is my tank ready for a fish yet? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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is my tank ready for a fish yet?

I'm in need of some advice, please! I set up my 10g abou 3 weeks ago. I'm cycling with plants and I filled the tank halfway with established water from my 29g and topped off with treated tap water. I placed some bio media from my 29g into the 10g's filter hoping it would help establish the beneficial bacteria more quickly. Well, I've been testing the water every few days. Been getting consistent readings of:

0 ammonia
0 nitrites
0 nitrates

Has the tank fully cycled? Do I need to add some food to kick start it? I can't imagine that the plants have been using all of the nitrates, or is that possible. So confused! I want to get a Betta for in it, but I want to be 100% sure the tank is ready.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm still pretty new to all of this stuff
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:44 AM
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If you have added a source of ammonia and those are your numbers you are all set

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:48 AM
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You want to make ammonia go up to 1ppm or more and then get the ammonia lower and lower then u will mave a nitrite spike then those will get lower and lower then you will have a nitrate spike then that will get lower and lower. Despite what u have heard of no ammonia in the tank ever, when you cycle a tank you want to put a sour e of ammonia whetherbthat is fish food or ammonia straight from a bottle. If u just add bacteria and water wait then add your fish u r essentially doing the FISH cycle where the fish produces ammonia and endures that ammonia. Look on youtube or google for more information on how to cycle a tank if I am confusing you

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:52 AM
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The flip side of hardyfish's statement is that if you have NOT added a source of ammonia then your tank isn't ready. Get some janitorial ammonia from Ace hardware. Add enough to make your test register 4 ppm ammonia. If it and any nitrite is gone in 24 hours THEN you're ready for fish.

If the ammonia sticks around longer than 24 hours you'll have to complete the cycle. Maintain the ammonia level at 2-4 ppm until the beneficial bacteria can chew through it in 24 hours.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:53 AM
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Sounds like it hasnt cycled if u have 0 nitrates. Like hardyfish said. Add a source of ammonia and follow a fishless cycle i would suggest. Just google search fishless cycle and u will find a bunch of articles on how to. I just finished a 10g fishless cycle that took a lil over 2 weeks bc i had plants decaying in the tank i didnt see. As soon as i took them out i could clear 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hrs. Before ammonia would clear but nitrite's wouldn't. Soon as the decaying plants came out ammonia and nitrites would clear in 24 hrs. You will be stuck with a lot of nitrates so a huge water change at the end of it is needed. Hope that helps

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 03:07 AM
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I would think that if you are getting 0ppm on your nitrates you aren't fully cycled. When you cycle a tank you have to keep that bacteria from your established tank fed with a source of ammonia or it will die. Here's how you test it: get some pure ammonia from the hardware store add a very small amount to your tank till you get a 3-4ppm reading on your ammonia test, if your tank is cycled the bacteria should turn that ammonia into nitrates in about 24 hours. If that happens your good to go. I would like to add make sure you are doing the nitrate test properly, shake the heck out of bottle #2 tap it on a hard surface in between the shaking.

Last edited by greaser84; 05-29-2014 at 03:13 AM. Reason: forgot.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry everyone, should have stated that I added fish food to the tank 5+ days ago.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
I would think that if you are getting 0ppm on your nitrates you aren't fully cycled. When you cycle a tank you have to keep that bacteria from your established tank fed with a source of ammonia or it will die. Here's how you test it: get some pure ammonia from the hardware store add a very small amount to your tank till you get a 3-4ppm reading on your ammonia test, if your tank is cycled the bacteria should turn that ammonia into nitrates in about 24 hours. If that happens your good to go. I would like to add make sure you are doing the nitrate test properly, shake the heck out of bottle #2 tap it on a hard surface in between the shaking.
That's a great tip! Thanks!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Method View Post
The flip side of hardyfish's statement is that if you have NOT added a source of ammonia then your tank isn't ready. Get some janitorial ammonia from Ace hardware. Add enough to make your test register 4 ppm ammonia. If it and any nitrite is gone in 24 hours THEN you're ready for fish.

If the ammonia sticks around longer than 24 hours you'll have to complete the cycle. Maintain the ammonia level at 2-4 ppm until the beneficial bacteria can chew through it in 24 hours.
Definitely giving this a try! Thanks!!!
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