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Old 5th September 2019   #3
Murk
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Default Re: Help for New Owner?

^Agreed.
It is possible to cycle with an axolotl in the tank - this is often faster and if the tank is big enough not all that risky.
It is still a risk though (no matter how small), so if the axolotl is happy in the tub (and you are happy with all the extra work) I'd advice patience.

As for speeding up the cycling, do not remove ammonia. The more ammonia you have, the more ammonia-eating bacteria will grow. The more ammonia-eating bacteria, the more nitrites and thus, more nitrite-eating bacteria. A tank that's gross cycles quickest (as long as it's not a completely toxic cesspool).
Other things that help are loads of surface area (rocks, plants, filter media) and a running filter.
If you have a friend or an aquarium shop with an established tank, borrowing some tank ornaments or filter media is an easy way to get a load of cycling bacteria as well.
If you don't have any life plants try to find some. They're great for stabilising ammonia and nitrates: rotting or old plant material is a solid source of ammonia, and new growth uses up nitrates. They also offer a good surface for beneficial bacteria, and since your tank is without axolotl for a while this is a great opportunity for the plants to grow the roots they need to survive an axolotl.
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