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Do these test results look normal for cycling a tank?

468 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  ShoeGal
Hello all,

I have had a bit of a break from keeping fish and recently set up a 15g Fluval Flex planted aquarium. I set the tank up and added the live plants on 15th Jan and have been testing and today, I am measuring nitrates, it seems too early in the cycle but I'm wondering if this could be down to it being planted? (I've had reef tanks in the past so this is all a bit new to me)

Please could you let me know if you think I'm doing okay with regards to the tanks cycling process?

The tank is set to 24 degrees and it's a fishless cycle, I'm dosing with Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride, this is my results so far.

16/1/19 - Ammonia = 0.25 or less, Nitrite = 0, Nitrates = 100, PH = 6.8-7.2 via test strips - I then added Ammonia after test (50 drops)
17/1/19 - Ammonia = Between 1.0 and 2.0ppm, after test, I added 5 litres of water to top tank up
18/1/19 - Ammonia = Between 0.50 and 1.0, Nitrates = 0, Nitrates = 25, PH = 6.4 via test strips
Test after adding 60 drops Ammonia, aiming for 3ppm of ammonia
18/01/19 - Ammonia = 4.0
21/1/19 - Ammonia = between 2.0 and 3.0, Nitrite = between 2 and 5ppm, Nitrates = 40-80ppm, PH = 7 via API Test

The first few tests I used the dip stick tests (apart from ammonia so I'm not 100% sure how accurate those readings were) but today I used API so I'm on day 6 of cycling with Ammonia = between 2.0 and 3.0, Nitrite = between 2 and 5ppm, Nitrates = 40-80ppm, PH = 7 via API Test

I'd really appreciate any advice, and should I keep dosing with ammonia to try and keep around the 3 ppm mark?

Thank you very much!

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your detailed reply, that is a huge help and very reassuring, I really appreciate you taking the time to go into detail for me :)

I am sorry for the slow reply to you, I did reply before but I must not have hit submit, I have a baby and I suspect I got distracted halfway through!

I am planning on adding a small shoal of something like 7 harlequin rasboras or ember tetras, do you think once the tank has completed it's cycle I could add the 7 in one go, or would I be better adding say 4 and then another 3 in a couple of weeks once the tank has cycled again with the new load?

Thank you :)
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