View Full Version : My Adventures in cycling 2 tanks with fish at the same time

04-03-2009, 04:55 AM
Starting Day 6. After messing up a 20 gallon tank by being lazy I started over. Gave the 20 gallon tank to my son and bought a 56 gallon for myself.

The 20 gallon has the original gravel with a new filter. He had some fish in some small tanks so he has a puffer, 4 minnows, and 3 shrimp. Yes I know that is strange. It is what he had so we figured we would just cycle with what we had.

The 56 gallon has new gravel that was rinsed in the old tank water. It has a new filter and the old filter from the 20 gallon tank. It has 3 glass cats and 3 black skirt tetras.

The 20 gallon started showing nitrites on day 4, the 56 gallon has not yet. Not sure if it has enough fish in it. right now the numbers look like

20 gallon
Ammonia - 1.0
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 10

56 gallon
Ammonia - 0.5
Nitrite - 0.0
Nitrate - 10

I am keeping track of the daily numbers and my actions on a spreadsheet. You can follow along at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pznlmaP1rgd-CuT7IHtKgaQ

Lady Hobbs
04-03-2009, 07:57 AM
Water changes need to start being done on that 20 gallon with ammonia reading 1.0.

The 56 gallon (never heard of a 56) would have less toxins due to having more water volume. It's those smaller tanks that are harder to cycle.

04-03-2009, 04:49 PM
On the 20 gallon tank I did a 25% water change on days 3 and 4 when the ammonia hit 1.0. Will probably need to do it again tonight on day 6 after testing.

On the 56 gallon, (not sure but that is what the sign said when we bought it) I did a 25% water change on day 3 when the ammonia hit 0.5. Probably shouldn't have done it then after reading some more.

04-06-2009, 02:41 AM
Day 8
Ammonia levels in both tanks dropped today and the Nitrite level in both jumped up. I am assuming that if the ammonia levels continue to drop water changes are going to have to still be done to keep the Nitrite levels down. The weird thing is that the Nitrate level on the 20 gallon went to 0 today. Been doing daily 5 gallon water changes on the 20 gallon and 15 gallons every other day on the 56 gallon.

20 gallon
ammonia - .5
nitrite - 1
nitrate - 0

56 gallon
ammonia - .25
nitrite - 1
nitrate - 10

04-06-2009, 03:00 AM
Thats what happens in a cycle.First the ammonia peaks and drops as the nitrites peak.Soon the trites drop and leave nitrates.Cycled!:19:

04-10-2009, 11:12 PM
well seems like the cycle on both tanks has stalled, The water in both is crystal clear and it is taking all I have to keep everybody from not adding more fish.

55 gallon
on day 10, 11, 12, and 13 with no water changes. Same everyday
ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 1
Nitrates - 10

20 gallon
on day 11, 12, 13 with no water changes. Same everyday except he lost his puffer last night
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 1
Nitrates - 10

Going out of town in the morning, will be back on Sunday so am thinking will do a 25% water change in both tanks tonight to be sure the trites don't take a jump on me tomorrow when I am away and unable to do anything.

Any thoughts or suggestions??

04-11-2009, 04:06 PM
Throwing some plants in might help reduce the stress on the fish.

Java moss will do fine.

04-18-2009, 03:15 AM
Day 20 and I am going to say that both tanks are now cycled.

55 gallon has been at 0 ammonia for 10 days, not counting the one day it was at .25 in the middle of that but it could have just been a bad reading
The Nitrites has been at 0 for 2 days, Nitrates holding at 10 for the last 2 days. PH is 7.2

20 gallon has been at 0 ammonia for 9 days not counting that one day it was at .25. Nitrites have been at 0 for 3 days, Trates at 20, getting ready to do a water change to lower them.

Now that I am there I have a few questions.

1) now that the cycle is complete can I go back to vacuuming the gravel once a week without causing any issues.

2) the 20 gallon has a Aquaclear HOB filter and the 55 gallon has a Aquaclear and a topfin filters. the Topfin just has a bag with activated carbon. Do they make something else that i should be running in that and how do I change it without loosing the bacteria I have built already?
The AquaClear both have a foam insert, Activated Carbon insert, and a biomax insert. Should I keep them both like that and again, how do I change them without loosing bacteria?