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Old 01-03-2017, 12:50 PM   #1
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Is my tank cycling? Water chem not changing.

It has been up and running for 1.5 weeks now. I am doing a fish-in cycle with 3 Zebra Danios that have been in for 4 days now (first week no fish were in). 20 gallon tank.

I have tested the water every day they have been in and am not getting any change in ammonia at all. It has been completely constant at 0 along with my nitrites. My nitrate MAY have gone up very little, maybe from 10ppm to 20ppm. But it is hard to tell.

I am wondering if it is normal for there to be so little change in water chemistry?

I changed about 10% of the water yesterday and that was the first change I have done.

Also, as an aside, would it be okay t add two or tree more danios within a week of adding the first 3? Especially since the levels have been so constant?
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:32 PM   #2
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In the same boat...

Spaullba,

Hanging out in this thread because I'm experiencing the same exact thing. I (or my 8 year old son) got a 60 gallon freshwater tank for Christmas. We've had 6 Zebra Danios in the tank since 12/29/16. We kick-started the tank with a "very" used filter sponge from an established/healthy tank about 48 hours before adding fish. We've tested the water daily for the last 4 days and there has been no chemical changes. Hope to learn something from this, too.

I'm afraid we'll get some responses about how unethical we are...but hopefully there are some out there who won't throw us under the bus.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #3
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Spaullba,

Hanging out in this thread because I'm experiencing the same exact thing. I (or my 8 year old son) got a 60 gallon freshwater tank for Christmas. We've had 6 Zebra Danios in the tank since 12/29/16. We kick-started the tank with a "very" used filter sponge from an established/healthy tank about 48 hours before adding fish. We've tested the water daily for the last 4 days and there has been no chemical changes. Hope to learn something from this, too.

I'm afraid we'll get some responses about how unethical we are...but hopefully there are some out there who won't throw us under the bus.

Depending on how much you feed you may not see an increase in ammonia in your tank with only 3 danios. Danios are not the messiest of fish but their bioload is not as light as other smaller fish either. I would add more fish after one more week but not too many. You are doing the fish in cycle the correct way. Taking your time, checking your parameters and changing water. After about a month or so you will wake up one day and have a certain positive for nitrates.

Also, have a look at this thread.

Post your cycling times please

Although this is based mainly around fishless cycles I have noticed that the data is very close to that in the linked article. I would expect a similar response during a fish in cycle also.

Seeded media may speed things up. Just have patience, take things slow, record your readings and change water now and then.

The Seachem ammonia alert is a useful tool to keep tabs on ammonia levels without taking samples. It measures toxic free ammonia which is the portion of total ammonia nitrogen that is immediately harmful.

Good luck
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:45 PM   #4
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Spa...

Danios are a good choice for cycling a tank. However, you need 3 to 4 fish for every 10 gallons of water you want to cycle. If you don't have enough fish, the larger amount of tank water will dilute the ammonia to the point the good bacteria have nothing on which they can feed.

Add 5 or 6 fish and feed a little every day to maintain a steady source of ammonia. Test daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test, remove roughly 5 gallons of water and replace that with pure tap water that's been treated to remove chlorine and chloramine. Test daily and remove the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. The process can tank a month or more. Once the tank is cycled, change most of the water every few days to maintain healthy water conditions.

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Old 01-03-2017, 06:16 PM   #5
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Spa...

Danios are a good choice for cycling a tank. However, you need 3 to 4 fish for every 10 gallons of water you want to cycle.

B
Brad...in my similar situation...I have a 60 gallon tank with 6 Danios. Are you saying I should increase the amount of fish to 30-40 fish? That seems like huge overkill from everything else I've read. Can you advise? And other add-in if you can/will.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:50 PM   #6
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Brad...in my similar situation...I have a 60 gallon tank with 6 Danios. Are you saying I should increase the amount of fish to 30-40 fish? That seems like huge overkill from everything else I've read. Can you advise? And other add-in if you can/will.
Actually, 3(fish)x6(per 10 gallons)=18, so 18 fish would be for 60 gallons of water, but substrate, rocks, decorations.... probably 15 would do. As mentioned, there must be enough ammonia to feed the bacteria, so they can propagate.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:18 PM   #7
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Okay, I will add two more Danios in on Saturday when I have time to pick some up. Hopefully that will speed the cycle up a bit. I will continue to test and water change as needed.

I then plan to add 5 White Skirt Tetras after another couple of weeks.

Thanks guys.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:49 PM   #8
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Lol...HOLY FISH. What is wrong with my math skills? Thanks for the reply. My wife is laughing at me.

My eventual goal is to have cory cats, clown loaches, a rainbow shark, German or Bolivian rams, and some Glo Fish or Dalmatian Mollies (the last two being my son's requests).

I am dedicated to taking it slow and easy. Any advice from you all in regard to what order to add these fish? I don't want another 10ish zebras for the long haul. Would be fine with a small school...but don't want that to be the main attraction.

Any words of wisdom? Thank you all!
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:22 PM   #9
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Lol...HOLY FISH. What is wrong with my math skills? Thanks for the reply. My wife is laughing at me.

My eventual goal is to have cory cats, clown loaches, a rainbow shark, German or Bolivian rams, and some Glo Fish or Dalmatian Mollies (the last two being my son's requests).

I am dedicated to taking it slow and easy. Any advice from you all in regard to what order to add these fish? I don't want another 10ish zebras for the long haul. Would be fine with a small school...but don't want that to be the main attraction.

Any words of wisdom? Thank you all!
Mollies are hardy fish that I've used for cycling a few times in the past. They're a little bigger, so they'll eat, and ultimately poop more. Hold off on the rainbow shark... I've found them very susceptible to stress from poor water conditions so wait till the tank is cycled and stable.

Clown loaches are beautiful fish, but do best with very good water quality, so keep on top of water changes.

Most of the fish you've chose like neutral to acidic water, so bear that in mind if you have hard and/or high pH water. I've been using an RO water mix to soften the water, and keep pH down (along with driftwood)... Just things you want to keep in the back of your head.

Feed fish what they can eat in 30-45 seconds, three times a day... One big feeding a day will often lead to missed food, and poorer water quality.

Once you start to see ammonia levels rise, you'll know the cycle has started. Everyone has their own 'system' to cycle... some say daily water changes, I say daily water testing, and water changes to keep ammonia under .50, not daily... Test water BEFORE feeding, when the levels are most stable.

Enjoy!!
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