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cycling a 10g with a new substrate Ive never used before

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So I started up my 10 gallon with a product Ive never seen before, its called Micro-Lift CAPM

mainly used for ponds but as it is clay based I felt it would be much the same as using Turface/Shultz's Aquasoil which I have used in the past for a planted tank.


I put the whole bag #10 in the tank and then added some bee soil on top (on one end to look two-toned) a couple of zebra rocks and planted some anacharis and java fern around the rocks, and added cholla wood for my shrimpies to munch on.  Water is tap and no heater.  Ive added some stress-zyme and some other bacteria cultures, and seeded the tank with sponge filters from my shrimp tank (which has been running for months)


Its been 2 weeks and Ive tested the water every day, up to Friday no nitrites/nitrates were showing, just ammonia which has been gradually rising each day.  Yesterday I noticed I had some nitrates but still no nitrite.  Today I tested and I have the following.


Ammonia   1.0 ppm

Nitrite  0.25ppm

Nitrate  between 10-20ppm  color is much the same for both these.


So would you say I am middle way in my cycle or close to cycling?


This is the 1st time Ive tested any of my tanks as I usually just leave them for 4 weeks then test for ammonia only.


Any thoughts? 

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hard to say where the cycle is if the ammonia kept going up.

you haven't seen nitrite because the bacteria on the sponge filters was consuming it.

now as more bacteria is growing and consuming ammonia there is more nitrite then that bacteria can consume,at least until more grows.


has the ammonia gone down since friday?

if so,maybe 2-3 weeks to be cycled.

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  • 3 weeks later...

so today I tested my TDS in the newly cycled tank (5 weeks old) and its down to 196  When I first set it up it was 450.


Ive put my remaining shrimps in this am and they seem to be exploring all the nooks and crannies in this tank, so hopefully they will do better in here and I can add some more shortly. 

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