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Old 09-01-2018, 06:24 PM   #1
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Cycle levels

Hi ! Brand new to aquariums. Am trying to cycle my 55g tank. It’s been up for 2 weeks. 1st week 2 plates and 1 tetra. Added 2 Dalmatians and 2 Black mollies. 2nd week - had the LFS test my water - all ranges were good so we added 4 GloFish tetras and 2 green Cory’s. End of second week today - my test kit arrived so I tested (LFS peeps are sniffing glue !). They had my Ph at 7.5.

My readings today

Ph 8.3

Ammonia .25

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 35



How will I know when my tank is cycled ? I added the last 6 fish to help get some ammonia in the water to grow some bacteria ... something else I should be doing ?



I have no live plants in the tank.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:54 PM   #2
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The tank will be cycled when the ammonia and nitrite are zero and the nitrate is elevated. This can take 3-6 weeks in most cases. Until then, continue to monitor the parameters. Do water changes when the ammonia exceeds 0.5 (others have better opinions on this) or if the nitrite is greater than 1.0.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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So the tank cycle is a moving target ? As I add fish, the tank will need to cycle again ?
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:04 PM   #4
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It can be (a moving target). The moment cycling is complete can vary. Depends on temperature, food source (ammonia, nitrate), available oxygen. The population of beneficial bacteria (BB) will continue to grow to match the amount of available ammonia/nitrite present. Hypothetically, if one keeps adding fish to a not quite cycled tank, then the BB will always be in “catch-up” mode. Which means there may be small amounts of ammonia and/or nitrite detected. So no, the tank will not need to cycle again. It just might take a little longer to completely finish cycling.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:47 AM   #5
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Awesome advice ! Thanks . Should I be adding some prime to convert the Amonia ? I have well water and there is zero chlorine in my water supply.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:53 AM   #6
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Prime’s effect on ammonia and nitrite (converting them into a less toxic form) is only temporary (24-48 hours I believe). It does not convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. It just makes those compounds less harmful for your fish. If you do not have chlorine in your source water then you probably don’t need it. However, like most water conditioners, Prime can also help deal with heavy metals (cue guitar riff). It reacts with those compounds in a way that makes them fall out out solution. So technically, they are still present but just not in the water column.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:05 PM   #7
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I do have metal in the water . I bought an RV filter to try and get some of that out before filling the tank. Thanks for the info on the Prime only being effective for a day or 2. I just want to be prepared in case the Amonia spikes on me. I’m guessing Prime and a 20% water change if it does spike. I’ll be testing daily until it disappears
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