Fishless Cycle

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railer20

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Oct 15, 2020
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I redosed 10:00 CST yesterday so literally jist got done testing. Still showing around .25 on both. Going to test nitrate, KH and PH now to make sure something isn’t outta whack that they were at same levels 24 hrs after last redose.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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OK- I am in chat and also poking around the forum. Will look out for numbers. But it is really odd that in 24 hours both are at .25. Pretty much the entire time through a fishless cycle nitrite will always read higher than ammonia. The only time this will not be true is when there are some amount of live plants present which they are not here.

This still brings me to thinking your tank is cycled and you may regularly experience such low level readings when there is really no ammonia or nitrite present. This is where the "process" comes in. We know the specific strains of bacteria one will get depends on the amount of ammonia involved. This passes through to which nitrite oxidizers colonize as well. Dosing 3 ppm of ammonia should always produce the desired strains. Only dosing too much might change this. And you have been spot on re maximum ammonia for a while now.

We also know that the bacteria reproduce in response to excess ammonia or nitrite. This shows up in how fast the numbers of each change and the levels they reach after each ammonia addition. You numbers have gone down to practically 0 after 24 hours. And then they appear to have stalled. But the process does not support this sort of result. It tells us 0/0 is the goal. There is no way possible for .25 ppm reading to persist over time. If I offered you $1,000 to make this happen in a tank, my money would be safer than if it were in a vault. To come close you would need to buy many $1,000 worth of lab grade equipment.

So that leaves only one possibility. You are likely getting some false readings for some reason. The less ammonia or nitrite you might show at this stage, the faster it should vanish. Consider that about 2.75 ppm of ammonia was gone in 24 hours. That works out to .113 ppm/hour. And it also means that during those 24 hours there was enough excess ammonia present to get the bacteria to reproduce. So the processing capacity was increasing to some extent during that 24 hours.

Yesterday morning you reported 0 ammonia and .25 ppm for nitrite after the prior dosing. You dosed again and after 24 hours you say it is .25/.25. That would suggest you are going backwards on ammonia and have frozen on nitrite. Sorry, this is simply not possible as far as I am concerned.

So we come back to you must be cycled and ready for fish. I would still suggest that you monitor ammonia at least daily for the first week after you add fish. Any reading above .25 ppm and I would also then test for nitrite. I do not expect either to show up, but if either one does I am happy to help. One warning, full stocking does not mean adding as many fish as fit as long as you do not need a mallet and some oil to fit them all in :) However, down the road if you will be adding a few more fish or have to replace a few, I would suggest you consider using a Q tank.

Also, when buying fish always spend time to checking things out first. Look around all the tanks in a store. Look to see if there are dead fish. All shops lose fish, but the good stores lose the fewest and are pretty diligent about removing dead fish when they do get them. Look to see if the fish look decently fed, buying wasted fish is rarely a good idea. If you are not sure of the information a store is giving you, come back here and post any questions. Remember, the hardest skill for most of us to master in this hobby is patience ;)
 

railer20

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yea I don’t get the numbers either but I don’t get a lot of this stuff 😅. Here is the list of fish I want to get. Would I be OK getting all of this at once?

and the fish store I am using has a very good reputation around here but I will definitely check them out before getting them.

8939C1AA-9DE1-45B8-87C8-97362BC8CD1F.jpeg
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Threadfin bows are a somewhat timid fish. I kept a bunch in a 15 gal. tank with a couple of paleatus corys. Threadfins may not do well re competing food with more active and/or much larger fish.

Pandas like cooler water than most of the rest of the list. Can you choose a different cory which will do better in the temp you need for the other fish?

Most of the fish would appreciate live plants.

I am not a big snail or shrimp person, However, I do have cherry shrimp and amanos. The latter will eat fish eggs and small fish one the amanos get some size. They and the snails will likely need a bit of crushed coral in the tank more than the filter. I have assassin snails to eat the pest pond snails I did not want.

Re the pearls:
One of the most peaceful gouramis and an excellent community fish. Males are territorial with one another however and can also be quite hard on the females when they want to breed, so ensure there are adequate hiding places in the aquarium
from https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/trichopodus-leerii/

Plants would be a big help with the above even if they are artificial. They break up sight lines.
 

railer20

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He actually doesn’t stock panda corys so will have to see what he has. I do have a few “larger” fake plants in there as well as 3 or 4 medium sized ones. On the pearls is it better to have 1 male and 2 females or 2 males and one female?

Really like the threadfins. Was hoping having a bigger group would help. Should I not do those?
 

FreshyFresh

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I would do a single male pearl gourami. I kept a single female pearl for years. They're my favorite gourami. Males are a prettier.

Be careful with the BN pleco. If you wind up with a pregnant female, you'll have more BNs that you want. I've got that going on in my 55gal. They do an amazing job keeping the glass and hardscape clean though.. But you pay for that because they are like poop pez dispensers.
 

railer20

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I would do a single male pearl gourami. I kept a single female pearl for years. They're my favorite gourami. Males are a prettier.
FreshyFresh FreshyFresh Only one ☹??? Is there another centerpiece fish I could put in there as well with my list above?
 
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FreshyFresh

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FreshyFresh FreshyFresh Only one ☹??? Is there another centerpiece fish I could put in there as well with my list above?

To me, a center piece fish is just a single fish. Like an angel, maybe a keyhole cichlid, some other type of gourami.
 

railer20

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To me, a center piece fish is just a single fish. Like an angel, maybe a keyhole cichlid, some other type of gourami.
Gotcha...I like angels, would one of those be ok in there with a male Pearl and the others? Don’t think I have anything that would nip at him.
 
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