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I gave a sponge and some media to my co-worker a few days ago. I'm going to pick it up next week. I hope the sponge in his tank for a few days is enough to get me a kick start.


It will definitely get you going in the right direction. Will speed up the cycle but how much is hard to say.


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Discussion Starter #22
Buffering substrates that leach ammonia can cause the cycle to take longer, too.


Might help to try raising the temperature of the tank to 84-86° F.
I don't think it's the substrates leaching ammonia. The ammonia stay the same for a few days already. Initially it was very low like 0.5 or so. I added ammonia in there to start the cycle.

I don't have a heater for the tank yet, so, can't really raise the temp. It's around 80°F.
 

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I don't think it's the substrates leaching ammonia. The ammonia stay the same for a few days already. Initially it was very low like 0.5 or so. I added ammonia in there to start the cycle.



I don't have a heater for the tank yet, so, can't really raise the temp. It's around 80°F.


What soil did you go with? Some buffering substrates do leach ammonia and some do not. For example ADA Amazonia does and for a while which is why you need to cycle it for a bit before adding any livestock. Others like Controsoil do not do it all depends on what you have.


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Discussion Starter #24
I ended up using Aquasolum. Ammonia hasn't changed since I added them to start the cycle. Both nitrite (0) and nitrate (5) remains since day one. That's why I know it's not cycling and no ammonia leaching from soil.


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Discussion Starter #28
It's making progress. Ammonia around 1.5, Nitrite 2.0, Nitrate 7.0.
At what point should I do water change?
 

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It's making progress. Ammonia around 1.5, Nitrite 2.0, Nitrate 7.0.
At what point should I do water change?
When nitrates get over 40-80ppm, I'd do a water change. At some point, they can be inhibited as seen in Immortal1's testing of matrix.

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