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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i spent most of my day yesterday getting my new 29 gallon tank set up. I went everywhere in town looking for pure ammonia for a fishless cycle and absolutely nobody (including the local pet stores) had any. So i bought a bottle of that bacteria in a bottle stuff (i got the kind made by nutrafin). I also picked up a group of 6 neon tetras to try and pump some ammonia into the system and put a few live plants and a plastic rock cave in there too. These pics were taken right after i got it set up. The water is a lot clearer now.



I checked my parameters today after 24 hours and they were as follows:

gH- between 0 and 30
kH- about 40
pH- between 6.8 and 7.0
Ammonia- between 0 and 0.25
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- about 20

from what I have read, i am showing readings that are normal for towards the end of the cycle rather than after 24 hours. I am going to keep checking daily and see if it stays, and I know 24 hours is a short amount of time. But it looks promising. Thoughts?
 

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welcome to the forum

while you are showing nitrates, that does not mean that you are close to the end. The fact that you are registering ammonia indicates that you are at the very beginning of the cycling process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh OK. But the presence of the nitrates still means I have bacteria at work right? I just thought the ammonia levels would have been higher. The color the water turned when I tested it was kind of in between 0 and the next color (.25). Like I said I know its still early. So I'm going to keep monitoring it
 

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Nitrates could be in your tap water. Keep testing if you like - there's a lot you can learn from it. I know with some of the products, they tell you not to test the water for a week. It will be interesting to see how the neons do, since they can be quite sensitive nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did a baseline test with plain tap water and there wasn't any nitrates registering
Idk. I was going to cycle it with danios and trade them back in for some tetras, but I couldn't seem to find any danios here in town. It was odd. So I went with the tetras because of their cost and easy availability. I'm hoping they make it. But you are right, it will be interesting
 

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check the big stores, like petsmart. they are having a sale, 1 dollar per zebra diano.
 

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i spent most of my day yesterday getting my new 29 gallon tank set up. I went everywhere in town looking for pure ammonia for a fishless cycle and absolutely nobody (including the local pet stores) had any. So i bought a bottle of that bacteria in a bottle stuff (i got the kind made by nutrafin). I also picked up a group of 6 neon tetras to try and pump some ammonia into the system and put a few live plants and a plastic rock cave in there too. These pics were taken right after i got it set up. The water is a lot clearer now.



I checked my parameters today after 24 hours and they were as follows:

gH- between 0 and 30
kH- about 40
pH- between 6.8 and 7.0
Ammonia- between 0 and 0.25
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- about 20

from what I have read, i am showing readings that are normal for towards the end of the cycle rather than after 24 hours. I am going to keep checking daily and see if it stays, and I know 24 hours is a short amount of time. But it looks promising. Thoughts?
Iv'e used dead snails as ammonia and it worked. Some people use dead shrimp.
 

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Nutrafin Cycle is not the best cycle helper on the market, It does't contain the two types of bacteria that actually convert ammonia and then nitrite. It merely converts ammonia to nitrate, but doesn't flourish and colonize your tank. That's why the maufacturer says to use it regularly.

Tetra Safestart is probably the easiest to get of the bottled bacteria. Make sure it's fresh.

Arguably the best bacteria product is Dr Tim's One-and-Only. Shipped fresh from the factory in an insulated container to ensure freshness.

Also commonly available are API Quickstart, ATM Colony an Niteout. I have spoken directly with keepers who have used these products successfully to quickly cycle their system. I've heard of Seachem Stability working.

With your low pH, your cycle will have a hard time getting going. Patience, even with bacteria, is required.

If you can manage it, lots of fast-growing live plants will keep your stock safer during startup.
(I said that so beaslbob won't smack me.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All very good info guys. I'm going to end up having to find danios I think or start a fishless cycle. I've lost 3 of the neons in the last 24 hours. Ammonia climbed to between 0.25-0.35 and they arent handling it well =[ the rest of the parameters are about the same. I never realized they were THIS delicate. However my little patch of grass in the tank is showing new growth already. So that's a plus
 

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you should get a goldfish, keep it in there for an hour or two, then return it. it makes 10,000 neons worth of poo in that little span of time than a full grown neon would in its life. then just add the bacteria in a bottle and watch the magic
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I am now down to 2 neons. They seem to be doing better than the rest were. These 2 I have actually seen eating a decent amount. I wonder what's killing them so soon. Im thinking stress. The parameters aren't crazy, ammonia hasn't spiked real high and the water temp is a solid 78. Whats odd is wkth the most recent death, the poor little guy had lost a lot of his color. The rest that died were still as vibrant as alive
 

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Change your water. Your fish are dying from ammonia poisoning in an uncycled tank.
 

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I can't imagine ~0.25ppm ammonia being much of a problem in >7.0pH water. What are your readings today, mn?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I still have 2 troopers in there eating and swimming normally. Parameters are as follows:

gH- maybe a hair over 0
kH- about 40
pH- between 6.6 and 6.8 now
Nitrite- between 0 and 0.5
Nitrate about 30
Ammonia- about 0.50

Temp is still right around 78
 

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Hmmm...your ammonia and nitrite are high. But, at that pH, your ammonia is mostly ammonium, anyway. Well, keep up with water changes and Prime, and keep the substrate clean and the stock lightly fed. I can't really think of anything else you can do.
 

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Hi there reading through these posts I'm seeing that your tank has yet to of cycled. The most important thing is to not rush this cycle as it takes time for the colonies of nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria to become established to where they can consume the high levels of both ammonia and nitrite. Your tank is going to go through spikes of both of these chemicals which are not accepted by most fish due to the problems they cause with respiration. I like the idea of adding the bottled bacteria (fishless cycle) because it is more humane and imo it is a fast way to get that bacteria colonized if you buy a well known product such as Dr. Timms. I have done a video recently on the Nitrogen Cycle aka "the silent killer", so if you are interested you can check out the link below. Best of luck with your tank and keep testing that water and do not rush as it takes time to cycle, but when it does you will have a well established biological filtration in your water to keep those toxins down and out. Don't forget water changes to remove that buildup of nitrates as well :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhBHxzV1jqI
 
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