My First Tank!! - The Planted Tank Forum
 4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
My First Tank!!

I am finally up and running! Well, it's been almost a week now. I'm just wondering...is the cycle EVER going to start? I put everything in the tank on Sunday and filled it up, and on Thursday I added the heater and thermometer. I've checked for ammonia 3 times and have not seen any sign of it, yet. Any advice on how long it should take? I can't imagine that I'm heavily enough planted to have an instantly cycled tank...

Thanks for looking -- did I mention how excited I was? I'll be putting a mystery snail or two in here, and a bunch of shrimp. I was contemplating maybe adding a Betta eventually, but I want my shrimp to be self-sustaining (so hungry fish seem like a bad idea), and man...this tank is LITTLE! It's a Marineland 5 gallon. When I added the water it was full after a little over 4 gallons though.

Bump: ...and if anyone knows how I can turn that pic, I'd love it, lol!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1106181804.jpg
Views:	174
Size:	187.6 KB
ID:	872261  


Last edited by Cinnamonamon; 11-10-2018 at 04:36 AM. Reason: title fix
Cinnamonamon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 05:15 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
swarley's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 397
What a first tank! Great first scape.
For cycling you can use some bacteria via Dr. Tims or API Quick Start and add food for the bacteria with some fish food or raw seafood pieces for the bacteria to eat from.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
swarley is offline  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by swarley View Post
What a first tank! Great first scape.
For cycling you can use some bacteria via Dr. Tims or API Quick Start and add food for the bacteria with some fish food or raw seafood pieces for the bacteria to eat from.
Thanks! I guess I should have said, I've been putting flaked fish food in there every other day as well...
Cinnamonamon is offline  
 
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
9 days in and all my numbers are still at 0 (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)... The PH has dropped from the tap water 8.2 to 7.2. I put the heater in around day 5. I am wondering if the fish food I'm using is old and somehow useless? That worries me as it is what I feed fish at work every day...?! I'll be getting some ammonia in the next few days, as soon as I can get to a store, but this is a little irritating, to be honest! /whiny rant
Cinnamonamon is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 05:55 PM
Planted Member
 
Rnasty's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 215
Patience! Tanks can take weeks to cycle and months to become really established.
Rnasty is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
Absolutely, but 10 days in, shouldn't there be some ammonia showing? Like, at all?? If I'm wrong I'm fine with waiting, but I expected to see ammonia within a few days. Sometimes I read/research too much and everything jumbles together and I mix up details, so maybe I'm off. In any case, the grocery store I went to only had ammonia with surfactants.
Cinnamonamon is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 04:34 PM
Planted Member
 
Rnasty's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 215
What water tester are you using?

If you've put food in there and it's been 10 days there is surely ammonia in the water from the food breakdown which makes me wonder about the testing method.

Just as a side note, I often allow my tanks at least one full month to cycle before adding fish. 5 gallons will have a delicate ecosystem susceptible to large parameter swings so letting a strong ecosystem develop is paramount in this size tank.
Rnasty is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 05:48 PM
Algae Grower
 
nbgolds's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 120
The tank looks great! As Swarley said above, you might consider Dr. Tim's ammonia --- less than $5 at pet shops or order online. I used it, and it worked great for me.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
nbgolds is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnasty View Post
What water tester are you using?

If you've put food in there and it's been 10 days there is surely ammonia in the water from the food breakdown which makes me wonder about the testing method.

Just as a side note, I often allow my tanks at least one full month to cycle before adding fish. 5 gallons will have a delicate ecosystem susceptible to large parameter swings so letting a strong ecosystem develop is paramount in this size tank.
I'm using the API master kit -- I use the same one at work so I know the kit itself isn't a dud, and I get readings at work with it, so I know I am doing it right, though I'll admit I didn't do that obnoxious nitrate test right at first. The only thing I can think is that there was more bacteria on the plants (some were pulled directly from a tank at a local fish store) than I assumed, and it's such a small tank that maybe it is closer to being cycled than I thought. I'll do the nitrate test again tonight, and see if I can't get to a different store for pure ammonia. Maybe I'll just hit up Petsmart, though it grates to spend so much more for something that is only a dollar or two at the grocery store for a decent bottle!

Thanks for the response -- I'm happy to wait a month or whatever before I bring my shrimp and a snail or two over, but I am frustrated at the thought of waiting a month before the cycle even BEGINS!

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbgolds View Post
The tank looks great! As Swarley said above, you might consider Dr. Tim's ammonia --- less than $5 at pet shops or order online. I used it, and it worked great for me.
Thanks! I'll see if they have it at Petsmart. I'm so excited about this tank -- I never really "got" the whole aquarium thing until I started taking care of the tanks at work! I'm hooked now, for sure!
Cinnamonamon is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:28 PM
Planted Member
 
Rnasty's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 215
Without a doubt some BB came along with those plants if they're from a cycled tank, if you keep getting 0 readings for the next week I'd say you're good to go. Seeding BB greatly speeds up the process
Cinnamonamon likes this.
Rnasty is offline  
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:41 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 15
In my opinion the reading of 0 doesn't mean anything as of now. While it is often thought plants solely feed off of nitrates, actually the earlier nitrogen elements are preferred. This leads to these scenarios:
A: the plants have been absorbing whatever amount of ammonia has been produced and thus prevented a cycle from happening;
B: whatever amount of ammonia slightly built up was also partly converted to nitrites and possibly nitrates which would indicate at least some cycling happening. However this is impossible to verify.

Considering there is no life stock currently present, it would be worthwhile to dose ammonia up to the point where the plants can't use it overnight. Don't bombard it though, due to algae. A test the following day should consequently read traceable amounts of nitrates.

Also note that it is never good to have 0 nitrates in any planted tank.

p.s.
With regards to waiting before adding life stock: even if you were to wait for a whole year, the cycling wouldn't infinitely continue. The bacteria will only amount up to the number that can be fed with the food present in the aquarium. Lesser stocked aquariums naturally will house fewer bacteria due to the simple fact that there is less food (nitrogen) for them to process.
p.p.s.
Adding ammonia as opposed to throwing in some food is VASTLY preferred since the food will only cause a mess.
Mafkees is offline  
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:44 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
kaldurak's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 697
Do you know anyone that you could borrow some filter media or sponge from? That would essentially "instantly" cycle your tank by adding a large amount of beneficial bacteria. Everyone's suggestions are on point, though.

It takes a while for fish food to break down, so its not my preferred method of cycling. I have done both the Borrow a sponge method and drops of ammonia method. The ammonia method is much faster than fish food.

If you decide to use ammonia - make sure you shake the bottle. I repeat, shake the bottle. If you see suds or bubbles that hang around - do not buy that type of ammonia, you need to get the kind without surfactants. When you shake it it should nearly instantly become a clear liquid again. Of you have an Ace Hardware nearby, they are very reliable at having the right kind of ammonia for our aquaria needs. And then a couple drops will do ya 🙂

My tank journal.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
kaldurak is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaldurak View Post
Do you know anyone that you could borrow some filter media or sponge from? That would essentially "instantly" cycle your tank by adding a large amount of beneficial bacteria. Everyone's suggestions are on point, though.

It takes a while for fish food to break down, so its not my preferred method of cycling. I have done both the Borrow a sponge method and drops of ammonia method. The ammonia method is much faster than fish food.

If you decide to use ammonia - make sure you shake the bottle. I repeat, shake the bottle. If you see suds or bubbles that hang around - do not buy that type of ammonia, you need to get the kind without surfactants. When you shake it it should nearly instantly become a clear liquid again. Of you have an Ace Hardware nearby, they are very reliable at having the right kind of ammonia for our aquaria needs. And then a couple drops will do ya 🙂
Thanks for the tip on Ace Hardware -- I have been to Kroger & Meijer and both had surfactants in their ammonia. Petsmart didn't have ammonia, at all! The food is indeed making a nasty mess -- which is not awesome at all...I wish I'd just ordered ammonia on Amazon when I bought most of the other supplies!

With regard to getting used media, I very foolishly replaced the filter floss in all my work tanks just days before I set my tank up, and they're so overstocked I don't dare pull anymore out for at least a week or so. I don't know anyone else well enough to know if they have safe tanks, iykwim.

Anyway, I'll see if I can get to Ace tomorrow!
Cinnamonamon is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Cinnamonamon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafkees View Post
In my opinion the reading of 0 doesn't mean anything as of now. While it is often thought plants solely feed off of nitrates, actually the earlier nitrogen elements are preferred. This leads to these scenarios:
A: the plants have been absorbing whatever amount of ammonia has been produced and thus prevented a cycle from happening;
B: whatever amount of ammonia slightly built up was also partly converted to nitrites and possibly nitrates which would indicate at least some cycling happening. However this is impossible to verify.

Considering there is no life stock currently present, it would be worthwhile to dose ammonia up to the point where the plants can't use it overnight. Don't bombard it though, due to algae. A test the following day should consequently read traceable amounts of nitrates.

Also note that it is never good to have 0 nitrates in any planted tank.
Thank you! I appreciate the theories -- I've entertained some of the same ones, but as I am pretty much a newbie, don't have a lot of confidence without some back-up, lol. I am going to try another local store tomorrow (I hope...mom life is busy!), then just order on amazon if I can't find any pure ammonia in town.

I'm a little worried about the lack of nitrates too -- for the most part the plants look exactly like they did when I got them -- the elodea is dropping "leaves" all over the place, though, which adds to the mess of the fish flakes. I guess I'll just keep an eye on them -- maybe I'll have to look into adding some sort of fertilizer if nitrates don't show up eventually. I just keep getting more and more sucked in, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafkees View Post
p.s.
With regards to waiting before adding life stock: even if you were to wait for a whole year, the cycling wouldn't infinitely continue. The bacteria will only amount up to the number that can be fed with the food present in the aquarium. Lesser stocked aquariums naturally will house fewer bacteria due to the simple fact that there is less food (nitrogen) for them to process.
p.p.s.
Adding ammonia as opposed to throwing in some food is VASTLY preferred since the food will only cause a mess.
Part of my recent impatience is that I know I'm actually only planning a super light load in there -- a handful of cherry/RCS/misc. shrimp, and a mystery snail or two (who are babies right now). I had played with the idea of adding a snail or two in now, going on the theory that the tank is already cycled, just for a very light bioload... Anyway, I can't quite bring myself to do it. It was bad enough when I took over care of the tanks at work when I started my new job last February. I mean, the person before me was worse at it...but still, I've done enough damage to the guppy/ghost shrimp/mystery snail kingdoms.

And yes...so much mess -- my beautiful marimo ball has nasty getting-mushy flake food, along with slowly disintegrating elodea. I should take a picture and post it as a warning for the next person who doesn't want to search for ammonia at the store, lol. That said, I am continuing to add food every other day to keep up anything that might be happening, whether or not it is showing up in tests....

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnasty View Post
Without a doubt some BB came along with those plants if they're from a cycled tank, if you keep getting 0 readings for the next week I'd say you're good to go. Seeding BB greatly speeds up the process
I've read where some people say you have to transfer BB within an hour...that seems like SUCH a small amount of time! Most people don't say anything except "don't let it dry out." Is there any prevailing theory on how long it stays alive? I actually brought some home from my work tanks, but then life intervened and I didn't get to set the tank up for a couple days, so I just threw it out.
Cinnamonamon is offline  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 07:59 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 15
I would advise on removing the food and debris ASAP, performing a gravel vacuum along with an 80-90% water change and then top it up again. Your tap water will also contain some nitrogen, for example my tap water has ~15ppm nitrates. If you start your tank with this mess building up it will be a start from 1-0 behind.

The dropping of leaves can mean one of two things:
1) you bought an emerged (=out of water) grown plant from the store, which is now transforming to its submerged form. This is completely natural;
2) since your nitrogen readings are 0, I am guessing the plants have simply absorbed all present nutrients. Dropping leaves or leaves turning yellow is often a PO4/phosphate issue. Again, refer to the water change.
Mafkees is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome