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Old 07-15-2003, 11:45 PM   #1
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Your Cycle Results

Share your cycle results here.

Pls include:

How you cycled the tank eg. type of fish used or if fishless what did you use to introduce the ammonia.

How long until you read ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.

How often you tested.

How high did each ammonia and nitrite spike.

How long did the overall process take.

All posts will be helpful to everyone interested in this most overlooked but important task in fish keeping
Louise
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:49 PM   #2
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Ok, this is for my SW tanks, but same deal I guess

Got the tank setup how I wanted, then got a fish. Left the tank along for a month. Tested, water was perfect. Cycle over. Not really helpful but I understand how it works, and it did its thing and I knew what it was doing.
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:52 PM   #3
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Tank still cycling. I have 5 cardinal tetras and a clown loach.
Tank 6gal.

Day 9
ammonia reached above 4ppm
nitrite 0.07ppm
nitrate 10.95pp

I am on day 61 and I am still getting low readings of ammonia and nitrite. I use a very accurate colorimeter and I think that using a standard test kit I would find that the tank has cycled.

Reading other results will help me determine if this is the case or not. I have recorded every test since day 1.
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:37 AM   #4
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I'm on day 5 of a fishless cycle:

Day/Ammonia /NitrIte/NitrAte/Additives

Day 1 / 4-5 ppm / 0 ppm / 20 ppm / 1 capful of ammonia and 2 of the new Cycle, hefty squeeze from a mature filter in the morn. Reading taken in the evening

Day 2 / 4.0 ppm / 0 ppm / 20 ppm / 2 caps Cycle

Day 3 / 2.0 ppm / less then 1.0 ppm / 10 ppm / Tested Cycle; discovered it had levels of over 80 ppm nitrAte. Discarded Cycle. 3 drops ammonia after reading

Day 4 / 2.0-4.0 ppm / 1.0 ppm / 10 ppm

Day 5 / 2.0 ppm / 3.0 ppm / 20 ppm / 2 drops ammonia after reading

I don't know if things are supposed to happen quite this quickly (yay!), but I did notice I STOPPED using Cycle and things really started to change. I'll keep you posted as things change more :)
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Old 07-16-2003, 12:45 AM   #5
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I usually add the Cycle product 1 per week or after a water change. (actually the same thing I guess). I never thought to test it. 8O I haven't tested my nitrates recently as I am doing weekly w/c & thought that this would keep them in check, but I guess if I'm adding 5ml of Cycle each week they could be up there

I have read that up to 50ppm is ok, is this correct?

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Old 07-16-2003, 12:50 AM   #6
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Oh it never occured to me to test it either, till someone suggested it after I asked how the heck I could have nitrAtes before I had nitrItes LOL

As for nitrAte levels, depends on who you talk to. I keep mine under 40, although I'd like to keep em under 20 LOL I'm not always successful with my goal, despite 2-3x week gravel vacs/water changes of about 10-20%.
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:21 AM   #7
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Well, my last cycling was a nightmare! Here's the way it happened. I had 3 acrylic tanks (the coffee table and end table type), a 29, and two 18's. I noticed that the sides of the acrylic tanks were beginning to bow out. About a year after that, I noticed that the joint along the bottom of the tanks were beginning to separate. I decided that a new 55 was in order to prevent water damage to the hardwood floors. I had an Emperor 280 on the 29 so it went into the 55 along with all the fish from the 3 tanks. So now I have a nicely stocked 55 with a good filter, but not the best since the gravel was new. Two days later there was some aggression between the smaller fish and the goldfish (small fish was the attacker) and I had to go get a new 30 to take care of the problem. I got another Emperor 280 to go on the second new tank. However I took the bacteria covered bio-wheel from the old tank to go on this new tank. I figured the goldfish would need it more than the smaller fish. So now I have a totally stocked 55 with a completely NEW filter and new gravel. I didn't know about Bio-Spira at the time, but that would have been a life saver. The ammonia levels spiked up the very next day. So the daily 50% water changes began (occasionally I'd change the water twice a day just to dilute the toxins). This battle with the ammonia went on for a month. Then the same thing with the nitrItes. I went to every other day water changes with the nitrites though. I figured it was less toxic and they were creeping up more slowly than the ammonia was. Then one day out of the blue, the tank finally showed me some nitrAte. I was so glad the huge water changes were over! So the details? My ammonia was still hanging out at a dangerous 3.0ppm even after the water changes. It spiked at over 7.0ppm(max my tests show). It's very hard to control with a well stocked tank and showed up the very next day. The nitrite was also hanging out at about 4.0ppm. It spiked at over 10.0ppm(also the max my test shows). The entire cycle took right at 2 months! I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to end! Needless to say, I was testing the water at least once a day and sometimes twice!

As for the 30, it was just fine. Although it had new gravel as well, it had started with a Bio-wheel already covered in bacteria.

The most amazing thing about the whole ordeal is that I only lost 3 small fish from the larger tank. 8O It was very frustrating though because I understood the nitrogen cycle and I knew there was nothing I could do to fix it.
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
As for nitrAte levels, depends on who you talk to. I keep mine under 40, although I'd like to keep em under 20
I personally aim for the 30's, but to do that I have to do weekly 40-50% water changes. The large water change drops it down to about 10-15ppm and gives me a week till the next water change. I have noticed that since I've put some real plants in that the nitrAtes don't creep up quite as quickly on me.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:48 AM   #9
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Heh, I do 10-20% water changes 2-3 times a week to keep up. Mostly because of the poopin plec. Since I need to gravel vac so often, I do small changes which is prob why I can't quite keep the levels as low as I would like, but everyone is fat n sassy; I don't think its a problem, just irks me.

I am wondering what the levels will be like in the new tank once its stocked; it will be heavily planted, and the fish I plan on adding (cardinals/dwarf gouramis/otos or cories) won't add to the bio-load the way the fish (plec/clown loaches/angelfish) do in my bigger tank.

Wow, thats some cycle wabyrd. When I started with all this *look embarassed* I had 2 medium sized angels in a 10 gallon tall uncycled hex tank. Didn't know squat about cycles or ammonia or Ph etc. I had pretty gravel tho! LOL After having em for 2 months I added a plec. Oi! One angel lived for 9 months, until the larger one killed it (they're ANGELFISH! Didn't they know angels are sweet loving things? LOL). Totally my fault due to my ignorance. When I realised the plec was getting HUGE (like 2 inches to 6 inches in less then a year) I went and got a larger tank and started to do my research properly. Boy was I gobsmacked when I realised how poorly I had been treating my guys. Surprisingly, the plec and the larger angel came thru all my abuse with flying colors, although I doubt the angel will ever breed (bummer too, he's stunning) as I'm sure he sustained some damage with my original crappy water parameters, and they currently rule my tank.
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Old 07-16-2003, 02:20 PM   #10
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Well shoot. I got distracted last nite (no, I'm not explaining *grin* and forgot to add more ammonia).

So todays nitrogen levels are: 1.0 ppm ammonia, 5.0 ppm nitrIte and 20-40 ppm nitrAte. Feh. This is all going to be cycled by the weekend isn't it. And I don't even have the plants/fish to add yet (except for one amazon sword I'll be saving from the main tank LOL).
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:29 PM   #11
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All looks good Alli & Waybird thanks for the detail - a cylcing tank can drive you mad.

Thanks
Louise
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:32 AM   #12
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I had a 10 gallon tank with old gravel in it...and I decided to set it up...washed it out real good let the gravel soak in water for a day and then washed it out again. I left the old gravel and used a filter from another aquarium...I only had one large gourami in the tank. Well, it has been cycling for 4 weeks now and all levels have been reading normal...I guess because I am using a filter from another aquarium along with the old gravel....is it possible for the ammonia and nitrate levels not to spike up at all durring cycle?
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:55 AM   #13
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My guess would be yes; if the mature filter had a lot of colonized bacteria, and obviously you have a small bio-load, I can't see why it wouldn't be able to handle it easily :)
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:20 PM   #14
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Today's update:

After 3 drops of ammonia last nite, today's readings are:

ammonia 1.0 ppm, nitrites 5-10 ppm!, nitrates 40 ppm! Things are percolating well in there *grin*
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:21 PM   #15
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Ok I got bored (no distractions tonite apparently LOL) and retested the tank for the heck of it:

ammonia .5 ppm, nitrites 10 ppm, nitrates holding at 40 ppm.

Hungry lil buggers aren't they!
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:34 AM   #16
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I need some input on my results please. 8O

A bit of background to my System Six 6gal tank.
B4 restarting it, the tank sat for 1 month with new water, a heater, new gravel, original log ornament and plastic plants and original bio-wheel and filter cartridge but no fish. (I had to restart the tank after losing all my fish through what I think were parasitic worms on 18th April '03). I never tested my tank b4 this time except for pH.

On 18th May '03 I changed the water (appx. 1/3) and put in a new filter cartridge, added 5 cardinal tetras and a clown loach. (I did not know about the nitrogen cycle at this satge )

The next day I joined Aq Advice after asking about such a forum over at phpBB. It was from that day on I began to learn about keeping water LOL so as to keep my fish.

I have attached my results for each week over 9 weeks and would like to get some input. NB. driftwood added on 23 June, plants added to tank on 29th June. Homemade filter cartridges used since 14th June due supply shortage. 21st June Eclipse cartridge used. 5th July back to homemade cartridge. (Can't wait for supplies of the Eclipse System Six cartridge to stabilise)

I really would like as much feedback as possible, thanks.

Louise
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Old 07-18-2003, 01:38 AM   #17
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Understand I am in the process of learning how the cycle works, and the elements involved.

I would get the water checked by a lfs, or get some new tests to double check. It seems unusual to me to have ammonia and nitrates registering, yet little to no nitrites. Kinda like the oreo cookie without the cream filling. The bacteria which produce nitrates need the nitrites as food. I would think, since there is ammonia registering there must be SOME in there to be eating it; especially since the ammonia levels have dropped a bit in the past 2 level checks (unless for some obscure reason the ammonia eating bacteria keeled over - the ammonia spike - and there was just enough nitrites left to feed the nitrite eating bacteria OR the water changes were the instrumental factor in reducing the ammonia levels).

All speculation on my part; I'll be interested to see what the others think.
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Old 07-18-2003, 03:53 AM   #18
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I'm thinking that the bio-wheel had some benefitial bacteria on it still as the nitrtaes were up pretty quick.

I also think that the Eclipse filters work much more effectively than the home made ones. I make them using an old cartridge base with activated carbon (Aqua One) and filter wool (Petpac) held on by rubber bands. Although I can rinse the homemade one easily I don't think the carbon is as good as the eclipse carbon.

Unfortunately I don't know what the levels were defore day 1 ie. before adding the fish to the new tank. Day 1 which I see as 19th May, the ammonia = 0.00ppm, the nitirites = 0.026ppm and nitrates = 10.77ppm.

I wonder if the ammonia is showing because of the less effective filter or whether if I tested using a standard test kit it would read differently

As long as my fish are ok then so am I but it does puzzle me some.
Louise
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:39 AM   #19
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Not sure if the homemade filter is the issue. If you have been using a bio-wheel for the past 2 months, thats where a large portion of your bacteria live. I've been known to dump a clogged eclipse filter after a week and pop in a new one and there are no changes in my ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels because my bio-wheel is fully mature (even tho I'm not *smirk*). The filter in the bio-wheel sets are primarily mechanical filters and the bio-wheel itself is the biological (although of course bacteria will colonize the filter as well). Carbon makes no diff in terms of ammonia and its ilk (heh, wish it would...would make this whole cycling thing MUCH easier).
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Old 07-18-2003, 07:34 AM   #20
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Thanks Alli,

I have read that the carbon helped get rid of some of the ammonia etc. as the chemical filtration or carbon adsorb the dissolved toxins and that if the carbon is exhausted it won't remove them as well as it should. Pls confirm

Also the bio-wheel is over 2 yrs old. I had the tank originally set up 25th April 2001 but never new a thing about water tests except for pH.
I think that this has a lot to do with my nitrogen cycle. I don't know why but it is missing from my original post (must not have copy & pasted properly)

So instead of my current tank starting with 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate I had the levels above. I wonder if I should get the Bio-spira product or try another test kit.

Thanks for the continued input, it's great to have Alli
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