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Old 01-11-2019, 12:13 PM   #1
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Question Is It Cycled Or Am I Just Crazy?

I got a 55 gallon for Christmas this year and of course I was super eager to get it set up and stocked, but I decided to do it right this time instead of all the mistakes I made with my first tank (a 10 gallon). Now that itís been set up for a week and a half, my reading arenít changing so hereís EXACTLY what I did:

Day 1: 24 hour leak test
Day 2: Added more water, washed all rocks & decor then added to tank (along with live plants and eco complete soil). Then filled it and added seachem prime and 3 tablespoons of freshwater aquarium salt by Imagitarium. Heater and filter started running as well.
Day 3: A little over 24 hours later I added a little over half a bottle of Tetra SafeStart (the instructions seemed unclear to me so I did some research and thatís how I came about that measurement).
Day 4: Added 4 red eyed tetras (donít hate me, I just wanted to speed the cycling process with fish).
Day 5: Fed fish a pinch of flakes.
Day 6: Left the tank alone and let it run.
Day 7: Fed fish a pinch of flakes.
Day 8: Tested the water (Ammonia: 0.25 ppm and PH 7.0. No nitrites. No nitrates.)
Day 9: Fed fish a pinch of flakes, tested water. (Ammonia: 0.25 ppm, PH 7.0. No nitrites. No nitrates.)
Day 10: Tested the water (Ammonia: 0.25 ppm and PH 7.0. No nitrites. No nitrates)

And then today the readings were the same. I have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit which Iíve heard is really good. Iím concerned that there has been no evidence of Nitrites or Nitrates yet. There is NO way itís cycled right? I mean I researched a lot before I used Tetra SafeStart and Iíve heard itís good but not that good.

The plan for this tank is South American cichlids so I like the PH where itís at, but it canít truly be cycled if there is still ammonia (????). Or maybe I havenít waited long enough...

Anyone have any input on this or what could be happening? This is my first time using Prime and SafeStart. I used to use API stress zyme and API tap water conditioner on my 10 gal but heard that Prime was the best so I changed it up.

Iím a dog trainer at Petco and so thatís how I got into the hobby but I assure you I do tons of research before I get anything and I researched for awhile before I even thought about setting up the 55 gallon. Iím just a bit baffled by the readings.

Any help is very much appreciated, thank you
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #2
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You aren't cycled. You have to give it some time. You are still very early in the process. Plan on 6-8 weeks.

I like that you are keeping your ammonia at .25 ppm. IMO that's where it should always stay during a fish in cycle. If your ammonia gets above .25 ppm do a water change. Don't be afraid to do 50% water changes. Remember, if you have, say, .50 ppm and you do a 50% water change it will then be .25 ppm. If it spikes on you to 1 ppm then do multiple back to back 50% water changes until it's lowered. Same with nitrites when you begin to get these.

Don't add anymore additives than what you are already using. Even API safe start isn't necessary.

Your pH is fine. Fish adapt to pH anyways so it's not a big concern.

A 55g will hold better water quality longer than a 10g so that's why it seems like you should be getting higher readings.
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