Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Mid-Hudson Valley, New York
Water changes. Typically, if this is a new tank with no mulm starter, it will take about a month to cycle completely. There's a number of things that affect the cycle- number of fish, degree of planting, feeding levels. There are products available to seed the nitrifying bacteria in the tank. I tried one called Cycle, and it was worse than useless. There's another that I can't remember the name of (Spiro something-or-other) that some have reported success with. Other than that, I'd say you better be doing something like 1/3 or better water changes every 3-4 days until you are reading 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, if you have overstocked a new tank. And stop adding fish until you get those numbers! My first tank I got a killer ammonia spike at about the third week. I was using Cycle, but thank God I was still testing the water and not trusting in the product. Since then, I start each new tank with mulm from an old one, and never see ammonia or nitrite in a tank.