Hampton and I are back from the convention! We left Thursday morning for Atlanta. I added about 100 drops of ammonia to the tank that morning after I did water tests. Parameters that morning indicated a cycled tank: ammonia was zero, nitrite was zero, and nitrate was 20-40. The ammonia arguably might not have been zero, but it was so close it was hard to differentiate. I wasn’t terribly worried about it and left instructions for our dogsitter to dose the tank daily with 70 drops of ammonia, which she did.
We came home today to find a tank that is still fully cycled! I have to post it as official water parameters just for giggles:
- Ammonia 0 ppm
- Nitrite 0 ppm
- Nitrate 40 ppm
- pH 7.2
Finally we have a big ol’ nitrate spike! So that means I either have to keep adding ammonia, which I’m almost out of, or we need to add some critters to the tank! Presently I’m doing a large >50% water change to reduce the nitrate level, then Hampton and I will head out and chase down some critters. I don’t know if any stores around here will carry the fish I want, but the plan at least is for some invertebrates – namely ghost shrimp and maybe a snail or two. I haven’t been loading the ammonia up to 2 ppm each day, so I don’t know that the bacteria can really chew through it all that fast, so we’ll start slow and build bioload carefully over time. I also am not 100% sure what the pH is going to do, but the only way to find out is to proceed with livestock and just watch the tank daily to ensure it stays stable.
And now for some pictures!
For starters, a picture from the convention. I brought a couple Lunchables so that I wouldn’t have to eat out for lunch every day – and because I hadn’t had Lunchables in years, and it seemed like fun! There wasn’t really time to sit and eat between panels, so I’d run up to the room, grab a Lunchable, and run back down to sit and eat my Lunchable while enjoying a panel. I particularly enjoyed my pizza Lunchable, pictured here, which I enjoyed with a Heineken disguised in a Starbucks cup.
I also finally got myself a kilt! I’d wanted one for a couple years, then found this little cutie and couldn’t resist:
And lastly, a picture of the tank as it’s undergoing a water change and being prepped for critters!