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My 7.5 gallon Penn Plax

684 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  hritchie
I’ve decided to start a journal for my new tank so I can look back and learn from it in the future. This is my second tank, but the first one running a fishless cycle with ammonia and cycled media from my other tank. So far it’s not going well. I was all excited because two days after I started my tank I already had reduced ammonia, high nitrites and high nitrates. I figured I was almost set. The next day the nitrites and nitrates were off the charts so I did a 50% water change. Ever since then I cycle seems to have died and I’m starting from scratch. I have no idea what I did to wreck it. The only thing I can think of is maybe I forgot to put prime in my tap water. Disappointing anyway.

Last night I remembered I had some Prodibio Start Up vials that I planned to use on the 12 gallon long I have sitting gathering dust. I have big plans for that tank that will require more money than I have currently so it will remain sitting for the time being, so I decided to use the Start Up on this tank. We’ll see how it does over the next few days/weeks now.

Start Date

March 17th, 2017


Penn Plax 7.5 gallon


Fluval Nano Aqualife LED on 2:30pm to 11:30pm daily – it seems way too bright, at least compared to the 16” Fugeray I have on my Spec V.


Zoo Med 501
Biohome Biogravel

Temperature Control

Hydor Theo 50W
Finnex Max-300 Digital Aquarium Heater Controller




Fluval Stratum
Seachem Flourite Dark cap


Seachem Flourish Root Tabs. Far more than recommended because I was dumb and didn’t read the package. Maybe this is what killed the cycle? I don’t know, I’m grasping at straws.


Rotala Indica so far. I’m planning to add java fern, ludwigia mini red and some buces and mosses, maybe some red root floaters. I’m also thinking of trying an HC carpet. I’m going to wait until it’s done cycling before adding anything other than the rotala though. I’ll update as I add.


For fish I’m thinking red neon blue-eyes and pygmy cories.
I want shrimp, but the only shrimp I plan on adding are amanos for the foreseeable future. I have terrible luck with shrimp other than amanos.
A nerite snail or two plus I have lots of red ramshorns and MTS in my other tank so I’ll add a few of each of those as well.

Bump: So this was how things looked on the 20th. My water tests showed the cycle was well on its way and I was having a bacteria bloom.


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These pics are as of yesterday. Still no sign of the cycle starting. I’ll test the water tomorrow and see if the Prodibio made any difference yet.

The wood is about 80% covered with this gross white, hairy slime and has been for just over a week. I understand it goes away in time so I’m not concerned. I actually find it kind of fascinating.

The rotala was just floating until I noticed a bunch of roots sticking out of the stalks the other day. I decided to plant them.


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