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post #1 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow Yet another cycling thread

It's been a while since I've set up a new tank. Researched but I do have some questions.

Q2: Is it normal to see nitrates so soon?
A2: Thrive gives off nitrates.

Q2: Is the presence of ammonia from the seeded material?
A2: ADA aquasoil gives off ammonia but it isn't enough to kickstart a cycle; invest in pure ammonia.

Day #1: 03/28/19 - Filled with aquasoil. Seeded with plants and driftwood from established tanks. Filled tank (Imagitarium Pro) with dechlorinated water with liquid ferts (Thrive) for the plants. Hooked up filter and light. Rinsed pre-filter sponge from established tank in the water of the cycling aquarium.

Day #2: 03/29/19 - Moved some aquasoil from established tank to new tank. Placed ancient bag of activated carbon from established tank and into filter compartment of new tank. Decided to start documenting the parameters:

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 2.0
TDS: 143
Temperature: 76*
*Note: Need to get a heater for the tank.

Day #4: 03/31/19 - Seeded new tank with pre-filter sponge from established tank.

Day #5: 04/01/19 - Added a heater, set it to 83 F.

Day #7: 04/03/19

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 2 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 1.0
TDS: 168
Temperature: 83

Day #8: 04/04/19 - Removed seeded carbon media from cycling tank.

Day #9: 04/05/19 - Readings taken before 50% water change.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: 5 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 1.0
TDS: 185
Temperature: 83.1

Day #10: 04/06/19

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 5 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0.5
TDS: 155
Temperature: 82.9

Day #11: 04/07/19

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: 5-10 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0.5
TDS: 165
Temperature: 82.6

Day #12: 04/08/19 - Performed a water change, then added pure ammonia to reach 4 ppm.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 4 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.8-8.4
Ammonia: 4
TDS: 229
Temperature: 82.4

Day #13: 04/09/19 - Did a water change earlier. Dosed ammonia to 4 ppm.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: 3 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 4 (formerly 1)
TDS: 195
Temperature: 81.9

Day #14: 04/10/19 - Dosed ammonia to 4 ppm.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 10 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.2-6.8
Ammonia: 4 (formerly 1)
TDS: 191
Temperature: 81.9

Day #15: 04/11/19 - Did a water change and then dosed ammonia to 4 ppm.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 5-10 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 1-2
pH: 7.8-8.4
Ammonia: 4 (formerly 1)
TDS: 17 (not a typo)
Temperature: 81

Day #16: 04/12/19 - Did a water change and then dosed ammonia to 4 ppm.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: 10+ ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.2
Ammonia: 4 (previously 0.5)
TDS: 16
Temperature: 82.2

Day #17: 04/13/19 - Parameters taken before a water change. Forgot to dose ammonia to 4 ppm or to record parameters afterward.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 50 ppm
Nitrite: 10+ ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.2

Day #18: 04/14/19 - Did a 50% water change and forgot to add ammonia right away, so hoping the bacteria hasn't completely starved. Dosed ammonia once the readings were taken (later that day).

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: 3 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0 (dosed to 4 ppm after)
TDS: 19
Temperature: 82.3

Day #19: 04/15/19 - Did a large water change and dosed to 4 ppm of ammonia.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10
Nitrite: 5-10
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 2 (dosed to 4 after)

Day #21: 04/17/19 - Took parameters.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: 4 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 1 (dosed to 2 after)

Day #22: 04/18/19 - Took parameters.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: 2 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0.5 (dosed to 2 after)

Day #23: 04/19/19 - PH was a little low so did a 50% water change and took parameters again.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: 1 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0.5 (dosed to 2 after)

Day #24: 04/20/19 - PH dropped to 6 again, so did a 50% water change and took new parameters.

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: near 0 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0.5 (dosed to 2 after)

Day #25: 04/21/19 - PH dropped to 6 again. Ammonia and nitrites were around 0. Did a 90% water change, added fish, took new parameters:

Water Parameters
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 8.4
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 6.4-6.8
Ammonia: 0-0.5
TDS: 15
Temperature: 81.7*

*Note: trying to recalibrate Eheim heater.


Plans:

- When ammonia and nitrites are 0, add 4 ppm more ammonia to test if tank has truly cycled.

- Once tank has cycled, add 1ppm of ammonia daily to keep bacteria alive.

-Perform 90% water change before fish can be added (to lower nitrates to an acceptable level).

get out of my house

Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 04-22-2019 at 07:34 AM. Reason: adding parameters
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post #2 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 05:16 AM
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Nitrate should be from Thrive,, Amonia from new AquaSoil.
I see no need to add extra Ammonia as you will get plenty from AquaSoil. pH will drop, kH of 0 is a concern.
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post #3 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions for raising KH? Crushed coral, baking soda?

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post #4 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 05:59 AM
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What is your source water (and its properties) and what is the tank for (specific fish or shrimp)? Plans for injected co2?
There are many ways to skin the cat, but it would help to know what the cat looks like first.
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post #5 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Source water is tap, properties are:

Nitrate: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: vary between 1.4 and 4.2
Chlorine: vary between 0 and 0.5
KH: 0
pH: vary between 6.2-6.8

The tank is a 3.7 gallon meant for a single betta.

No plans for CO2.

Addition 03/31/19: All of my tanks have 0 KH and house a single betta and nerite snail (with one having additional cherry shrimp). I know people say bettas are soft water fish but to make sure pH stays stable, it would be better if I had a KH of 5 or so, right? As long as it isn't higher than 8 and isn't lower than 3? I'm having trouble finding a KH dosing calculator that isn't a dead link.

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Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 03-31-2019 at 09:22 AM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 94 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 08:52 PM
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KH and GH will determine how stable your pH will be.

Best to get those under control first so as not to stress fish. Shoot for gh/kh around 4- steady. If it flucuates then check your tap water BEFORE adding it to the tank. Then check your tap water after 24 hours.... (again, not in the tank).
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post #7 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
KH and GH will determine how stable your pH will be.

Best to get those under control first so as not to stress fish. Shoot for gh/kh around 4- steady. If it flucuates then check your tap water BEFORE adding it to the tank. Then check your tap water after 24 hours.... (again, not in the tank).
This would be achieved by adding baking soda, right? I heard with the addition of wonder shells (heard bird cuttlebone would also work, but not sure if with baking soda or as a substitute).

I'm still trying to find an intact KH dosing calculator for baking soda. As far as I can gather from the forums (and a post by Rex Grigg), if:

1 tsp for 50 liters (13 gal) (+4 dKH)
1/4 tsp for 50 liters (13 gal) (+1 dKH)

then for my 3 KH-less tanks:

1/10 (0.01) tsp for 19 liters (5 gal) (+1 dKH),
7/100 (0.07) tsp for 14 liters (3.7 gal) (+1 dKH),
1/20 (0.05) tsp for 10 liters (2.6 gal) (+1 dKH).

With amounts that tiny, I suppose I'll have to get a digital gram scale.

If I want to add +4 dKH to all the tanks, then do I add +1 dKH every day until the reading is KH 4? And once you have the achieved KH, how often do you have to add KH? Daily? Once a week? With or without a water change?

get out of my house

Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 04-01-2019 at 07:30 AM. Reason: KH questions
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post #8 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mosby View Post
This would be achieved by adding baking soda, right? I heard with the addition of wonder shells (heard bird cuttlebone would also work, but not sure if with baking soda or as a substitute).

If I want to add +4 dKH to all the tanks, then do I add +1 dKH every day until the reading is KH 4? And once you have the achieved KH, how often do you have to add KH? Daily? Once a week? With or without a water change?
Sorry i missed this post.... I keep forgetting to 'subscribe' to posts i respond too... peg me as old i guess. HAHA.
In my opinion this is where it gets complicated. You NEED something steady, something reliable and sustainable. Adding plus/minus 24/7 can get irritating and dangerous to fish. I add things to my filter- knowing I have low KH/GH (water softener) to ensure I buffer it properly, and things work flawlessly.

If tests fluctuate I would:
Test the water straight out of the tap
Let the water sit for 24 hours and test again
That's your base. If it flucuates when added to your tank its your substrate, etc.

I add crushed coral to a filter bag for KH/GH combo..... and cuddlebone chunk in the filter.
If the water is really hard, then I add the crushed coral under the substrate (but not usually necessary).
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post #9 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:13 AM
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I would caution against chasing kh too much. Especially with Aquasoil in the mix. If you read enough posts on here you will see people running tanks just fine with 0-1 kh. You will also see discussions about how it's not fluctuating pH you need to be worried about but rather fluctuating kh. Which if you add baking soda to raise kh your Aquasoil is going to try and remove that which gives you fluctuating kh. Yes you want some kh but I think trying to achieve a kh of 4 with Aquasoil is just going to cause you problems.

FYI a fluctuating pH of .5 is nothing. Happens everyday in my tanks.

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post #10 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Day #7: My biggest concern at the moment is getting the tank insta-cycled. Due to the parameters I will likely have to quarantine the betta when it arrives, until the newer tank is cycled.

Water Parameters - 04/03/19
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 2 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 1.0
TDS: 168
Temperature: 83

get out of my house

Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 04-06-2019 at 02:40 AM. Reason: typo
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post #11 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mosby View Post
Day #8: My biggest concern at the moment is getting the tank insta-cycled. Due to the parameters I will likely have to quarantine the betta when it arrives, until the newer tank is cycled.

Water Parameters - 04/04/19
Nitrate: 20 ppm
Nitrite: 2 ppm
GH: 4.2
Chlorine: 0
KH: 0
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 1.0
TDS: 168
Temperature: 83
Fish in quarantine also need cycled tanks IMO. To cycle a tank as AS FAST AS I CAN (eMergency):
Use filter media from established tank (NOT the carbon filter! but actual sponge or filter media in a tank that is still wet)
Use substrate, rocks and wood from an established tank
Cycle with NO LIGHT
Use a bacteria support- many brands out there with beneficial bacteria- not a 'ammonia reducer' but 'bacteria support'
Add PURE ammonia (I buy mine at ace hardware) and bring to 5ppm ammonia steady for 2 days.
Allow ammonia to decrease to 1ppm for 2 days.
Add plants and a feeder fish (nano tank). Then wait for it to finish itself off for another 5-10 days... as soon as 0 ammonia/nirtite, but high nitrate, I do a water change and rock on!

This is what I use for hospital/maternity ward/elementary shcool tanks.

I started a new tank yesterday with eco complete, some old filter media, and some establish substrate. Today I will add some ammonia, rocks, etc. We will see how fast I can get it to cycle....
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post #12 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
Fish in quarantine also need cycled tanks IMO. To cycle a tank as AS FAST AS I CAN (eMergency):
Use filter media from established tank (NOT the carbon filter! but actual sponge or filter media in a tank that is still wet)
Use substrate, rocks and wood from an established tank
Cycle with NO LIGHT
Use a bacteria support- many brands out there with beneficial bacteria- not a 'ammonia reducer' but 'bacteria support'
Add PURE ammonia (I buy mine at ace hardware) and bring to 5ppm ammonia steady for 2 days.
Allow ammonia to decrease to 1ppm for 2 days.
Add plants and a feeder fish (nano tank). Then wait for it to finish itself off for another 5-10 days... as soon as 0 ammonia/nirtite, but high nitrate, I do a water change and rock on!

This is what I use for hospital/maternity ward/elementary shcool tanks.

I started a new tank yesterday with eco complete, some old filter media, and some establish substrate. Today I will add some ammonia, rocks, etc. We will see how fast I can get it to cycle....
I have the pre-filter sponge from my established tank in there, but I also put in the carbon (oops, taking out). The plants and driftwood came from established tanks.

Shoot, didn't know about the light, turning it off.

Question #1: Do I need to buy pure ammonia if the ADA Aquasoil is giving off ammonia?

Question #2: I thought beneficial bacteria dwelled in material things, not water? Does stuff like this actually work?

Question #3: Isn't it a little inhumane for the feeder fish? And aren't they generally sold not in the best conditions, that it would have had to been quarantined itself, first?

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post #13 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 03:22 AM
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Just another opposing opinion here. Take it for what you will.

And sorry about my confusion on fluctuating ph. Having seen this on desktop now I see you were talking about tap water, not tank water. I blame a long day paired with viewing on mobile.

I would not turn out your lights. You need your plants growing and growing as fast as they can. Since you seeded from an established tank if you let the plants do their thing your tank should be cycled very quickly. Haven't seen you mention water changes but I have seen regiments for Aquasoil cycling as drastic as doing water changes once a day for the first week. Every other for the second and so on until you are doing once a week water changes. I've never done that drastic of a regiment (once, maybe twice a week), just let the plants grow and soak up all the good ammonia then put in fish when no more ammonia.

Again, just my opinion and no offense to livebearerlove as it appears he has a set method for cycling tanks quickly.

Btw, you never mentioned how stocked the tank is with plants. It does speed things up tremendously to have a bunch of plants in there at the get go.
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post #14 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Haven't seen you mention water changes but I have seen regiments for Aquasoil cycling as drastic as doing water changes once a day for the first week. Every other for the second and so on until you are doing once a week water changes. I've never done that drastic of a regiment (once, maybe twice a week), just let the plants grow and soak up all the good ammonia then put in fish when no more ammonia.
With my other established tank, when I introduced ADA aquasoil, I followed the water change regiment to keep the ammonia down. With the new cycling tank, however, I was relying on the ammonia since I hadn't added any pure ammonia. I figured I would wait until nitrates were high and then start doing some more water changes--is this wrong?

I've cycled two tanks before (ages ago) but I have to say, it's the most confusing to cycle a tank with ADA aquasoil. It makes it hard to tell if/when the beneficial bacteria has been established.

Some information on the new tank, it's a 3.7 gallon with a piece of driftwood taking up 25% of it. The rest is pretty crowded with numerous swords and a few cryptocorynes. I don't think I can fit any more plants in the substrate. I wouldn't mind doing some anubias nana petite on the driftwood though but I can't at the moment (have to wait for the shipment to get here).

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post #15 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 01:50 AM
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Dang it, I was going to test my 10 gallon tank I just started up 3 weeks ago and give you an idea of where I'm at but I think I threw out my ammonia test klt after learning that the nitrate test was bad (API Master Test Kit). Haven't picked up a replacement yet. It's not very planted yet. I've had 2 orders back to back that came in melted before I could get them out of their bags. I did not seed this tank as I was prepared to go atleast a month waiting for the Monte Carlo to get going. I'll probably have to go a bit longer since I don't have that many plants in there growing and soaking up ammonia. Now I really wish I had an ammonia test kit on me as I'm curious to what it is now.

I wouldn't worry about water changes affecting your cycling of the tank. I think there are other things at play here but haven't seen anyone specifically mention it other than the whole kh absorption issue, which does go away after awhile.

Here's a link with some nice info on the subject. One of the posts says they cycled within 3 weeks. I can agree with that as I was able to put shrimp in my 5 gallon at the 4 week mark. But again the tank was stuffed with plants growing well.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...-amazonia.html
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