I have stuff to note about the front yard, and the garden, and my loosing battle against whitefly- pitched too late. But instead I'm preoccupied with the fish. This morning I set up the QT tank.
This is what I did: rinsed dust off all my QT equipment. Set up the 10 gal tank w/half new, treated water. Put in the QT sponge filter on an airline. I took half the older bio-cubes out of the base of the filter in the tenner, replaced w/new ones, and put the old ones in the QT filter. Squeezed out the tenner's sponge into the QT tank. Moved some sacrificial plants into the QT from my main tank- loose pieces of hornwort, baby watersprites, some subwasser tied onto stones that I don't like because the stones are too white and show up against the substrate. Also a handful of spirodela polyrhiza floaters from the tenner. Added five more gallons of water from the tenner, in the process doing another water change on Oliver's tank. Moved over the heater (I only have one that size now and the plants/snails in tenner will be fine w/out a heater for a week or so, it's still warm enough ambient temps here). Now my QT was ready, half new water, half tank water, some live plants and some fake plants & hidey holes, filter and heater running.
I let the setup run for half an hour and tested the water. No Nitrite, only 10 Nitrates but it had 0.5ppm Ammonia. I was hoping by moving in some material from the established filter in the tenner, and some plants from the other tank, I'd have enough good bacteria to get an 'instant cycle.' Guess that's not the case. Debated whether I should throw in some trumpet snails to provide ammonia and boost the cycle, wait a day or two to move the fish, or put him in anyway and do daily wc to keep ammonia down. Then I'd have to re-add the medication to keep the dose steady for prescribed amount of time...
Meanwhile I did another partial wc and went to the store, bought a handful of fake silk plants to add in there. Want it to be full enough the fish isn't stressed by feeling exposed. Came home after an hour shopping and cut all the silly pink and purple flowers off the fake plants. Checked the tank- still 0.5 Ammonia. I did another partial wc of 2 gallons. Rinsed the fake plants in the bucket of tank water. Set them all in there, added some clippings of arrowhead on the back thru holes in the lid skirt, tested the water again. Still 0.5! I tested my big tank to be sure the test kit isn't wonky- especially since I found two motionless nerites on their backs this morning, and one hasn't moved off since I righted them. Maybe another dead nerite? Nope, Ammonia in the big tank is zero.
I paused to rescue a male cherry barb- he'd got hold of what looked like a strand of hair- kept working his mouth and this long trailing bit of stringy stuff hanging out. Didn't look good if that went into his gut. I caught him in the plastic box that's the lid of my API test kit (use this for all kinds of things) and trapped him against the glass at water surface so I could grab the thread bit with tweezers- that was tricky. He sure didn't want to be cornered. Finally I got it and held on he thrashed himself around like a fish hooked on a line, and then the thread came free. There was a bit of dead plant material on the end of it- that's what he'd tried to eat I guess. Let him go.
Did a bigger water change on the QT tank- fifty percent. This time I double-dosed prime, to try and neutralize the ammonia. It didn't lower the ammonia. Instead it's gone up. Now it's 1.0ppm. I guess the tank is full swing into a cycle and don't know what to do about it. Maybe I'll rinse out the big tank's prefilter sponge and pour it in there. I think I'll wait for tomorrow- it seems to be spiking pretty quickly and since Oliver has had a fifty percent wc on his tank three days in a row, he's in fairly clean water so I think he could wait a day for treatment...
I can see why people don't use QT though.