Aquarium Setup • Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

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Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:23 am

Hello All,

Been a fish keeper for a while, took a break after moving to another country. Then caught the bug and getting back into the hobby again. At first I was exploring different tropical fish to keep (Altum angels, or brackish monos) but couldn't resist going back to my favorite Tropheus :fish:

Currently setting up a new Tropheus Duboisi species tank. Previously had a Tropheus Chipimbi tank.
Image
Here's a pic of my previous Tropheus set up.

Specs: 48x18x18 (online calculators says 67gal? 250litres)

Fresh set up without any established tanks near by (Anyone from Hong Kong in this forum to help me seed my tank?). Impossible to source any pure Ammonia here :( So I have to start my fishless cycling with table shrimp...

Anyway, going to treat this as my journal as it's always nice to document and share =)

Image
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Setting up the hardscape

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Water filled and equipment running! time to cycle!

Always been a fan of the ADA style planted tanks. So that's my inspiration for the hardscape. Please let me know what you think!
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:05 am

Welcome to C-F

Old tank looked great. Is that an AquaTerra BG?

New tank looks sharp. Good luck with the cycle. Gonna take a while...
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:09 am

Thank you!

Yep, background from Aquaterra on the old tank.

Yes...not really looking forward to the cycle.. haha asking everyone I know if they have an established aquarium to steal some biomedia from :lol:
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby mbuna_territory » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:54 pm

That's a nice looking tank, your previous was nice as well. Like the hardscape.
220 Gallon Msobo Species Only Biotope

Fish Room
Current Breeding Groups :
Msobo
Chailosi
Afra Cobue
Red Top Zebra
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:59 pm

Let us know how the cycle goes
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:40 am

mbuna_territory wrote:That's a nice looking tank, your previous was nice as well. Like the hardscape.

Thank you! =)

Iggy Newcastle wrote:Let us know how the cycle goes

Will do!

Update - Day 3 in Cycle.
Table shrimp in a little pantyhose sock is slowly seeding the tank with Ammonia. Been in there for three days now. Getting readings between 0.25-0.50ppm (API Test kit) today. Since I couldn't get my hands on any bb from established tanks, I just went for my only option, bottled bacteria. I've had success previously with AquaSafeStart in US, but of course I couldn't find any in Hong Kong, Same with Dr. Tim's. So my only option was Seachem Stability heard mixed reviews, but I guess this can be my little experiment! I'm logging all my test results with dates, will start sharing my results as I get a little further in the cycle.

Tiny bits of white fungus starting to show up on my driftwood. Good thing that SOMETHING is growing in the tank lol. (I know it will go away after the bacteria stabilizes)

Also my driftwood is leeching some brown tannins into the water. Will be adding purigen to the filter to remove it after the tank cycles. So we can test another product as it'll be interesting to see before and after pictures. :thumb:

Waiting game continues! :popcorn:
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:16 am

Day 4 - Weird test results

Getting some strange test results from my water parameters today:
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5-10?
Temp: 30c / 86f
pH: Higher than 7.6 (maximum this test kit reaches, will need to get another tester with higher pH readings)
Have surface agitation from filter output + powerhead in water to circulate oxygen for bacteria

Only theory I have is that either the Seachem Stability bacteria is working, keeping the nitrites down and is starting to process it into nitrate. Ammonia still present due to decaying shrimp that's still in the tank constantly releasing ammonia? Or the tank hasn't even started to cycle yet. If so I find it odd that the tank water has traces of Nitrate (see below for tap water comparison). When dosing stability I usually spread it around the aquaruim and 1 capful directly into the canister filter intake. Reading online I see other people getting ammonia readings of 4ppm+ from the shrimp method. Will continue to monitor to see if Nitrates levels continue to rise although strange that I never got a nitrite reading - only heard of this from people who seed their tanks with established bacteria.

Here's an image of the tests (my LFS didnt have stock of API's nitrite tests so I'm using Tetra brand)
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Ammonia tests tap water on the right for comparison
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Nitrate tests, tap water on right for comparison
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:24 am

That's a head scratcher. I don't know what to tell you. There's no way to know how much ammonia you'll be producing with shrimp. Perhaps the Stability is working. The tap water does show a slight nitrate reading, but tank is most certainly higher.

Only thing you can do is proceed as planned and keep testing.
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dalto » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:36 am

Did you test your tap water for nitrates?
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:51 am

dalto wrote:Did you test your tap water for nitrates?


Last picture shows tank vs tap
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:20 pm

Iggy Newcastle wrote:That's a head scratcher. I don't know what to tell you. There's no way to know how much ammonia you'll be producing with shrimp. Perhaps the Stability is working. The tap water does show a slight nitrate reading, but tank is most certainly higher.

Only thing you can do is proceed as planned and keep testing.


Yeah, hopefully it's the Stability bacteria doing the work, similar like seeding the tank with established media. Anyway, this is the beauty of fishless cycling, we can see what happens without any drawbacks =) Time will tell! Hopefully 0 ammonia and more nitrates :D
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:07 am

Day 5 - Tiny update

Nothing exciting today,
Ammonia: 0.25
Nirite: 0
Nitrate: 5-10

SEEMS like nitrates are rising? but I'll give it a few more days to confirm. Strange that Ammonia is stuck at 0.25 though If the bacteria is working I would have thought Ammonia would be at 0 by now. After confirming my nitrates are rising maybe i'll pull the shrimp out to see if my ammonia drops to 0. I'll wait a bit more before I do that.
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:20 am

Day 6

Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 8.2

Nitrates do seem to look like they are rising. Yesterday it was difficult for me to tell if it was 5ppm or 10ppm. Today it's clearly 10ppm. What's bothering me is the 0.25 Ammonia though. Should I pull the shrimp and see if levels drop to 0? I've read online that people just leave it in until tank is cycled though.
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:46 am

I would definitely leave it in. Not really sure how Stabiliy works. Does it need a food source?
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Re: Tropheus Duboisi Aquarium

Postby dakkon227 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:29 am

Iggy Newcastle wrote:I would definitely leave it in. Not really sure how Stabiliy works. Does it need a food source?


Treat it like any other bacteria, yes it will need a food source.

Did a little experiment yesterday. I pulled the shrimps out (sorry I should have been clear earlier, there are two pieces of small frozen shrimp in the sock). Anyway I placed it in a container with tank water overnight, tested ammonia in the container and wow it turned dark green, over 8ppm within a few seconds. Of course it's normal since the container is much much smaller than my aquarium, but I was curious since my Ammonia levels in the tank have been 0.25 for a week now. Just to rule out that somehow the shrimp was not leeching enough ammonia for the cycle to start.

Day 7: (Without ammonia source for 16 hours)
Ammonia: 0.25 (less than 0.25 but not as yellow as tap water)
Nitrie: 0
Nitrate: 10

I was hoping that the tank water will be 0ppm Ammonia to prove the bacteria is working. But now I'm not 100% confident. Strange that it couldn't even take down 0.25ppm? I have read online that others have had this issue with the API Test kit, where tank water shows up at 0.25ppm even when tap water is 0. I DID use Seachem Prime to dechlorinate the water at Day 1, so the ammonia binding from Prime would have been released long time ago. I have not done any water changes, and have not added anything else into the tank other than the daily Stability doses and topping off the water level with regular tap water (that's 0ppm ammonia).

There's definitely bacteria in there or else the ammonia tests should be off the charts. but something is stopping my tank water to get to 0ppm Ammonia :-?

Anyway here's the results of the tank water vs shrimp water.
Image
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