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Old 06-25-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
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Is My Tank Cycled?

Hi everyone new to this forum and pretty new to fishkeeping!

I've had my 10 gal tank for almost 3 months. Unfortunately cycling with my betta, who I got at the same time.

I've kept a log during this whole process. Ammonia had always stayed consistent at 0.25 ppm, no matter the frequent water changes, until about a month ago when it finally came down (and stayed down as of today).

However, nitrates and nitrites have never gone up and always stayed at 0. There was one instance where Nitrate did go up to 0.25, but it quickly came back to 0.

I have a couple of live plants (2 marimo moss balls, and used to have 1 anubias but it died a month back, buried the roots)

Also, have a heater always set to 80, and a sponge filter always running. I did however swap out my first filter for the sponge, one month into cycling.

Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrates have been at 0 for the past month. Is my tank cycled? Posted this on another forum site, so posting here to get more answers!
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:49 PM   #2
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Are you sure you are doing the nitrate test properly. If you are using API liquid test kit then you really need to shake the heck out of bottle #2 or it will give false 0ppm reading.

Apart from that, if you have fish in your tank, they must be producing waste, and if it isnt showing up in ammonia, nitrite or nitrate testing, then it must be somewhere. Possibly into the plants? If thats the case then the plants are doing the job of your filter with regards to cycling. If that carries on being the case, then nothing to worry about. If for some reason their growth slows or you took the plants out or they died, then you could have an issue.

Another consideration. 1 betta in 10g is quite low bioload. If you have been doing regular water changes, then the nitrates may not have had chance to build up to a readable level. What has been your water change schedule during your fish in cycle?
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reply!

Yes, I read the instructions every time I do water checks, just to be sure its correct.

My marimo moss balls seem to be doing fine, no browning or anything so I'm not really worried in regards to them.

For the past 3 months, I've done water changes every 1-2 weeks. Most of the time the water changes pushes onto 2 weeks. I usually change about 50% - 60%
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:47 PM   #4
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If you really are getting 0ppm ammonia and nitrite then there is nothing to worry about. Just do 25 to 30% weekly water change. Given you arent seeing any nitrates is a bit puzzling, but moss is very good at absorbing nitrate, so maybe thats where its going. Keep up with water testing, as long your nitrates don't creep up above 10ppm then those smallish water changes are all you need to do.

Are you planning on adding any more fish?
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:33 PM   #5
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Hopefully that's the case! I'll definetly keep water testing to make sure it doesn't sneak up on me when I'm not paying attention ha.

Yes, I hope to add some cory's, snails, or schooling fish (doing research on what kind for bettas).
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:58 PM   #6
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Putting fish in with bettas is a bit of pot luck. Kind of depends on the individuals temperament. Nothing too "showy" or something that can get out of the way is a good bet. Corys are good, neons seem to work, a mystery snail. Its better if you can put the betta into the tank already stocked with other fish first so it doesnt see the newcomers as invading its territory however, but thats not an option here.

When introducing new fish, probably a good idea to rearrange the decor so it resets the territory and introduce with lights off or lowered. And have a plan B in case it goes wrong.
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