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10lbBass
02-16-2009, 04:50 AM
I let my aquarium, 30 gal, run for a week without any fish. Then I put in 4 long fin zebra danios to cycle the tank. The ammonia shot up to 1ppm really fast, but there are still no nitrites. How long should it take before I begin to see nitrite readings? I also just did about 35% water change.

Is this normal or is there something else I need to be doing? Thanks!

escamosa
02-16-2009, 06:05 AM
You should see nitrites in around 5-7 days.thumbs2:

Wild Turkey
02-16-2009, 09:03 AM
It could be anywhere from tomorrow to a month from now. Theres no real way to predict a cycle, you will start to see nitrites when you start growing the first type of bacteria, which does A into NI. This type of bacteria prefers temps around 85, so turning the heat up a bit can speed things up for you. After that you need to grow the second set of bacteria, and often the cycle can seem to "stick" here. But when you see that, you can say you are around halfway done. Thats just about it, patience patience, and keep w/cing that ammonia down to 1.0 as often as possible.

Now, If you locked me in a room and wouldnt let me leave until i gave you an estimate, it would be around 3 weeks give or take a week. Thats "average" but average is in quotes for a reason ;)

I have seen a user cycle a tank in 1 week before. But its very, very, very rare.

10lbBass
02-16-2009, 11:30 AM
Answered my question perfectly. Thank you both!

10lbBass
02-21-2009, 12:54 AM
So after a full 7 days of cycling with fish and doing about 30% water change daily the ammonia is still pinned @ 1ppm and no sign of nitrites. Should I not be changing the water as frequently? I also added an air stone and have the water temp @ 82F. Why am I not getting any love from the nitrites?

Northernguy
02-21-2009, 12:57 AM
Did you add anything to help the cycle along besides 4 danios?

bushwhacker
02-21-2009, 12:57 AM
you have fish in that tank you cant let the ammo get above 1.0 and you should keep it lower.. it may be a lot of trouble but think of it this way you get to see yor fish swimmin in the tank

Wild Turkey
02-21-2009, 12:58 AM
So after a full 7 days of cycling with fish and doing about 30% water change daily the ammonia is still pinned @ 1ppm and no sign of nitrites. Should I not be changing the water as frequently? I also added an air stone and have the water temp @ 82F. Why am I not getting any love from the nitrites?

Unfortunately, the waterchanges are going to slow down the cycle, but either way seeing nothing after a week is normal. You cant afford to do less water changing without risking your fishe's lives considerably. Continue as you are, and just be patient. And as always, seeded media or start safe or similar if you can find them.

10lbBass
02-21-2009, 02:06 AM
So I shouldn't be changing the water every day? The danios are swimming like crazy, they seem to be perfectly normal. Also, never added anything to help the cycle except for the air stone.

bushwhacker
02-21-2009, 02:09 AM
no bassman you have to keep up with the changes.. or you will lose the fish you have it just takes a little longer

Wild Turkey
02-21-2009, 02:52 AM
Yes, keep testing and waterchanging it down to 1ppm or less daily

bushwhacker
02-21-2009, 03:16 AM
10lbbass, we really aint tryin to get on ya but when your doing a fish-in cycle you really have to keep up on it.. i dont do fishless myself i only do fish in so i'm in the minority here but i do know how to keep my fish alive and thats constant testing and water changes every day until your tank is cycled

10lbBass
02-21-2009, 07:58 PM
Not at all. I really do love all of the advice I've received. I was just trying to figure out if I was doing something terribly incorrect. Sounds like I just have to be patient, and I'm fine with that.

Mith
02-24-2009, 01:51 AM
someone will correct me if im wrong....but cycling WITH fish takes longer right? I'm on roughly my 4th week and am still cycling. also remember, when you see nitrites, you ultimately need to have zero and that can take a long time.

regular members please correct me if im giving out wrong information.....

Lady Hobbs
02-24-2009, 01:52 PM
Bacteria is growing on your filter media and in the gravel. Most all of it in the filter media. Changing your water will not hurt your cycling efferts but changing out the filter pad or cleaning will. Make sure you always use dechlorinatored water, turn the heat up to around 82 and aerate the tank and you'll be fine. Add no more fish now until you have 0 ammonia and then add a few more......like maybe 3 or 4......and continue stocking slowly over several weeks also adding those each time you have 0 ammonia. Do not overfeed your fish, either, as rotting food = more ammonia. Feed very sparingly and a pinch every few days is plenty.

Since you are cycling with fish, a bacteria booster may help some. Tetra SafeStart is sold about everywhere and there are others on the market. There is one product out there that appears to not help with anything and that ones called Cycle. From what everyone reports, nearly all of them help to some extent except for this one product.

Your tank sitting without anything in it for a week did nothing. You did not get started on the cycle until your fish were introduced to the tank.

Wild Turkey
02-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Theres a "new and improved" cycle out now that apparently works more like it should. The older type bottles are mostly white, the newer ones are more fancy shaped and colorful.

The waterchanges are slowing down the start of bacteria growth because they are taking down the food source (ammonia), after that it doesnt really matter. Otherwise no adverse effect to the cycle at all, they are just keeping your fish alive.

10lbBass
02-25-2009, 03:54 AM
Thanks for the advice Lady Hobbs.thumbs2: Everything seems to be in order. I put in 2 giant danios and some bacteria about 72 hours ago and at first there was nothing. I did a 50% water change, just tested my water and have small levels of nitrites and ammonia.

Now my alkalinity levels which used to be too high are now way too low. How can I raise my alkalinity? Thanks.

ErikFromNJ
03-04-2009, 04:37 AM
Like mentioned, WC' will not affect the cycling of the filter. You need to do it to keep the fish alive.

I seeded my filter using a hunk of sponge from an already established tank, along with having 4 danios and 6 tiger barbs and it took 3-1/2 weeks to fully cycle my 75 gallon.

Just keep checking the water and do water changes as frequent as necessary to keep the ammonia down. Patience is the key.

One suggestion, now that you have your cycle started and I know it can get boring watching a few fish swim around for weeks on end, but DO NOT add anymore fish to the tank. You will only make the cycle take twice as long.

Lady Hobbs
03-04-2009, 05:05 AM
Thanks for the advice Lady Hobbs.thumbs2: Everything seems to be in order. I put in 2 giant danios and some bacteria about 72 hours ago and at first there was nothing. I did a 50% water change, just tested my water and have small levels of nitrites and ammonia.

Now my alkalinity levels which used to be too high are now way too low. How can I raise my alkalinity? Thanks.

Don't worry about that stuff or messing with your pH. Chemicals only mess you up. Bacteria boosters are geared to make your water much safer for fish to tolerate the cycling. You also picked a good cycling fish, if there is such a thing. You'll do fine. Read about cycling in the cycling forum and you'll get it done.

10lbBass
04-11-2009, 06:20 PM
So now I'm on day 57. I only saw the one very short Nitrite spike and then the nitrites disappeared. I am getting a Nitrate reading of about 15ppm and I am still having to do a water change every day to bring the ammonia down to 0. I have been doing this for about 25 days now. Seems really long. Any suggestions on what might be going on here? Thanks!

Wild Turkey
04-11-2009, 06:24 PM
If you are bringing the ammonia down to zero thats whats going on. You dont want to take it away completely, because then the bacteria will never adjust to the bioload, because there is none. Take it down below 1.0, maybe .5, thats it. Its better for your fish to be in a zero ammonia environment, but if you want to ever not do water changes daily, you are going to have to let that ammonia sit at around .5 or nothing is going to happen.

Edit: that or add bacteria in the form of a bacteria culture or seeded media, of course. But still you would not want to water change out all of the excess ammonia.

10lbBass
04-11-2009, 06:32 PM
Ohhhhhhhhh. Eureka! Thank you!

So once the tank is cycled having ammonia at zero is key, but when cycling there needs to be just a little bit. Right?

Wild Turkey
04-11-2009, 06:50 PM
Ohhhhhhhhh. Eureka! Thank you!

So once the tank is cycled having ammonia at zero is key, but when cycling there needs to be just a little bit. Right?

When cycling with fish, yup just a little, you got itthumbs2:

10lbBass
04-14-2009, 10:41 PM
Alright! Now I have Nitrites! (2ppm) How much water should I change in a 30 gal? Ammonia is holding steady at around .4-.5.

Wild Turkey
04-14-2009, 11:37 PM
Alright! Now I have Nitrites! (2ppm) How much water should I change in a 30 gal? Ammonia is holding steady at around .4-.5.

take the nitrites down to at least 1ppm, just like the ammonia. That would call for a 50% water change at least, but i wouldnt do more than that all at once anyway.

10lbBass
04-14-2009, 11:48 PM
take the nitrites down to at least 1ppm, just like the ammonia. That would call for a 50% water change at least, but i wouldnt do more than that all at once anyway.

Hmmmm. I did a 15% change and it is at 1ppm, or will the nitrites rise over night hence the reason for a larger water change?

Wild Turkey
04-15-2009, 12:11 AM
Hmmmm. I did a 15% change and it is at 1ppm, or will the nitrites rise over night hence the reason for a larger water change?

Well, 50% of 2ppm is 1ppm, so something is up. Are you shaking the test bottles? Its possible you succeeded in saving the bacteria and its working of course.

10lbBass
04-15-2009, 12:21 AM
Well I did put in some bacteria after I did the water change, and then tested the water about an hour later, with test strips.

Wild Turkey
04-15-2009, 12:24 AM
Boo test strips. That could be one reason for the odd readings, inaccuracy. Of course, if you test later and there are even less nitrites, that would be a sign that your tank is mostly cycled and just catching up, which is what you were trying for if i remember right.

10lbBass
04-16-2009, 03:59 AM
Yeah, I was trying for that. Still getting the 2ppm nitrites readings but doing 30% water changes now to keep it check until it settles down. Cycling sure does suck, but at least now I feel like I know how to cycle a tank...hopefully I can get a quarantine tank and get that bad boy cycled a lot faster...