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Cycling problems 😔


FishyMike
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Hello all,

I’m a newbie here! My 5 year old son and I got into the hobby about a month and a half ago and I need help! I set up our 15 gallon tank about 6 weeks ago. I filled the tank up with tap water and doses accordingly with stress coat and a day later I dosed my tank with fritz ammonia chloride. My first mistake was over dosing with too much and got the ammonia upto about 8 ppm yikes. So I then did a water change and again dosed with stress coat did a 50 percent water change. I got it down to 4ppm. And I thought I was on my way! A co-worker of mine was kind enough to let us have his filter to help us out. And I installed it! Everything was going well but very slow!! After the 3 week mark I was down to 2ppm And that where it stayed for another 2 weeks with no budge. So I decided to reach out to Angels plus and bought a seeded filter I was thinking hey can’t hurt! But I hate to say it didn’t do much. I reached out to Fritz and asked what could I be doing wrong and they pointed me in the direction of checking my gh and kh and sure enough I was low in each!(my tap water base is 4gh and 3kh)  I added a dose of seachem equilibrium and alkaline buffer. About 3 days ago and haven’t seen much happen😔 I’m a bit discouraged my son has grown impatient and I feel like everything I do and I can’t get it to cycle. Does anyone have any suggestions or any idea what I could be doing wrong? I have heat 82degrees. And an air stone on my sponge filter. 
 

thank you everyone in advance and don’t be too hard on me I’m a newbie trying to learn as  much as I possibly can!

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This is why I never recommend cycling a tank with ammonia. I recommend cycling with aquarium plants. I have a video on how I recommend doing that. 

 

 

You can also read our blog article on cycling aquariums here: 

WWW.AQUARIUMCOOP.COM

Have you ever seen a fish in the wild living in pure, crystal clear water with no other contaminants? Probably not. That’s because life doesn’t flourish in “pristine” conditions, but rather when there’s a whole ecosystem of...

 

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Wow great video Cory! Thank you so much!! I must have over looked it while looking thru your youtube videos! So like I said I’m a newbie at this hobby and at first I thought I’d do a tank with out plants until I got used to it but now I see that was a mistake! What plants would you recommend for a beginner? Probably on the smaller size I don’t have that much room all I have is a 15 gallon at the moment. Thank you again! 

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55 minutes ago, FrostiesFishes said:

Hello I don't wanna give you bad information. But I personally think your chasing something and making this process difficult for yourself. Do you have a local shop? 

Hello FrostiesFishes,

yes you are probably right! I think i am making things more difficult than they need to be.(it’s hard with so much information on the web sometimes)! And I do have a local fish store but I’m not that crazy about them . A bit shady and not very help full (they never heard of a fish less cycle. 

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14 minutes ago, Mikeo said:

Am I okay with putting plants in an aquarium that has ammonia in it already? Or would I have to drain everything and start over? 

Ammonia is plant food essentially, so you wouldn't have to start over. 

 

Most questions we have video answers for. Here is a video on beginner plants. 

 

 

As well as a blog article: 

WWW.AQUARIUMCOOP.COM

Planted aquariums are very popular nowadays because of their natural beauty and amazing ability to consume toxic waste compounds. However, many beginners have trouble keeping their green foliage from turning...

 

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10 hours ago, Ken Burke said:

I don’t think 5 year olds and patients go together. But what a wonderful way to spend time together.  Your in the right place to get help, just stick with it.  

haha yea Ken you are right! but im not gonna lie im using him as a decoy im more excited for it then him! but yes he really does enjoy looking at it and cant stop talking about putting fish in it. I keep telling him soon ,soon ,soon so my fingers are crossed sooner than later. I will definitely be purchasing a plant soon.!!! 

 

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So I just started a beta tank. I let my tank cycle to 4ppm Ammonia then I got 10 plants and within 2 weeks I was cycled with no ammonia and was getting my nitrates to do a 30% water change. I would def get some plants in there even some moss balls and banana plants would be great first ones. But Aquariums are all about patients and waiting. Let your son know this is an eco system. When my dad let me get new pets I had to research them and all they needed and it was the best thing ever. I would also suggest starting with some molly's or platy's like 6 and nothing else if they are around in a month then add.

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I cycled my 45 with ammonia and wish I had found this forum before then. I am now cycling a 10 gal with shrimp and it will also contain my fish soon (currently in quarantine) without being pre-cycled. Ammonia cycling took six solid weeks of painstaking daily tests (used almost a whole kit in 2 months) to keep everything at a certain level. Add differing opinions, water hardness/salinity/quality out of the tap, being anxious for fish-and with a five year old(!!!), and not having done it before, seems almost impossible!

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Thank you all for your help!! It means a lot!! I will definitely be getting plant or plants soon!! On my set up right now I’m almost ashamed to say I have a glo-fish light 🙈 I do have it on a timer for 12 hour on and 12 hours off but am I going to need better lights? After seeing Corys review of the fluval 3.0 I was like 😳

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I don't think you'll be able to grow plants with a glo-fish light... but don't be ashamed! You're just getting started and like you said, there's a lot of different advice out there. If your aquarium is near a window you might be able to get away with just natural light, but that's complicated too because it's variable and it can heat up your aquarium. An LED light for plants shouldn't be more than 20 bucks probably, and it will be more reliable than the window. And you can keep the glo-light just for the glow! 😊

Just so you know, 12 hours is probably too much light for a planted tank. You'll get a lot of algae growth if you have the lights on for too long. I'd try something like 10 hours or less, but you can experiment with what works for your tank. (Also algae growth is really normal in the beginning no matter what, so don't freak out if you see a bunch at first.)

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My local fish store said I can not put plants in with my water specs is this true?

ammo-1 ppm 

nitrites- 0

natrates- still zero 

Ph- 8.0

gh- 6

kh- 12

They said my alkalinity is way high the plants need more acidic water? 

 

oh and I just ordered a fluval 3.0 what’s the best light cycle time on vs off for my plants?

 

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7 hours ago, Mitch Norton said:

My pH is 8.0 and I don’t have problems with most plants. 

47E1476F-43EE-4824-B70E-EBA5C522E75F.jpeg

Wow that’s a beautiful tank Mitch!! I think they are trying to say my kH is too high? I’m not sure this local fish store specializes in saltwater stuff. Idk it could just be this employee I’m dealing with 

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2 hours ago, Mikeo said:

Wow that’s a beautiful tank Mitch!! I think they are trying to say my kH is too high? I’m not sure this local fish store specializes in saltwater stuff. Idk it could just be this employee I’m dealing with 

Thank you. It is a work in progress for sure. 
 

kH is the measure of carbon hardness. It impacts how easily you pH can change. I know your level is considered high, but I’m not sure how that impacts plant growth. I’ve never measured my KH. 
 

But I know someone more knowledgeable will come around and be able to answer. 

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