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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2.5 gallon tank, that only has a 2 gallon capacity after it’s been filled with gravel, decorations, filter, heater, thermometer, and air stone.

For the first 7 days I’m adding Seachem Stability every day (based on 2.5 gallons of water) but realized because the tank only holds 2 gallons, I’ve technically been adding too much.

It’s only been 4 days, but on day two I noticed the water getting a bit cloudy, could the stronger dose of Stability be the reason for this?

The Seachem website mentions it’s very hard to overdose Stability, but it might cause a bacteria bloom in the water column, which could be what I’m seeing?

There are no fish in the tank yet, it’s 26°C (79°F), and I plan to test the water using API 5-in-1 test strips after the first 8 days to see where things are at.

Should I stick with the 2.5 gallon dose for 7 days, or lower the dose based on my tank’s 2 gallon capacity?
 

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It sounds like you're doing fine, a bacterial bloom is a good thing in a young tank. I don't know about stability specifically, but products like that generally can't really be overdosed, really they can only be wasted. Either way would probably be fine. The question really is; what are you using as an ammonia source?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The question really is; what are you using as an ammonia source?
Good question!

Currently I have only added Seachem Stability and water conditioner.

After watching the video linked below I thought about adding a pinch of fish food, but didn’t want to start making too many changes too quickly.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found this in the FAQ for Stability, see below. Would have been nice if they mentioned this in the instructions:

If I plan to do a fishless cycle and use Stability™, do I need to add an ammonia source to kick-start the nitrogen cycle?

A: Yes, for expedited cycling times, you will want to add a pinch of food daily until you have an ammonia reading. At that point, you can stop adding the food and let the bacteria run its course.
 

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One thing about the adding fish food is it can turn into some real nastiness. There's an article floating around here called a Billion ways to cycle a tank.
I think one way was to add real ammonia, no fresh scent or anything.
here is the link
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, I will hold off adding any fish food until I have a chance to read this.

Also the only food I have available right now is the small trial pack included with the aquarium kit, so I’m sure the quality is not great.
 

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No, add ammonia, nitrites will show later then nitrates,
Read this a few times till you understand the process.
 

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Here‘s the first test strip from today (day 5).

If there are zero nitrites or nitrates, is that a good indicator there is likely zero ammonia?

Should I get some fish in this water, or is it worth testing the ammonia level first to be safe?
I would recommend you get the API Master Test Kit.
 

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Didn't I read a post a while back with someone who used the feed the tank method and he got a bunch of worms from it?
That's quite possible. Things can migrate into the tank a bunch of different ways. It wasn't necessarily the food that brought them in, though. They could have come in with the water itself, or on decorations, and the food just ended up feeding them.

I wasn't saying that's the way I would do it, just that it can be done that way. If I was cycling with this method, though, I wouldn't use expensive, high quality food just to sit and rot.
Here‘s the first test strip from today (day 5).

If there are zero nitrites or nitrates, is that a good indicator there is likely zero ammonia?

Should I get some fish in this water, or is it worth testing the ammonia level first to be safe?
No sir, actually zero nitrites and nitrates means there is a strong possibility that there is ammonia, since it hasn't been broken down into the former. If there isn't ammonia, then you need to add some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I’m confused by the second test strip, and I understand these are not the most accurate testing method.

I had my LFS test the water with a liquid test kit and they told me there was no issues and the water “is cycling”.

Maybe the nitrite and nitrate levels are too low to register on the strip after only 12 days?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Today is one month since I started the tank and my nitrite and nitrate readings are still zero.

Ammonia was 0.25 two weeks ago, and 0.5 last week after I stopped spot cleaning the tank every day.

Also I switched to the API master test kit to get more accurate readings.

I haven’t added Stability since the first 7 days of daily dosing.

Today I’m going to add the higher initial dose of 5ml/10gal to see if that helps start the cycle.

Should I also restart the daily dosing for the next 7 days?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Now the fish poop will start the cycle and the leftover food.
This is exactly why I stopped cleaning the tank and it bumped the ammonia level to 0.5 (however there is never any leftover food with this Betta).

I think my original issue was a bacteria bloom caused by dosing the tank with Stability and no ammonia source.

Yesterday I restarted Stability with an initial dose, I’ll continue the maintenance dose for 7 days, and keep an eye on the ammonia level.
 
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