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Old 05-16-2012, 03:41 AM   #1
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Am I cycled??

Hi Guys,
I hope you can offer some advice.
My kids won some Gold fish at the fair a couple of years ago so I rushed out and bought a 1 gallon bowl and put them in there not expecting them to live long.
so as they are still with us I thought it about time I got a decent home for the pair of them and bought a 15 Gallon tank a few weeks ago. After reading up on fishless cycling on here I must say I am surprised the little fellas survived this long - must be down to good luck.
Anyway I started off the fishless cycle about 10 days ago adding some media from my small bowls filter to kick start the process and adding the ammonia which eventually dropped to zero yesterday. So next I am performing daily water changes and adding ammonia and testing for Nitrites and anticipating that this stage will take 20 to 30 days from what I have read, however my Nitrites are reading zero already.
Do I continue with the process or are my fish now ready for their new home?
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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If the goldfish are commons/comets they should really be in a pond as they get 18" long-unless you want to get a 300 gallon tank and doubled filtration
If you don't mind getting a big tank at least 150 gallons, I'd look into craigslist
If you don't want a big tank, put the fish in a pond PLEASE
If the fish are fancies(which I highly doubt) they can get by in a thirty gallon with just the two of them
You need filtration rated for a 60 gallon tank however
One fancy may live in a 15 but it will be stunted
The goldfish you have most likely are stunted from the small tanks and may die from excess stunting in a fifteen
Sorry to disappoint you
Do you have a API liquid kit? Strips are pretty inaccurate
What are ALL the levels?
Pictures of the fish may help us determine how we can help YOU
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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If the goldfish are commons/comets they should really be in a pond as they get 18" long-unless you want to get a 300 gallon tank and doubled filtration
If you don't mind getting a big tank at least 150 gallons, I'd look into craigslist
If you don't want a big tank, put the fish in a pond PLEASE
If the fish are fancies(which I highly doubt) they can get by in a thirty gallon with just the two of them
You need filtration rated for a 60 gallon tank however
One fancy may live in a 15 but it will be stunted
The goldfish you have most likely are stunted from the small tanks and may die from excess stunting in a fifteen
Sorry to disappoint you
Do you have a API liquid kit? Strips are pretty inaccurate
What are ALL the levels?
Pictures of the fish may help us determine how we can help YOU
Wow 150Gallons is huge. It's actually 80 Litres which is about 16Gallons UK 20 Gallons US. But that's way too big for my home.

My question was about cycling
API liquid test kit.
Ammonia was at 4ppm for about a week then dropped t zero over 2 days.
Performed a 30% water change - added ammonia back to 4ppm
Tested for Nitrite (for the first time) today and it is at Zero and Ammonia dropped to 2ppm
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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pictures of the fish each about 3.5 inches long
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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You are getting close!
I just wanted you to understand the implications of having goldfish
Those are comets and they get large
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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You are getting close!
I just wanted you to understand the implications of having goldfish
Those are comets and they get large
Thanks - I never expected them to live beyond 2 weeks when the kids brought them home. I just don't have the room for anything larger then the new tank.
I'd replace them with smaller tropical fish when they go but will try to give them the best I can offer in the meantime.
Also my new tank came with a heater which I have had cranked up whilst doing the fishless cycle - Is it worth switching this on at 22C or just leave it off for the Comets?

Should I stick to the next phase for a few days to ensure the Nitrite levels stay at zero as follows;

day 2, 4, 6 etc Test for Nitrite, perform 30% water change
day 3, 5, 7 etc Test for Nitrite, perform 30% water change, add ammonia
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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Hi! As mentioned, these guys are messy & have the potential to grow quite large. Your cycle is progressing well. You will need to test your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & ph daily. Whenever your ammonia drops below 2ppm, you will need to redose to bring it back up to 4ppm. Have you checked for nitrates & tested the ph? Heat will help the bacteria multiply faster- you can gradually (over a few days) turn it up to 80-84f. When your cycle is complete, you can then start to gradually turn it down (2-3 degrees a day) until its back to ambient temps for the comets. Please ask if you have any questions!

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #8
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Nitrates have moved up from zero (last tested 10 days ago before starting the fishless cycle) to 20-40ppm.
PH is about 6 which I was going to focus on improving this once the cycle was completed.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Have you checked the ph of your tap water? Set out a container of tap water with an airstone or bubbler. If you dont have an extra, give the water a good stir every so often. Check the ph in 24hrs. This will be your true ph (after gassing out). Your ph will need to be addressed now or your going to encounter issues cycling this tank. Once we know the ph of your tap, we can further advise!
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #10
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Tap Water PH is also 6
GH is 60 and KH is 40
My ammonia tested 1ppm this morning and Nitrite zero so did another 30% water change and topped back up the ammonia to 4ppm. Looks like the ammonia drop is taking 2 days but I have no Nitrites.
Does this mean that my cycle is complete? Perhaps I got some good bacteria from the media out of the other tank?
What's the best way to get my PH up?
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:11 AM   #11
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If we can get your ph up a bit, I think you will start to see your ammonia drop alot faster. The easiest way to buffer it is to add crushed coral or argonite (or cr seashells, limestone) to your filter. You may need to consider adding it directly to your substrate (or changing your substrate) to help further with your water if adding it to your filter isnt sufficient.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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Stop the water changes. You dont need to do water changes until the cycle is complete. Check ammonia and nitrIte every day. When you can dose to 4ppm ammonia and ammonia and nitrIte go to 0ppm in 24 hours, you are cycled. You will then have very high nitrAtes. Do water changes to bring that down to 10ppm or less and you are ready to acclimate the fish and move it over. PH will swing while you are cycling, you should address that after the cycle.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #13
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So I have 2 differing advisers.
I was not going to look at PH until my cycle was complete (hence my original question ref my cycle). Then jlk tells me that I need to address PH now and spoonman says not.
Let me re-cap what I have done to date on the new tank.

New tank, media and substrate (washed thoroughly)
Filled up with water and added filter from small established tank to the filter media.
Tested as follows;
Zero Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia. PH 6 GH 60 KH 40
Added 20 drops of Ammonia (about half a tea spoon) to the 80 Litre (circa 20 US Gallon) tank. Waited an hour and tested for Ammonia at 4ppm
Daily test for Ammonia - for 9 days 4ppm
Day 10 Ammonia 2ppm
Day 11 0.25
Day 12 0
Day 13 30% water change added 20 drops of Ammonia waited and tested 4ppm tested for Nitrite Zero, Nitrates 20-40ppm
Day 14 tested for Ammonia = 1ppm tested for Nitrites Zero Nitrates 20-40ppm performed 30% water change added 15 drops Ammonia
Today is day 14.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:42 PM   #14
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Well, from my standpoint, your ph is low & your kh is on the lower side of things. Your testing with API test. A ph of 6 is the lower limit of this test. Your ph may be 6 or 5.5 or lower- your test result will be the same. Because you have been doing water changes, you have been able to maintain a more stable ph and keep a more constant supply of buffers. Without buffers, your cycle (and ph) will crash because carbonates are necessary to chemically convert ammonia & maintain a stable ph. If you dont want to address the ph now, thats fine but you should address it before adding fish rather than subjecting them to ph swings. Just my opinion anyway!
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #15
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One quick question - Should my API Nitrite test liquid come out of the bottle already colored pale blue? Just a thought that the test liquid might be faulty.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #16
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The API ph regular ph test for freshwater comes out of the bottle as an orangey-yellow color. It will immediately turn blue in the test tube if your ph is 7.6 (or higher). You may want to check the expiration date on the bottle & double check that your using the regular ph test and not the high range test. It may be worthwhile to have your ph double-checked at a lfs. If the test is not expired, I would contact API & explain whats happening. They are very customer friendly & will replace the test.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #17
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One quick question - Should my API Nitrite test liquid come out of the bottle already colored pale blue? Just a thought that the test liquid might be faulty.
And my PH is the same as the 2 year old tank and tap water. I read that you should not mess about with PH unless its off the scale.
Taking a closer look I think my PH reads nearer 6.5 than 6. The darn fish have lived this long in my ignorance so I don't want to mess about too much.
Will dropping a couple of nuggets of lime stone into the filtration system be sufficient or shall I just leave alone?
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #18
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The API ph regular ph test for freshwater comes out of the bottle as an orangey-yellow color. It will immediately turn blue in the test tube if your ph is 7.6 (or higher). You may want to check the expiration date on the bottle & double check that your using the regular ph test and not the high range test. It may be worthwhile to have your ph double-checked at a lfs. If the test is not expired, I would contact API & explain whats happening. They are very customer friendly & will replace the test.
You misunderstood - I was referring to the NITRITE test bottle - this is a blue liquid in my bottle.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #19
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6.5 is a much better reading than 6 (or possibly lower). As I said, I would have the ph double-checked at your lfs (if possible) just to have a comparison for what your API test is reading because the solution should not be coming out green or blue. I would leave it alone for right now unless you start encountering cycling issues.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #20
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Yes, the nitrite bottle comes out as a blue solution.
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