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kel
04-11-2010, 12:29 AM
Figured it might be a good idea to start one of these since I seem to be spreading pics of the tank around the forum, this way it will all be on one spot and not cluttering up the place anymore.

A little history first...

I have never kept fish before and have no Idea what inspired me to buy a tank but, I am now sucked in and am loving this hobby!

Back around the 12th of Feb I picked up a 28g bow front and stand at Petco. Took it home and set it up and the next day went out to get some fish. Being new to this that is all I thought I had to do lol... get tank.. fill tank... plop in fish... enjoy! I was wrong but didn't figure that out till after the LFS sold us 15 fish for the darn thing (that included 2 Bala Sharks! luckily those were returned 2 days later *phew) ... and a Fantail Goldie for a 5g I also picked up that day (MTS didn't take long to take hold lol) All the fish we got were completely inappropriate for their respective tanks which I found out after Googling aquarium setups.

To my horror I realized I had just imprisoned these poor fish and since I had taken the responsibility to take care of them I had to take immediate steps to rectify the situation.

I found at Walmart a 55g starter kit and stand for about $280. Brought them home (thats now 3 tanks in less than 2 weeks :help: lol ).

And thats the tank that my inhabitants of the 28g are going to be moved into if the darn thing will ever finish it's cycle.

Here is what I have:

55g Aquarium
2 X Aquatech 30-60 HOB filters (1 came with the kit the other I bought separate)
1 200w AllGlass Heater (came with kit)
2 Fluorescent Light fixtures (came with kit)
2 Perfecto Glass Tops (replaced the plastic hoods that came with the kit)
75lbs natural gravel medium grade
Some plastic plants
1 large fake log
Airstone
Air Pump
DIY Found driftwood

It was setup and filled on the 1st of March and the fishless cycle began.

Day one readings were:

Ammonia 4ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Ph 7.6
Temp 86

They stayed that way for about 2 weeks. At that point I ordered some TurboStart #700 from Fritz industries. That stuff aint cheap but 24 hours later I had

Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrite 2ppm
Nitrate 20ppm
Ph 7.6
Temp 86

Got excited and added more ammonia raising the level to 4ppm again.

Next day:

Ammonia 3ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 30ppm

And got stuck there till just yesterday.

I sent an email to Fritz asking if I had done anything to prevent their product from working and if they had any tips.

They ended up just sending me a free bottle.. keep in mind thats almost a $50 value once the shipping is factored in thumbs2: and asked me to send them a liter of my aquarium water and gave me their UPS shipping account number so it won't cost anything to send. I'm curious what they will find out. None of my tanks have even started a cycle. No nitrites ever develop and if I hadn't added the Turbostart I would still be waiting on this one to start as well (thats my story atleast lol) .

So anyhoo. I tested before adding the new bottle and the water read..

Ammonia 4ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 10ppm
Ph 7.6
Temp 86

Today I tested 24 hours after adding the bottle:

Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrites 5ppm!
Nitrates 40ppm!

So this time I am going to wait to see if the ammonia will drop to almost 0 before bringing back up to 1ppm.

Hopefully I will be moving fish soon thumbs2:

Next post will be full of pics.

kel
04-11-2010, 12:31 AM
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1127.JPG

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1124.JPG

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1125.JPG

kel
04-11-2010, 12:37 AM
Today My wife and I went to the beach and picked up some more driftwood to put on the right side of the tank to kinda balance it out a bit.

This is what we scored

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/medium/IMGP1136.JPG

Not all will be used but a couple are gonna work well I think.

Just need to get a bigger soaking tub for em thumbs2:

Northernguy
04-11-2010, 01:00 AM
Nice peices!thumbs2:
I use a giant rubbermaid tub.

Nice tank too!thumbs2:

kel
04-11-2010, 01:04 AM
That biggest piece is about 2-2.5 feet long.. I'll have to take my camera with us next time... You should see the mountain of wood that makes a sea wall type effect around the entire harbor. There are entire trees stacked up like firewood lol... it's really cool.

Northernguy
04-11-2010, 01:11 AM
That does sound cool.
Get some pics ! lolthumbs2:

I go to a lake system that was created by hydro dams.When they drain the water down you get some fine pickin's!:19: lol That looks really eerie because there are tree stumps and root systems sticking up everywhere!
When they raise the water a lot of stuff that was water logged floats up again and hits shore where it dries out again.

kel
04-11-2010, 07:13 PM
Readings today..

Last night dosed ammonia to 2ppm

Today:
Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrite 5ppm (possibly higher but test maxes out at 5 :shrug:)
Nitrate 40-50ish (again it's an inbetween color)
Ph 7.8
Temp 86

Hopefully I will start seeing the ammonia drop faster in the coming days... but who knows nature seems to be on it's own schedual lol.

BiGBlak
04-11-2010, 07:38 PM
Nice Tank And NIce Story lol I jealous .

kel
04-12-2010, 01:41 AM
That does sound cool.
Get some pics ! lolthumbs2:

As promised, here are some pics of the Drift Trees as we have started calling them lol.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1163.JPG

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1162.JPG

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/IMGP1161.JPG

Ended up picking up a couple more pieces today... I like the ones I got yesterday, just not sure if I like how they would look in this particular tank.

wolf_eyes
04-12-2010, 02:51 AM
wow! With that much wood around no wonder you wanted to use it. You certainly can find whatever you needed with a little walk. Ever think of starting a driftwood store online? lol I know I wouldn't mind taking a few piece from you

kel
04-12-2010, 03:09 AM
wow! With that much wood around no wonder you wanted to use it. You certainly can find whatever you needed with a little walk. Ever think of starting a driftwood store online? lol I know I wouldn't mind taking a few piece from you

Send me an address and an idea of the size and I'll see what I can find and send it out to ya :22:

Most of it floats quite a bit and needs a lot of soaking but if you have some elbow grease sitting around I wouldn't mind at all thumbs2:

kel
04-13-2010, 03:42 AM
Not much done today. I was on leave all last week and today was back to work day lol. As a welcome back gift I was handed the Midnight to 0800 rover watch tonight so ended up either at work or sleeping lol.

Upside is I get tomorrow off work so I will get to work on the driftwood mounting and whatnot then.

Last night I did replace the fake rock cave thing on the right hand side with a real stacked rock cave. Hopefully the bumblebee cat will like it.... he loves hiding. I'll get pics as soon as I can.

Water today reads (dosed ammonia to 2ppm last night around 11pm)

Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrites 5+ppm
Nitrates 40-80ppm
Ph 7.8
Temp 86

I think I'm going to try upping the ammount of ammonia slightly.... will see what happens.

kel
04-14-2010, 11:28 PM
OK, so after my last post I upped the ammonia I was adding to 4ppm..

My numbers today (little less than 48 hours later.. no ammonia added since bringing it to 4ppm)

Ammonia 2ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 160ish (is a VERY dark color..)

Could the very high nitrate levels be slowing the cycle? Anyone encounter this before?

I'm going to leave it be and see where the ammonia goes to in 12 hours then 24 just to get a rate of consumption.

kel
04-18-2010, 02:02 PM
Things are picking up steam now. Last night in less than 8 hours the tank consumed almost 3ppm of ammonia. Level was 4ppm when i went to bed at 11 and this morning at 6:30 it is at 1ppm thumbs2:

Should I add more ammonia now or see how low it gets over a 12 hour period then add more?

Nitrites are down to a strong 1ppm and Nitrates are off the charts and I have stopped testing for them as it is pointless.

I might be able to use this tub of water for fish soon :19:

kel
05-09-2010, 04:05 PM
Well now I am getting really upset with this tank and it's never ending cycle :help:

For the last 2+ months my readings have been

Ammonia 2ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 60-100ppm

It never consumes more than 1ppm ammonia in a 24 hour period, my nitrites have never moved from 1ppm up or down.

This is never ending! I thought fishless was supposed to be faster than fish in! Where is this 3-4 week time frame that all the literature about fishless cycling states.

I haven't done anything to the tank in 2 months except add 1.5 ml ammonia to it every morning to bring it to 2ppm from 1ppm. So far I have use 1/4qt of Ammonia.

I would get some seed material from someone but, I don't know anyone else who keeps fish. Everyone I work with are 21 or under and live in Navy Barracks.. not much fish keeping going on there (except for the occasional drinking like one).

If I had any hair left it would be pulled out by now fromt he stress and frustration this has brought... I thought there were studies that said keeping fish was supposed to LOWER blood pressure! :scry:

(Rant over... sorry had to vent, I am so p'd off right now lol )

hockeyhead019
05-09-2010, 07:47 PM
ok i definitely understand your frustration as i've struggled with uncylced tanks before,

first have you read this post by lady hobbs? Link To Cycling (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=5640)

its great with an awesome explanation.

second from what i've read out of your posts i never saw you adding any type of BB (benefitial bacteria) to the tank... if i'm correct in my assumption this helps the good bacteria grow and the cycle speed up slightly.

unfortunately that's all the help i have for you right now, the best thing i can suggest is to continue reading, possibly reading the posts in the cycling section of these forums

best of luck

kel
05-09-2010, 08:03 PM
first have you read this post by lady hobbs? Link To Cycling (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=5640)

Yep, read it before I was even a member and way before I started the cycle. Along with every cycling result that google could muster up. So far this cycle has not followed ANY of the patterns that is described as normal.


second from what i've read out of your posts i never saw you adding any type of BB (benefitial bacteria) to the tank... if i'm correct in my assumption this helps the good bacteria grow and the cycle speed up slightly.

I can't get my hands on any BB from an established tank. I have asked everyone I know and even asked my LFS and all they would give me was 1 cup of gravel from one of their tanks... it wasn't much at all and didn't do anything. I did add a bacteria booster which got things going but that was done about 2 months ago.

I am beginning to wonder if anyone has ever really successfully cycled a tank fishless Without the benefit of using some seed material from another aquariums filter. (I am sure people have... just at wits end here and talkin' out my back side)

Wild Turkey
05-09-2010, 08:08 PM
I have, and It is definitely possible if not "easy" to cycle a tank fish-less.

Didnt use it for my first tank of course, I was just a little sprout that didnt know any better. :14: The first time I did it was as an experiment.



You should really start that driftwood store! lol Its like a driftwood shopping mall at that spot

kel
05-09-2010, 08:25 PM
I have, and It is definitely possible if not "easy" to cycle a tank fish-less.

Didnt use it for my first tank of course, I was just a little sprout that didnt know any better. :14: The first time I did it was as an experiment.

Yeah, I'm just having a "day" . I just have to keep telling myself "must be patient, must be patient" lol


You should really start that driftwood store! lol Its like a driftwood shopping mall at that spot

My only concern with that is.... Most if not al of that wood requires some work on the recipients part to get it ready for their aquarium. It needs to be cleaned, soaked and mounted. Guess I could do that as well but my time is limited enough as it is.

I guess if anyone here doesn't mind the work I could send some out for the price of shipping :22:

hockeyhead019
05-09-2010, 10:34 PM
you say you added bacteria booster about two months ago? why'd you stop, and i know that Hobb's tutorial says not to do water changes but that feels counter instinctual to me... i feel like you should do water changes so that the bacteria isn't overwhelmed... but that's really beside the point now haha

so i would think it'd be a good idea for you to continue adding the bacteria booster, although it's only a temporary fix it may jump start the entire cycle... you could just add it once a week with you ammonia to see if it helps

i'm sorry your experiencing trouble with this as it is tricky for a lot of people. at least thats been my experience

kel
05-09-2010, 10:50 PM
Ok, this is weird..


I just did a 98% water change to see if that would jumpstart things ( as I have read somewhere in here that it can help) and I guess my Nitrites and Nitrates were completely off the charts because my parameters after the 98% water change are:

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite (Color is a deep rich purple... was calling that 1ppm but should it still be that high?)
Nitrate (is a very VERY dark red.. has always been that color... guessing 160ish?)

Now.. according to my most recent navy physical I am partialy colorblind. If the colors are similar and held next to each other they look the same to me.... I am thinking this is my problem with reading the testers :shrug:

Doing another large w/c now to see what we get after that.

hockeyhead019
05-10-2010, 12:08 AM
well if you do such a large water change the parameters will just match the parameters of your water, since you're measuring concentration you are just going to be measuring the concentration in your tap water, usually you wanna wait 24 hours after a water change to test your tank water

kel
05-10-2010, 12:17 AM
well if you do such a large water change the parameters will just match the parameters of your water, since you're measuring concentration you are just going to be measuring the concentration in your tap water, usually you wanna wait 24 hours after a water change to test your tank water


My tap measures 0,0,0 :shrug:

My tanks water is completely turned over every 6 minutes so I figure if I wait 12 mins or so to test afterwords it should be decently accurate.

Another update..

Did a second 98% w/c and Nitrites were still at .25ppm and nitrates were at 20ppm so it's official they were through the roof and that is most likely what goobered up the cycle.

hockeyhead019
05-10-2010, 12:32 AM
ok thats what i was thinking to myself as i've never heard of any readings as high as 160ppm? so maybe it would be best to start over, not completely empty the tank but do 98% changes a couple more times (maybe twice or so) and then add some bacteria booster and see what happens

kel
05-10-2010, 12:39 AM
They should make a talking water test kit lol.. kinda like that Blood suger tester that speaks your results to you. This color matching is not as easy as one would make it out to be......................

Or it is possible that I are retarded :hmm3grin2orange:

Lab_Rat
05-10-2010, 01:08 AM
I bet you're close to the end. Nitrites tend to lag after the ammonia. If you add 1ppm ammonia and it's processed in 24 hours to 0 ppm, you're gonna have some nitrites still. What I do is hold off on adding ammonia, then retest the day after. You should then see a significant nitrite drop and I consider the cycle completed. I also don't add ammonia on a daily basis when doing a fishless cycle, I just add a splash here and there when it's needed.

kel
05-10-2010, 11:58 PM
:wavemulticolor: :19: :wavemulticolor:

w00t! Yesterday after all the water changes I added 2ppm ammonia and just now tested my water and my parameters are:

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 5ppm

thumbs2:

So... Now it is time to move the 2 Angelfish, My Clown Pleco and my Bumblebee Catfish into their new home :).

3 weeks ago I ordered some Congo Tetras to replace the barbs that I have now and will be swapping them out this weekend. Till then the barbs can keep the 28g to themselves.

I'm so excited! My first official cycled tank lol.... I'll get pics soon.

kel
05-11-2010, 03:35 AM
Pics as promised.

Since the last pictures were taken I have added 2 pieces of driftwood (found :) ) and a bunch more plants. Yes they are fake plants but I have found that the trick to using them is using them in bulk and in many different sizes. Turned out pretty good IMHO. I think maybe eventually I will swith them for the real thing but these work for now.

Full tank shot: (yes that is Family Guy in the reflection lol)
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/55gfull.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18101)

My Pair of Angels :)
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/drevilandno2.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18102)

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/mrevilandnotwo.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18103)

My Clown Pleco (he is hiding under the driftwood... which is great news since he is the reason I added them lol)
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/985/medium/gacy.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=18104)

The Bumblebee Catfish is hiding inside the large fake log in the middle.. he comes out after the lights go out so I may never see him again with all the hiding spots he has now.

I'll get more pics when the tetras are added.

wolf_eyes
05-11-2010, 03:55 AM
I agree the fake plants don't look too bad if you do some fiddling with them. Tank looks very lovely. Very nice looking angelfish too!

kel
05-11-2010, 03:57 AM
It is a bit lonely at the moment. That will change after payday and my congo tetras can come home with me. I have 10 being held for me at my LFS... should fill it in nicely for now.