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Old 03-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #81
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Could this thread be stuck to the top with the fishless cycling for dummies?
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:53 PM   #82
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Water changes will take care of high nitrates.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:16 AM   #83
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There's already a good sticky on cycling. I'm not sure that this needs to be stickied. I reference it fairly often for new folks, but that's mostly out of a lazy desire to save my mad three finger typing skills.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #84
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This is what I did to speed up cycleing. On my nano tank.
YouTube - Box Filter Bio- Wheel
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:11 PM   #85
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Why is this not a sticky?
It really should be!
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:02 PM   #86
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So im doing a cycle right now with fish cause of the what the original thread stated. I do a 25% pwc about once a day if not more. But the problem im having is i cant get my ammo below .25. Like today i woke up and tested it, it was at .25 so i did a pwc, waited for about an hour and retested it was still at .25 WTF?

Just to clarify, if the ammo is at .50 you do a 50% pwc? and for a .25 you do a 25% pwc?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:26 PM   #87
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So im doing a cycle right now with fish cause of the what the original thread stated. I do a 25% pwc about once a day if not more. But the problem im having is i cant get my ammo below .25. Like today i woke up and tested it, it was at .25 so i did a pwc, waited for about an hour and retested it was still at .25 WTF?


Just to clarify, if the ammo is at .50 you do a 50% pwc? and for a .25 you do a 25% pwc?
No. I'd recommend a 50% (or larger) change whenever ammonia or nitrite are above .25. Think of it this way... you have .25 ammonia, you remove 50% of the water with 50% of the bad stuff, you're left with 50% of the concentration of ammonia left in your tank (assuming none in your source water), so you are left with .125. Not that our test kits have that kind of resolution. That may also be a partial reason why you are reading .25 all the time. It may actually be lower, but the lowest reading capable with the test kit. Hope that makes sense and good luck...
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:35 PM   #88
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but (and i know please dont shoot me) according to the lfs doing that big of a pwc could stress my fish out. first question was she correct in that statement and 2 do i want to do a pwc everytime i test and get a .25? or should i just change it when it get s above that level? I know that the bacteria eats it so is it a good idea to leave that much in the tank?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #89
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It might stress them, but so does the amonia
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #90
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Water changes don't significantly stress the fish IMO (we change at least 50% weekly on 70+ tanks), the ammonia will.

How long have you had it set up? How many gallons and how many fish? Liquid test kit?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #91
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I have a 10g with 2 dalmation molleys and a silver lyretail (i think thats right). Ive had it about a week.
Yes i have the Freshwater master test kit
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #92
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A week is pretty soon with that fish load. Good on you for at least researching this soon into your aquarium keeping! I was much worse.

Do you know anyone with an established tank that would give you some filter media (used & nasty)? You likely have weeks of frequent water changes ahead of you otherwise.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:04 PM   #93
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no, i dont. So weeks upon weeks of constant water changes, but thats ok cause i love my fish and they will love me for keeping the water changed. Would adding a live plant (like a sword) help the process along any?
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:16 PM   #94
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I'd be happy to offer up some media if you're anywhere close... but you don't have your location listed and I only have a 1 in 50 chance of even being in the same state as you... and thats only if you are in the US.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #95
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Ok i updated that stuff. Im in TN btw
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 AM   #96
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I'm in Knoxville are you on my side of the state?
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #97
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yea im in knoxville myself. Right next to west high school
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:58 AM   #98
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Ok I get back in town tomorrow. I can get you some biological material. What model filter do you use?
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:01 AM   #99
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Did you listen to the local store employee and run your filter for 24 hours before adding fish? I did and like you, I now know the error of my ways. So what to do after you put fish in the tank and then learn about the need to “cycle” your tank? What is cycling anyway? I don’t even own a bicycle!

Ok… in a nutshell and at the very basic level, cycling a tank is allowing bacterial colonies that consume harmful compounds to grow to a level to keep your fish healthy.

The first bacteria to appear consume Ammonia (NH3) and excrete Nitrite (NO2).
The next to show up consume Nitrite and excrete NitrAte (NO3).

Both Ammonia and Nitrite can hurt fish long term or be deadly on the short term.
Nitrate (NO3) is less harmful and fish can acclimate to it. I prefer to keep my levels under 20 PPM, but up to 80 PPM can be fish safe.

Where does the Ammonia come from?

Your fish produce it in their waste and any left over food (or rotting plants) decompose into Ammonia. A fishless cycle, which is preferable by most standards, involves adding an ammonia source (usually a decaying shrimp or pure non-scented ammonia) and allowing the bacterial colonies to grow before fish are added. But what if you didn’t know about any of this before buying those gorgeous fish?

This is the point that a lot of folks (including me) start to get a bit overwhelmed. There’s really no need for it though. Get a liquid test kit (API Master FW is my favorite) and follow the directions. Don’t waste your money on test strips. They are more expensive in the long run and a lot less accurate. The test results will tell you what to do. If Ammonia or Nitrite equal .25 PPM or higher, it’s time to do a water change! Remember to use a good dechlorinator, like Seachem’s Prime. If you measure .50 PPM and do a 50% change, you will be at .25. Do another 50% change and you’ll be at .125, etc.

Ok, well that’s all well and good but I already have fish! What should I do now?!

Seriously think about returning some or all of your fish and doing a fishless cycle. There’s a great sticky on it here… http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f15/fishless-cycling-for-dummies-103339.html. If you absolutely can’t bear to part with your new finned friends, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get dedicated. TEST your water daily (or more) and change it as needed! You may need to do this more than once a day so don’t be surprised. This regimen shouldn’t last longer than a month or so. Despite perpetual rumor and misinformation, changing water WILL NOT slow down your cycle and will keep your fish healthy. The bacteria that we need for a healthy “cycled” system live in the filter media, gravel, and décor, but don’t really exist in substantial amounts in the water itself.

Can I do anything to speed things up?

Yes! Get some nasty old filter media (Filter pad, bioballs, biowheel, etc.) or a handful of used gravel from a healthy established tank and put it into your filter or a filter sock in your tank. This will “seed” your system with the bacteria needed and significantly speed up cycling for you.

How do I know when my tank is cycled?

Your Ammonia levels will gradually give way to higher Nitrite levels. Nitrite will lower to zero and Nitrates will start to rise. When you consistently test zero for Ammonia & Nitrite and have increasing Nitrate, you have a cycled tank! (Woohoo!) Remember that each fish you add will add more Ammonia and that time should be allowed for the bacteria to catch up. Add slowly and responsibly and you will enjoy the hobby even more and your fish will thrive.

Happy Fishkeeping!
hi newbie here how often does ur tank cycle or is that just in the beginning? thanks for the advice very helpful
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:19 AM   #100
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hi newbie here how often does ur tank cycle or is that just in the beginning? thanks for the advice very helpful
Yep, just in the beginning.
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