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Old 07-06-2005, 08:15 PM   #1
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Cycling new tank! help please!

hello all i just recently got a 29 gal tank with hood heater airpump and filter w/ sand, and i just purchesd 3 zebra danios *very happy ones at that* how long should i cycle the tank so i can add some TETRAS! lol yeah any advice on cycling the tank? it would be appreciated!
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:17 PM   #2
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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The time really depends. Once your nitrites go down and nitrates rise then the cycle is over.
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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There is a terrific article on the nitrification cycle titled, The First 30 Days. This is found under Dr. Tim's Library on the Marineland.com website.

As I understand it, if your tank is cycled with your 3 zebra danios (NH3/NH4=0, NO2=0, NO3>0) you can add more fish. A few at a time and watch for a mini cycle (check NH3/NH4, NO2 daily), when the tank is back to its cycled state then you can add more fish until your tank is stocked.

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Old 07-06-2005, 09:03 PM   #5
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After your tank is cycled I would add 3 more zebra danios because they like to be in schools of 6 or more.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:59 PM   #6
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You might have to wait 30 to 45 days for your tank to completely cycle. Buy an AP liquid reagent test kit now if you don't have one, and measure the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Then every day or two measure the ammonia. If you have detectable ammonia, measure it daily to make sure it doesn't get high. After a week or two, or a few days of having ammonia, check the nitrites. If none, check them every day or two. Once you have them, check daily to make sure they don't get too high. When the nitrites go back to zero, check the nitrate, it should be higher than your initial check. With three Zebras in a 29 gal tank, it might be possible to cycle the tank without ever getting detectable ammonia or nitrite (ie: levels>0.25). This would be ideal and very kind to your fish. You will know the cycle is done because after a month or so you can check the nitrates every day or three, and when they increase, your cycle is done even if you never saw ammonia or nitrite. I have done this before with low bioload cycling. My link is at: http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0017.htm

The hardest part is to resist adding more fish! If you feed sparingly, add no more fish (Maybe two more danios if no ammonia or nitrite after two weeks, maybe!), you can establish a biofilter without ever seeing ammonia or nitrite spikes. This low bioload approach is essentially a "cycle-less" fish cycle. Good luck!

edit: oh yeah! and when its done, add fish slowly, one or two per week to keep a cycle from popping up as you go to full stock.
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Old 07-07-2005, 03:32 AM   #7
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WHen cycling with fish it is important to ensure ammonia and nitrites don't build up. Testing as stated above is very important. Your fish should do well if you monitor the situation and change the water when ammonia or nitrite levels build up too much.

If you add a few fish at a time, it will work out faster in the long run to get your tank established how you want it. If you are hasty probalems can arise and dealing with them is more hassle than being patient.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:08 PM   #8
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ok thanks everyone this helps! now i just need a master test kit lol just when i thought i was done spending money NOT on fish for it to get started something always pops up , have a question when i get this tank cycled for example could i use like 5 gallons of its eastablished water to fill and maintain a 5 gal tank from the start?
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3 Neon Swordtails
1 Platinum lyretail mollie
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:15 PM   #9
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The water from your 29 won't help cycle your 5 gallon much. Best bet is to put the filter for the 5 gallon on the 29 gallon tank for at least a few days, prefferably a week. After that, siphon some water over and move the filter back to the 5 gallon. Poof! Insta-cycle.
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:21 PM   #10
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I had really good success using Seachem Stability and adding fish in waves. I was pretty much cycled in two weeks and I didn't lose a fish in my 55g.
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