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post #1 of 5 Old 02-11-2019, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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advice and recommendations

Hi everyone!! This is my first post therefore it’s gonna be a lengthy one. I plan on giving my story and what i have done so far and i will ask some questions at the end. Please by all means if any of you have recommendations as to what i should change in my routine please let me know. I’m all ears 🙂. I got a tank from a member of mine, but never knew the specific volume. I did some calculations and figured it to be about 45 give or take gallons. What I find strange is that it’s pretty long and wide. About L48”x W14x H16”(all in inches). Either way I filled it up with some of the decorations he gave me and I bought some gravel and placed it in. I looked into fish less cycling and bought Fritz’s ammonia. And some Dr tims one and only. I overshot the ammonia and got readings off the charts. Ph was about 7.4-7.8. I still poured the whole bottle of the bacteria. During the same time, I bought some mopani wood and let it soak in some dechlorinated water for about a 14 days with new water every 2 days. For 9 days (1 water change) my ammonia levels remained off the charts until I bought some fritz bacteria (2nd bacteria source) and poured it in my filter and I finally placed the wood inside my tank. Now my ammonia level has decreased to about .25-2 ppm but no nitrite reading. My nitrates seem to be at 5ppm. Because of the wood, my ph dropped to about 6.9-7.4. I was wondering because i added the bacteria, if it was possible to skip over the nitrite stage. Also, because there is still some ammonia present, should I not add ammonia until it is at 0. Does this mean my tank is close to finished cycling, because it seems really soon. Separately, my wood seems to have some sort of black spots on it and some white like algae on it. Should I be worried and take action. I was told that mopani wouldn’t rot (or shouldn’t rot as fast). Lastly, do you recommend doing water changes with the python siphon (will it kill/ mess up my cycle process.) I’ve heard mixed reviews because 1.It wastes some water 2. It pours tap water directly to tank without letting the water dechlorify.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-11-2019, 08:07 AM
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Don't do water changes. Do NOT add any more ammonia even when it drops to zero. Bacteria in a bottle doesn't cause the cycle to skip around. You can boil the wood. Agleas/fingi will grow on it until the tank balances out. What test kit are you using? 0.25-2ppm is very general.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-11-2019, 12:36 PM
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Hi there. I am too a newbie to this forum. I have bought a 200litre Roma tank which has been cycling without fish for 3 weeks now. Nitrite is still fairly high but today the water has gone a little milky. I assume this is part of the cycle? I have a 60 litre biorb and I cycled that without fish too but didn't have the milky water.

Also my plants are not looking too clever. They were looking vibrant and now look dull and almost turning brown.

Do I just need to be patient and let it do it's thing or should it be at the nitrate stage of the cycle now?
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-11-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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I am using the API freshwater master test kit. Thank you for your advice, I will boil the wood and and hold off on adding ammonia.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-11-2019, 03:54 PM
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FWIW Before I started using plants nitrite could peg the test kit for weeks/months. What I wound up doing was not feeding until they jumped down. From that point on nitrItes were unmeasureable.


For planted methods check out the methods in the link in my signature.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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