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Old 01-05-2015, 09:09 AM   #1
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New Tank Will Not Cycle?

Greeting's Fish Lovers,

This is my first time postings. I am new to this hobby and think I may have 'jumped the gun' so to speak on my new 5.6 gallon Fluval tank. I purchased the tank for my desk and within a few days I introduced 4 fantail guppy's. All is well...

So now I start actually researching (what I should have done in the first place) and I learn about cycling a tank. I did purchase the API test kit for the basic water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) < the liquid test kit, not the dip stick type. I've been expecting gloom and doom since I had these fish in an un-cycled tank. So far (it's been 3 weeks now) everyone is happy and healthy and eating well. Here's what I do not understand....there is continually 0 readings on ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. The pH is a perfect 7. I would have thought something (ammonia?) would have started rising by now as these fish eat and poop a LOT! Nada! I took water samples to Petsmart thinking maybe I was doing something wrong but they told me the water is perfect.

I use well water, my water goes through no filters and comes out of the ground at a pH of 7 without my doing anything. I have been changing 1 gallon of water every 3 days since reading about this cycling thing.

My question....is this an anomaly? Will this small tank ever cycle or should I just continue to change 1 or 2 gallons of the water every three days (which is no problem) or should I let the aquarium just run without doing partial water changes and let what happens, happen. I hate to jeopardize the fish as they are a lively bunch and seem VERY happy in their new home. Swimming and very curious about the tank and showing brilliant coloring and excellent appetites.

Any suggestions/advice to sidetrack any possible disaster as this tank matures is most welcomed. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this forum...I have a lot to learn

Dave
Virginia
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:32 AM   #2
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Just keep up with the water changes. I don't personally see a problem with any of it.

When a tank is referred to as cycled, it just means that theres enough bacteria to remove the ammonia and nitrite being produced in a tank. Usually this manifests as nitrate, but its possible that you're just removing all the nitrogen in the tank.

Itll take longer to cycle this way, but I'm sure the fish aren't complaining.

Lastly, reread the directions on the nitrate test kit and follow them to the letter including timed shaking of the bottles and tube.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:15 AM   #3
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Keep with the water changes. A tank that small with that many fish SHOULD have ammonia all over the place. If you're really concerned, stop changing water and test twice daily for ammonia/nitrite. If the tank is not cycled, eventually one of these will rise, but the problem with such a small tank is that they can rise QUICKLY. As said before- double check the instructions on the testing kit and follow them to the letter.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thank's Mebbid & Enrgizerbunny I'll continue with the water changes AND monitor the water parameters twice daily.

Just want to 'get this right' and not jeopardize these little guy's lives as they are SO happy in this tank...I didn't know these little colorful jewels could be so lively and entertaining

I can see this can be an addictive hobby, LOL! I already want to dive into a 55 gallon tank and am already eyeing one...but I'm going to wait until I get this small 5.6 gallon one up and running normally before moving forward with another tank. I'm thinking I can then use this small tank as an isolation unit for incoming fish in the future (I gotta plan)

Dave,
Virginia
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Passionweed View Post
Thank's Mebbid & Enrgizerbunny I'll continue with the water changes AND monitor the water parameters twice daily.

Just want to 'get this right' and not jeopardize these little guy's lives as they are SO happy in this tank...I didn't know these little colorful jewels could be so lively and entertaining

I can see this can be an addictive hobby, LOL! I already want to dive into a 55 gallon tank and am already eyeing one...but I'm going to wait until I get this small 5.6 gallon one up and running normally before moving forward with another tank. I'm thinking I can then use this small tank as an isolation unit for incoming fish in the future (I gotta plan)

Dave,
Virginia
Which part of Virginia? I'm in Powhatan.

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Old 01-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #6
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Hi Enrgizerbunny,

I'm located about 20 miles north of Charlottesville near the little town of Ruckersville, however I am a Powhatan native and my parents still live there...I get to Powhatan often to check in on them (Flat Rock area)...small world!

Tested my water parameters this morning and all is perfect...I don't quite understand why after going on 4 weeks there is absolutely no ammonia or anything else showing in these tests. One thing's for sure...the fish are VERY happy, very active and (as far as I can tell) healthy and eating very well. Time will tell. So long as nothing negative affects the fish I'm not going to stress too much over this...but I will continue to do water changes every few days and check the ammonia levels every day.

Take care,
Dave
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
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BAM! Ammonia spike finally started. I've faithfully been testing the water one to two times a day. I've been doing 1 to 2 gallon water changes every-other day (5 gallon aquarium) and it has taken nearly 4 weeks to finally have any ammonia show up on the test. I've changed out 2 gallons of water which brought the ammonia level back to near 0 and I'll monitor this twice a day. When I tested the water today it was .50 ppm for ammonia...yesterday when I tested it was 0, so that shows me how quickly the ammonia can build up in the tank.

So far...no fish are showing any signs of stress or any ill affects. I only have 4 small guppies in the tank right now.

No nitrites or nitrates are showing at all on the test, hopefully these will soon come into play to take care of this tank and let it cycle.

Dave,
Virginia
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:00 PM   #8
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Oh cool. I live behind the high school. Yep that small aquarium is easy to do large water changes but the toxins can build up quick.

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Old 01-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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LOL...I went to HS in Powhatan (class of '78) but my HS was what is now the elementary school further up Rt. #60... it was brand new then and the 'crown jewel' of Powhatan at the time. Back then there was not a single stop light in Powhatan

I'm continuing to do water changes every day. 20% seems to keep the ammonia down to near 0. No signs of nitrites yet...all the fish seem healthy, active, and always hungry! I'm really watching the feeding to keep from having excess food decaying in the tank.

I'm REALLY interested in getting some of the more fancy guppy varieties down the road. I was in Richmond last week and checked out the PetSmart & Petco stores...but they have about the same selection as here in Charlottesville. Do you know of any GOOD, RELIABLE shops that are not large chains that may carry a better selection? I look at the mail order guppy's (tempting), but with the cold weather we're having now there is no way I would chance getting a fish shipped. I also hate buying a 'pig in a poke'...I like to see what I'm going to get first

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Old 01-09-2015, 12:28 PM   #10
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Richmond aquarium on hull street on chesterfield has a nice freshwater selection. Let's not forget PAWS in Lynchburg, not sure how close you are to that. Most of the local fish shops specialize in saltwater that I've been to. Skoolz of fish in downtown Richmond has the most exotic selection that I've seen. Cvas.forumotion.com is the central Virginia aquarium community forum, good local resource.

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Old 01-10-2015, 07:38 AM   #11
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Thank's Enrgizerbunny....Lynchburg is about as far from me as Richmond, but I looked up PAWS and it looks like it would be worth the drive. Washington D.C. is about 1.5 hours drive also...and I bet there are some awesome places for fish there, but I sure hate dealing with that D.C. traffic!
Thank's for the info to CVAS forum site also...very good site!

Dave
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