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NaturallyKait

Kait’s 13.5g Kiddo Tank

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NaturallyKait
Just now, pricewayne said:

May try to scrape the glass — looks like it may just be sediment caught on the walls? I know my water can appear a bit cloudy when that happens.

It’s definitely in the water. Whatever it is is floating around and moving. 

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pricewayne
1 minute ago, NaturallyKait said:

It’s definitely in the water. Whatever it is is floating around and moving. 

Must be ghosts 👻

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NaturallyKait

The tank cleared up by the next day thankfully, so I’m not sure what the floating white stuff was. Oh well. 

 

Parameters have been the same, with ammonia at 0.5 and no nitrites or nitrates. Just a waiting game. 

 

I’ve been debating with fluval about the missing parts. They wanted me to tear the tank down and send it back to amazon for a whole new one. Over two small pieces. I refused and told them there had to be a way to replace the parts without risking a broken tank in the mail. They’re finally agreeing to send them to me thankfully. 

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NaturallyKait

Today marks a week for the tank which is exciting. 

 

Ammonia is still steady at 0.5, not rising or falling. I’ve been trying to find pure ammonia to dose since I started with dry rock and technically the sand was live but it doesn’t seem to be producing much ammonia but no one here has anything pure. Dr Tim’s isn’t easy to come by in Canada, I’d have to order it from the US and it would take a month to get here. 

 

Curiously my salinity has had minor swings up and and down. It started at 1.025, and I had decided to let it rise to 1.026 while cycling and stay there. It took a few days but evap brought us up to the 1.026 so I left it and planned to top up once it went higher. It was steady there for a few days and then yesterday went back down to 1.025 which is confusing. I didn’t top up, and I don’t have an ATO. 

 

I’m going to keep looking for ammonia for now, and just keep testing. 

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NaturallyKait

We finally have ammonia in the tank. For real this time. 

 

I thought I did before, but yesterday an accident proved that I was wrong. I had already decided that I was misinterpreting what I thought to me 50ppm to be 25ppm (these tests are too subjective lol), then yesterday I dropped and shattered two of my API test tubes. Terrible luck, but it sent me to the depths of the basement to look for my old expired test kit to steal the test tubes. When I brought it up I noticed that the colour chart from my new kit and the chart from the old expired one are mostly the same...except the ammonia. For some reason the 0 and 25ppm ones are off on my new kit. So what I thought was 25ppm was 0. Frustrating. I’m using the old chart now. 

 

Someone on here was able to confirm for me too the other day that ammonia is illegal in Canada. Which is why I couldn’t find it. So Tuesday I threw a little piece of shrimp into the tank to get things started. Yesterday I got a real reading of 0.5ppm and again today. Hopefully that keeps going up. I also started using Seachem stability. It’s the closest I can get to Dr. Tim’s one and only here so it was worth a try. Can’t hurt. 

 

Crossing my fingers ammonia gets up to 2ppm sooner rather than later so I can pull the decaying shrimp out and that we see some nitrites soon. 

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Scotty Amen

Keep going, doing great!

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Afropenguin

The tank is looking great! Can't wait to see how everything turns out! 

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NaturallyKait

Replacement parts from fluval arrived last week. I haven’t installed them yet but at least they’re here.

 

Today I ordered an intank media basket for chamber 1, once that arrives I’ll be pulling the foam block that came with the tank and I’ll move the media over to the basket instead. Plus it comes with the plug to close up that hole in the wall so that’s a plus because I hadn’t done it yet. I also ordered a new heater (eheim jager 50w) and a tunze silence 1073.008 for a return pump upgrade. I noticed the heater I have is only keeping the water at 25c (77f) which from what I’m reading is a touch cooler than ideal and it’s a preset heater so I can’t change it. I needed a second heater anyway so I’ll use the current one for water mixing/changes. The tunze upgrade will also let me use the stock pump to mix water, and I’m hoping it will let me run without a powerhead for a bit while I save to buy a good one. Hopefully everything arrives in decent time, you never know with Canada post. 

 

Still not really any movement on the cycle. Ammonia is camping out at 0.5ppm despite the shrimp still rotting in the tank. It may be slowly rising but it hasn’t hit 1ppm according to my test kit, and still 0 nitrite or nitrate. I’m hoping things pick up soon because if not I worry we won’t be cycled in time for the little dude’s birthday to get his fish. 

 

Speaking of test kits, my API kit is really annoying me. It leaks when I invert or shake tests, and it’s getting worse and worse every day. The only other kit I can buy locally is seachem, and when this kit runs out or starts leaking too much I may try it. Anyone else use seachem tests? 

 

 

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Gravity

your ammonia reading seems high. Doesn’t the api test kit only go to 8 ppm?

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NaturallyKait
48 minutes ago, Gravity said:

your ammonia reading seems high. Doesn’t the api test kit only go to 8 ppm?

Ugh, yes. Slip of the finger, I mistyped and missed a decimal. It’s 0.5 lol. 

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Gravity

Alright, that sounds reasonable. I would think you would have some nitrite by now took my tank 9 days for it to appear. Using live sand and dry rock. Looks like you have mostly live rock did you use live sand as well?

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NaturallyKait
1 minute ago, Gravity said:

Alright, that sounds reasonable. I would think you would have some nitrite by now took my tank 9 days for it to appear. Using live sand and dry rock. Looks like you have mostly live rock did you use live sand as well?

The rock isn’t cured live rock, it’s caribsea liferock which is dry rock that’s supposedly injected with bacteria that activates when it gets wet. The LFS doesn’t sell wet live rock here. The sand was originally live sand but it was expired a few years ago so it was dead by the time it went into the tank. I did dose some seachem stability too which is one of the bottled bacteria products just because it was given to me. 

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Gravity

It’s been about 18 days since your startup. So you should be seeing something. I would guess a low bacteria population. I’m not familiar with Seachem Stability but I would continue the daily dosage until the cycle is finished even though the bottle says 7 days.

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NaturallyKait
16 minutes ago, Gravity said:

It’s been about 18 days startup. So you should be seeing something. I would guess a low bacteria population. I’m not familiar with Seachem Stability but I would continue the daily dosage until the cycle is finished even though the bottle says 7 days.

That’s my plan right now. I’m trying to be patient, I know patience is a virtue in this hobby. If it’s was a tank solely for me I’d be less worried and ride it out, I just hate the idea of my son’s birthday coming up and us still be cycling and not ready for fish. I guess we’ll see. I had hoped to have seen something by now. 

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NaturallyKait

Most of the upgrades I ordered arrived today. Going to pop the new heater in tomorrow when I do parameter tests, but I won’t get a chance to do the return pump until the weekend. Got some biospira too, hoping that maybe we can finally get some forward momentum with this cycle. Still sitting at 0.5 for ammonia, and 0 for nitrites and nitrates. 

 

Still waiting on my intank media basket. It was shipped out super fast, it’s just stuck in customs so there’s nothing to do but wait. I was really hoping it would arrive before the weekend so I could cover the hole in the false wall and pop in the basket at the same time I do the return pump but I’m doubtful that it will get here quickly enough even if customs releases it tomorrow. We’ll see. If nothing else I also need to mix up some fresh salt water because the water level is getting low in the back chambers from testing every day. Salinity is still perfect, so I just need to top up with salt water to bring the water level up. 

D8DF9805-03E3-4F44-8583-16360DFB5942.jpeg

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NaturallyKait

In the past two days I have dropped and shattered two more API test tubes. I am clearly too uncoordinated to be shaking glass vials. I ended up ordering a Seachem test kit to replace it because soon I’ll have no test tubes left at this rate. My spouse is starting to question his agreeing to me setting up a glass box of water in the living room haha. I also ordered an inkbird, because I’m tired of the janky thermometer in the tank plus I’m worried about my heater nuking the tank. 

 

Speaking of the heater though I did get the new Eheim in yesterday and I like it much better than the cheap tetra. I’ll use the tetra for water mixing and changing. 

 

Swapping out the return pump hopefully tomorrow, and mixing up some new water to replace all the water I’ve removed for tests for the last almost month. Tests that still aren’t budging, nitrites and nitrates just keep sitting at 0. 

 

The other her day when going through supplies I noticed my salt was damp and clumping, so I replaced it. It was older and given to me by someone who tore down their tank. Now I’m worried maybe it was older than I thought and maybe that’s why my cycle won’t start? I’m half debating draining the water out and starting over with the new fresh salt and the biospira I got my hands on. I don’t know if that’s just going to set me back even further though. I’m just worried that a month in nothing is happening. I know I need patience, but it seems like we should have seen something by now, and we’re only 3 weeks out from the little guy’s birthday. 

 

Speaking of of his birthday, the LFS sold their last small ocellaris clowns and apparently won’t have any more for probably 2 months. So now I’m sourcing clowns from neighbouring provinces because I don’t want him to be disappointed for his birthday. Another store a couple of hours away said worst case scenario he can order me a pair and they should get here in time, or maybe just a couple of days late which is no biggie. So hopefully we manage to get this cycle off the ground in time. 

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NaturallyKait

My inTank media basket arrived today, got that in the tank and removed the silly sponge block. Also received my inkbird which is set up and some Dr. Tim’s ammonia. Which means it was time to try this whole cycle thing again. 

 

I did decide to remove as much of the old water as I could, I just can’t get past this nagging feeling that the old salt was part of the problem I had. Finding the chunks in the remaining salt was too concerning. So last night I mixed up some new water and filled the tank, changed but out the pump to the new Tunze and got my new wifi power bar for the tank set up. Now I can turn stuff on and off without touching the power bar, super helpful because I’m too short and couldn’t reach it before haha. 

 

This afternoon when everything else arrived I popped in the media basket, set up the inkbird and dosed ammonia as per the instructions, then added some bio-spira. Now we’ll see if we get anywhere with this cycle! 

 

Fingers crossed. 

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Gravity

The bio-spira and liquid ammonia should defiantly speed things up. 

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NaturallyKait
6 minutes ago, Gravity said:

The bio-spira and liquid ammonia should defiantly speed things up. 

Hopefully! Today marks a month since the tank was set up. That seems like a long time to me to not see any cycling at all. 

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Gravity

Yeah, I think I went through 4 cycles in a month. 

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NaturallyKait

My new test kit arrived today. I ordered a seachem one to replace my API because the test tubes keep leaking while I shake and I’m sick of chemicals all over my hands. Except the seachem arrived shattered. Which was a bummer. Amazon is refunding me and I’m going to make do with the API for now because I don’t trust the courier to get a replacement to me intact. 

 

On the positive side though, finally some cycle progress!

 

After a month of no real change before seeing this 24 hours after adding ammonia + bio-spira was exciting, and kind of surprising. I’m a little torn though on reading them. The ammonia looked a little lighter in person, I was leaning toward 0.25 for it until I took the photo. The nitrite and nitrate are so similar though in the higher numbers. I can’t tell if nitrite is 2 or 5, I’m leaning toward 2? And the nitrates I lean toward 20, that one darkened a bit on camera too. Any opinions? 

 

If the nitrite is 5, everything I read says for fishless cycling if nitrite or ammonia go over 5ppm it can stall the cycle. Should I be worried? 

A53B23CC-2AFC-462A-BAA3-267F7409F3C5.jpeg

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pricewayne
2 hours ago, NaturallyKait said:

My new test kit arrived today. I ordered a seachem one to replace my API because the test tubes keep leaking while I shake and I’m sick of chemicals all over my hands. Except the seachem arrived shattered. Which was a bummer. Amazon is refunding me and I’m going to make do with the API for now because I don’t trust the courier to get a replacement to me intact. 

 

On the positive side though, finally some cycle progress!

 

After a month of no real change before seeing this 24 hours after adding ammonia + bio-spira was exciting, and kind of surprising. I’m a little torn though on reading them. The ammonia looked a little lighter in person, I was leaning toward 0.25 for it until I took the photo. The nitrite and nitrate are so similar though in the higher numbers. I can’t tell if nitrite is 2 or 5, I’m leaning toward 2? And the nitrates I lean toward 20, that one darkened a bit on camera too. Any opinions? 

 

If the nitrite is 5, everything I read says for fishless cycling if nitrite or ammonia go over 5ppm it can stall the cycle. Should I be worried? 

A53B23CC-2AFC-462A-BAA3-267F7409F3C5.jpeg

I wouldn't be worried -- I believe the natural cycle trickles down from ammonia, that's broken into nitrites, that then breaks down (feeds) into nitrates. So you should see the nitrates spike and the nitrites barrel down to 0 -- once that happens, many consider the tank 'cycled' and perform a large water change to remove the excess nitrates. I'd test again tomorrow and see if your nitrites have reduced and if your nitrates have increased.

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NaturallyKait
28 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

I wouldn't be worried -- I believe the natural cycle trickles down from ammonia, that's broken into nitrites, that then breaks down (feeds) into nitrates. So you should see the nitrates spike and the nitrites barrel down to 0 -- once that happens, many consider the tank 'cycled' and perform a large water change to remove the excess nitrates. I'd test again tomorrow and see if your nitrites have reduced and if your nitrates have increased.

That’s my plan, I just read people here saying that nitrites over 5 can cause the bacteria to die and then they don’t get turned to nitrates. I’m crossing my fingers that tomorrow the nitrite is down. 

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NaturallyKait

We have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites! Nitrate is up to 20. I just added another 2ppm ammonia to the tank to see if it can handle it in 24 hours (as per the instructions on the Dr. Tim’s site) absolutely I’m crossing my fingers. Probably can’t actually get any livestock in for another week or two though, our cat had an unexpected medical issue (she’s ok now) that ate up the livestock budget. I love having pets, but man they can be expensive. 

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NaturallyKait

It’s finally done!

 

Friday’s ammonia dose took 48 hours to process completely (ammonia was gone within 24, but it took another 24 for the nitrite to finish processing). I dosed another 2ppm 24 hours ago and today we’re at 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite! Nitrates are between 40-80. 

 

So now we wait until we can buy some critters for the tank. I need to do a big water change first, yes? How big? I have 6 gallons of distilled right now, I’m assuming I still need more. 

 

Should I start with CUC? There’s no algae right now that I can see, I’m worried they’d starve. I could feed them though I suppose. 

 

This is exciting. 

 

E1109AB4-9F2C-429B-BBDE-3D205A40C70E.thumb.jpeg.0b2758145beabccfbe31dfee8cf6513f.jpeg

 

The tank as it sits now, not pictured the totally impatient and excited almost 4 year old 😂

 

7A3673C6-6CE2-4D77-8D6F-A25350A7460B.thumb.jpeg.503862f2f3106cdcfdc4be39a08f3fc3.jpeg

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