Cycling Help

Slash-GNR

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Hello! So I recently became aware that some information that I read about cycling an axolotl tank was false, and so I'm actually cycling it now since I didn't have it cycled in the first place. My axolotl, Vader, is currently in a ten gallon tank that is treated with Prime, and I'm doing daily water changes to make sure he is doing well. However, I have questions about the cycling process.

For background: I'm using a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus that treats up to 50 gallons. I put all of the bottle in the tank. Now the questions...

1. Do all I need is the Tetra Safe Start Plus? Or do I need to buy something else and put it into my tank?

2. When water testing at the start, should my ammonia and nitrites go up?

3. How long should it take for the nitrates to start showing up? To my understanding, nitrates are what show up last?
 

JaceW/Lifer-Log

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You should introduce some ammonia if you haven't already, the ammonia and nitrites will spike at first but will in usually a month turn to nitrates thanks to the growth of beneficial bacteria. It will most likely take less time since you put a lot of starting liquid. once you have only nitrates do a water change and put some more ammonia in, if it is all nitrates by the next week's test you are perfect. (you can get the "Ammonia" by asking for a local fish store to wring out a filter sponge into a bag for you. this will have bacteria and ammonia + nitrites!)
 

Slash-GNR

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@JaceW/Lifer-Log

Thank you so much for the help!

Some more questions though...

Does adding rotting fish food like pellets and blood worms count as ammonia? Or should I go ahead and ask my LFS for their "Ammonia"?

I read that ammonia is needed for the TSSP to work properly, so I added some pellets and bloodworms to the tank a day after I put it in. However, there hasn't been a spike in anything. Do I need to get another bottle or do I need to wait?
 

Calgarycoppers

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Pure cleaning ammonia or ammonium chloride powder are best.

Once you start cycling

Test daily
Dose your ammonia back to 4ppm daily
Add a heater 76-78 degrees
Add nitrifying bacteria supplement as per instructions

If ....
Ammonia is over 4ppm - 33% water change and retest to verify 4ppm still
Nitrite is over 2ppm - 33-50% water change
Nitrate is over 160ppm - 75% water change
pH lower than 6 or higher than 8.2 AND your cycle has stalled - 50% water change

In your testing daily you should see....
-ammonia dropping at some point
-nitrite starting to rise at some point
-eventually you will start to see nitrates - do a happy dance

Once you have nitrates keep testing daily and dosing ammonia to 4ppm.

When you notice you dose ammonia and within 24 hours and retest you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and all nitrates do a massive happy dance time for your 3 day challenge!!

3 day challenge is status quo - test, dose ammonia to 4ppm and wait 24 long hours repeat 24 hours repeat. If your tests came to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and all nitrate you are cycled !!

Now to get your temp down very slowly, get your pH in check - you do need to continue feeding the cycle through this.
 

Calgarycoppers

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    Pookisoo: Sorry again... but when i take him out is he supposed to be moving funny..? Sorry hahaha🤕 +1
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