Originally Posted by Chris1212
Total new guy here obviously, but is it possible that my BB don't have enough ammonia to really start cycling the tank? Should I wait for ammonia to get to .5 before I water change? I've been water changing when it read .25.
The common practice is to do a water change when your ammonia and nitrite combined is 0.5ppm. So if your ammonia is 0.5 and your nitrite is 0 then do a water change, or each is 0.25 etc.
Have you done a water change since your first post?
You say your ammonia is 0 or near 0. Test some bottled water for ammonia and compare with your tank water. The bottled water will be 0.
I really wouldnt be worried. Even though it appears your nitrate is the same level as your tapwater you arent seeing ammonia or nitrite rising. Your bioload is very low, so i wouldnt expect to see much in the way of readings.
Double check you are doing the nitrate test correctly. Assuming API master test kit, if you arent shaking the heck out of bottle #2 it will give a false reading.
If your cycle is running you could be waiting forever to see ammonia/nitrite and trigger a water change, so still do weekly water change regardless.
Are you ultimately planning on more fish? If so, and you go a week without seeing ammonia or nitrite then i would very lightly increase your stocking. Maybe 1 extra fish. And then keep testing so you can mitigate any spikes. Rinse and repeat till you are stocked.