Need experienced eyes and minds. Am I cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Need experienced eyes and minds. Am I cycled?

Hey hey friends and teachers. I really need your help. I am new to the hobby and am not sure if I'm on the right track or not.

I flooded the tank on 4/17. Here is what I have going on as of today...

Tank: 20g high
Light: Finnex 24/7 planted+
Filter : Aquaclear 30
Substrate: Miracle Gro Organic Choice capped with PFS
Hardscape: several stones, polished river stones, spider wood tree and manzanita driftwood.
Plants: Xmas moss, Java Fern, Green and Purple cabomba, Narrow Leaf Micro sword, Red Flame amazon sword, Dwarf Hair Grass, 1 Marimo ball, pinkish rotala( don't know the actual name) and Red Myrio
Fish Friend: 1 lonely Gold Dust Molly

Tank water parameters as of this morning:
Ph -7.6
Gh- 6
Kh -7
Ammo- .25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate- 5.0

It should be noted that I have not seen any nitrite in about 3 weeks and nitrates showed up a little over a week ago. Since then I have gotten the same results everyday when I test. I have done very minimal WC's since my numbers seemed to have stalled. I guess I just need to know where y'all think I am with my progress. Don't want to make a fatal mistake. Please please do not mince any words. I would post pictures but I'm unsure as to how. Any suggestions in that arena would help too. ( yes I read the instruction on this forum but still hitting a learning curve wall) . Thanx for your tolerance and advice. Smooches
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 05:15 PM
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I just finished cycling a 20 tall Bare bottom with a Aquaclear 50 and a Sponge Filter. It took me 26 days to do a fish-less cycle adding Seachem Stability nearly every day. I do not consider my tank fully cycled until it can convert 4ppm Ammonia to Nitrate in 24 hours or less.


What is the highest that your Ammonia got?
What media do you have in the aquaclear 30?
what are you planning to add?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 05:21 PM
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It looks like you are cycled if you stopped seeing nitrite. I'm sure the small amounts of ammonia are from the soil. I can usually cycle a tank in two weeks doing the fishless cycle so don't buy into the months of cycling business. Just stock your tank very slowly. Add 3/4 smaller fish and let the bacteria grow to support it (few weeks) and then continue with that until you are stocked to your desire. Just go slow.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsillej View Post
What is the highest that your Ammonia got?
What media do you have in the aquaclear 30?
what are you planning to add?
Ammo was at 1.0 at its highest. 5 days after flooding tank.

I just removed carbon from filter and left bio max and sponge in.

Planning to add? As In what exactly?


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Originally Posted by Willcooper View Post
Just stock your tank very slowly. Add 3/4 smaller fish and let the bacteria grow to support it (few weeks) and then continue with that until you are stocked to your desire. Just go slow.
That's what I was thinking about doing, but was confused by my numbers and stuff.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:36 PM
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We sometimes run into a problem of "definition" when we speak of cycled. There is the fully cycled that we get when doing a full blown fishless cycle. That leaves us with a full house stock of the good bacteria and we can add a full house of the fish we want and do it all at one time.
But then there is often a different level of cycle where we don't add ammonia and it all kind of settles in at a low level. At this point we can add a few fish and gradually let it work it's way up to our full stock. The latter is the way tanks all used to be started and it does work but with some risk. We can get to fast and do some damage to fish.
So what you want to do is a key element.
One way to run a test on how cycled the tank is to add a specific amount of ammonia and make sure it is processed in a short time. How much ammonia to use in this test depends on how much you want the tank ready to stock.
I don't accept any ammonia reading if I have a tank fully ready for fish as I would expect the bacteria to be converting the ammonia as fast as it is produced. Kind of like saying there will be some damage to the fish but not much?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 01:12 AM
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You should of left the carbon in for a month as it also aids in removing ammonia but .25 isn't bad depending on your ph nitrites are actually more deadly than ammonia because test kits pick up ammonium which is less toxic than ammonia it's probably from the soil just do 10% water changes every day or 2 treated with prime.

Also I would get another filter to go along with the 30 maybe another 30 (I would go with a 50 tbh) as youwon't achieve 10x turnover with 1 30, run both filters, I don't have experience with pool filter sand but I do know regular sand will eat the motors up so I would put something over the inlet to keep the sand out which will also lead to a slower flow rate, maybe it's just the 30 gallon I have a convict in with sand as he spits sand all over the tank lol.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p0tluck View Post
You should of left the carbon in for a month as it also aids in removing ammonia

Also I would get another filter to go along with the 30 maybe another 30 (I would go with a 50 tbh) as youwon't achieve 10x turnover with 1 30, run both filters
I literally just took out the carbon on Thursday. It was in for exactly one month. Lol. I am planning on adding a sponge filter to add more filtration because I did notice I didn't have enough. Thank you though, I feel a lot less stupid now. All the great advice is awesome.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 03:38 PM
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Agree with @plantedRich and I'm thinking the removal of the carbon is what triggered the small amount of ammonia. The tank should balance out in a few days to 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and should have nitrate. As was stated adding fish slowly to allow the bacteria to multiply enough to support the bioload. Once ammonia and nitrite are 0 again you can add a few more. Also as stated .25 ammonia is not bad but at a high PH and temp it becomes more of a concern.

Dan
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx a lot for all of your advice but due to my toddler trying to "help" mommy feed the fish, I fear that all is lost and I must start over again. I just hope my fish survives since my hospital tank is not safe yet either and my back up powerhead is broken. Emergency mode!

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