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