I wanted to share my new tank (destined for a dwarf puffer, and some shrimp.. whether they are going to be feed shrimp or pets remains to be seen) and also ask a question.
First, here is a couple snapshots of my new tank:
now to my setup and question:
this is supposed to be an 8 gallon tank with the hidden sump, but it is really more like 7.5 after my substrate and decorations, i filled about 6.5 gallons into the tank. it has the same filter as the aqueon quietflow 20, which is supposed to be good to 20 gallons, but the pump is much smaller, but at full output pumps about a half gallon a min. i've got it turned down to about .25 gallons a min as it was way too turbulent otherwise. I added an additional mechanical filter pad as a prefilter infront of the aqueon supplied filter, which is both mechanical and chemical. Additionally i filled the space behind the filter with ceramic media from my 3+ year established 36 gallon planted tank (hopefully to kick start the fishless cycle) (see picture). This tank is using fluval ebi shrimp stratum, and I've got about 3 inches of it. I've got 3 sword chains from my established tank, plus 4 "onion" plants and 4 narrow leaf micro swords that have been planted in here since day one. I've done between a 25-50% water change each day (except today) to help get rid of the tannin from the wood and cloudiness from the shrimp stratum (it gets very cloudy, even after rinsing twice!)
this tank is into day 5 of the cycle.. and I'm getting readings that seem a bit .. odd?
this afternoon, using my tetra kit(s) i measured 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate and a PH of 7.5 german hardness of 9. am i jumping the gun on this seeming to have already cycled? could the ceramic filter media from the established tank made THAT MUCH of a difference?
i haven't measured a notable amount of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate since the second day, although on day 3 my ph did spike to to like 8.2 or so, it has come back down.