow.

Number one: You are not an idiot, and the pet shop is (unprintable words) for making you feel that way.

Well, I've actually done a fishless cycle on a 20 gallon tank, and it worked fine using store-bought ammonia. However, the waiting for it to cycle was very frustrating, so I feel your pain.

Have you only added the ammonia once, or have you continued to add a bit every day?

In my case, I started with the ammonia at 2.0, and I think some media from my existing tank. Is there anything like gravel or a filter on your current tank that you can take a bit of to jump start your new tank?

My nitrites started showing up after the first few days, but I stalled with high nitrites (off the chart) for 3 or 4 weeks. They only started going down after I did a water change to bring them down to less than 2.0. If the ammonia is showing at the top of your testing kit, you could actually have more in there than you think, and you could try a water change to bring the ammonia down a bit.

Cycling is a frustrating process, but at least with a fishless cycle you don't have to worry about hurting your fish as ammonia and nitrites soar.

thank you!! well, i originally had about 3.0 ppm in my tank. it dropped down a bit to 2.0 ppm but no nitrites were in sight, so i got the ammonia back up to about 4.0 ppm (the top of my kit is 8.0 ppm it seems). it has been staying there ever since (two weeks) so i didn't think to put more ammonia. should i, if it's been staying at the same level? or should i change the water out so that it's down to 2.0 ppm and see what happens?

unfortunately my other tank is 1 gal and i do 100% water changes once a day or once every two days, so i don't think there's any bacteria in there. it's also an empty tank because i figured that i was gonna have him in the new one pretty quickly, so i don't have gravel or anything in there. hmm...

thank you all SOOOOOOO MUUUUUUUUUUCH for your replies!! i feel so much better just reading all this REAL advice. i'm off to read acupank's and desiree's threads on cycling! :)

-- Lorelei

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Guest Lorelei
Oh, I just thought of something to add. You mentioned that you wanted to get cycled water from the LFS to help your cycle-- even if their water is pristine, that unfortunately won't work! The vast majority of the colony of bacteria live in the filter media, with a smaller percentage living in any gravel you might have. There's almost none in water, which is why it is safe and at times recommended to do 100% water changes.

oooou, i did not know that! thank you! if i don't have another tank to get filter media from, how should i get the bacteria in the tank? because i really think the bacteria i bought was DOA or something. :\

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2 things to add:

Don't ever use pet store water to cycle a tank - it's full of parasites!!! Also, as Joy says, there is hardly any bacteria in the water (it's mainly in the media).

If you're having trouble getting pure ammonia or Biospira. just cyle it with Pee! I know, I know, it's gross etc, BUT it's ammonia. Just make sure you are not on illegal substances or drinking caffeine before 'harvesting' :rofl Add enough to raise the reading to 4/5ppm. Then just wait and watch. If you can get BioSpira it would be great as it will convert all your ammonia almost immediately and you'll have a ready-made good, large colony.

Also, test your tap PH and KH (alkalinity). A KH below 100 does not support the growth of beneficial bacteria s well as a more alkaline environment. If your KH/PH is low you can add a buffer.

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Hi Lorelei,

As everyone has already told you, you are anything but crazy ;) It's indeed to bad you got stuck with someone who doesn't have a clue :(

'Well, the reason nothing is happening is because the bacteria don't eat non-biological ammonia! Where did you even hear about this, THE INTERNET? HAHAHAHAHAHA.'

I actually had to suppress a giggle with this one :rofl (I thought this got thought in high schools across the pond too; oh well, for every single smart guy there's a dozen who ... erm, who are not).

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thank you!! well, i originally had about 3.0 ppm in my tank. it dropped down a bit to 2.0 ppm but no nitrites were in sight, so i got the ammonia back up to about 4.0 ppm (the top of my kit is 8.0 ppm it seems). it has been staying there ever since (two weeks) so i didn't think to put more ammonia. should i, if it's been staying at the same level? or should i change the water out so that it's down to 2.0 ppm and see what happens?

You don't need to add any more ammonia until it starts to go down. However, testing your KH is important, especially since you have low pH. How low is it from the tap? Another thing you can start testing for is nitrates. Some people, like me, get stuck with nitrites for weeks, but I have seen that others seem to go straight from having ammonia to having nitrates, and never see nitrite at all.

It is also worth testing your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate too, to see what you are starting with. I have lots of nitrite in my tap water, which come to think of it, probably gave the nitrite eating bacteria a head start. :)

If there is one thing I have learned here at Koko's, it's that it is all about the water! Just keep testing, and asking questions. :D

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LFS employees know nothing. Honestly. IMHO thermometers are a MUST even for coldwater fishkeeping. How else are you to keep a close eye on your temperature in the warm summer months or the cold winter months? How else are you to do a temperature-matched water change? Honestly, to mock you for that is so disrespectful. I would write a letter to the management explaining how rude (and uninformed!) their employees were to you and let him know you'll be taking your business elsewhere from now on!

As for the cycling, everyone has had great advice for you. I think something that might help you is to research pH, kH, and gH (there are many good articles and threads on the site): what are they, what do they do for your water, and how do they interact with the cycle? Also, try investigating the nitrogen cycle more deeply. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to come about this from the bottom-up... once you understand what's going on and what's supposed to be happening, it will be tons easier to manage and perhaps relieve some of the frustration. Knowledge is power!

Good luck!

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Guest Lorelei
2 things to add:

Don't ever use pet store water to cycle a tank - it's full of parasites!!! Also, as Joy says, there is hardly any bacteria in the water (it's mainly in the media).

If you're having trouble getting pure ammonia or Biospira. just cyle it with Pee! I know, I know, it's gross etc, BUT it's ammonia. Just make sure you are not on illegal substances or drinking caffeine before 'harvesting' :rofl Add enough to raise the reading to 4/5ppm. Then just wait and watch. If you can get BioSpira it would be great as it will convert all your ammonia almost immediately and you'll have a ready-made good, large colony.

LOL! i have the ammonia in there, it just isn't doing anything! D: i will look for this biospira. would i find it at the big name pet store chain? because it's my only other option besides this one i went to yesterday.

You don't need to add any more ammonia until it starts to go down. However, testing your KH is important, especially since you have low pH. How low is it from the tap? Another thing you can start testing for is nitrates. Some people, like me, get stuck with nitrites for weeks, but I have seen that others seem to go straight from having ammonia to having nitrates, and never see nitrite at all.

It is also worth testing your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate too, to see what you are starting with. I have lots of nitrite in my tap water, which come to think of it, probably gave the nitrite eating bacteria a head start. :)

If there is one thing I have learned here at Koko's, it's that it is all about the water! Just keep testing, and asking questions. :D

the pH from the tap is about 6.8-7.0. it's not VERY low but i know goldfishies like higher pH so i raised it to about 7.2.

i tested the ammonia and nitrite from the tap a couple of weeks ago and they were both at 0. i haven't gotten a nitrate test yet or a kH test but i'm gonna try to today... it might be a couple of days though because my job absolutely MASSACRED my paycheck (which i found out about five minutes after the pet store drama, which wasn't a lot of fun). but! i'll get at least one of them today and report back!

thank you so much all! :D:D:D

-- Lorelei

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Guest Lorelei

UPDATE on fishless cycle: i went to big name chain pet store (because besides the one in the post, it's the only one) to buy the stuff y'all recommended. unfortunately, they did not have a kH test or biospira. so i bought the nitrate test and some Stability, because it was the next closest thing there (although now reading about it, the reviews seem to be mixed... sigh...). the nitrates are 0.

i'd really like to have the kH test to see if my cycle is stalled. i wish i had a friend or somebody who could give me some filter media or gravel to start up my tank, but i don't. :( i guess i'll have to look for LFS outside of my town to look for biospira and for the kH test, but i would have to wait until next friday or saturday. has stability worked for anybody? bahhhhh

is it possible to use a water hardness test not designed for aquariums? IF SO where could i find those tests?

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Sorry you're having such a rough time. I just finished cycling two tanks that took 13 and 17 weeks, so I can feel your frustration.

It is my understanding that BioSpira is no longer available. The scientist who developed it left Marineland and started his own company. The new product (which is essentially the same thing, just with a different name) is One and Only Bacteria by Dr. Tim's Aquatics. You can get it through Drs. Foster and Smith, but have to pay for overnight refrigerated shipping ($20 extra).

Unlike many people around here, I think Stability is actually a worthwhile product. I set up an unintentional experiment that I think provides good evidence that it works. A few months ago, I set up a 29 gallon tank at work and a 75 gallon tank at home on the same day. I filled them with tap water from the same municipal water supply and added a similar bioload (fish) -- 2 fish in the 29 gallon and 5 fish in the 75. I fed the same food, used the same water conditioner, used similar filtration, and kept up the same water change schedule (whenever ammonia or nitrite exceeded 0.5 ppm I changed water to bring it down). 12 weeks elapsed and I did A LOT of water changes. I got ammonia down to zero pretty fast, but the nitrites just would not go away. If I went more than 36 hours between water changes they would climb to 1.0 ppm.

Finally, out of not knowing what to do I started adding heavy doses of Stability to the tank at home (3-4 times the label amount) every day. Within three days nitrite was down to zero and the tank was cycled. I did not add Stability to the work tank and it continued as before, with high nitrites, for another four weeks. Then I started adding Stability to the work tank and within three days, the nitrite was down to zero and the tank was cycled.

A few caveats -- I don't think that Stability (or any product) would work to "instantly" cycle a tank for goldfish from scratch. Goldfish just put such a heavy load on a biofilter, I think that good old fashioned water changes and time are required to make a tank safe for them. I think that Stability served to put my biofilter over the top, not that it created it out of nothing. Also, every tank (even tanks in the same household) is different so what works in one tank might not work in another.

Good luck!

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Guest Lorelei

OK! I did some experiments/forum searches and here is what I found out.

I tested my pH a bunch for awhile. i noticed this:

i must have used my stained test tube by accident (uh, i left the ammonia test in there overnight once... oops) when testing my tap, because it's 7.6+. my cycling tank, which i put some phUP a few days ago because it was sort of low, was about a 7.2. now the little tank that my fishy is actually in, his water was testing at about 6.4 (!) and i just did about an 80% water change YESTERDAY.

so i did a bit of a water change in my cycling tank (not much, about 10%, i don't want to disturb the cycle..) and put some phUP and now it's at almost the same pH as my tap water.

so i suppose this probably means my water isn't very hard?

thank you, acupunk, for your post/advice! i think i will put a higher dose of Stability than is recommended, just to make sure, and check back at the store to see if they have One and Only. :)

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It is my understanding that BioSpira is no longer available. The scientist who developed it left Marineland and started his own company. The new product (which is essentially the same thing, just with a different name) is One and Only Bacteria by Dr. Tim's Aquatics. You can get it through Drs. Foster and Smith, but have to pay for overnight refrigerated shipping ($20 extra).

Whoa, are you serious? That sucks!

I've never used Stability, but I have used a product called "Cycle" and I wasn't impressed. Kristen is (unforunately! :P ) one of our foremost experts on tanks that refuse to cycle, so if she says Stability works, then Stability works!!

If your pH is testing low and you're using pH-Up, it's likely that your water isn't very hard. Try to get your hands on a kH test and see what your pH buffer is... you might need to look into artificially increasing your buffer using crushed coral.

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You can also call your local water board and ask them for the KH or carbonate hardness of your water. KH can fluctuate from day to day, but at least you could get a ball-park sense of whether yours is really low or not.

It is my understanding that One and Only will have similar availability as BioSpira did -- pretty much only at higher-end specialty fish stores and online fish supply retailers (with the extra charge for refrigerated shipping).

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Hi Lorelei, sorry I'm picking up on this thread so late. But I wanted to share that I had almost exactly the same experience at a LFS. I was new to fishkeeping, and went there looking for help on fishless cycling - and they absolutely could not understand the whole concept, adding ammonia, etc. And they work in a fish store! Had nobody ever mentioned it to them, and had they never looked it up on the internet? It's too sad. It's a really excellent concept that works well.

I've used the BioSpira product, and it did work for me, but the cycling did still take about a week. Hopefully the Stability will work well for you also.

My KH is usually zero or one, and I still manage to have a cycled tank - I use Buff-It-Up to stabilize the pH. I sympathize with you about the very soft water, but my bacteria don't seem to mind terribly much.

I think fishless cycling is the best thing. No fish are harmed, and you can really push the ammonia to high levels and get the cycle moving - once you have the right bacteria in there. So good luck with it, and keep us posted on progress! Are any nitrates showing up at all yet?

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If you don't have fish in and need a quick KH boost put in a tablespoon of baking soda. Will help raise PH more naturally than the ph up stuff and will get your kh up to help buffer the ph and keep it stable.

I was cycling a pond and was not getting rid of the ammonia in spite of having nitrites as well. Was a large pond, ammonia was low, but not going away. Tested the KH and found it to be around 20. Brought it up to over 100 and the ammonia and nitrites disappeared immediately. Some bio bugs and some filters need a higher KH to function well.

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I have successfully cycled a 20 gallon and a 75 gallon tank with hardware store ammonia. I'm sorry the pet store people made you feel bad, but they really rarely know what they're talking about. I'm wondering if it might be easier for you and your fish if you move him out of the 1 gallon and just cycle the 10 gallon with him in it. If you have time for the daily water changes, you should be able to just change the water everytime you get ammonia on the test.

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Guest Lorelei

Ammona: ~4.0 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 0 ppm

I put in the baking soda like frloplady suggested, and now my water's ph is at ~7.6, like my tap water (as opposed to yesterday and earlier today, when it was 7.2-ish). the water my fishy is currently in went from 7.6 yesterday at around 6PM to about 6.7 at 4PM today! oh my god! D:

@32flavors: i thought about that, but i live with my boyfriend on the weekends, and i won't be bringing Mad Eye with me until i 'officially' move there full-time (that is, when my man stops working overnight, and who knows when that will be!), and my tank would be pretty much completely unattended from friday until monday morning. :( my mom would be here but i don't wanna depend on somebody else to take care of my tank, you know? :(

i'd rather just have this thing cycled. in a couple of days i'm going to see if anything has happened to this tank, and if not, i'm buying One & Only or Turbostart, whichever I can more easily order on the internet. what do y'all think of Turbostart? it looks like pretty much the same thing as Biospira/One & Only... and I can't find an order form for One & Only for some reason. o.O

-- Lorelei

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Guest Lorelei

hey everyone! i checked my levels today. nitrItes and nitrAtes are still 0, but my ammonia went down 1 ppm (now it's about 2.0 or 3.0 ppm)! is that progress? or could something non-bacterial be lowering my ammonia?

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hey everyone! i checked my levels today. nitrItes and nitrAtes are still 0, but my ammonia went down 1 ppm (now it's about 2.0 or 3.0 ppm)! is that progress? or could something non-bacterial be lowering my ammonia?

As far as I know, the only non-bacterial thing that can lower your ammonia is 'decent water changes' :) (not including additives of course).

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As far as I know, the only non-bacterial thing that can lower your ammonia is 'decent water changes' :) (not including additives of course).

okay, good! i haven't been touching my water so that the bacteria that are hopefully growing there won't be disturbed... no nitrItes yet, though. does it take time sometimes?

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