Cycling Teaches Patience
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
mosspearl
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Cycling Teaches Patience


Okay, so I'm not so patient. I really want the tanks fully cycled so I can add the fun stuff. But I'm trying to be patient. The operative word is try. LOL

All my tanks are small and they were all set up in Feb.

2.5 gallon was started 2/9/13 with MGOCPM capped with sand. It has a rock and plants (anubias petite, chain sword, pennywort, marimo ball, dwarf water lettuce and frogbit). There is a betta in it. He was an impulse buy (aren't most of them?).
Filter is an Azoo Mignon 60 HOB. I've got some BioMax in it along with sponges and the filter it came with. Light is a hood with CFL.

Water Parameters on 3/9/13:
pH: 7.0
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 0 ppm
TDS: 302
Temp: 70*

I do have Purigen in the filter and use Prime on the water for changes. I made the newbie mistake of keeping the lights on too long in all 4 of the tanks, so algae is beginning to appear in this tank and the 10g.

Second 2.5 gallon was started around 2/21. Also with a betta. Substrate is Tahitian Moon Sand. Hardscape is 2 zebra rocks. Plants include anubias nana, pennywort, pellia, marimo ball, and frogbit. Same filter as the other 2.5 gallon, with the same additions. Same lighting. No algae.

Water parameters on 3/9/13:
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 0 ppm
TDS: 229
Temp: 70*

Evolve4 was set up 2/23/13. Substrate is Tahitian Moon Sand. Hardscape includes bogwood and zebra rock. Plants include chain sword, pellia, anubias nana, anubias petite, watersprite, cryptocoryne spiralis (small as of yet), frogbit. A couple snails are in the tank. Using built-in filter with added Purigen, biomax and sponges. Lighting is stock lighting and an additional desk lamp with CFL.

Water parameters on 3/9/13:
pH: 7.0
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 0 ppm
TDS: 181
Temp: 70*

I want to add blue velvet shrimp to this tank once its ready. I did have different results with this tank last week... on 2/27, Ammonia was 1.0 ppm, Nitrites were 2.0 ppm and Nitrates were 0 ppm. On 2/28, Ammonia was 0.50 ppm, Nitrites wee 2.0 ppm, and Nitrates were 0 ppm. On 3/1, Ammonia was 0.50 ppm, Nitrites were 5.0 ppm, and Nitrates were 80 ppm. Seems like a huge jump for one day, so I'm assuming the test was compromised somehow for Nitrates. Did a pwc and on 3/4 I was back to Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrites 2 ppm, and Nitrates 0 ppm. Given today's tests, what does this mean?


10g was started 3/1/13. Substrate Tahitian Moon Sand. Hardscape includes bogwood, lace rock, and another random rock I boiled. Plants include cryptocoryne spiralis, cryptocoryne undulata, bacopa caroliniana, marsilea minuta, anubias petite, dwarf water lettuce and frogbit. A couple of snails have been sighted. Filter is a Marineland Penguin 100 with biowheel. Lighting is a hood with CFLs.

Water parameters on 3/9/13:
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0.25 ppm
Nitrates: 0 ppm
TDS: 165
Temp: 70*

Plans for this tank include fancy guppies so far.

All livestock seems to be doing okay in all four tanks. They are lively, well-colored, and react quickly. Bettas are fed frozen brine shrimp. They have good appetites and attack their meals eagerly.

So... I know it's only been 1-4 weeks since I started these (depending on the tank). I enjoy seeing the plants put out new leaves, but I still find myself twiddling my thumbs, longing to add the shrimp at least.

I'm surprised I'm not seeing more ammonia in the two small tanks with the bettas. I've added some Tetra SafeStart to the first 2.5 gallon, since it has a small amount of ammonia, to urge the cycle to get moving. Don't want the fish to suffer due to my stupidity and impatience. I do have Flourish to add for plant fertilization, but it doesn't seem to affect the parameters. I test every day.

Any suggestions? Is there something I can do to speed up the process in the two smaller tanks that already have occupants? Thank you.
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Last edited by mosspearl; 03-09-2013 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: added more info
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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How often are you doing water changes, and how much?
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:49 AM   #3
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Changing 20% twice a week.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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Bettas need to be between 76-80 degrees.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Thank you, VJM. I know. I have measly little betta heaters and sometimes they seem to be adequate and sometimes not. :P If you can recommend a decent heater that fits in a 2.5 gallon, I would be most grateful!
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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I have a Hydor Theo adjustable and an Archaea mini. The mini is in my 2.5 and is the smallest adjustable heater I could find available in the U.S. The Theo is slightly bigger and you can get one shipped in two days.

No one seems to stock adjustable 25w heaters, for some odd reason. I tried a Cobalt preset, and it couldn't keep the tank at 72, let alone 76. Back it went, and I picked up these two. Both work really well.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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Thank you, VJM! I'll look for this model right away.
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