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Old 03-28-2020, 04:19 PM   #1
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Help please- Fish-In Cycle

We have a 13 gallon Aqueon Aquarium with QuietFlow LED filter (carbon) with a cobalt neo-therm heater. We have a few java ferns but everything else is artificial. I have one male*betta*and keep the temp right at 80 degrees. He eats 4 pellets in the morning and 4 in the evening.*

We got him February 28. At that time, our ammonia level was .50 with 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. I did 20% water changes once/week. Ph 8.0 consistently.*

I kept reading up on various forums about cycling and started on 3/15 with Seachem Stability daily and holding off on water changes for 2 weeks. Started adding Prime in too on 3/19

Finally, on 3/22, our ammonia dropped to .25 - nitrites and nitrates are still 0 though. I test daily with API master kit.

Its been almost 2 weeks and I don't know if I should do water change, keep adding Prime and/or Stability.*

There's so much information and things I could be adding, I just don't know where to go from here. If ammonia is dropping, shouldn't I be seeing some nitrates or nitrites?

What is best to do at this point?

P.S. the tank*cycle*was started with ammonia from our previous misguided attempt following chain pet store advice and killing 2*goldfish*and 5*Otos. We got our betta when the ammonia level was down to .50

Thank yout for any advice you have!

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Old 03-28-2020, 05:25 PM   #2
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Geez kcisco71,
My advice may only confuse you.?

I follow a different path to the information you seem to be getting in advising those cycling with fish.

The standard recommendation is changing 30% water every 48 hours using Prime as your conditioner. The Prime detoxifies the ammonia for 48 hours but does not stop the bacteria from eating. You have a 13 gallon with only one fish so the daily ammonia will not be as high as someone with a 5 gallon. But you can still change some water.
Bacteria live ON all hard surfaces. Very few bacteria are living in the water.

To answer your question.
You may never see nitrites in a test don’t worry about that.
The nitrates should be rising slowly.

Yes I would definitely do water changes. Even bacteria need fresh water. There is no safe level for ammonia.

Prime or another conditioner is always added to every bucket of change water..
Prime will consume oxygen if there is no chlorine. It will kill fish at 5 times the recommended dose. Just a double dose is an overdose in very warm weather. Read the instructions on the back of the bottle.

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Old 04-16-2020, 10:13 PM   #3
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Thank you! I ended up doing a 50% water change and dumping in a small bottle of Tetra Safe Start. I waited 2 weeks to do any water changes.

I tested water along the way just to monitor parameters. My tank is finally cycled! (Ammonia-0, Nitrites-0, Nitrates-5.0)
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cycle, fish, fish-in, fish-in cycle

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