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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Set up a new tank yesterday, have always let the cycle happen naturally with frequent water changes until ready, this tank I would like to be done a bit different.

Using tap water for the first time, always used RO.

Have got a water conditioner for the water before I use it.

Am planning on using my existing fert (aquadip plant food” and dose once a week after a water change only.

For the cycling I will be going fishless as this tank will only house one beta fish.

I got some seachem stability today, have dosed 4ml today as instructions. Tank is only 30L.

For the next 7 days it says to dose 2ml per day.

Questions:

When should I start adding ammonia? I’ll most likely do this with fish food, I have some algae wafers that I’ll put one in every other day.

Will I have to use seachem stability forever or will I be able to let the tank stabilise itself after a period of time.

This is my first low tech tank, all previous have been high tech.

Any other seachem products to use in conjunction & if so at what doses for 30L??

Many thanks.




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When should I start adding ammonia?
Now.

I’ll most likely do this with fish food, I have some algae wafers that I’ll put one in every other day.
If you have ammonia to use, that will be a little more exact and likely faster, as you won't have to wait for food to decay. But don't add food every other day - measure the ammonia present in your tank before adding more.

Will I have to use seachem stability forever or will I be able to let the tank stabilise itself after a period of time.
No, you don't need to use it forever. You don't really even need to use it at all. But since you have it, use it for the first week (as the product recommends) and then just focus on making sure there's enough ammonia present to get processed into nitrite (you'll see the spike) and then into nitrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now.



If you have ammonia to use, that will be a little more exact and likely faster, as you won't have to wait for food to decay. But don't add food every other day - measure the ammonia present in your tank before adding more.



No, you don't need to use it forever. You don't really even need to use it at all. But since you have it, use it for the first week (as the product recommends) and then just focus on making sure there's enough ammonia present to get processed into nitrite (you'll see the spike) and then into nitrate.
Perfect thank you, would I also water change frequently during the cycle, I usually water change up to 50% twice in the first week and then 50% a week as it’s a small tank.

Just wondering whether it’d benefit more not to do so as using seachem stability.

Unfortunately I can’t get any straight ammonia other than online but I’ll be going away for a few days next week so I’m writing a how to sheet for my partner so she can do it, I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible for her and I think adding straight ammonia is asking for trouble


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Managed to order some pure ammonia on Amazon for next day delivery so will at that in time for tomorrow now, from what I have read online using ammonia is quite simple like the following.

Work out how many drops of ammonia is needed to bring X amount of water to 5ppm

Not sure on this part:
Add that amount daily to the tank?

Keep adding seachem stability daily throughout

Test for ammonia every 2-3 days

Wait for Nitrites to come into the tank

Half the dosage of ammonia and still add daily?

Wait for nitrites to be replaced by nitrate & then big water change and you’re done?

Sorry for the long question


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I don't do water changes during the initial cycling process unless I'm using a substrate that releases tons of ammonia. I wouldn't do one unless you hit more than 5PPM Ammonia or 80-100PPM Nitrate (which isn't likely if you aren't dosing much.)

Figure out how much 1ml (or whatever measurement you're going with) of ammonia raises the concentration in the tank. Some simple math(s, since you're fancy and across the pond) will then help you figure out how much a single drop raises it.

I keep my concentration of ammonia at 2-3 PPM daily until the tank is ready. Which means I have to dose ammonia less frequently in the beginning than I do at the end. You may only need to add a few drops every few days til things kick into high gear. Then you may have to dose half a mil. Each setup is different. But dosing ammonia really is easier than using food once you figure out the measurements. Since you're only going to house a single betta, you could probably just go to 1 PPM and be fine. If it were me, I'd go to 2-3 PPM because I like to be over-prepared or in case my livestock plans change at the last minute.

To simplify the "cycle" process: Dose the tank to the PPM ammonia concentration you desire. Keep it at that concentration. Let nitrites spike and then disappear while continuing to keep that concentration. You'll see nitrates slowly come into existence throughout the process. Once the tank can process all of that ammonia in under 24 hours with no nitrite detectible, you're good to go. Just keep dosing the tank to keep the bacteria alive. Then do a 100% water change when you're ready to add your livestock. Their waste will keep things going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure whether to keep adding ammonia.

Currently at 2ppm but due a dose today, as the tank will only house 1 Betta I think 2ppm is enough for the cycle.




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Psst, if your pH gives you that dark blue, you should switch to the high pH test because the normal one is maxed out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Psst, if your pH gives you that dark blue, you should switch to the high pH test because the normal one is maxed out.
Thanks for that, I wasn’t sure whether it was just bad lighting, I thought it was around 7.6 with the regular ph test, just did the high test and I got 7.8, but higher than I ideally want but it’ll work


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Definitely enough for a single Betta or even a decently sized colony of shrimp.
Thought so, went down to 1ppm so I added 0.2ml of ammonia to bring it back up as nitrite levels are still very low, probably leave it now as I have quite high nitrate, so hopefully by the morning I have zero ammonia and zero nitrite but I’m not hopeful on the ammonia as it doesn’t seem to decrease as quick as I’d like


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


So I haven’t added any ammonia in a few days, ammonia goes from around 2ppm to this in about 24 hours which I’m happy with, I’m not sure about the nitrite though, obviously it’s still there, still a waiting game, add ammonia to keep the cycle going or anything else to rectify this? Starting to get new tank algae which I’m wanting to clean already


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