View Full Version : Day 25 of cycling - Options?

10-09-2008, 05:29 AM
It's day 25 of cycling my 120 gallon tank with six zebra danios. I still do not have ammonia or nitrites. I did a 30% water change this weekend, but did not clean the substrate.

The instructions on the flake food container said to feed the recommended amount twice a day. I am only feeding them once a day. Should I start feeding twice a day to up the bio-load?

Should I add four more danios? Would the existing fish accept them, or bully them because they're the new kids in school?

Or should I just stay the course with regular testing and water changes?

10-09-2008, 05:34 AM
6 zebra danios in a 120 gallons of water aren't going to produce enough amonia IMO to cycle your tank. You'll need to add a source of amonia to get things started. Are you getting nitrate readings at all?

10-09-2008, 05:47 AM
I haven't tested for nitrates yet because I never had ammonia or nitrites. I guess I'll test for that tomorrow.

Fish seem happy and active and are always eager to eat.

10-09-2008, 08:47 PM
I tested for nitrates today. I use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. I read the instructions very carefully -- even drops, cap and shake, etc. But today when I read up on the nitrate testing, I read the tip on the ammonia testing. The color charts provided for ammonia and nitrate testing are for tanks "to which salt has been added."

Well, I have added no salt to my tank. Both my ammonia and nitrate tests come up bright yellow. According to the color chart, zero levels. But with no salt, what does that really mean? Are there API tests for no salt tanks? Yikes.

10-09-2008, 08:55 PM
They mention salt for marine tank set ups!

10-09-2008, 09:00 PM
So does that mean the color charts are accurate for my testing?

10-09-2008, 09:45 PM
I"m sorry,I really cannot tell you for certain.I have the Nutrifin brand and that all I can get besides those test strips that I do not trust.:c2:
I was hoping someone else would have said something by now!:c3:

On my kit the colors are a little bit different.

mrs fishpatrick
10-09-2008, 09:50 PM
I use the API freshwater test as well, I don't have salt added in my tank either and the test does work, It gives me ammonia and all the other levels.
I personally wouldn't worry about salt.

10-09-2008, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the input. No, I won't be adding salt to the tank. Our plan is to add clown loaches once we complete our cycle. I just needed some feedback that my testing has been accurate for the past three weeks, and not thrown off due to no salt.

I am pretty sure I will add more danios this weekend. I hope that the original group welcomes the newbies to the tank.

10-09-2008, 11:24 PM
To get something remotely approaching a bioload in that size tank you'd need, gosh, 20 or more zebra danios to get that volume of water "poluted" enough. I'd look into some bigger Danios, like maybe adding 6-10 Giant Danios (2"-ish fish)to kick start that thing.

Or... even better, go fishless and buy a bottle of household ammonia.

10-10-2008, 01:39 AM
The API test kits use the same chemical for testing both fresh as well as saltwater. the difference is the color charts on the cards. The card will specify saltwater. I think the Freshwater specific color cards just say amonia...etc. The nitrite card is the same for either FW or SW. Nitrate is specific as well. I think ph is simply low range or high range, though muine says "Saltwater high range ph".

In any case....make sure you have the right color cards. The chemicals are the same no matter what kit they came from.

What W_oz said was the point I was making. Guess I could have been more specific. Fishless would be your best route. If you go that route....household amonia = pure amonia...no detergents or scents.

10-10-2008, 01:39 AM
You could also throw a piece of shrimp in there. :c3:

10-20-2008, 02:07 AM
I added four giant danios last week. Everyone in the tank seems to be doing great. All are active with good coloring. I don't think the giant danios are as smart as the zebra danios. At feeding time, the zebras are all over it. The giant danios swim around looking confused before they catch a clue. We've been putting in only half the food at a time to give the giants a chance to get food. Once the giants get to the top, we put the rest of the food in.

Today when I checked the ammo, the sample was still yellow, but now with the slightest hint of green. Things are happening!!

10-20-2008, 07:18 AM
Congrats on things starting to move forward for you!

I noticed when I got my Giants that they weren't super keen at first. However after they caught on that tapping on the lip of the tank three times meant it was food time they all immeditately rise to the surface after the taps on the end of the tank that I put the food in at. Now I have to feed them at one end of the tank and everyone else at the other end at the same time or someone ends up hungry lol.

11-03-2008, 07:29 AM
About seven weeks into my cycling. I still have all original six zebra danios and the four giant danios I added at the beginning of October. The ammo sample kept getting greener, and the last few days it has been registering between .25 and .50. The great news is today I started seeing nitrite show up - not quite .25, but the sample was getting the palest purple.

I did a 30% water change today, because I knew I wouldn't be able to on Monday and I didn't want the water getting toxic. All the fish seem happy, active and always with an appetite. Here are a couple of pictures I took this weekend.

11-03-2008, 08:19 AM
Cute fish, glad to hear your getting nitrites. I'm a little concerned that it's taking so long to get this thing rolling. But, so long as you keep getting improvement, what the heck, right?

Lol those fish look so tiny in that big ol' tank you have.

Keep it up, you'll be done soon.

11-07-2008, 03:08 AM
I started cycling weeks ago, and thought I'd never see ammo show up. I tested the tank for nitrates at the beginning of cycle to get a base reading, but never tested for it again because it's got more steps than the other tests. I figured I would test for trates when trites started rising.

After the last water change a few days ago, my ammo and trites went way down. Today my ammo was even lower -- less than .25. My first thought was that I had sabotaged my cycle by cleaning some of my gravel during the water change. I know you're not supposed to clean during the cycle, but there were a couple of gross spots and I couldn't bear it. But then I saw my nitrites were up to .50. So I check the nitrates and got what looks like just shy of 5.0 on my color chart.

So it seemed forever to get going, but now I'm moving right along. Once the nitrites are down, we're getting Mollies.

11-07-2008, 05:56 AM
Congrats! I'm looking forward to some shot of your tank once you get your fish of interest in there!

Lady Hobbs
11-07-2008, 01:18 PM
With those big tanks, you need to have more fish in there. You can stock it with several fish as long as you are willing to do your testing and water changes. Your tests will not be off the charts like in small tanks and the fish should be fine. You have a huge water concentration there compared to a 10-20 gallon tank with fish.

I cycled my 55 gallon with several fish and my reading of ammonia never got over .25.