I started a new 15-gal tank. Filled it with dechlor water, 30gal hob sponge/carbon/ceramic-like bio rock, 10gal hob sponge/carbon, 50watt heater, 75F.....ran over night.
Tested water in the morning pH6.8, Zero Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate clear water (drop test set).
I added 5 zebra danios, 1 pleco, 1 chunck of coral (4x4x4inch), and one tall plastic plant.
Fish were from the same non-problematic tank at the store.
I also asked for 2tbs of pepples from the same tank to place in my filter.
Day 2 of fish showed me a hazy (not cloudy) tank. pH 7.8, and zero ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
All Fish appeared happy.....much less skitish then the travel day.
Same Haze on day 3, with same numbers except ammonia seemed like ti was not zero but not 0.25ppm either. I added one 6 leaf amazon sword.
I am feeding them flake food (2-3 flakes 2x/day and about 1/4 of an algae tablet)
Day 4 was less hazy. Same ph and zero everthing else.
Day 5 was clear but ammonia seemed to be between zero and 0.25ppm on the color card.
Day 6 Clear, ph same, zero everything
Day 7 clear, ph same, zero except for ammonia between the two again.
Not sure if that ammonia reading is right, could be fluctuation in my testing giving me the slight above zero color.....but this test is very subjective........but we do know that i do not have any concentrations near any danger zones.
Question #1 : Is the pH up because of a, what i am terming a, "small bloom of bacteria" from the sample of inoculated pepples........or..........is it the coral that is buffering the pH up to 7.8........
or.......is it a portion of both?
Question #2 : I expected to see some ammonia readings after a full week of bio-activity but i am not.
My hypothosis is that i created the complete nitrogen cycle at once in a low concentration but never-the-less complete.
I added both bacteria which which bloomed a bit to make it hazy but not cloudy.
The bacteria A feed on the ammonia from the waste as it was being generated resulting in a zero meas.
The bacteria B feed on the nitrite being generated but never accumulates either as it gets used up.
The plant is using the nitrate being generated and thus is not accumulating either.
The complete cycle.
I feel as though the system was set up in a state of equilibrium.
I have read that thisis a process called accelerated cycling as opposed to forced cycling with chemicals.
Question #3 : Am i cycled, partially cycled, or am i going to be surprised at a later date with the typical cycling that is described in most of what i read with out of control numbers.
The probelm i see with the other methods is that there are no bacteria of any kind present until ammonia is built up to poisonous levels then they start growing, but only bacteria A. Bacteria B has not started yet becuase there is not nitrite, which happens after the above poisonous stage of ammonia.
This method seems like a batch process where you concentrate on Bactera A, then Bactera B, then nitrate removal (syphoning).
I am new to freshwater aquariums but not new to science.
Am I understanding this or am I way OFF BASE?