Tank cycling and baby/juvenile Lucy

BradleyB

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I have a couple questions as we move forward with prepping Lucy's new home.

We received Lucy on May 11th as a tiny baby (maybe 3/4 of an inch long and have been lovingly tanking care of her in a small tub ever since. She is now about 2 1/2" long, eating small blood worms (tweezer-fed) and a treat of live brine shrimp every 2-3 days. We always feed the brine shrimp right before a water change, so the uneaten ones don't foul her water.

Lucy :)
PXL_20210611_174952938.MP.jpg


Lucy is currently living in a 6" x 12" tub in about 3 inches of water. She receives a 100% water change every day. Needless to say, as she continues to grow, the ammonia levels are climbing to the point where they now reach 0.25 ppm by the time I do the next water change. It's clearly time to move her into a larger home!

Lucy's current home
PXL_20210605_170154221.jpg


Her tank was set up in mid-April and successfully cycled a week ago. It's a 20 gallon long. I am currently dosing ammonia at a rate of 0.5 ppm every 48 hours. Ammonia is gone in 24 hours, it's taking around 36-48 hours for the nitrites to completely clear. There is currently a couple plants floating in the tank and they are keeping the nitrates at bay quite nicely. The water is still being heated to 76 degrees. My next planned steps in cycling will be to first stop heating the tank so it stabilizes at room temperature. This should be a pretty stable 68 - 70 degrees year round (we rarely get prolonged heat spells in Calgary, and we are in a basement suite). Once I know the tank is stable at room temperature, my thoughts are to lower the amount of ammonia to approximate Lucy's output, so that we can hopefully avoid any kind of crash once she's introduced. I would think that would just be some simple math.

First, I would welcome any feedback on my planned next steps in preparing her tank.

Second, my plan is to move Lucy into a 12" by 17" tub until she is ready/large enough to move into her permanent home. She is a very active swimmer, and I want her to have more space, but more importantly, I'm hoping that the larger tub will allow me to go back to water changes every other day instead of daily. I hate seeing her stress every day from being removed to allow for the water change and I want to minimize that all I can. I'm also thinking that I could incorporate a small sponge filter into the larger tub, so that there's at least some mechanical filtering.

Thoughts/comments?

Finally, when would Lucy be large enough to move to her permanent home? I'm hoping that it's no later than a month from now. Her appetite is very healthy and she seems to now be in the midst of a growth spurt :)

Lucy's future home. I am currently making a hide from slate, which will also have a couple planting areas incorporated into it. I am also going to add white sand to the foreground of of the tank, once Lucy is large enough for that to be safe.
PXL_20210611_175033528.jpg
 
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