- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
So I bought a fish tank a while back… long story… anyway…
I set it up with water, a filter, plant medium and gravel on top, some petrified wood and a large rock. Added Filter Boost every day and let it run.
It cycled at a snail’s pace. I tested regularly and it took about 3 weeks to get to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and a non-zero nitrate reading.
I had initially wanted to add the plants first and let them settle, but the pet shop advised me that the fish and the plants mutually support each other in the ecosystem, so I should add both on the same day. Plants first whilst the fish adjust to the water temperature, and then put the fish in once the water has cleared from the planting.
I went out and bought 6 plants. Then I made a mistake… I bought three guppies, a cory, an algae eater, a pleco, and two female bettas. Too many fish, I know… but I had confidence that my fishless cycle had led to a stable environment. Planted the aquarium, added the fish…
After a day, the ammonia read 0.5. Did a 30% change. Repeated the next day. Now the ammonia was 1.0. At this point I decided it was time to start using Ammo Lock, or else the fish were going to start dying. That was over a week ago. Since then, I have been doing a 15-30% change every day, using Tetra SureStart to try to establish equilibrium, desperately continuing with the Ammo Lock, underfeeding, and testing every day. I have also added a second filter, just in case the filter which came with my tank wasn’t up to the job.
As of today, ammonia is almost 8.0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0. Fish still alive, although the one of the guppies and the cory now have a few white spots in front of one of their fins. A sure sign of poor water quality. Store is stumped, say to give it time. I have added oxygen tablets to the water to try to help out the pleco and the cory. Any ideas on how to speed up the cycle?