Dechlorinator Cycling?

Junaz

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So I have a baby golden axolotl of about 2.5 inches, and I've had it for about 5 days. My tank was not cycled when I got her, its 100 percent my fault. My local pet store told me that all I had to do was add some dechlorinator, and my tank would be good. After doing more research, I realized they were wrong, however how wrong were they? No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find anyone that talked about dechlorinator in cycling a tank until I found this website:
It explains how it is possible to cycle a tank in the short span of time with simply some primer. Which I do have, and I have been using. It also says that I can add the baby in while I do this, which I honestly don't have any other choice but to do because I don't have any safe water to put it in. I know, I know, it's not ideal. I feel horrible. I'm terrified my baby is going to die. I'm constantly testing my water parameters, and I was kind of excited to see the (small, between 0 and 5 ppm) presence of nitrites. That means the cycle is starting, right? I have a 20 gallon tank with probably 11.5 gallons of water in it, and everyday I take out two gallons and then add it back with new water with a few drops of primer in it. That's what I've been doing for a few days. My biggest concern is the ammonia. The primer I'm using (seachem primer) says that it converts ammonia, which is toxic, to ammonium, which is non toxic, however my api water test kit will not be able to tell the difference. My ammonia levels read about 1ppm, but I had no choice but to put her in there and it said that it should be fine? The baby is eating well, pooping on time, exploring it's new tank. It's gills are kind of pink but everything I've been seeing says that that's normal. It's gills aren't curled forward and it's tail is straight most of the time. I just want some feedback, and confirmation on the dechlorinator cycling process. This is my first time owning an axolotl, and I just want it to be ok.
 

madcaplaughs

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Dechlorinator and "jumpstart" bacteria alone will not be enough. To cycle your tank, you're going to need a source of ammonia. This can be achieved by leaving food in the tank, but would be significantly easier if you use a product such as Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride, which gives specific instructions for dosing (though the instructions are slightly inaccurate as they state that 4 drops per gallon=2ppm ammonia, when really 2 drops per gallon=2ppm). Dosing accurate amounts is important to help better understand how much ammonia your tank is processing and converting. The ammonia will serve as the bacteria's food source.

When you have that source of ammonia, you can start cycling. Dose 2ppm (2 drops/gallon. I.e., 20 gallon=40 drops). If your readings exceed 4ppm ammonia, you'll need to do a water change to bring those levels down. Check your ammonia levels daily, dosing back up to 2ppm ammonia as it's converted. Eventually you will have readings for nitrite. These will increase and then fall, but do not be surprised to have a large nitrite spike whilst cycling. When your tank can process 2ppm ammonia into 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite within a span of 24 hours, your tank is cycled.

It's highly ill-advised to keep the axolotl in the tank while cycling, as you are essentially forcing the axolotl to live in its own waste whilst the bacteria colonies build up. Fish-in cycling, on average, takes longer than fish-less cycling. While your tank is cycling, you'll need to tub the axolotl in a tub large enough for the axolotl to fully extend its tail, and large enough for it to be able to turn around (i.e., tupperware, shoebox, etc.). While the axolotl is tubbed, you'll need to do daily 100% water changes. This can be made easier by having two tubs to switch between each day. You're seeing readings for nitrate because the tank is beginning to cycle, but it does not have enough beneficial bacteria to be considered safe.

You cannot leave the axolotl in a tank with any readings of ammonia or nitrite. These compounds are toxic.
 

Junaz

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Dechlorinator and "jumpstart" bacteria alone will not be enough. To cycle your tank, you're going to need a source of ammonia. This can be achieved by leaving food in the tank, but would be significantly easier if you use a product such as Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride, which gives specific instructions for dosing (though the instructions are slightly inaccurate as they state that 4 drops per gallon=2ppm ammonia, when really 2 drops per gallon=2ppm). Dosing accurate amounts is important to help better understand how much ammonia your tank is processing and converting. The ammonia will serve as the bacteria's food source.

When you have that source of ammonia, you can start cycling. Dose 2ppm (2 drops/gallon. I.e., 20 gallon=40 drops). If your readings exceed 4ppm ammonia, you'll need to do a water change to bring those levels down. Check your ammonia levels daily, dosing back up to 2ppm ammonia as it's converted. Eventually you will have readings for nitrite. These will increase and then fall, but do not be surprised to have a large nitrite spike whilst cycling. When your tank can process 2ppm ammonia into 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite within a span of 24 hours, your tank is cycled.

It's highly ill-advised to keep the axolotl in the tank while cycling, as you are essentially forcing the axolotl to live in its own waste whilst the bacteria colonies build up. Fish-in cycling, on average, takes longer than fish-less cycling. While your tank is cycling, you'll need to tub the axolotl in a tub large enough for the axolotl to fully extend its tail, and large enough for it to be able to turn around (i.e., tupperware, shoebox, etc.). While the axolotl is tubbed, you'll need to do daily 100% water changes. This can be made easier by having two tubs to switch between each day. You're seeing readings for nitrate because the tank is beginning to cycle, but it does not have enough beneficial bacteria to be considered safe.

You cannot leave the axolotl in a tank with any readings of ammonia or nitrite. These compounds are toxic.
Thank you so much, I'll take it out right away. I'm so glad somebody responded, I was worried. I'll look up Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride
 

MargaretMartin90

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So I have a baby golden axolotl of about 2.5 inches, and I've had it for about 5 days. My tank was not cycled when I got her, its 100 percent my fault. My local pet store told me that all I had to do was add some dechlorinator, and my tank would be good. After doing more research, I realized they were wrong, however how wrong were they? No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find anyone that talked about dechlorinator in cycling a tank until I found this website:
It explains how it is possible to cycle a tank in the short span of time with simply some primer. Which I do have, and I have been using. It also says that I can add the baby in while I do this, which I honestly don't have any other choice but to do because I don't have any safe water to put it in. I know, I know, it's not ideal. I feel horrible. I'm terrified my baby is going to die. I'm constantly testing my water parameters, and I was kind of excited to see the (small, between 0 and 5 ppm) presence of nitrites. That means the cycle is starting, right? I have a 20 gallon tank with probably 11.5 gallons of water in it, and everyday I take out two gallons and then add it back with new water with a few drops of primer in it. That's what I've been doing for a few days. My biggest concern is the ammonia. The primer I'm using (seachem primer) says that it converts ammonia, which is toxic, to ammonium, which is non toxic, however my api water test kit will not be able to tell the difference. My ammonia levels read about 1ppm, but I had no choice but to put her in there and it said that it should be fine? The baby is eating well, pooping on time, exploring it's new tank. It's gills are kind of pink but everything I've been seeing says that that's normal. It's gills aren't curled forward and it's tail is straight most of the time. I just want some feedback, and confirmation on the dechlorinator cycling process. This is my first time owning an axolotl, and I just want it to be ok. Read more about useful guides and tips for writing papers here essayhelp.com
does Dechlorinating make the good bacteria in aquarium water grow faster? any suggestions on how to make the bacteria grow faster???
 

madcaplaughs

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does Dechlorinating make the good bacteria in aquarium water grow faster? any suggestions on how to make the bacteria grow faster???
No. Dechlorinating the water is necessary because chlorine kills bacteria (including beneficial bacteria), which is why it's so important to never rinse your filter with tap water.
The only way to speed up the cycling process is to used seeded media from another already-established tank. Otherwise, it's just a waiting game. I'd ask around on FB to see if anyone near you (LFS included, you can probably call them though) has spare media to give. Angelsplus.com also sells an active sponge filter.
 

michael

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A 2.5" axolotl is not going to overload a 20 gallon tank even while cycling. Be sure you have a decent biofilter. Do small water changes every week and cycle the tank with the axolotl in it. If you have other aquariums you can jump start your tank by using some filter media from an established tank.
 
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