Started my first planted tank.. am I cycling it right? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Started my first planted tank.. am I cycling it right?

Hi All-

I am just starting my first planted tank. I don't have much experience with fish tanks at all.

Am I doing a fishless cycle correctly? Also, can someone give me the basics on cycling and/or refer me to a website that has info about how to do a fishless cycle? I plan to eventually add a school a tetras (20-30) and about 10 or so ghost shrimp.

Tank - 55 gallon
Substrate - Eco-Complete.. 100 lbs of it
Plants - Microswords, crypt wendtii, and another plant that the LFS said was low light (forgot the name!)
Filter - Rena XP3
Light - t5he 18w bulb that is 10,000k light (i think someone said 6,500 was best, but said to try it out with 10,000k and it shouldn't be too much light for algae)
I do not plan on using co2

After about 20 hours of letting the tank run, I just did a test of the water using the API Freshwater Master Kit:
pH - 7.6
Ammonia - 0.25 - 0.5 ppm (couldn't tell which one it was closer t0
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 5.0 ppm

Are these OK readings for the first day of a fishless cycle? After I did the test, I added a decent amount of fish flakes.. I read that I'm supposed to add the flakes to produce ammonia.

So.. just to confirm.. every few days I add some more fish flakes.. let the light run during the day.. and test the water every few days. When will I know that my tank is done cycling?

Thanks all! I've attached a photo of my tank. Again, eventually I would like to have a school of tetras (20-30) and about 10 ghost shrimp.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 11:40 PM
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Sounds good. You'll know your done when you read zero for nitrites and ammonia for a couple weeks in a row.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 12:00 AM
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Sounds like your on the right track to me! And yes keep adding some fish flakes every few days to produce ammonia, just a few though. It'll probably take about a month for your tank to cycle, and as Willamette said, it'll be done when ammonia and nitrite read 0 for a while.

I love the rock on the right side, do you know what kind it is?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 12:12 AM
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If your going to have such a nice, deep, nutrient rich substrate, you might as well purchase a better light and heavily plant it. Just my opinion though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willamette View Post
Sounds good. You'll know your done when you read zero for nitrites and ammonia for a couple weeks in a row.
thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DishyFishy View Post
Sounds like your on the right track to me! And yes keep adding some fish flakes every few days to produce ammonia, just a few though. It'll probably take about a month for your tank to cycle, and as Willamette said, it'll be done when ammonia and nitrite read 0 for a while.

I love the rock on the right side, do you know what kind it is?
i think it is some sort of slate. i got it from the local fish store and they indicated it was neutral/inert.

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Originally Posted by Zuni View Post
If your going to have such a nice, deep, nutrient rich substrate, you might as well purchase a better light and heavily plant it. Just my opinion though.
yeah im thinking of getting a catalina t5ho light. but i don't want too many plants. then i may need co2 and it'll complicate things. i prefer something low maintenance
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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also, i shouldn't use any ferts or do any water changes until the tank is done cycling right? i have a timer that has the 1 t5ho 10,000k bulb on for about 12 hours a day. directly on top of the glass canopy.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 01:51 AM
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also, i shouldn't use any ferts or do any water changes until the tank is done cycling right? i have a timer that has the 1 t5ho 10,000k bulb on for about 12 hours a day. directly on top of the glass canopy.
No don't to WCs that will stunt the cycle. Dosing fertz would be ok though, but with such a small amount of plants in there at the moment I would dial down the recommended doses.

The light might be fine for 12hrs a day. If you see much algae starting to form, then you could back it down to 10 or 8. 12 actually may be a little long.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 05:18 AM
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Question, how often are you supposed to test your water and how do you test for chlorine if it's not included in the API master test kit?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 12:57 PM
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Question, how often are you supposed to test your water and how do you test for chlorine if it's not included in the API master test kit?
I have been testing mine every 2-3 days since I started cycling it. You don't need to test for chlorine because you are supposed to use chlorine remover like Tetra Aquasafe to the water when you add it or do water changes.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 01:53 PM
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Here is a link to a fishless cycling article: http://scaquariacom.ipage.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=1362

Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:28 PM
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I have been testing mine every 2-3 days since I started cycling it. You don't need to test for chlorine because you are supposed to use chlorine remover like Tetra Aquasafe to the water when you add it or do water changes.
really? I use filtered tap. The kind you have on your sink for drinking but I don't think there's chlorine in it. Not positive though. For a MASTER kit you'd think it would have everything included.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:41 PM
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In my opinion, if you're using tap water then you should be treating it with a water conditioner.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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I used SeaChem Prime to dechlorinate my water from the sink.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 05:28 AM
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I used SeaChem Prime to dechlorinate my water from the sink.
I just heard about Seachem Safe which is the powder version of prime and is MUCH more cheaper and you need less of it. 1 teaspoon for 150g. The only problem is how the hell am I going to measure 0.04 teaspoons for my 6g.
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