Is My Tank Cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Is My Tank Cycled?

I have been cycling my tank for a little over a week. I started with a few live plants, a few fish, and Tetra Safe Start. I have not done any water changes for this whole period. Attached are the water readings i have been getting.

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 03:35 AM
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I'm surprised you never got any nitrite reading. Usually, the ammonia gets pretty high and then nitrites start to rise and, as the ammonia and nitrite drop, nitrates rise.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 10:07 AM
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With no trace of nitrite, I wouldn't count on it. .25 of NH3 could come from tap alone. If you used media from an established tank its possible but I doubt that was the route taken. Most cycles go 3-6 weeks. Some can take shorter than 3 weeks but you have to know what your doing. Some can take longer than 6 weeks but doesn't mean you did something wrong. I'd highly recommend a fishless cycle instead of using fish though. It saves the headache of lost funds.

With such a high ph, I hope your either running a cichild tank or you slowly slowly slowly via drip climated fish to it. I assume you did the research on the fish you purchased to make sure they are compatible with your water parameters. Otherwise, their life span will be reduced.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by flight50 View Post
I'd highly recommend a fishless cycle instead of using fish though. It saves the headache of lost funds.

I cycled my current tank with 5 black skirt tetras with out a loss. out of the 20 fish to go in only 3 died shortly after being shipped from California to Kentucky.

Point is fish in cycles don't always result in fish deaths so long as one closley moniters the water and acts accordingly to the changes as they come
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:13 PM
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Test your tap water for nitrates.

Feed again and try and get ammonia up to .25 again and see if it comes back down. If it does and nitrates raise than I would say your cycled

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:59 PM
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Fish In Tank Cycling

Hello Mud...

Cycling a tank with fish requires a daily test for ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test, you remove and replace 25 percent of the tank water with pure, treated tap water.

You just test every day and remove and replace the tank water when needed. After a month or so, you'll have several daily tests with no trace of ammonia or nitrite. The tank is cycled.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Test your tap water for nitrates.

Feed again and try and get ammonia up to .25 again and see if it comes back down. If it does and nitrates raise than I would say your cycled
The first numbers from 8/6 was a tap water sample as a baseline.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 02:42 AM
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I didn't see anyone else ask this: are you adding ammonia to 4 ppm? The bacteria have to have a food source to get the cycle started.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post

Point is fish in cycles don't always result in fish deaths so long as one closley moniters the water and acts accordingly to the changes as they come

Huh! come again. I never said not doing a fishless will result in death. I said it saves headaches and funds. Many experienced fish keepers on here and other forums would say the same thing.

Why risk live stock when a fishless doesn't have to be monitored closely, its inexpensive, and it equates to larger bacterial colonies much faster. Cycling with fish pretty much comes down to being impatient. A possible sacrifice just to see some fish life in a tank. Impatience in this hobby will cost you one way or another.

To each is own though. People are more than welcome to cycle with fish if they desire. I am not saying fishless is the only way to go but it is indeed very logical. 8/10 people that use fish to cycle typically go fishless on the next setup. Funny how that works.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 07:41 AM
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Huh! come again. I never said not doing a fishless will result in death. I said it saves headaches and funds. Many experienced fish keepers on here and other forums would say the same thing.

Why risk live stock when a fishless doesn't have to be monitored closely, its inexpensive, and it equates to larger bacterial colonies much faster. Cycling with fish pretty much comes down to being impatient. A possible sacrifice just to see some fish life in a tank. Impatience in this hobby will cost you one way or another.

To each is own though. People are more than welcome to cycle with fish if they desire. I am not saying fishless is the only way to go but it is indeed very logical. 8/10 people that use fish to cycle typically go fishless on the next setup. Funny how that works.

I apolgize if I misunderstood what you were getting at, that's what I get for assuming.

For me it wasn't about impatience as much as it was just how I've always done it starting from 20+ years ago across multiple aquarium setups over those years. That's just how I've always done it and always been told that's how it's done. Of course that was before the internet and me finding this forum and gaining some more indepth insight into this hobby.

And your right, my next setup will probably be fishless as well.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 04:03 PM
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Its no biggie, as long as the intent for fishless cycle is understood for everyone. Lucky for me, when I first got into the hobby, the internet just just starting to really take off, so I had forums to get advice from. Old school methods are fine but things have evolved over time. There are more efficient ways to achieve the same goal and cycling is just one of them.

I typically setup fishless and let it do its thing. Once cycled I continue to feed the tank and cycle for an extra 1-2 months to further increase colony sizes if I tend to add fish after a cycle. This also allows for larger batches of fish to be introduced at once. Depending on the setup, there is a limit to this method still. Footprint of substrate, hardscape items, media type, media quantity, canister, hob and sump are just a few to take in consideration of the possible bb colonies on our side at fish introduction.

The plan for my current project in my garage will primarily be aquascapes. They will be moderately to heavily planted. I will treat them as a year long cycle to get completely established before adding fish. This will allow me to work out all the kinks before adding fish. My projects are usually planned for 6+ months so I have nothing but time, lol. I am fairly meticulous will all my projects to avoid redoing it or only requiring minor tweaks. For me, the only way I can achieve the aforementioned, is via a fishless. Old school can't do the job for me anymore, lol.

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Last edited by flight50; 08-17-2014 at 04:14 PM. Reason: -
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:00 PM
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Lets all look at the first post again:

Tetra Safe Start contains the correct species of nitrifying bacteria.
If the correct dose of TSS was added, then it is safe to add a reasonable full tank of fish as soon as the bacteria have lodged in the filter media and other locations (few hours to a day or two).

Mudhog79 added only a few fish.

YES this tank is cycled, but ONLY for the amount of fish you have added. The excess bacteria have died off.

When you want to add more fish, add more TSS.

The plants are also helping, and might be OK to add very few more fish and not see any ammonia or nitrite because the plants are faster at being able to handle a slight increase in the ammonia levels. Still, safer to add more bacteria with each addition of fish. Just in case.

It is entirely normal to see little or no ammonia or nitrite when cycling with a product that contains the right species of bacteria. A blip of ammonia as shown here is exactly right. A similar blip of nitrite is OK, too. Neither are high enough or last long enough to harm the fish.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studda View Post
I'm surprised you never got any nitrite reading. Usually, the ammonia gets pretty high and then nitrites start to rise and, as the ammonia and nitrite drop, nitrates rise.
I agree although I had similar reading to mudhog. The nitrites stayed at 0 for 4 days and then I did a large water change and then they skyrocketed to about 15ppm. The tetra safe start could be inhibiting some of the nitrites... Perhaps this is the cause for mudhogs nitrite level staying at 0ppm? If TSS wasn't added then maybe the nitrites would start to increase?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 01:26 AM
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Plants take in Ammonia and Nitrates, the more plants the less time it takes to cycle a tank. if you have a heavy planted tank then you will get a silent cycle. but the reason for why you might not be getting nitrite spike is the plants are eating the ammonia faster then the BB can produce Nitrites. so really i would say looking at your chart no. your not 100% cycled but Adding more plants will help a lot...

Bump: Just want to add Plants also take in Nitrates once there is no more Ammonia to eat. but you will always have Nitrates as it take longer for the plants to convert the nitrates into energy to photosynthesize. so after looking at your chart again. and not skimming like i did yes your cycled but keep an eye on it. and add more plants to help with the stocking load.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 07:11 AM
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What's the size of this tank we are speaking of here. Is this a 10g or a 125g. For me, even if I used the same product, which I won't, or used tons of established media, I would never put faith in a one week cycle but that's just me. I only use ammonia to cycle nowadays and I continue to add it until my tank can completely convert 4-5ppm within 36 hours. I never rush a cycle by using bb in a bottle, I just let the tank run its course. Everyone has their ways of doing things and it doesn't mean my way or john doe's way is better, it just simply different.

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