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Sue's Fishless Cycle

Author Topic: Sue's fishless cycle  (Read 33467 times)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2013, 11:18:56 AM »
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Ah but I've got jesnon and chrisp trying Safe Start  ;D I'm doing it the hard way to see what it's like.

Besides, with two other tanks with very mature filters it would be much easier (and cheaper) for me to just steal some media like I do when I set up the quarantine tank. Don't think I haven't been tempted  ;D


Hmmm.... now there's a thought. If I do come across a gorgeous betta, all I have to do is set up the QT with mature media then when this tank finally cycles, move the fish over and put the mature media back where it came from.   ;D  ;D  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2013, 02:28:15 PM »
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Woohoo!!!!!!  ;D ;D ;D





Day 13 23 March, 9am
Ammonia between 0.25 and 0.5
Nitrite between 2 and 5



To celebrate I bought a new silk plant while we were out shopping  ;D There were 3 plants in the betta's tank and two were getting a bit past it so I threw them away rather than sterilise them. So of course I need 2 new silk plants for when this tank is cycled.
I had a look at the bettas in the shop too, and what a sorry bunch they all were. Clamped fins, bits missing from their fins - I won't be buying one from there  :(

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2013, 02:38:32 PM »
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New house...new furnishings!  Well... new silk plants anyway.
Poor bettas, some of them do have a miserable life, don't they?  The ones I saw yesterday looked quite lovely, they must be fresh in....still only in jam jars with holes punched in the lids though :(
In a way, it's kind of tempting to buy an unhappy one and change it's life, but I know that that doesn't encourage the trade to take better care of their fishstock.

Resa
  :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2013, 02:49:16 PM »
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They had some bettas in tanks with other fish, they were the worst. But they also had a rank of small tanks with water trickling down from the top row to the ones underneath and so on down to the bottom row, some kind of filtration system. Each small tank had a tiny plastic plant in. Most were empty, one had yellow shrimp, another had 2 male tiger endlers and 2 had bettas. These looked a bit better than the ones in the big tanks with other fish but they were still a bit listless - though they could just have been exhausted from flaring at each other through the glass. The 'tanks' in this kind of set up are the same size as those tiny cubes but at least this way they do have filtered water flowing though them.

I've got a few more weeks before I can get a betta, but I can still look.

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2013, 02:50:14 PM »
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Day 13 23 March, 9am
Ammonia between 0.25 and 0.5
Nitrite between 2 and 5

Well it's about time.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2013, 02:56:54 PM »
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It's taken 12 days to show a drop in ammonia - I think I should have called the day I added the ammonia day 0  not day 1 - so in theory it should take another 24 days to see a drop in nitrite. Then even longer to get double zeros.

I will be patient  ;D

Offline chrisp

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2013, 02:59:52 PM »
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at least you making progress sue. ive added 250ml of safe start to my tank. so, im hoping there will be some movement tomoz

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2013, 01:05:47 PM »
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Day 14 10.45 (it is a Sunday!)

Ammonia zero
Nitrite between 2 and 5


Water change, just left quarter of an inch in the tank.
Added ammonia, waited half an hour then tested again.

Ammonia 0.5
Nitrite zero




And I also checked my pH haf way through the water change when I remembered - it was 7.2 so no pH crash with that level of nitrite.

Offline chrisp

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2013, 04:59:38 PM »
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sue, when do i check for nitrite? and is it a case of just keeping the nitrite low?
i want to do as few water changes as i can, only if necessary really

can i keep the nitrite level high and just do a huge water change at the end, or will my cycle take longer like that?

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2013, 07:19:23 PM »
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Start testing for nitrite when you see a drop in ammonia. Because nitrite is made from ammonia, until ammonia starts disappearing there is little point testing for it.

Now that fishless cycling has become well established, more evidence is appearing that large amounts  of nitrite and nitrate can inhibit the growth of th nitrite eaters. It is now recognised that it important to keep bioth nitrite and nitrate low. This can be done by doing water changes (which you would rather avoid  ;D it's easier for me with just 25 litres) and/or by only dosing small amounts of ammonia at the beginning. Small ammonia = small nitrite.

Since you'd rather not have to do water changes, once your ammonia has dropped to zero, only dose it back up to 1ppm or even 0.5ppm. Once enough nitrite eaters have grown to cope with the amount of nitrite made from this tiny bit of ammonia, the dose of ammonia can be increased slowly in stages up to 4 or 5ppm or whatever you want to aim for. If it's done slowly, both bacteria have chance to grow fast enough to cope with the slowly increasing amounts.

1ppm ammonia goes to 2.7ppm nitrite to 3.6ppm nitrate. As you can see from that, a small amount of ammonia makes a middling amount of nitrite and on to a big amount of nitrate.

If the nitrite level does get very high you will still get a cycled filter, it just might take longer.



We'll have to wait and see if Safe Start has any effect. Some other brands help grow the ammonia eaters but do nothing to help the nitrite eaters - I don't know if Safe Start is the same.

Offline chrisp

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2013, 07:38:58 PM »
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thanks sue, i think il try to keep it at 0.5 if i can, i dont mind it taking a little longer as long as i can keep the water changes to a minimun. i just dont want the cycle stalling with such high levels of nitrite/nitrate (is that a possibility?). i'll do a big water change at the end.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2013, 08:37:44 PM »
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Generally speaking, the thing that stalls cycles, as opposed to just slowing them down like high nitrite/nitrate, is a pH crash. Nitrite and nitrate are both acidic and if there is low KH the pH can drop suddenly. Didn't you say your water company's stats show you have low hardness? In that case, you'll most likely also have low KH, so keep a close eye on your pH if your nitrite and/or nitrate build up. Ammonia is basic, it'll push your pH up a bit but since there will be a lot more nitrite/nitrate than ammonia the overall effect will be a lot of acid.

If you do find your pH dropping (and 6.5 is the lowest you should let it get before you take action) you can use sodium bicarbonate aka bicarbonate of soda from the home baking section in the supermarket. It is perfectly acceptable to use it during fishless cycling to increase KH and pH, but not when you have fish because of all that sodium. If you do need to use it, you'll remove it all with the pre-fish-shopping water change. If you need it, just ask and I'll tell you the dosage  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2013, 09:22:41 AM »
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Day 15   25 March

Ammonia zero
Nitrite 0.5

No water change; ammonia added to give 0.5



I haven't tested for nitrate. At the levels I'm using any change in nitrate would be too smalll for the tester to measure.

Offline chrisp

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2013, 11:54:48 AM »
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Ok, will keep an eye on that

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2013, 08:42:32 AM »
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Day 16   26 March

Ammonia zero
Nitrite between 2 and 5


Have to go out so will do a water change when I get back and redose ammonia.


Edit - water change done and ammonia added. Post dose measurements:
Ammonia between 0.5 and 1.0
Nitrite zero

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2013, 10:17:57 AM »
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YOU CAN'T GO OUT!!! :)
Colin isn't online either.  Can you both please work on a rota system???  It's scary being left on our own.....especially when something goes horribly wrong!

Hope you're back soon....

Resa

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2013, 11:30:11 AM »
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I'm back now  ;D - I've read your other post, Colin's said everything I would have.



Maybe we should arrange for Colin to be around on Tuesday mornings as that's my regular time for going out   ;D I do go out other times as well but nothing regular like this.

It occurs to me that I'm always logged in - do I show as being on-line even when my computer is off?

Offline ColinB

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #67 on: March 26, 2013, 11:40:59 AM »
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mmmm... as you can only tell you're logged in when you're actually logged in, and we've no-way of knowing if your computer is on or off, etc. etc., this one might be a bit difficult. ;D

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Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2013, 11:45:25 AM »
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I don't know....I don't know when your computer is off ;D
Yes, I think you and Colin should definitely liase and NEVER be off together....a bit like the Royal family never all being on the same aircraft ;D ;D ;D
Us newbies are inclined to panic and go in to meltdown.....well, I am!
I have told my son I am having a national day of mourning and a 1 minute silence at 12 noon GMT.
Please keep your fingers crossed that it was 'one of those things' and that my other fishies will be ok.

Thanks for getting back to me....

Resa

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TigzFish

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2013, 11:54:18 AM »
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It occurs to me that I'm always logged in - do I show as being on-line even when my computer is off?

If you don't push the 'logout' link on the forum, and simply close your browser, it will still show you as being logged in to the forum.  After a period of time (depending on the settings of the forum software) the 'session' will timeout and your name removed.  This is the nature of things in forum software land.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2013, 12:09:57 PM »
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That might explain why the stats page (link) says I've been on here for 1d 23h 39m in total, I never push the log-out button.

p.s. Where are the other 12,500 members???

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Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2013, 12:14:37 PM »
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'Logout' link???  I've only just mastered turning the computer on!  ;D

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Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #72 on: March 26, 2013, 12:16:08 PM »
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All down the fish shops!!!  ;D

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2013, 12:21:37 PM »
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I got in the habit of not logging out with the old forum. That had a bad habit of logging you out halfway through typing something. I managed to find a way of keeping me logged in all the time I was on the forum, so I was too scared to log out again  ;D It's the only site I don't log out of when I leave.

Since it seems I've been on-line on for 4 days 18 hours and 6 mins, and I haven't logged out since the new forum became active, presumably I do show as offline when I'm not actually here. You'll all have to check next Tues  ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2013, 12:53:00 PM »
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Ok...we'll synchronise watches ;D
Now though, I'm curious....(all right, nosey!)  what happens on Tuesdays?  Is it?

a. Your SPA morning.
b. The weekly meeting with your accountant to discuss your lottery win investments.
c. An audience with the Queen.
d. Your meeting with the P.M. to discuss the future of the economy.
e. None of the above.
               ;D ;D ;D

Resa

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #75 on: March 26, 2013, 01:16:17 PM »
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e.

It's nothing as spectacular as your suggestions, I'm afraid. My mother has lived with us for two years. She has such bad arthritis she can't manage alone. She has a wash and set on Tuesday mornings. I don't drive so we get a taxi down into town, Mum goes to the hairdresser and I do a load of shopping, then we get a taxi home. It saves me having to stagger all the way home with a load of shopping  ;D She has the same appointment time every week.

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2013, 01:47:38 PM »
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Gosh...that's a busy morning for you!  Hope you've put your feet up with a nice cuppa by now :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2013, 02:32:37 PM »
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I had to do a water change when I got back  ;D Just remembered to update today's readings post.

Actually, I'm sitting round feeling sorry for myself today, you've been helping cheer me up. Coming back from the local shop yesterday I stubbed my toe on something crossing the open space in our estate and fell flat on my face. The visible damage is a bruised chin and a split lip where I bit it. You can't see my bruised knees through trousers, or the torn muscle/ligament/whatever right at the top of the back of my leg where it hurts to sit down. Then this morning I was zipping my mother's boots to go out (she can't reach her feet) and something went ping in a muscle in my ribcage. It can't be a broken rib or I would have felt it yesterday, probably a muscle I half damaged and finished the job this morning  ;D


Yes, I am that clumsy  ;D

Offline chrisp

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2013, 02:43:53 PM »
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Sounds nasty sue, hope u ok

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2013, 02:50:01 PM »
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With painkillers it isn't too bad. I still managed the water change.

At least the bruise is under my chin, you can't see it unless I look up. Now if we'd had any snow at all in this part of the country I would have landed in a snowdrift. It's just my luck that at a time where the vast majority of the UK is knee deep or worse in snow, we've not had anything worth speaking of - certainly nothing that's stuck. I hit pure hard tarmac  ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2013, 03:33:23 PM »
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Oh Sue...you poor thing!  You see...this is what happens when you go out and leave the forum ;D  safest thing is if you just stay logged on and by the computer in case any of us need you ;D
Seriously though, are you ok?  You'll probably feel even worse tomorrow, don't mean to be pessimistic, but aches and bruising seem to come out on me a few days later when I hurl myself to the floor like that!  I used to fairly regularly fall down the stairs at our old house in the UK and I swear, I could trip over fresh air :D
You'll have to make sure that hubby pampers you for a few days....at least some nice flowers.......or even 'better'....a nice betta ;D

Resa

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Offline ColinB

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2013, 03:47:07 PM »
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.... or a nice bottle of red to help ease the aches and pains. You poor thing!


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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #82 on: March 26, 2013, 03:54:31 PM »
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The trouble is he's so used to me falling over he gets cross now. I usually do it the day before something important. I took the skin off my knee when I fell over in the street a couple of days before our youngest's graduation so had to wear something below the knee. I rushed indoors to answer the phone and fell over the doorstep two days before the older one's engagement party. I caught my toe on the lip of the greenhouse and fell out the day before his halloween party - though the cut knee and bruises looked the part for that one. I was warned I was not under any circumstances to damage myself before the elder one's wedding, and somehow succeeded.
I do such silly things too. While decorating, I climbed off the stool to paint the next strip of wall and stuck my foot in the tub of paint. I've shut the car boot door on my head. Nearly dislocated my middle finger a couple of weeks ago when I caught it on the bottom of the wall cupboard reaching up for a mug - that still hurts. I fell off the stool I was using to put something in the attic. Correction, I didn't fall off it, it tilted under me and tipped me off.


You can see why my husband gets impatient with me.






And yet - I'm quite happy up ladders, never even threatened to fall off one. And decorating the landing standing on a narrow plank supported on two ladders is no problem. It's ground level or nearly ground level I have problems with. I'm sure a psychlologist would have a wonderful time studying me  ;D




Colin - I treated myself to the bottle of red  ;D

Offline ColinB

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #83 on: March 26, 2013, 04:09:52 PM »
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While decorating, I climbed off the stool to paint the next strip of wall and stuck my foot in the tub of paint.

Colin - I treated myself to the bottle of red  ;D

Classic! ;D

I'm glad about the red.

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Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #84 on: March 26, 2013, 04:25:14 PM »
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mmmm.....falling over?........bottle of red?......coincidence?   ;D

Resa

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Offline ColinB

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #85 on: March 26, 2013, 05:00:47 PM »
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I think you're on to something there, Resa.

It's a sad, sad state of affairs. *sigh*  ;D


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Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #86 on: March 26, 2013, 05:34:01 PM »
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Youngsters, eh?  Just can't hold their drink.....

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #87 on: March 26, 2013, 06:34:21 PM »
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That is just cruel Colin. I told you my ribs hurt........... ;D

Offline jesnon

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #88 on: March 26, 2013, 11:21:24 PM »
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Ahh Sue - hope you're feeling better now after a deserved bottle of red! Sounds like you're clumsier than me and that's saying something!!

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #89 on: March 27, 2013, 09:35:23 AM »
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Day 17   27 March


Ammonia zero
Nitrite 2.0

Ammomia added to give -
Ammonia between 0.5 and 1.0




I think clumsiness runs in the family. My aunt is renowned for falling over things and we used to say my youngest could trip over a twig when he was outside. Though he has grown out of it.
It's just my ribs that hurt today. Since the pain only started the day after I fell and when I was pulling up a zip on my mother's boot, I assume I've got intercostal cramp, brought on by falling then the pulling action. If I'd broken something it would have hurt from the moment I fell.
I did manage a water change on the 25 litre yesterday, but that's easy. Because the tapwater is so cold at the moment and I don't want to risk shocking my new bacteria, I've been warming the new water to the tank temp of 30 deg using a kettle. It takes one kettleful (1.5 litres) of boiling water made up to 5 litres with cold to get the right temp (the bucket has measurements on the inside), so I only have to lift 5 litres at once. But my 125 litre is overdue a water change and I can't face that at the moment.

And no, asking hubby is not an option. Even if he was willing, I wouldn't trust anyone else with my tanks now I have sand in them  ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #90 on: March 27, 2013, 11:57:48 AM »
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Morning Sue,

Ribs always seem to take so long to heal, don't they?  Hopefully, you'll feel a bit better by tomorrow.

I always warm my new water to the tank temperature by heating it 2 litres at a time in the microwave....I hope this is ok. I don't use the kettle as it always has so much scale in it.  The 2L is quite a good amount as it is simple to administer the right amount of dechlorinator...and also to carry and pour the jug back in to the tank...as I too, am prone to clumsiness :)  Not much use I admit if you have a huge tank!
It must have been water change day yesterday as that is what I was doing too.


One of my little guppies (the one with the chunk out of his tail...courtesy of the guppy bully!) has been getting me at it!  He knows I'm frantic about any more fish dying and keeps hiding (I hope he is alright).  This morning I thought he was dead as he was very still near one of the rocks, but when I gave them their breakfast, he lost no time in swimming up for his share...little devil :)

Resa
   :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #91 on: March 27, 2013, 12:44:01 PM »
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The microwave is fine, anything to get the water to the right temp.

I don't bother getting the temp spot on for the tanks with fish. If the refill water is a bit cooler, by the time it's mixed in with the water left in the tank the temp doesn't drop more than a degree or two. I'm just getting it spot on with the cycling tank as I'm doing 100% water changes and don't want to do anything that'll hurt the new bacteria.

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #92 on: March 28, 2013, 09:41:37 AM »
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Day 18   28 March

Ammonia 0
Nitrite between 2 and 5

Ammonia added to give a reading between 0.5 and 1.0

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #93 on: March 29, 2013, 01:06:31 PM »
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Day 19  29 March

Ammonia 0
Nitrite over 5

95% water change, ammonia added.
Didn't test ammonia half an hour after adding as husband wanted to go to Asda. But I added the same amount as every other time.



I though the nitrite would be off the top of the scale as the tube went purple while I was still shaking it. I've added 3 lots of ammonia since the last water change, somewhere between 1.5 and 3ppm-worth. That will make between 4 and 8pmm nitrite.

Offline Resa

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #94 on: March 29, 2013, 01:14:28 PM »
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Asda?  Had you synchronised with Colin for this excursion ;D ;D ;D

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Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2013, 11:39:18 AM »
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Day 20  30 March

Ammonia 0
Nitrite ~2

Ammonia added, same volume again.

Didn't check ammonia after adding as the bottles are getting low. They were half used when I started this fishless cycle.



Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #96 on: March 31, 2013, 11:38:10 AM »
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Day 21  31 March

Didn't test for ammonia
Nitrite over 5.

Water change, added the usual dose of ammonia.


When I say water change, I mean as much as I can get out. That's do-able on a regular basis with 25 litres.

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #97 on: April 01, 2013, 01:29:36 PM »
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Day 22  1 April

Nitrite 2
Didn't test for ammonia

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #98 on: April 02, 2013, 08:10:39 AM »
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Day 23  2 April
Didn't test ammonia
Nitrite over 5
Edit - forgot to say I added ammonia.

Quick summary - ammonia dropped on day 13 and was zero on day 14 (ie 12 and 13 days after adding the first ammonia). 10 days after ammonia satrted to fall and nitrite is showing no signs of dropping yet.

Offline Sue

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Re: Sue's fishless cycle
« Reply #99 on: April 03, 2013, 10:29:46 AM »
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Day 24, 3 April

Didn't test ammonia
Nitrite over 5

Water changed, ammonia added.

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