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View Full Version : Still Cycling but I need some Guidance



Faith_at_Large
02-10-2007, 11:55 PM
I posted before when I was trouble getting my tank to start cycling - my test readings were always the same. After following this forum's advice, my Ammonia never did spike but did test brilliant yellow and is now back to zero. My Nitrites however have spiked to the highest level on the Master Test Kit chart, and have now gone back to 1.6 (second highest). My nitrates have also gotten quite high, at least 110 on the chart. I am cycling with Zebra Danios and I want to know if I should do a water change to bring down those numbers a little, or if this is how things ususally go. I have read that the cycle process is not complete until the nitrites go to back to zero and that the only way to reduce the nitrates is with a water change. I know that a water change now will set back the cycling process, but I am concerned about my fish. Please let me know.

f1oored
02-11-2007, 12:38 AM
If you are concerned about the fish, you shouldn't have used them to cycle the tank. A water change will be good for the fish but bad for the cycle. It all depends on what you are most concerned with. It's a catch 22 really because if you do a water change the cycle is going to take longer and the fish are going to be in an uncycled tank for a longer period.

Lady Hobbs
02-11-2007, 01:44 AM
Your fish have survived so far so I would personally let it go now and when nitrites are at 0 and nitrates then still high, do a large water change and consider yourself finally cycled. You can then add a few more few. Go slowly adding then. A few each week or two.

cocoa_pleco
02-11-2007, 03:29 AM
shouldve done fishless cycling. The only thing y ou can do is do major water changes to keep the ammonia in a safe level

Faith_at_Large
02-11-2007, 04:06 AM
Thanks for all your help. My ammonia levels never really got that high and are now back to zero, it is only the nitrite and nitrate levels that have had me worried. Telling me what I should have done, isn't quite as helpful when I can't undo what I have already done, but before I found this forum I never heard of fishless cycling. Petstores are generally ignorant of this type of cycling. When I move to a larger tank, I will try that. As for adding more fish, I have a ten gallon tank, I don't think that I can add more than one or two fish. I am looking at adding two Red Wag Platies when my tank is ready, and a golden Mystery Snail a little later. Given that the Zebras are so small in body size, slender as well as short, would it be feasible to add some additional Zebras - I was hoping to add three of the long-finned variety to round out the group. I know that adding only one or two would be harmful to the newcomers wrt being accepted by the rest of the danios. Would additional danios be too much for my tank? And would a single male Betta Splendens also be pushing it?

cocoa_pleco
02-11-2007, 04:24 AM
2 more danios and 1 betta can work if you have good filtration.

I just recently heard about fishless cycling too.

In all 10 years of my fishkeeping, i have never been told about it.
You just put in pure ammonia, and it saves poor fish alot of stress

Chrona
02-11-2007, 04:34 AM
It sounds like your cycle is almost done. I would recommend a fairly large water change as soon as your nitrites hit 0 or close to 0 though. 110 ppm on nitrates is insanely high, and any other fish would probably die within a few days. After the large (75%) water change, wait a few days to check levels again, and it'll be safe to add fish.

*Sarah*
02-11-2007, 05:18 AM
I know what you mean about fish stores being ignorant about fishless cycling. I got constantly harassed on another forum because I didn't use the method...but I'd NEVER heard of it! I'm glad now that I know so if I ever need to do it I can, but it's not fair to "punish" someone because they didn't know. Regardless, I'm still a beginner and still learning, but I'm sure thankful for this forum because I feel like I'm treated with respect and not just brushed aside because I"m not a know-it-all.

Faith_at_Large
02-11-2007, 08:51 PM
Thanks for everything. I am very excited about the prospect of adding some new fish to my tank. I am testing often in the hopes of seeing my nitrites go to zero. They do seem to be lowering. I have the large bucket and vacuum tube ready to go. My family is getting very antzy and impatient. We love our Zebra danios, but I think that they would also be happier with some other distractions. They are so busy chasing each other around. And now we have algae growing on the glass and all over my nice divider, but I am not worried about that.

Lady Hobbs
02-12-2007, 12:25 AM
I know what you mean about fish stores being ignorant about fishless cycling. I got constantly harassed on another forum because I didn't use the method...but I'd NEVER heard of it! I'm glad now that I know so if I ever need to do it I can, but it's not fair to "punish" someone because they didn't know. Regardless, I'm still a beginner and still learning, but I'm sure thankful for this forum because I feel like I'm treated with respect and not just brushed aside because I"m not a know-it-all.

Fish stores aren't ignorant about cycling. They just figure we all know what we've doing so don't offer the information. Same way if we walk in and ask for a bala shark, a black ghost knife or pleco. They tell us if we ask generally but don't offer anything, either.

Chrona
02-12-2007, 12:32 AM
Although, from a strictly business standpoint, it's never a good idea to overload the customer with information, although you should always answer any questions. Most people who go into a fish store are just looking around for a couple of fish to mess around with, and aren't all that serious, so management isn't going to bother giving them a 10 minute lecture about the nitrogen cycle, water parameters, filtration etc, simply because most people don't have the patience. For those who are serious about fishkeeping, there are online forums :)

There are exceptions to this of course. This one guy at my LFS loves fish and loves his job, and I have a hard time trying to END a conversation whenever I go in lol.

Faith_at_Large
02-17-2007, 12:25 AM
My Amonia is starting to rise again, but still at the lowest reading level (barely visible unless compared to clear water). My Nitrites are down to 0.3. My Nitrates are also down to about 10, but my test kit said that Nitrate readings can be affected by high Nitrite readings - they were very high last week. I will be testing again tonight to see if I can do my water change and prepare for some new fish over the weekend (after some additional testing).

I am using the Mini Master Test Kit from Nutrifin. I think it must be geared to encourage people to buy more test kits. I have modified it to suit my needs and added a Nitrate test kit which was not included. Anybody else have a hard time testing Nitrates? The Reagent #3 in the test kit comes with the most warnings and recommends wearing lab gloves to use it, and yet does not have the easy dispenser top that all the others have. The Nitrate Reagent #3 has this rippled flat top thing that would be excellent for dispensing soya sauce, but makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere near the test tube without making a mess, much less getting only three drops into the tube for testing. I now have a box of surgical gloves at home for using when I test with this.