Cycling and water condition abnormality
So I started a 20 Gallon long fish tank back on January 8th, almost 3 weeks ago.
I started off with a fish-in cycle, and I had 2 corydoras in there on day 1. And about a week later, I added 5 Pristella Tetras and a Betta.
I tested my water this morning and much to my surprise (ammo-0/nitrite-0/nitrate-0)
How after 3 weeks can all 3 readings be zero?
What kind of water test kit are you using?
How often are you changing your water and how much at a time? Is it possible you are removing all the ammonia when you change the water? If you are cycling with fish, there should be a small amount of ammonia present to grow bacteria.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
I am using the "Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc." Liquid Ammonia Test Kit. And the API Test Strips looking for nitrates/nitrites.
I have been doing a 50% water change on a weekly basis, but since I have sand substrate, I have not been "vacuuming" the bottom. I was planning on only doing 20% water changes weekly fo a while, but I have been trying to clear up the water some which has been a touch cloudy.
Not an overly heavy load so possible the ammonia is not reading as high as needed to get a color change in the kit (clear enough.) Some kits do not show color changes well (maybe not the issue but guessing.) Highly unlikely the bacteria are removing enough ammonia to be zero so I'd do more water changes (at least twice a week - 50%.) When nitrites hit, could spike badly (might need 50% W/C every day) so get a liquid test kit for nitrites right away - strips work but are not good (and fail very easily.) If the water is slightly cloudy, very unlikely your ammonia is zero so'd I'd suspect the kit and/or readings. Cloudy water is a serious bacteria overgrowth that is always due to poor water quality. Do large and or more often water changes.
Last edited by Cermet; 01-28-2013 at 01:11 PM.
Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is fifteen Sterba's Corys. Filters: canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber that removes phosphates and nitrates! Also, a highly dangerous commercial nitrate removal unit from hell
For Stocking Questions see: http://aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php?
For Fishless cycling:http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
The drift wood I put in there was starting to turn black and the water had a funky smell to it.
I did a 50% water change and took the driftwood out, scrubbed it down and let is soak in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Not that it would effect the cycle, but I hopefully it will help water quality.
So far the only reason for huge drastic water changes I see in this case are is smelling water. Test readings described above, stocking and "touch of cloudy" shouldn't be reason for 50% changes, becuase it slows down the cycling.
Cycling with fish can be a delicate balance of maintaining the ammonia and nitrite levels low enough to the point of no serious and permanent harm to the fish while still leaving a very small amount of ammonia and/or nitrite to feed the bacteria growth. Based on the info posted in this thread, it sounds like you are not basing the size of your water changes on your test results as you have a set schedule and amount regardless of the test results. As that has been keeping your water parameters in very good condition, the worst thing that could happen right now is that you might have prolonged the cycle. But that would not be a bad thing as I’m sure your fish do appreciate it.
I too would suggest getting a good quality liquid test kit as those test strips can result in testing errors. You really want the most accurate test results you can get when cycling wit fish
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info