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Old 11-08-2014, 09:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Iowa
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need help on decyphering my test results

Hi everyone, I am new to this hobby need some advice. I set up my 29 gallon Sept 4th, with some shubunkins that I had in my pond. I realized after the fact that my tank set up was way too small for them so I gave them back to my fish guy. So I left my tank set up with out fish. Of course my water parameters were off the charts due to the left over waste etc..from the fishies. I know I shouldn't have done any WC's but I did as I've been SO impatient looking at an empty tank. My ammonia has been reading 0 for about 3 weeks now,nitrites were spiked though. My Fish guy gave me some BB from a filter media he had hoping it would seed my filter, which I believe it has. I had store credit so he gave me 2 Serpae tetras to start out a few weeks ago, then he gave me 3 Micky Mouse Platys. I've been doing the WC's and now Ammonia is still at 0 as are the nitrites as of last night (finally!) SO question is....when do I know it's atually officially cycled? I need to buy the nitrate kit tomorrow. My Fish store is closed tomorrow so I will need to go to Petsmart in a city 30 miles from here. How long will I need consistant 0 readings before doing a large water change so I can add a few more fish? Hoping I now have nitrates so I can be cycled.

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Old 11-09-2014, 11:51 AM   #2
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Your Tank

Hello baker...

The fish in the tank will provide the water with a steady supply of ammonia. You should have a reliable water testing kit and test daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test, remove and replace 25 percent of the water with treated, tap water. This will maintain reasonably safe conditions for the fish and grow the bacteria needed to cycle the tank. Feed the fish very sparingly.

Just test daily and remove the water when needed. In a month or so, you'll have several daily tests with no traces of ammonia or nitrite. The tank is cycled.

After this, you remove and replace half the water to maintain safe conditions for the fish.

Add a floating plant like Hornwort or Ancharis. Just drop some individual stems into the tank, no planting is needed. The plant will grow and help filter the tank water.

"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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Thanks BBradbury...loved the quote at the end. Yes WC's seem to be my new best friend. Seems thats how I spend any of my spare time. I do test my water like everyday! OCD I guess?? I use the API test kit, need the one for nitrates yet. But will I EVER have any of those to test since I have nitrites?? They would make the nitrates not test properly right? This cycling is sure a vicious "cycle" isn't it!!
Fishies seem to be ok, no signs of stress. My nitrites were barely .25 this a.m. Ammonia remains 0. Thanks for the reply. Any and all encouragement are appreciated for this discouraged newbie.
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test, test results

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