Is My Tank Cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 104
Question Is My Tank Cycled?

My tank has been flooded for about a month now. I was doing a fishless cycle by throwing some food in the tank. The ammonia was never really THAT high, but it was measurable. After about two weeks the ammonia disappeared and nitrites showed up. About three days later the nitrites went down to .5 ppm and nitrates were present. At this time I figured my tank was cycled. I bought some shrimp and a handful of Tetras.

Not too long later the nitrites were really high. Some fish were dying off. Bad times. I did lots of water changes a few days in a row and they still weren't going down. I finally just sucked it up and bought a bottle of Safe Start. I did a big water change on Saturday and added the bottle. Since then I've had no ammonia and nitrites.

Is my tank really cycled? Is it safe to add more fish now? Should I do another water change and see if the parameters stay stable?

Why do you think the nitrites spiked again? Not enough ammonia at the start?

Lots of questions from this noob. Any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!
chrispena33 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 04:53 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
MiSo's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Knox, KY
Posts: 941
you didn't add enough ammonia to grow a colony big enough to support the amount of fish you added.

That's why your nitrites spiked. Continue to monitor your water and do daily partial water changes until your colony grows.

Eheim Pimp Club #190

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
MiSo is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSo View Post
you didn't add enough ammonia to grow a colony big enough to support the amount of fish you added.

That's why your nitrites spiked. Continue to monitor your water and do daily partial water changes until your colony grows.
I read somewhere, though, that you shouldn't do any water changes a little after adding Safe Start. You'd basically be removing all the beneficial bacteria that you added.
chrispena33 is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 05:07 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
MiSo's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Knox, KY
Posts: 941
If your nitrites are high, you need to do water changes.

How big is your tank and how many fish did you add? What are your nitrites reading now?

Eheim Pimp Club #190

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-05-2013 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
MiSo is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 104
I have a 55 gallon and I added about 10 Tetras and like 7 cherry shrimp. My nitrites and ammonia are gone now that I added Safe Start.
chrispena33 is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 05:30 AM
Plant Clown
 
kevmo911's Avatar
 
PTrader: (32/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 4,729
Forget about chemicals. They tend to give folks a false sense of security. If you add extra food, beyond the amount your fish will consume in a few minutes, you should be all set with a couple weeks.

The same effect can be achieved by adding a bunch of plants.
kevmo911 is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 104
I'd like to agree with you but I don't think I can. It's hard for me to believe that my nitrites spiking and my fish dying a coincidence.

I don't want to buy more fish if my tank isn't ready for them yet.
chrispena33 is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 06:28 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispena33 View Post
I'd like to agree with you but I don't think I can. It's hard for me to believe that my nitrites spiking and my fish dying a coincidence.

I don't want to buy more fish if my tank isn't ready for them yet.
Your tank will never be "ready" for more fish. It will only be prepared more quickly. The beneficial bacteria that supports the nitrate cycle is only as plentiful as there is food for them, so if their only source of food is the fish you have in the tank, there's only enough BB to support that amount of fish. Thus, when more fish are added. For the first couple of days the extra ammonia being produced can't be processed quick enough by your BB, and then the nitrites have the same problem. And then it will all be good soon after as the bacteria will multiply soon after.

This will continue to happen everytime you add more fish unless, like mentioned above, you "feed" the bacteria to cause a bigger colony by adding extra food, or by densely planting the tank to allow the plants to soak up the harmful ammonia and nitrites rather than having the BB process it.
edstewart5 is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 06:44 AM
Plant Clown
 
kevmo911's Avatar
 
PTrader: (32/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 4,729
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispena33 View Post
I'd like to agree with you but I don't think I can. It's hard for me to believe that my nitrites spiking and my fish dying a coincidence.

I don't want to buy more fish if my tank isn't ready for them yet.

It's not coincidence, IMO. It comes from a tank not being ready for as many fish as you added. I'm suggesting that you continue to prep the tank for more fish. You're on the right track - it just wasn't enough.
kevmo911 is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 104
Thanks, guys!
chrispena33 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome