Where am I in cycling? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Where am I in cycling?

I started 12 days ago using safestart and dumped 15 small white clouds into my 40g.

I've been testing every few days and have not seen the test change at all from undetectable using API freshwater master kit.

Before I used safestart and fish I had the tank with water with a handful of plants (2 anubias nana, 4 stems of some plant I forgot the names of), manzanita driftwood, "seiryu" stones, and pool filter sand.

I am questionable about my safestart being alive as it was shipped in a middle of a snow storm and big ALS did a very poor job of protecting it from weather. I do to think they even know the product consisted of live bacteria. I would of expected it in a thermo box or something from a company like big ALS.

I bought a 8 oz bottle but only have dumped half in so far since it was up to 100g and says treats 500g. Shook it really good when I added it.

So my question is have the cycle even started or maybe I missed the toxicity level change and the tank is completely cycled?




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:45 PM
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I've never used safestart, so I can't address its efficacy or cycling time.

Your API kit should have ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests. Your tank is cycled when the ammonia and nitrite are 0 ppm and the nitrate is above 0 ppm.

Essentially, you want healthy populations of two types of bacteria: one that eats ammonia and excretes nitrite, and one that eats nitrite and excretes nitrate.

It IS possible to have 0 ppm of all three nitrogen compounds in an UNcycled tank. That's why you absolutely _must_ have detectable nitrate to make sure you're ready to add more livestock.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. So I guess it hasn't even started cycling yet. I'm just going to dump the entire bottle in for the hell if it. Should have known better than to order a way too big bottle for my size tank and also during winter.

People reported safestart working pretty much immediately. Cycling in a few days to less than a week.

Is it just a waiting game now? I see a ton of fish poop on the sand that I'm surprised I haven't had any ammonia readings.



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:18 PM
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Add as many plants as you can because it does speed up the process but you have to stuff it


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 04:48 AM
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Just test your tank everyday and keep an eye on things. The plants may be pulling some of the ammonia out, which will skip the nitrogen cycle altogether. And I think that's a fairly small fish load for that tank, so betwixt the plants and whatever may have been in the safe start, you might be okay.

If you see any ammonia/nitrites, do a partial water change. The filter should catch up shortly.

Only thing is, you are probably going to have to do this (test and water change when needed) whenever you add some more critters to the tank.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 05:29 AM
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I think that is pretty great.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 06:08 AM
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15 clouds in a 40 gallon is not much bio load, TSS should handle that no problem. Say your safestart was bad then you should get ammonia readings later this week. If it's good then you should start getting Nitrate readings. I would hang onto the rest of the bottle and keep testing ammonia,nitrite and nitrate. Last thing you want to do is assume it's good to go and buy more fish or stop testing. I'd save the rest of the bottle for dosing when you add more critters, assuming the tank cycled from your initial dose.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Okay I'll hold on to the rest of the bottle.

I thought it was one small fish per 10 gallon rule when you are cycling. Btw I'm down to 9 or 10 now from when I started. I feed them everyday, not sure why they just die on me or disappear.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanz View Post
Okay I'll hold on to the rest of the bottle.

I thought it was one small fish per 10 gallon rule when you are cycling. Btw I'm down to 9 or 10 now from when I started. I feed them everyday, not sure why they just die on me or disappear.


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Get a hold of Tetra Safe Start Plus or Dr Tim's One and Only. Use the whole bottle at one time, after a 50% water change. If your ammonia levels are too high or too low, it will take longer for colony to get established - the water changes helps this.

Yes, the cold (freezing) temperatures can effect the stuff. I've had a bad bottle of Dr. Tim's, figured it was too cold for too long in the belly of a plane.

What are your test results. Make sure shake the test bottles before adding the drops. Its surprising how much this little trick can effect your readings. BTW, what are your readings.

Take some tank water to the LFS, have them test it. See it matchs your results.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by vanz View Post
Okay I'll hold on to the rest of the bottle.

I thought it was one small fish per 10 gallon rule when you are cycling. Btw I'm down to 9 or 10 now from when I started. I feed them everyday, not sure why they just die on me or disappear.


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The 1 fish per 10 gallon rule is if you were cycling without TSS or any bacterial additive. Regardless it's definitely better to add less fish, the last thing you want is a huge bioload in a potentially un cycled tank. What I was pointing out was that with that low of a bioload if the TSS was not working it might take a few days to have ammonia readings that register. If it is working then in a few days you should have nitrate readings.

+1 on the shaking of the test kit bottles before use. Especially the nitrate test, it settles and won't read right without being shaken up.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by King of Hyrule View Post
Get a hold of Tetra Safe Start Plus or Dr Tim's One and Only. Use the whole bottle at one time, after a 50% water change. If your ammonia levels are too high or too low, it will take longer for colony to get established - the water changes helps this.

Yes, the cold (freezing) temperatures can effect the stuff. I've had a bad bottle of Dr. Tim's, figured it was too cold for too long in the belly of a plane.

What are your test results. Make sure shake the test bottles before adding the drops. Its surprising how much this little trick can effect your readings. BTW, what are your readings.

Take some tank water to the LFS, have them test it. See it matchs your results.

I was using the tetra safe start plus. I just didn't empty the entire 8 oz bottle for my size tank.

My test results the time i posted it is

I shake the hell out of those bottles when I do my tests. The lfs not so much. I'll have to compare my tests against theirs.

So how would a water change help if the ammonia readings are none? Wouldn't the new water dechlorinated have no ammonia?


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 04:13 PM
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Your test results look somewhat promising. Just keep doing them until you get nitrate readings. Then you know your cycle is complete. If you start getting ammonia and nitrite and no nitrate then you know the bacteria additive didn't work.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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I still haven't had nitrates or any other reading. Would it be safe to add 12 rummy nose tetras? Went to Petco last night as well to test. Zero across the board. Can't say the same for my saltwater though....nitrates are off the charts, as confirmed by my own test kit at home. I thought my test kit was a bad batch, but it seems to make sense since a lot of my corals are not doing too well.
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