Cycling timeframe? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling timeframe?

Last Thursday, 7-19, I set up a 7 gallon bow planted tank. Added some java fern that day. Began a cycle with a bit of fish food. The next day, 7-20 I added a piece of Shrimp as well as a few other plants. Some Anacharis, a fern and some other non-aquatic plants. (Don't get me started, petco sells them as aquatic, Sorry)

Today: Parameters = Amonia: 0, PH: 7.2, Nitrites: 0, Nitrate: 10.

Can that be? Seeks a bit to quick to call it Cycled. New to this planted tank thing though. Any insight here?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 04:50 PM
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do you have fish in there? whats a bit of shrimp??? like food shrimp?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 06:12 PM
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Did you dump water from a different tank or from petco in there?

How old is your water testing strips, bottles?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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No fish present just yet. Wanted to avoid putting them through an exposure to Ammonia.

Just regular old shrimp that you buy at the grocery store. Frozen but thawed. Fishless cycle method essentially. The shrimp decomposes releasing Amonia then the process has begun.

I have heard that plants help speed up the process. Although, that was very fast. My testing kits are all about 2 years old other than the PH kit. I will try new ones and see if a different reading is present.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 07:17 PM
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can you post a pic of the tank? My guess is that you have enough plants that suck up the ammonia, thus no nitrites are formed, and the nitrates could either be from tap water or inaccurate test kits....but that's just a wild guess

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v2...t=IMG_5335.jpg

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 08:54 PM
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Do you have another tank or know someone with another tank? The fastest way to cycle that baby is to just take some filter media from an old tank and stick it in your filter. I have never heard of putting a raw shrimp in a tank to cycle it....sounds like it would lead to all sorts of nasties in the water.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 09:32 PM
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proly the nitrate is from your tap, the type of plants you have aren't the super-great nutrient eating type like watersprite or hygrophila. Also, the non-aquatics are just going to rot in there until you take them out. If you have another tank or you have access to a friend's tank (that you trust not to have diseases etc) tank some mulm and toss it in your tank. The mulm plus getting some watersprite and hygrophila are great ways to instantly cycle your tank (as long as you slowly add the fish). If you don't have access to some mulm, get the plants I mentioned and some bio-spira (beneficial bacteria starter). Bio-spira is a liquid and has to be refrigerated so you have a much better chance of getting live bacteria than the dried-out kind. Using bio-spira and the plants, your cycling should be pretty minimal. The key is to have actively growing, fast growing plants that will suck up the nutrients and help start the cycle. If the plants aren't growing, they aren't doing anything for your water chemistry and could in fact, make the problem worse if they are rotting.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2007, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have used Bio Spira in the past for SW. I removed the non aquatic plants already. DOH! I added a few anubias this morning. I will look for some watersprite or hygrophylia as well. Thanks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Went looking for watersprite and Hydrophilia. Found someone who has Hydro clippings. Bought some Hornwart at Petsmart along with a new FW Master test kit. Will try that tomorrow. Still looking for watersprite. Never seen that locally I think.

What about hornwart?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 11:58 AM
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Hornwort is a great nutrient sponge.
You can also try anacharis.
What you want are really fast growing stems, or even some large floaters like Water Lettuce.
Ludwidgia also worked well for me when it comes to helping cycle.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Great. Added quite a bit of this to my tank earlier in the day. Will check the amonia levels tomorrow as well.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 07:24 PM
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Anyone know how much bio-spira costs roughly?

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 08:05 PM
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I bought a bag good for up to 90G (I think) for 14.00 at my LFS...


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Bio SPira for SW tanks was expensive. I think 25 or 30 bucks. Used it twice in the past few years.
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