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Cycling Question


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Hi everyone,

I'm doing a fishless cycle on a ten gallon and it is holding steady at 3ppm ammonia (which I added with StressZyme on Saturday), but is just started showing last nitrites last night, now at 0.3ppm. Do I just keep testing every few days and not add more ammonia? I assume I don't need to add any more for now, but at what point do I need to add more?

Two more quick questions. I've noticed a lot of tiny air bubbles in the tank with the large ones breaking on the top surface and around ten or so clinging to my plants. Is this okay? I'm a bit paranoid about my goldfish (when I get him) getting airbubbles trapped in his gills.

And the final question. Actually I'm thinking I should post this part in plants. I will do that, too. I have five plants (four baby wisteria and one amazon sword plant). I've noticed that they all have a few brown spots which I plan to trim away in the next few days. Do I need to feed them during the cycling? I plan on one more plant, so can I trim the brown spots and plant that without disturbing my cycle?

Thanks everyone!

Amy

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Well, this is my personal observations, not anything "official," but my goldies love to play in the bubbles from the bubblers. Will just go nose down into them and fight the current and then let go and let the current blow them away and then they go back for more. I haven't seen that affect them adversely yet. The tiny air bubbles all over in the water are good. That means there's lots of available oxygen for them. So, whether it's possible to get air trapped in their gills, I'm not sure and if so, how it affects them.

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Usually, when you fill a new tank with water, you will get collections of air bubbles "stuck" all over the glass and plants and such. These will be shaken loose as the currents in the water hit them. You can run your hand over the inside of the glass to knock them off. Otherwise, the fish will....and they simply go away.

It would be EXTREMELY hard to have too many bubbles for the fish. Very little oxygen is actually incorporated into the water from the bubbles, themselves. Mostly, the bubbles, as they rise, pull water up with them to the surface where the water will pick up oxygen. A VERY fine mist of bubbles will incorporate more oxygen, but the standard bubbles are not something to worry about.

You should not have a problem with your plants in a fishless cycling tank. The ammonia/nitrite and eventual nitrate will feed the plants nicely. Keeping the brown areas trimmed will limit the amount of extra waste the plants add to thet the tank, though - so that is good.

The ammonia in your fishless cycle feeds the beneficial bacteria. As the first type of BB process the ammonia into nitrite, the level of ammonia will drop. The presence of nitrite in the water will trigger the second type of beneficial bacteria to start to grow. But they can be finicky - and take a while. You want to keep your beneficial bacteria that process the AMMONIA alive while you are waiting for the second type to grow and process the nitrite. To do this, you need to make sure they have ammonia to eat.

Test your tank - as the ammonia drops to zero, that will be your signal to start daily "feeding" the first type of beneifical bacteria. You do not need to feed LARGE amounts of ammonia each day. With a bit of finagling, you can find the proper number of drops of ammonia to add each day that the beneficial bacteria can process every day - bringing the ammonia reading to zero at the end of each day. This will mimic the presence of fish in the tank - eliminating a small amount each day. The resulting nitrite will make the nitrite levels rise even more - but that is just how it goes. With no fish in the tank you have no worries. When the nitrites start to fall and the nitrates start to rise you will know you are heading down the final stretch.

:)

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Thanks for explaining that so clearly. I've done so much reading on the fishless cycle and I got so excited to see my first nitrite reading and then I thought, "oh crap...now what do I do?" So I will keep testing and waiting until the ammonia starts to fall to zero, then I will do daily feeding. The ammonia I bought is pretty weak. I measured by capfulls so it took three to get it to 3ppm. I think that would put me at about half a capful for daily feeding...when I get to that point.

I have one plant that floated up so the only messing I am going to do is to replant that one, trim my brown spots, and when I find it I am looking for a peice of treated driftwood with Java Moss but that just lays on top so easy.

And I have lots of very tiny bubbles (I thought debris was floating in there at first until I looked closer) so I am glad to know all is well.

Thanks again!

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I have one plant that floated up so the only messing I am going to do is to replant that one, trim my brown spots, and when I find it I am looking for a peice of treated driftwood with Java Moss but that just lays on top so easy.

Hey! Amy! I have a piece of driftwood I would give to you! I bought it out of one of those, "going-to-the-fish-store-and-I-can't-have-fish-but-I-just-need-to-buy-something" moments. It doesn't have java moss on it, but you can always put that on yourself, and it's been pre-soaked so most if not all of the tannins are probably out of it. I mean, when you consider pre-tied java moss logs cost around $15-$20, from what I've seen around, and if you just buy the plant for around $5, that's a savings. Anyway, let me know!

Edited by lynda441
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Thanks, Lynda! I was in San Francisco for work the last two days, so of course I had to stop at a couple of fish stores. I wasn't too impressed with the goldie sections, though.

I did buy a small peice of driftwood (really small, around four inches or so). I was worried about putting too big of a peice in such a small tank, because of PH issues. Then my plan was to tie a plant on it.

Do you think it would be too much to add another peice? I love the look of driftwood, but I'm scared to epoxy it even though I know I could. Geoff and I do pet portraits that we epoxy all the time, but I'm so scared of any kind of poison again. What do you think?

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Here's a picture of my original tank design.

Aquarium-1.jpg

The white buddha was originally black, so I painted it white. The little tree stump to the left was too bland, as were the two smaller rocks to the inner sides of the larger rocks, so I touched those up with paint too. After I was done, I put several layers of epoxy on them and then let them dry really well, about two weeks before using. I've not had any noticeable problems. I removed the buddha, not because of any problems, but just because I was tired of the design and wanted to do a new one. The tree stump is still there and the smaller rocks are in one of my qt tanks. I've heard of lots of other people doing it, and what you do think all the plastic decorations are made of anyway? So, I don't think you should have a problem at all with resining the log. But, after such a scare, I totally understand your concerns about anything even remotely "toxic." Two unprotected logs could be too much re: ph, yeah, but not if you resin them. Of course, then, I'm not sure how the plants would grow on them... Maybe resin just one. But, you don't need to take my log if you really don't want it. No pressure. Just one of those impulse purchases that I ended up having no place to put it. It was only $6.

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I almost got a free thirty gallon and stand from CL last night, but wasn't quite fast enough. I thought Lynda's log will be perfect for that...oh well. But I would like it. That might be the one to start exopy with and see how it goes. The key is letting it dry long enough and I really think that is where I went wrong. I love your tank!

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