06-05-2010, 10:40 AM
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Still struggling, but on track?
Well, this IS certainly taking a lot longer than I expected. Boy, years ago I had some good tanks going with neons and fancy guppies and so forth, only 10g no less, and knew nothing about water chemistry. I don't know how I did it all those years ago.
When I first set this tank up with ancient gravel, the water clouded up almost immediately and stayed that way for almost a week, making me think something was wrong. I hope my changing the water to dilute it weeks ago didn't set me back.
With no fish and adding flakes, my ammonia reading has been lingering for days at a steady 3.0 ppm (right between 2 green levels on the API testing scale). My nitrites have been at .25 ppm since Wednesday. At this rate when can I expect this 20g tank to cycle? I've been seriously considering adding a couple zebra danios to speed things up, but fear the ammonia would be too much a shock to the system at this point.
My water is actually quite hard, making me nervous about getting the fish I want, which for some reason all seem to prefer softer water. At any rate I don't have live plants - should I still get some? Not sure if my lighting is adequate.
I expected to have this tank up and running a couple weeks after setting it up. I don't know if it's best to just be patient, or to scrap the whole thing and start over, this time, using fish.