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Just want a cycle!!!
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Aqua Barker
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Joined: 21 May 2012

PostPosted: 2013.06.29(Sat)15:24    Post subject: Just want a cycle!!! Reply with quote

So almost one year ago I started a 20gal high freshwater tank and came here for all my help! The help was amazing and is still greatly appreciated. I was tols how and why to cycle my tank and even a full list of the fish I should get. After attempting to cycle my tank with some small zebra danios and a long story later they died. Sometime during the course of the past 6-8 months or so I have been very busy and allowed my tank to just run with no fish in it. I have had an outbreak of diomes that of course cleared itself up and I have some algae in my tank now. A couple live plants are dying so I need to fix them up a little but other than that everything in it is fine. Been awhile since I have had my water tested but had it done the other day and the guy asked me what I wanted it tested for. I told him the usual stuff like nitrates and nitrites and that sort of stuff. After more talking......MY TANK NEVER CYCLED!!!! After having a few zebras in it for almost 2 months IT NEVER CYCLED!!! Can't possibly be anymore annoyed at this damn thing not cycling. Tank has been running for almost a year and a couple of months with fish and apparently all my water is good for is to sit and look at!! Everytime I think I'm getting close to being able to stock my tank apparently I habe to wait longer for this cycle!! Please help!!!
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.06.30(Sun)8:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay.

Your tank cycled, but has since lost it. If your tank has just been running for the last 6-8 months with no bioload upon it, it has almost certainly lost all but trace amounts of the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for the nitrogen cycle. So, the Zebras did cycle it (not a recommended practice btw), but you have since lost that cycle because you allowed the tank to sit empty. This would also contribute to the death of your plants, unless you have been dosing ferts that contain nitrogen.

Please consult the articles section of this website for guides on fishless cycling in planted tanks, and for God's sake, please don't ever use danios to cycle again.

SOURCE: Professional Aquarist.
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Aqua Barker
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Joined: 21 May 2012

PostPosted: 2013.06.30(Sun)8:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly won't use fish to cycle again. I was dealing with the "non fish expert" guy at the local pet store and he told me to do the cycle with fish. I soon found out it was very stressful and felt guilt about it =( One question though. Can I use the strips for water testing or does it have to be liquid? I'm sorta on a budget right now do to work and what not. I've heard mixed things about them but they are about 15-20 bucks cheaper than the liquid test kits. I also need to get a heater to. I know I can get one for about 15 bucks at the local pet store.
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.07.01(Mon)5:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

10-15 bucks cheaper? Goodness!

Strips are fine for maintenance testing, but honestly, if you can find the money in your budget at all, go with liquid. So much more precise, and that precision is comfort in your determinations that the cycle has happened.
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Aqua Barker
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Joined: 21 May 2012

PostPosted: 2013.07.01(Mon)8:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZacAdam wrote:
10-15 bucks cheaper? Goodness!

Strips are fine for maintenance testing, but honestly, if you can find the money in your budget at all, go with liquid. So much more precise, and that precision is comfort in your determinations that the cycle has happened.


I did just make a pretty good purchase on Amazon. I got a temperature control heater (for my size tank) with an API master test kit and one other thing that is completely unrelated to aquariums for about 30 bucks. The heater with test kit was about 30-40 dollars cheaper than what I found in local stores. Will keep you guys up to date. Am just starting my cycle with fish food. =)
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.07.02(Tue)19:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent! Keep us posted. Smile
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Aqua Barker
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Joined: 21 May 2012

PostPosted: 2013.07.06(Sat)6:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my stuff in the mail. My heater works beautifuly and has my water at a constant 82 degrees and I tested my water with my big kit. My ammonia is at 0.25ppm and my nitrites are at 0 and my pH is 7.8. Still adding a little fish food per day to cycle it. Hope I have a nice long fish life in this tank once it cycles. Next question is. What fish to buy? Definitely want some Zebra and leopard Danios. A cool bristlenose pleco and some tiger barbs (in small numbers of course) and some ghost shrimp. And for a center piece fish I'm not sure what to get yet.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2013.07.06(Sat)10:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the 20g long or tall?

Tiger barbs are not suitable but Pentazona barbs may be.
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Aqua Barker
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Joined: 21 May 2012

PostPosted: 2013.07.06(Sat)12:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tall. I thought if you kept tiger barbs to smaller numbers than the other schools of fish that they wouldn't be aggressive.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2013.07.06(Sat)15:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger barbs need to be in a group of at least eight & a 20g tall is not big enough. Pentazonas woud be OK & five is enough for their social needs.
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