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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hm..I think it would be pretty cool to keep a journal of my tank in progress. Here it is!
As shown in my "introduction" thread, here is my previous failed attempt for this tank.


My goal is to rebuild this tank and make it even more beautiful than before! *old dude

It's been almost a year since I gave up on that tank. My winter break started two weeks ago, so I decided to start it up again.

12/21/2009
-Set up filter
-Pour gravel
-Fill with water
-Added pure ammonia, up to 4 ppm

1/4/2010
Here's how the tank currently looks.

For the curious people, I'm not adding any plants yet because algae will take over them due to the high nitrate levels from cycling. Also, no light is set up yet because it's not being turned on and will only get in the way. Driftwood was dumped in several days ago in hopes to speed up cycling process. BIO-Wheel from another established tank was also put in last week to help speed up cycling process.

Ammonia: 2 ppm
Nitrite: < .25 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
 

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discus_dude
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215 Posts
do 30-40% partial water change in every 4-5 days until ammonia,nitrite level goes to zero ppm....
 

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Registered
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756 Posts
I don't think he realizes that you are doing a fishless cycling with pure ammonia.

With that biowheel added you could probably start adding stuff fairly soon. IMO plants could also be added to bring down the nitrate levels and essentially almost zero your cycling time. I try to keep my planted tank at 5-10ppm nitrates since nitrogen is a keep mineral for most plants.

Your lights look a little too strong for a tank that size unless you are adding CO2 (which I do not see in the first picture).
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My tank didn't have a nitrite peak yet, so I don't think I'm adding fish any time soon. *td
Also, I forgot to mention here that I changed out the bulb to a 6700k one a few days after taking that picture. I'll take a picture when it's set up..hopefully, it's not too bright! But I have a DIY CO2 set up somewhere, so if the 6700k bulb is too bright, then I'll still be safe.
 

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756 Posts
If you already have nitrate and you see some nitrite, chances are that's your nitrite "peak" because you have added bacteria with that used biowheel. If you stop adding ammoina, I bet you would see 0ppm because you already have bacteria converting it to nitrite and others converting nitrite to nitrate.

My planted tank never had a nitrite peak. It basically went from ammonia to nitrates. Once the nitrates started going up the the ammonia completely dropped. The plants brought with them bacteria (on the leaves and roots) to expedite the process and also helped break down all 3 waste products.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I actually haven't added any ammonia since last Friday. As of now, it is still at around 2 ppm. My nitrites did increase to .25 ppm though. Maybe even a little more than that.
I will consider buying some of the plants to put in the tank to help aid the cycling process, depending if the local fish shop has the plants I want. They should be having a new shipment really soon.
Btw, does driftwood release nitrates into the water? It just so happens that right after I put the driftwood in, the nitrate levels jumped up.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
1/5/2010
The cycling process is finally moving along! Nitrite levels are still increasing while ammonia levels are decreasing. I will add more ammonia tomorrow to bring the levels back up to 4 ppm.

Ammonia: 1 ppm
Nitrite: >.25 ppm
Nitrate: No test.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
1/6/2010
As of this morning,
Ammonia: >.5 but <1 ppm
Nitrite: 1 ppm
Nitrate: No test.

This morning, I added more ammonia to bring the level up to 4 ppm.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Alright, so I've been thinking about my possible stocking list while the tank is cycling. Here are some fish that I want to keep.
-Glowlight tetras
-Black skirt tetras
-Zebra danios
-Swordtails
-Corydoras
-Otocinclus
-Cherry shrimp
I understand most of these fish (except swordtails) should be in schools of 5 of more, so that would be a total of 25 schooling fish + 2 swordtails + 2 cherry shrimp. Is this too many??

Alright, so here's the previous part of the story that I haven't told yet. I had a 15 gallon Eclipse set up that a friend gave to me last year. After setting it up, I put a school (5 of them) of neon tetras and a school (another 5) of glowlight tetras. About a week later, I found out there was a crack on the bottom pane of the aquarium. *o2 There were traces of water around the base of the tank. So I borrowed a 10 gallon from a friend to put my 10 fish in there. As of now, only 3 neon tetras are left, but all 5 of the glowlight tetras are still here. So these will also have to go in my new tank. *h/b
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
*c/p* for the post above? Thanks.

1/8/2010
I think my nitrosomona colonies are at their peak growth! Now just waiting for the nitrobacter colonies..
Ammonia: .25 ppm
Nitrite: Off the charts
Nitrate: ~50 - 60 ppm
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Good news everybody! My tank is done (or almost done) cycling! I've added the last dose of ammonia this morning, and if ammonia and nitrites read 0 tomorrow morning, I can start planting and moving fish in! *w3
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm back! School has been pretty tough lately and takes up too much of my time. Anyways, since there's a 4 day weekend, I decided to get some plants and plant the tank. I will be moving the fish in probably tomorrow or in two days, depending how stable the water is.
I will make an update later with the list of plants, because I don't know all the names of them right now!

Here's a picture of the whole tank. I know I didn't plant some things very nicely..but once the plants mature it should look a little better.


The corner of plants.


Bolbitis asiatica.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Alright, here's the list of plants. I still don't know the name of the biggest one on the left back corner. My friend who sold it to me says it reminds him of Cabomba caroliniana, but knows that it's not the same thing. Anyways..

  • Anubias nanas
  • Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria)
  • Bolbitis asiatica
  • Riccia fluitans (Crystalwort)

I have 4 baby Anubias nanas and 1 adult one. I'm hoping they all survive because I really like them! I also got 3 Bolbitis asiaticas, but 1 was almost dead on the way home. These look like poison ivy mixed with Java ferns! *w3 I got a small amount of Crystalwort for free, but this stuff is hard to manage! I may just dump it if it gets too messy in my tank. The Wisteria was from my old tank. You can't see it in the picture right now because it's was just a small stems worth, but I think within weeks, it'll be taking over my tank! And lastly, the Cabomba look-a-like is probably one of my favorites, but I still can't figure out what the real name is!
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Woot! About an hour ago, I put my 5 glowlight tetras and 3 neon tetras in the tank after a 45 minute acclimation! They look fine right now! These two days will be critical..hope they survive!
I still have two Otocinclus catfish in my old tank that I will acclimate tomorrow, only if the 8 tetras are doing fine after the night. I will probably go to the pet store tomorrow to buy 3 more Otocinclus catfish and 2 more neon tetras to complete their school.

 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Looking good so far!
Sweet TANK!!!! ilike how you did it really cool looking
Thanks guys!

So right now, my two Otocinclus catfish are acclimating! Woot! *w3 I went to the local fish shop at first and they were out of Otocinclus, so I'll have to get the remaining 3 next week.
On Thursday, I will buy 5 zebra danios and the 2 remaining neon tetras. I also might need to get some root tablets because my plants look like they're starting to droop. I may have to start up my DIY CO2 system again if the plants don't improve in a week.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
So a small baby piece of Pennywort was scrambled in between the Crystalwort at the pet shop. I didn't notice this until two days ago. Now that it has grown a bit, the Pennywort worked its way out of the Crystalwort! *w3 I have free Pennywort! *h/b Hopefully it'll grow fine and then I'll be able to plant it somewhere...but I really don't have much room left. *td

*edit*
I bought a surgical tool set that comes with scissors, tweezers, and two hemostats (one curved and one straight) for trimming up my plants. Honestly, the hemostats are probably going to be useless. But the tweezers and scissors are definitely a must have! And the best news..the whole set was just under 5 dollars! If anyone wants to buy a set, just PM me and I'll link you to the page I got it from.
 

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Inspired.
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
My plants are growing really fast! I wish the Myriophyllum Mattogrossense would grow neater though. It's starting to cover other plants from getting light! The Wisteria is starting to grow pretty darn fast! My baby Anubias are growing ever so slightly, not too noticeable yet. I don't see any difference in the Bolbitis asiatica.
 
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