Just want to introduce myself to everyone 😊
About me: Wife and stay at home mother of 2 elementary grade kiddos. First time fish owner and loving it!
About my fish/tank: 40gal tank housing 2 Black Mollies, 2 Red Platies, and 1 Common Pleco. Not planted(yet).
A couple months ago, we were given our fish tank. Hadn't been used in years. Anyway...Sept 24th I went to Petsmart to start getting it all set up. I bought a filter (Aqueon Quiet Flow 50), gravel, decorations, and water conditioner (Top Fin brand). Spent atleast 2 hours talking to the girl about all the steps I need to take to have a successful tank. I like to do things right the first time. Silly me, thinking I could trust this sales associate. I was told to set up my tank, fill it up, and let the filter run for 24 hours. Then it would be ready for fish. So did that. Went back and bought my 5 little loves. 5 fish were the amount I was recommended to start out with. Also, wasn't warned about how big common plecos actually get ( whole other story)...
So few days after adding my fish, I'm thinking everything is fine, I get on Google and learn about the Nitrogen cycle. Ummmm. Yeah. That would have been nice to know about before hand. I should have done my research, but, like I said, thought I could trust the "experts" at Petsmart. Lesson learned.
So, I bought an API testing kit and tested straight away and have been testing regularly since. Monitoring very closely, pretty much obsessively. Also I'm on Google and YouTube DAILY. Yesterday I bought a couple sponges to put in my filter (which has almost NO extra space for any type of media).
So here's my current conundrum. I don't need to be lectured about what ammonia and nitrite does to fish. I feel like if I watch another tutorial on cycling my head will explode. As of right now my levels are showing:
Ammonia: between .25 and .50
Also my ph is around 7.4
My tap water does have a bit of ammonia in it even after the conditioner (bad brand?)
Ammonia has been slowly going down. Nitrates popped up out of nowhere a week or so ago. And a couple days ago Nitrites finally started going up. I was under the impression that levels would spike dramatically which hasn't been the case. Everything has been frustratingly gradual.
Please PLEASE tell me that my tank is cycling!!
Sorry for such a long post. I hope there are members here that like to read 😕
I also get the impression that y'all like photos so I'll add a few 💙 Thank you in advance to anyone who is willing to take the time of day to read my novel and give advice. It is ALL welcomed and appreciated.