My previous excitement over nitrates has diminished. A little over a week ago I tested the tank water wondering why my nitrite and nitrate readings hadn't been changing and saw that my tap has 5ppm nitrates. Sheesh. I hadn't made any progress really and was getting nervous because I preordered goldies from Rain Garden thinking that my cycle would be much farther along than it actually was. Minor stressor.
I posted a thread in the water quality section with my tank and tap readings seeking advice on how to really get the cycle moving along as well as better understand my current water quality and how to manage it so the new fishies would have a happy home
Also, the goldies were originally scheduled to arrive on January 10th. This made me nervous as I didn't want to have to cycle the tank with them in it (the whole purpose being me doing a fishless cycle). Technically, I could complete the cycle with the goldies since I would have to test the water/do daily water changes anyway, but I would greatly prefer to do this on a cycled tank to remove any added stress on the fish (and me)! Another option (thanks to dnalex) would be to have a tub system to put them in. I could have 2 tubs, switching the goldies from tub to tub daily with 100% fresh water. This would also allow me to continue my cycle on the tank. It's a big relief having a backup plan
Just in case, I contacted Steve and asked if he could hold onto them a few weeks more (which was asking a lot since he had already been holding onto them for over a month) and he was so generous to say yes!!!! Happy day! No need for tubs (at the moment) and that gives me 2 more weeks of worry free cycling!
Steve also mentioned that the calico pearlscale without pearls (from my previous post) was acting floaty and might be developing a swim bladder issue. He is going to monitor her for a bit and see how she does, but there is a chance that I might not get her. I am hopeful she will be alright because I am smitten, but I am also grateful to Steve for being so honest. I am used to LFS and chain stores that only want to sell sell sell and don't care about the health of the fish. This is a breath of fresh air to know someone is passionate about what they do and cares about the fish and the customer.
More fun news: a few days after I ordered the 2 cuties from my previous post, I saw this guy and couldn't help myself:
Isn't he crazy adorable?! Assuming the calico is OK, all 3 cuties will put me at my ideal tank maximum and I'll be fully stocked.
Thanks to the awesome kokonuts here, I raised my KH with baking soda to 10 drops, and reduced the ammonia to 2ppm and things have been moving along. Last nights readings leave me hopeful that I could possibly (fingers crossed) be cycled in a few weeks, which would be amazing since I hadn't really had ANY movement since late Novemberish.
I know I have said this before, but this forum is so wonderful and I'm thankful to have the help and support of the koko's crew. If anyone actually reads this, I highly recommend subscribing. If you can afford to do so, it's a way to help support kokos and it comes with some fun extra perks... like this blog!