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Old 07-21-2006, 05:35 PM   #1
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Done cycling in 19 days? With fish and water changes?

I setup this tank July 2nd. It is a new 30 gal hex. I didn't use anything to kickstart the cycle. Water straight from the fawcet. New gravel. New Penguin 200 filter. The only thing that might have given the bacteria a start is the 20 lb. bag of Eco-Complete I added before putting 5 lbs. of gravel on top.

Actually, I setup the tank a few days before July 2nd. So I had the Eco-Complete in there and the filter running for a few days. On July 2nd I added 3 Zebra Danios.

So, here's what I've done:

July 2: Added 3 Zebra Danios

July 4: Added a male Betta

July 5: Added a little 3" Koi

July 6: tested pH 7.5, ammo 0.40, nitrIte 0.2, nitrAte 4

July 9: added 3 small glass shrimp

July 11: tested pH 7.6, ammo 0.75, nitrIte 2, nitrAte 4
July 11: did 33% water change (with gravel vac), forgot Prime, a Danio died
July 11: added a Longfin Danio
July 11: added 11 larger glass shrimp (Koi had eaten the first 3)

July 13: tested pH 7.6, ammo 0.50, nitrIte 2, nitrAte 4
July 13: removed psycho Koi who had eaten all 14 shrimp
July 13: added 8 more shrimp and 2 anacharis plants

July 21: tested pH 7.9, ammonia 0.40, nitrIte 0.1, nitrAte 4

That's about how it went. I forgot a few things. There were a couple 33% water changes that I didn't write down.

I'm not exactly sure about how I am reading the little charts, but the pH is slightly lighter than the color for 8.0. The ammonia is lighter than the color for 0.50. The nitrIte is definitely lighter than the color for 0.25, but maybe not exactly matching the 0.00 color. The nitrAte is lighter than the color for 5, but the next lowest reading is zero. So I'm doing some guessing here, but everything looks good except the pH seems a little high.

I'm also doing a 33% water change with Prime right now, so everything should be good.

Should I be concerned about a 7.9 pH?

Initially I was feeding them a little bit twice a day, using flake food, a pinch of Betta food, and about 4 pond pellets each time.

Am I actually done with my cycle already?

The tank currently has:
1 male Betta
3 Danios (1 small Zebra male, 1 Zebra female, 1 Longfin female)
8 glass shrimp
2 Anacharis plants
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:47 PM   #2
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have you tested straight off your tap yet? with nitrate showing up right off the bat like that, i think it's from your tap. which means you are probably still in the first stages of cycling (with fish).
as far as your 7.9 pH, don't worry. as long as whatever you bring home is SLOWLY acclimated, they should be fine. although you may want to give it some consideration when picking out fish just to keep them as happy as possible.
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Old 07-21-2006, 05:53 PM   #3
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Yes, the fact that the Nitrate is stable at 4, even with all of the plant/fish changes, makes me suspect that it isn't coming from the nitrogen cycle, and you are still cylcing.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:30 PM   #4
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How could it still be in the first stages of the cycle when the nitrIte started low (almost undetectable), spiked up to 2+ for a long time, then went back down to almost zero?

Also, as far as the nitrAte being stable at 4 ... well ... I just can't be sure what it is. The color chart only has seven colors:

0 ppm
5.0 ppm
10 ppm
20 ppm
40 ppm
80 ppm
160 ppm

And the color I get is lighter than the 5 ppm color, but I really can't be sure what it is.

Are you guys saying that I should actually have much higher nitrAte when I'm done cycling?
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:34 PM   #5
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yes. when your bacteria that "eat" nitrite start to actually form, you will see those nitrite numbers start to turn into nitrate as they go down.
what kind of test kit do you have? strips are notoriously inaccurate.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
The ammonia is lighter than the color for 0.50
But not quite 0, right? I think usually by the time you have nitrAtes started, the ammonia is 0.

Check your tap and see if there are any nitAtes in it.
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justrelax
yes. when your bacteria that "eat" nitrite start to actually form, you will see those nitrite numbers start to turn into nitrate as they go down.
what kind of test kit do you have? strips are notoriously inaccurate.
It's just this Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit thing. It's the only test kit I could find anywhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustOneMore20
Quote:
The ammonia is lighter than the color for 0.50
But not quite 0, right? I think usually by the time you have nitrAtes started, the ammonia is 0.

Check your tap and see if there are any nitAtes in it.
No, ammonia's not zero. It's somewhere between 0.25 and 0.50.

As for the nitrAte, all I can tell is that it's under 5. I'm having a little trouble telling the yellow and orangish-yellow apart. I tested my tap water and it's close, but not identical. I'd say my tap water has to be 0 to 1 nitrAte and my aquarium is around 2 to 4.
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