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Old 08-15-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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Cycling help

I did my intro earlier today so now here is the situation. I got a 20 gal. set up on 7/26. Got the filter going, the gravel substrate (30 lbs) rinsed and put in, filled up w/ tap water, added dechlorinator and aquarium salt, rinsed and put in plants and decor, got heater going, added bubble stone, and lastly put in 2 Marimo moss balls. I left it sit until 8/3 when I went into the pet store. They reassured me that as long as I had a test kit (which I do- API Freshwater Master Test Kit) that I could cycle with fish in. Although my instincts told me otherwise I did it. I put in 3 longfin gold zebra danios that day along with some API Stresszyme. I tested for ammonia every day (sometimes twice a day) after that. I did not feed for 24 hrs and after that I fed sparingly. Although my ammonia did not go above between 0-.25 I had my first fish loss on 8/11. Since the others were doing fine I assumed that one may have been ill. I did a 25% water change anyway. I had my second loss on 8/12. So I took the live one back to the pet store b/c I knew it's fate would probably be the same. They tested the water and got the same thing I had been: 0-.25 ammo, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate. The only answer they gave me was that my pH was high- 8.0 (however theirs is the same at the shop). I went to another shop and they told me I probably got "bad fish" and encouraged me to get more. Which I did not do. So now I am waiting for the cycle to finish before I add more fish. But the ammonia is not spiking. It tested .25 on 8/13 & 8/14. And it tested .5o 8/15. Should I have enough ammonia in there by having 3 fish in there for little over a week? I have also been adding food this week. Should I buy some ammonia to add in there? Or just be more patient?

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Old 08-15-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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It takes a long time to cycle without any thing to seed your bacteria colony. It is pretty variable but 1-2 months is not out of the ordinary for a completely cycled tank.

It doesn't sound like the cycle was the issue with your fish. .25ppm of ammonia should not be toxic. I actually find cycling with fish is the easiest way as long as you are testing your water. Using decomposing food works but it makes a mess of your tank.

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Old 08-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #3
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Fish In Tank Cycling

Hello girl...

Here's the basics on cycling a tank with fish. You set up the tank, which it appears you have. You add 3 to 4 medium sized and hardy fish for every 10 gallons of water. A 30 gallon would need roughly 10 hardy fish, like Danios.

You have your liquid testing kit ready and start testing for ammonia and nitrite every day. When you have a positive test, remove and replace 25 percent of the tank water and replace it with pure, treated tap water.

You simply test daily and replace the water when needed. When you have several daily tests with no traces of the above forms of nitrogen, the tank is cycled.

The process takes about a month.

"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
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