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Old 06-29-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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How to cycle tank

Hello,
I know this should be general knowledge for aquarists, but I'm still not sure how to cycle my tank.

I get different opinions everywhere I go!

I have a 10gal tank with one balloon molly 6 of her fry in a breeders floater, and two peppered cories.

The water parameters are normal, but I see the water turning more and more cloudy.

I do not know if I overfeed, 3 flakes to molly, 1 algae wafer for cories to share, and half a cube of freeze dried brine shrimp for fry.
Although I do feed the fry 3x a day and molly 2x a day.

I do daily water changes of 10%, with weekly of 25%. I add StressCoat to freshwater to dechlorinate, and I've been adding 1ml StressZyme daily as I was told to do by a fellow poster.

At first, it seemed this was working because the water was crystal clear, but now the water has clouded again.

I don't know if it's the filter, it seems to be working fine. I changed the cartridge, and vaccumed the gravel two days ago, still no change.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

PS anyone know of a good power filter for my 10gal tank?
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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Hey u r are cycling your tank u said right
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:58 PM   #3
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Even though you stated that the water levels were normal could you post them? It'll help us determine what could be going on, the cloudiness that you explained sounds like a bacteria bloom which can happen with new tanks
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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I've had some bad encounters with stress/ start zyme, I prefer stabilizers personally. ACE works pretty good, seechem stability and prime are my absolute favorites, along with kh stabilizer, read your levels and Ph up or down as needed. Pro ammo by Kent works. It sounds like you have a good idea of how to cycle. I think you might just be over softening your water with stress and start zyme- or now that I think of it, it might just be too much light, that causes cloudiness too.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Stabilizers, stress-zyme, what??

Read through the guides in this section Freshwater - Aquarium Advice

and they will outline the cycling process for you.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Maybe you have a bacterial or algae bloom going on?? Which just happen & are common in a new tank set up. I had an algae bloom I'm still battling. A water source high in phosphates & too much lighting can contribute.

Here are some small things that I've noticed that may help you w/ your cycling... #1) ALWAYS wash your filter in tank water you've just removed (don't rinse it w/ tap water or replace it) b/c it basically contains your beneficial bacteria you're trying to build up during a cycle. #2) All those things you're adding may not be necessary--many aquarists will say that most fish will adjust to your water parameters if properly acclimated. Just add water declorinator such as Seachem's Prime to your tank for the recommended amount of water you'll be adding after you've removed the old water or add it to your buckets of water before putting it into the tank.

I recommend Prime b/c I was using some other brand & come to find out, my tap water had quite a bit of chloramine & that acts as ammonia on your fish--Prime definitely deactivates it--I don't think this brand makes a diff in the cloudiness of your tank, any declorinator will do.

The best recommendation I have is to get a liquid test kit such as API's freshwater if you don't already have 1, test your tap water, then test your tank water--post some parameters to us & go from there. Good luck!!
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer243
Hello,
I know this should be general knowledge for aquarists, but I'm still not sure how to cycle my tank.

I get different opinions everywhere I go!

I have a 10gal tank with one balloon molly 6 of her fry in a breeders floater, and two peppered cories.

The water parameters are normal, but I see the water turning more and more cloudy.

I do not know if I overfeed, 3 flakes to molly, 1 algae wafer for cories to share, and half a cube of freeze dried brine shrimp for fry.
Although I do feed the fry 3x a day and molly 2x a day.

I do daily water changes of 10%, with weekly of 25%. I add StressCoat to freshwater to dechlorinate, and I've been adding 1ml StressZyme daily as I was told to do by a fellow poster.

At first, it seemed this was working because the water was crystal clear, but now the water has clouded again.

I don't know if it's the filter, it seems to be working fine. I changed the cartridge, and vaccumed the gravel two days ago, still no change.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

PS anyone know of a good power filter for my 10gal tank?
When u swap out your filter cartridge u should leave the old one in the back of the filter behind the new cartridge for at least a few days so it can seed the new cartridge with the beneficial bacteria this way your bacteria colonies won't take a dive when you swap them out it will make a huge difference for you
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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I'd stop adding chemicals other than dechlorinator. Increase your water changes especially if the tank is cycling. You'll need a good liquid test kit to know what's going on with your water. If ammonia and/or nitrite are .25 and over at any time, do water changes to get them down. If they stay at 0, do a 50% water change weekly. You should also vacuum the substrate with water changes as leftover food and waste can decompose and affect the water quality. Don't change out the filter media completely, just swish it in old tank water during a water change to loosen any debris. I'd change the dechlorinator from stress coat to Prime; it's more concentrated and lasts longer. Also a 10 gal is too small for the fish you have. Without a test kit to know what's going on in the water though it's impossible to say whether the tank is cycled or not. Give this a read, it explains a lot: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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thanks to all replies! ive stopped using StressZyme and purchased Seachem Prime. I did two 25% water changes yesterday and today and water has cleared up a good amount.

I will continue to do 10% daily water changes until water clears.

I'm unsure how to use the test strips though, but I do know ammonia is at 0.

What would my parameters have to read for me to know my tank has cycled?
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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U need to stop the water changes ur doing them to often
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobra2003rg View Post
U need to stop the water changes ur doing them to often
Sorry, I disagree; there isn't such a thing as too many water changes, particularly in a cycling tank with fish.

@jennifer: Prime is great, good product you've chosen. Test strips are very innaccurate unfortunately. Your best bet is to get the API Master liquid test kit. It's more money upfront than the strips, but they'll last longer and it's more accurate. You'll know when the tank has cycled when your tank tests for 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and you have some nitrate consistently without doing water changes to get the levels down.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarygirl

Sorry, I disagree; there isn't such a thing as too many water changes, particularly in a cycling tank with fish.

@jennifer: Prime is great, good product you've chosen. Test strips are very innaccurate unfortunately. Your best bet is to get the API Master liquid test kit. It's more money upfront than the strips, but they'll last longer and it's more accurate. You'll know when the tank has cycled when your tank tests for 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and you have some nitrate consistently without doing water changes to get the levels down.
thanks, ive also read that water changes are not harmful while cycling.

i've ordered the master test kit online and will let you know what my parameters read specifically.
With the test strips
GH: 120-180
KH: 120-180
PH: 6.5-7.0
Nitrite: 0-0.5
Nitrate: 0-20
I can't really figure out the color chart to say exacts, so i'm giving the min and max for each.

Quick ques: I would like to switch my current filter to an AquaClear 30 and don't know if that will mess up the cycling. My current filter Top Fin from Petsmart can't keep up.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #13
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Any ammonia in the tank? If nitrite is really .5 I'd do another large water change. Glad you ordered the API kit; it's easier to read than the strips.

You can switch filters just switch the media over from the TOpFin to the Aquaclear and then fill the rest up with the media the Aquaclear comes with. if the media from the top fin won't fit you can cut it up. The AC comes with carbon, which you don't really need, so you can cut up the topfin cartrdige and put it in the AC basket and add the sponge and ceramic rings the AC comes with too.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:49 PM   #14
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If you're going this far I have a suggestion- do your research on making your own filters from biofiber and a filtration medium that suits the needs of your tap water. I am so glad to hear your tank is doing better. My honest opinion- sit back and prime and stabilize with one 25- 40% pwc and then monitor and adjust using as little chemicals as you can- more than once a day, even when in cycle, without a water change or a tested need for them can be very detrimental on your little buddies. Good luck again, sounds like you're on the right path.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #15
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thanks to all!!

i did another 25% water change and nitrites and ammonia are now 0.
But nitrate is still showing up at 20.
That's a good thing though correct?

Ok, I cut up half of the topfin filter media put it in a net bag in between the AC filter media.

The water has cleared up in 2 hours!!

You guys have practically saved my fish so thanks again!

I will post up again if needed
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