Is my tank cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Is my tank cycled?

Hi

I've had my Rio 180 setup for approx 2.5 weeks now. I seeded from my cycled 10g tank By rinsing the filter and transferring some plants and bogwood. I left it a week and added my 3 rainbow platys from the 10g. I also added a common pleco. I have been checking daily and have never seen an ammonia spike. It always between 0 and 0.25, even from the tap and this was the same in the 10g. I had one read a week in that showed very low level nitrites and now I'm getting low nitrates. The fish are doing great. I had an outbreak of bba a few days back and have been treating with Esha anti algae. This has improved the algae and the plants look great. Could the esha be causing the nitrates and the tank isn't cycled or does it sound like it's cycled quickly due to seeding?

I have no co2 and a plain gravel substrate.

The tank is for dwarf puffers.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 09:18 AM
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You shouldnt have any ammonia or nitrites in your tank if it is cycled. Nitrates will build up over time and up to like 40 ppm should be okay. Of course the lower is better and that will require water changes weekly to keep it down.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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The problem I have is that there is ammonia in the tap water and in both my tanks, it's always the same colour regardless, between yellow and the first green. My 10g is cycled.

Having seen a small nitrite spike and some nitrates, it must be cycled? Perhaps the plants and seeding have lessened the toxic effects and it's been a more gentle cycle than the 10g where the things went off the scale.

I'm concerned that perhaps the algae treatment has thrown the nitrates and due to the plant/fish ratio it hasn't actually cycled yet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as intend to finish the algae course.

Thanks
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:41 PM
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Is there anything else in your tank like dirt (or potting soil), or even resin decorations? If your tank is indeed cycled, then there should not be a presence of ammonia. Maybe something is leeching ammonia out? Maybe the fish are not consuming their all of their food?

If you have enough nitrates built up, the ammonia should have been brought back to 0 in 24 hours or less from adding any new water from your tap. Any presence of nitrites or ammonia in a new tank normally suggests that the tank is not cycled yet.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:50 PM
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I forgot to ask what your lighting duration is. Perhaps we can figure out what the root cause of your algae problem is before you continue to treat it. That way it won't happen again! I've heard BBA can be very frustrating to deal with and kill.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 05:47 PM
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So you get the ammonia reading from your tap and cycled 10g too?

What dechlorinator and test kit do you use? I had the same problem with my for sure cycled tanks - it turns out that Prime will give false positives with certain kits like the API one.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 05:51 PM
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You moved enough bacteria with the things from the established tank that the little blip of ammonia and nitrite is all the cycle there is going to be. The nitrifying bacteria and the plants are now dealing with the ammonia from the fish waste.
When you do a water change the ammonia that comes in with the tap water might register on a test for about 24 hours, but most of the time it should not show at all. The plants and bacteria should take care of it pretty fast.

Some ammonia tests are not compatible with some dechlorinators. If you can, get dechlor and test from the same company and see what they say about how the test will read for the first 24 hours after a water change.
After that the dechlor is mostly deactivated, and should not affect the tests.
Read all you can about the style of test you have, which reagents and about the dechlor.
If dechor and tests are from different companies, find out how they interact.

You can also calibrate your ammonia test by getting some distilled or RO water (no nitrogen in it at all) and adding small amounts of ammonia then seeing what the test reads, first of all testing the pure water, then testing it with some ammonia.

Common Plecos grow so large so fast they are not compatible with most aquariums. There are a couple of species sold as commons, and they can reach a foot to 2 feet long. I would return this fish. Look into the smallest of Loricariads such as Otocinclus, or the slightly larger Rubber Lip or Bulldog for your tank.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 08:36 PM
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Are you using test strip or drop tests? I have found that ammonia test strip are notoriously inaccurate.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 11:34 PM
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Are you testing right after a water change? If you have trace amounts of ammonia in your tap water, that trace amount should be gone in 24 hours after a water change if your tank is cycled. A cycled tank should read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and low levels of nitrate.


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