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  1. @Odd DuckThank you so much, that is very useful information. I'm sad about the substrate, I did not see a warning anywhere on the bag about not being snail safe 😞 when looking at in on their website though I see that. I just went and looked at my bag and it doesn't mention it. wish they would have. 😞 I don't know what to do now, I'm not sure if I should not get a snail or if I should put a layer of sand on top of the gravel, or change the whole substrate out completely. 😞 I'm stuck on what to do. I'm in Michigan. I have thought of calling around different places seeing if they sell cycled sponge filters at all and wondered if I could find any online but wasn't sure if bacteria would survive being shipped etc so I wasn't sure if I should/could or not! It would be nice to find something like that though to help the process. Oh and to answer about testing daily, I was but then without progress I started only doing it a couple times a week because I thought maybe I was testing too often and being too obsessive about it, was also feeling discouraged. Thanks, im glad too, that makes sense about the diatoms eating up nutrients.Im hoping it won't be too long before it's ready for a Betta. Not sure what to do about a snail now though because I don't want to get one to see what happens and have him get cut on the gravel or something 😞 @Chick-In-Of-TheSea Yeah it was surprisingly enjoyable 😂 Thanks, I'll give it a good clean and hopefully that will help! I'm guessing it must be the light coming in from the side, I think I'm gonna pull the curtain over further around the edge of the curtain rod and see if that helps completely block any light out. Would it be a good idea to put something along the side of the tank, like hang a towel over it or even wrap some tinfoil over it for the time being to block more light out completely?
  2. I just did a complete water change and scrubbed everything down with a toothbrush, cleaned the substrate and raked it, and it looks much, MUCH better. it took a while but it was very satisfying and when I was siphoning I sucked up a MASSIVE clump of the white fungus stuff from the spider wood that had settled on the bottom in the back area where I couldn't see it til I moved the wood. It was so satisfying LOL
  3. Nope, it just has a switch I click on and off so what I do is I click it on while I'm filling the vials to the line and then once I've filled all 4 I click it back off. I was doing that to see it a bit better and take a glance at the tank while I'm at it since I keep it dark and I have black substrate and a black background too so it's hard to see how things are looking with the light off. When I turn the light on I would say it's on for around 2 minutes or so. There is a window nearby although we normally have the curtains mostly closed on that side. There will definitely be some light still coming through on the one side of the tank. I'm not using any food at all, just the Dr Tim's ammonia
  4. That's good news because I was kind of kicking myself for buying it after some of the stuff I read. I'm glad I bought one of the good ones. I don't know the KH but the pH the last time I checked was 7.2. Earlier on it had been 7.6. Im guessing there must be a separate test kit for KH?
  5. Thank you! It's good to know they're not harmful. Thanks for sharing that video too, it's very helpful! I didn't think of going by the plant growth and was only focused on the numbers from the water tests. Also glad that adding that fertilizer can help too because I was worried maybe I was adding it when I should not have been!
  6. Thank you 🙂 when I get my snail do you think he would like eating them or is it moreso just fish that would feed on them? https://www.petsmart.com/fish/decor-gravel-and-substrate/gravel-sand-and-stones/aqua-natural-quartz-aquarium-gravel---black-5325115.html?gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=Cj0KCQiApb2bBhDYARIsAChHC9vuWFHLecRt4uuRHP71zbbz9mmkLG8ViAa6sdX4McmJMEwO69m2qAEaAtzQEALw_wcB edited to add the link to the substrate I have
  7. Thank you! I will get it all nice and cleaned out and do a big water change. I barely have the light on, only while doing my water testing and not each time, but I will be sure to keep it off even during those times until it's okay to have it on again. Thank you! So maybe the plants are helping with that which is why it seems like I'm not making progress? I really hope that means I will see the nitrates soon then. I was worried nothing was happening. As far as the bacteria I saw people on Reddit and also on another forum talking about how the bacteria is a scam and that the bacteria you get in it are different than the ones which will ultimately populate the surfaces of the tank. They said that the bacteria will die off and that it can make cycling actually take longer. I was confused about that because I thought it was to give it a jump start and I didn't get why it would be sold and used like it is if that were the case. I've seen so much mixed information. 😞 Also when I'm cleaning the tank should I be concerned about the worms, can they affect humans? My uncle had worms and the thought of that scares me lol so I wanna make sure I take precautions if needed.
  8. Hey everyone, I'm new and am looking for some help. I'm cycling... attempting to, at least... my first tank. it's a 10 gallon that I plan to have a Betta and a nerite snail in. I have some spider wood and some Java ferns and anubias plants in it. I plan on adding a lot more plants and hope to eventually manage getting baby tears (not dwarf, just the regular ones) and pearl weed going too because those look so pretty to me but my substrate is black diamond quartz and idk if root tabs would work with that or how I could grow anything in it since it's inert. Anyhow, the issue I'm having though is it's been over 3 weeks now and I don't seem to be making progress as far as water parameters go, and the tank is starting to look very dirty. I've been using Dr. Tim's ammonia but have only done it a few times now as the ammonia levels have mostly just stayed the same and I have been getting 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates consistently. The ammonia has stayed between 2 and 4 ppm. The test kit I've been using is the API master one with the liquid and vials. I've done a couple water changes and have topped up the water, but aside from that have tried to leave it alone because I badly want the bacteria to get established. I have a sponge filter, an air stone, a heater, I keep the heat at 78 degrees and I only turn the light on when doing water testing. I have dosed the tank with easy green liquid fertilizer for the plants the first week and second week but not the third week yet because I wasn't sure if I should or not with all the gunk everywhere... I've watched so many videos and have been patient but am starting to feel discouraged. I put in tetra safestart once at the very beginning and again after I started dosing with ammonia. I've now read a lot about it not actually being beneficial and that the bacteria die and it's a scam etc etc so I now realize I wasted my money and it was for nothing... and I use the topfin water conditioner every time I add water to the tank. There has been brown stuff all over it for a couple weeks now, but I've left it because I'm hoping stuff growing could mean bacteria is populating too. Today I noticed tons of tiny white threadlike things on the surfaces of the tank and some floating in the water. I was alarmed instantly, worrying they're worms but I've closely looked at them and none of them appear to be moving at all so I'm not sure. I wondered what I should do. Should I clean the tank? What are these white things? And is there anything I can do to help it cycle better? I've attached photos and let me know if any more info is needed. Really hoping I can get some help. :(
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