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Old 06-17-2014, 02:44 PM   #1
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Fish in cycling help

I've had my aquarium set up for three weeks now. It's a 45 gallon with 4 angels, 4 skirted tetras, three sunset gouramies, and a pleco. I've been testing the water daily since I started and the ammonia has stayed below 1ppm lately and I've been doing 25 -35% pcw everyday to every other day. The last couple of days the ammonia is down to .5 ppm and after ther pcw it's down to .25 ppm. I still don't have any nitrites or nitrates though. I'm just wondering if I'm almost there or if I need to something else. I've been treating the tap water with stress coat plus and the tap water has 0 ammonia. I'm using an API master test kit too.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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You may be water changing too much, which takes away all the nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia that cycles your tank. Try water changing maybe every 4 to 5 days, and your levels should go up. Water changes are meant to do either weekly, but twice a week is fine.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:56 PM   #3
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I did that in the beginning until it got in between 1-3 ppm and then I started with the frequent water changes but I'll let sit a lil while now that it's down.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Fish In Tank Cycling

Hello Jim...

Where your tank is in the nitrogen cycle isn't important. You have fish in the tank, so you have the benefit of some activity in there to enjoy. Your fish choices aren't very hardy, so you'll need to test the tank water daily for traces of ammonia and eventually nitrite. Don't remove more than 25 percent of the tank water if you have a positive test for these forms of nitrogen. You want to grow the good bacteria that will use the ammonia and nitrite for food.

If you remove more water, you remove more dissolved nitrogen (fish wastes) and delay the growth of the good bacteria. This is the reason for choosing hardy fish like Rasboras, Platys, Guppies, etc. These fish easily tolerate the less than pure water conditions associated with the nitrogen cycle.

Again, just test the water daily and remove a quarter of the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of the above toxins, the tank is cycled.

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Old 06-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Will do. Thanks for your help guys.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
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Ok I've been holding off the water changes now. I've only been changing 25% once a week and it's still the same as before. Been testing everyday and ammonia gets up to about 1 ppm when the week is up. But still no nitrites or nitrates. My ph is about 6.6 could that be slowing it down?


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Old 07-03-2014, 05:08 PM   #7
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Hi Jim722,

I have a similar situation. I've been fish in cycling for 2 & 1/2 weeks. I initially included a small filter from a healthy tank with the new one in my 65 US gallon (approx). I have had 4 neons, then added 4 corydoras. removed the neons and added 10 serpae tetras. then added two angels.

ALL readings have been zero, zero, zero - ph6.8. I though I may have register a slight change to 1 or 2 ppm nitrate one day a week ago but that's it. I've only done 2 water changes (10%) each time 1 week and 2 weeks in. Added my 2 10cm bristlenose last night . The thought is that my tank has cycled due to addition of bacteria with old filter with much less bio load than the tank it came from. I was concerned that there were no spikes or changes, but there are some very experienced people on this forum and I have been put at ease.

If there is any increase in nitrates, I was advised to do a 10% WC and continue to monitor daily.

I hope this helps assure you that sometimes, some of us can get lucky by trying to the best for our fish!


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Old 07-04-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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I wish I had all zeroes at least then if know something was happening. It's as if I still dont have a bacteria colony at all. I just bout some active sponges from angels plus to see if I can kick start it a lil bit. Hopefully that will do the trick.


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Old 07-04-2014, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Ok I've been holding off the water changes now. I've only been changing 25% once a week and it's still the same as before. Been testing everyday and ammonia gets up to about 1 ppm when the week is up. But still no nitrites or nitrates. My ph is about 6.6 could that be slowing it down?


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The bacteria do slow down around a ph of 6.5 and get pretty dormant around 6. The good news is the total ammonia will be in the ammonium form (not ammonia) which is less toxic to fish. The bad news is your cycle will take longer to complete.

Have you tested tap ph (after letting the water stand for 24hrs) ? Usually pwc's will increase ph naturally.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:50 PM   #10
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The tap water is the same, 6.6 to 6.8. I havent been letting it sit though I've just been treating it with prime before I add it to the tank. Would letting it sit help raise it?


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Old 07-04-2014, 11:49 PM   #11
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The tap water is the same, 6.6 to 6.8. I havent been letting it sit though I've just been treating it with prime before I add it to the tank. Would letting it sit help raise it?


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Could move either way or stay the same. Letting tap water stand in a container just lets it degas, etc so you can find out the true ph of it so you have a base line. Mine starts at 8.2 I think it was and settles at 7.6 or so. Tank runs at about 7.2.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:30 PM   #12
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Fish In Tank Cycle

Hey Guys...

Cycling a tank with fish requires a steady dose of ammonia. This means quite a few fish have to be in the tank. I'd recommend 3 to 4 small to medium sized fish for every 10 gallons of water in the tank. Guppies, Swordtails and Platys are good livebearing fish. Rosy and Tiger Barbs, Rasboras, White Clouds and Zebra Danios are all hardy egglayers.

You need to use hardy fish, because others don't tolerate the higher nitrogen levels present in the water during the cycling process. This is why the "fish in" method of cycling a tank gets a bad name. Most people don't use the right fish.

If you're struggling with the cycle, review the process given earlier in this subject thread.

Keep pluggin'

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Old 07-05-2014, 01:57 PM   #13
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I've been doing testing daily for ammonia nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia keeps rising and nitrites and nitrates are still zero. My fish are thriving though they're all growing and eating like piranhas. I also took your advice and quit doing larger water changes and am only doing them once a week or when the ammonia gets over 1 ppm. Maybe I'm just impatient but I was just thinking I should see at least a little nitrite by now.


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