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Problems With Cycling Tank

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Offline LizFish

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Problems with cycling tank
« on: August 07, 2016, 09:46:31 AM »
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I have just got a 55 litre nano tank because I would like to get a male Betta. It is second hand and the previous owner had only just emptied it when I collected.
I soaked the owners old filters in the new tank water and then put new filters in the tank. I also moved some rocks from my cycled tank into the new one to encourage the bacteria.

I added ammonia (1.65ml) and tested the water the next day - ammonia reading 0 - so I added more and tested again - still 0.  Should I be seeing Ammonia readings at this time?

I have also noticed that the Ammonia I have used contains 'less than 5% non-ionic surfactant.
I am assuming that this is no good. I am going to empty the tank but should I also clean the rocks, plants and filter?
Thank you in advance.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Problems with cycling tank
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 11:26:45 AM »
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It does seem a bit odd that the ammonia vanished in 24 hours, but you don't give a nitrite reading so that's the next thing to test. Also, test for nitrate in both the tank and your tap water. If  the ammonia you added has gone, it must be somewhere. The reason for testing tap water for nitrate is that most tap water contains some; you have to subtract the tap level from the tank level to see if any has been made by the filter bacteria. If you have a liquid nitrate tester, don't forget to shake the one bottle extremely well before testing.
Did you test for ammonia 30 mins after adding it? That will confirm whether  the 1.65 ml added enough to get 3 ppm in your tank.
Although you've used new filters, there will have been some bacteria on the glass if you didn't clean it, some loose bits of biofilm could have come off the old media especially if you gave it a good squeeze/shake and the decor from the other tank will have had bacteria on them.


Yes, that ammonia is no good. The surfactant will affect both bacteria and fish - and all the other micro-organisms we need to grow. I suggest getting another bottle then wash everything in dechlorinated water - no good risking any bacteria you have by using plain tap water. In the meantime you could add some fish food to keep the bacteria fed.

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