Not sure if the tank is cycled or not - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Not sure if the tank is cycled or not

Hell Everyone,
I am new to the hobby and have set up a 5 gallon planted tank. I have a fluval C2 filter maxed with bio media and it is planted pretty heavily with Java fern, Amazon swords,moss balls and i think hawthorne. I did a fishless cycle with pure ammonia and it worked successfully because i saw nitrates,Between 10 and 20ppm on my API master kit.Resulting in no ammonia and nitrite. After the tank was cycled i went and bought 3 dwarf corys and 5 shrimp to help clean up the algae. After a week of them being in there i than went and ordered some chili rasboras(15). Almost a week after the rasboras are in there my results are .25 ammonia, 0 nitirte, and 0 Nitrate. So im doing water changes whenever i see ammonia. Is it the plants sucking up all of the nitrates or is my tank not cycled? Also the PH is in the mid 6s. I read online that when the ph is mor acidic (below 7) it converst ammonia to ammonium which is less toxic. I think this low ph is from my driftwood,is that also true?


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 02:14 PM
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You shouldn't really see ammonia if you are cycled and your bacteria colony is populated enough.

Unless there is a spike from upping your bioload.

You should see some nitrate if the process is functioning correctly. And water changes should keep the nitrates down.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Im not seeing nitrates but im not sure if that is because the plants are soaking them up or if its because the process isnt working.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 09:15 PM
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If the process wasn't working it depends on two different bacteria.

Those that convert ammonia to nitrite.

And those that convert nitrite to nitrate.

So you are getting zero nitrite but .25 Ammonia?

It's hard to judge if the cycle is going because you added ammonia. That may be what the bacteria are still working to consume.

You could be cycling.. but there's not enough to convert all the ammonia. I would think 2 weeks should be plenty for a small aquarium.

You may have some nitrate but the test may not be accurate enough to tell. Did you shake the living holy heck out of the second bottle for the nitrate test? The liquid crystallizes and will give a false low reading if it's not properly mixed.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 09:18 PM
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15 Chilis is a lot to add to a 5 gallon all at once. I'm not saying an established 5 gallon with lots of BB couldn't handle 15, but adding that many to a newly cycled tank is a lot for a tank that small. My 5 gallon has 5 Chilis and a betta, one nerite, one oto, countless "pest" snails and a slew of red cherry shrimp.

My tank is overstocked, technically, but with a massive plant load, weekly 50% water change, good aeration, and extra filter media - i never see ammonia in any tests. And always zero nitrite. I get lots of nitrate both from the bio load and ei ferts.

I would suggest doing a couple 20% water changes through the week, like daily to keep the ammonia in check and read up on fish in cycling. I believe your tank was cycled, but there just wasn't quite enough bacteria to handle a big bio load so soon.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what im thinking as well!Thank you! Nice tank!

Bump: Yea i did but i think it was cycled but when i added the heavy bioload it killedof the bacteria.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasboraflora View Post
Thats what im thinking as well!Thank you! Nice tank!

Bump: Yea i did but i think it was cycled but when i added the heavy bioload it killedof the bacteria.
Let's hope for just a little overwhelmed

Keep up on daily water changes of 20%ish for a while. Check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels regularly and water change accordingly until your BB colony catches up to the new higher load.

Even better would be to go snag some established filter sponge from anyone you know with a fish tank to leap your cycle ahead with less discomfort to the fish.

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5 gallon, cycling, fluval, planted tank, rasboras

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