Aquarium Forum

  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Calculators
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food

User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Post Cycling a 10 gallon fish tank in 14 days (or so I think)

    0 Not allowed!
    Hello to all, I am new to the community and a beginner with a chemistry background who started to enjoy this hobby about two weeks ago. I want to include below a narrative of my experience cycling a tank in two weeks; hoping this may help in some way to those struggling in cycling a tank. However, at the end I am posing a question that would really want people to give me their insight. Those that are beginners like me please say so when giving your opinion.

    I decided to go with a fish cycle, since my daughter was still mourning the death of her Betta pet fish, ‘Bubbles, and I wanted her to have some fishes right away. The betta fish was kept in an unfiltered aquarium and didn't last long.
    I started cycling my 10 gallon fish tank with 5 guppies, 4 males and 1 female. In addition I planted a small anubia. The tank is using the internal power filter it came with.

    After 24 hours of running the filter with the plant, the fish were placed in the aquarium. The same day the fishes were put in the aquarium I downloaded a very practical app from the Android store called Aquarium Logger ( This app lets you create a log with the parameters you are interested in logging in. It keeps a nice log, evaluates the parameters and also will present a line graph of the parameters. It is very helpful watching the values changing over time. Of course I needed a test kit which I obtained from my local pet shop, the brand name is API.

    The morning of day 3, one male guppy fish was found dead. Ammonia levels were somewhere around 0.25 ppm, nitrites and nitrates were still at 0 ppm. The nitrifying bacteria was still absent. I kept recording the water parameters for the next week, doing 33% water changes every two or 3 days, whenever the ammonia was found to be 0.5 ppm.

    At Day 4, I went to the local pet shop to buy a piece of driftwood and two other plants, one java fern and another anubia. I placed the driftwood in a bucket with water and was told to keep it saturated at least for 7 days. The plants were kept in their containers; my intention was to put them in the tank attached to the driftwood. The driftwood was kept in the water and every two to three days I changed the water thinking that the tannins would leach faster with clear water (thinking osmosis?).

    By the 6th day ammonia levels spiked at 1.0 ppm. That same day nitrites were starting to appear with an estimated 0.1 ppm based on color interpolation from the color chart. I performed a 40% water change and was curious as to why after changing the water, the ammonia was still found at 0.50 ppm; the reason I found that my tap water contained around 0.50 ppm of ammonia! The fishes were fine so I wasn’t trouble by this, except for the fact that I read I should have made a lower partial change, in the range of 10-20% or the cycle could have been ‘reset’. I was planning to replace my dead guppy but instead resisted the temptation until everything was ok for adding more fishes. I want to mention as well, that reading the aquarium forums in the internet and 'googling' helped a lot.

    At day 9 I noticed that the plants still in their containers were getting starting to wither so I decided to plant them in the aquarium and keep them with light overnight.

    At day 11 I transplanted the plants from the gravel and attached them to the driftwood which was placed in the aquarium, it looked very nice, I also put a ‘mysterious blue snail’ to do some scavenging of the fish food-leftovers and tank bottom. Nitrites that night were estimated to be around 0.14 ppm.

    The next day nitrites spiked at 0.25 ppm, the pH which was initially alkaline (7.6) turned to 6.8; in my opinion this was the result of tannins leaching from the driftwood giving the water a nice yellowish tinge as well. Ammonia readings were 0 ppm; this was great news because I confirmed that nitrifying bacteria was present. Nitrates were also found at 5 ppm, confirming the presence of other needed bacteria. This was increasing from an estimated 2.5 ppm three days before. To me this was great news as the presence of both nitrifying bacteria was finally confirmed.

    At day 13th, the nitrates were starting to be reduced, this I found strange because I was expecting higher results. The nitrate reading was 3 ppm; nitrites were also decreased from 0.25 ppm to approximately 0.12 ppm.
    Today, day 14th, I performed all 4 tests and found out the following: ammonia – 0 ppm, nitrite – 0 ppm, nitrate – 0 ppm, pH – 7.6. I understand that with these values my 10 gallon tank aquarium has been cycled!

    I still wonder the reason of the 0 ppm reading in the nitrates. Are these due to the plants consuming nitrates? I think so. Also, why did the pH returned to 7.6 so fast? As I haven’t introduced any pH buffer in the tank, I could hardly think of any calcium carbonates in the gravel (other than the snail shell).

    I want to have your opinion of what contributed to the quick cycle of this tank, as I bought it exactly two weeks ago, and now it seems I can introduce other fish in it. I have two theories in my mind. One is that because the tap water already contained 0.50 ppm of ammonia, this accelerated the bacteria formation. The other is that the snail could have brought some bacteria in its shell from the cycled aquarium from where it came from. What do you think?

    P.S. If someone is interested I can post in a table the water test results throughout the 14 day period. Please let me know.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1   and gift - mommy1   Thanks for the rep - Cliff   Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff   Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199   


    0 Not allowed!
    Congrats on your results.
    Yes I would agree your tank is cycled with those readings. IMO your cycle went fairly fast because of the amount of stock you used in a 10 gallon tank to cycle it. I know you lost one fish during this but I'm surprised the others weren't effected when you registered the 1.0 ppm on day 6. I think you doing that really large water change saved your fish.
    Remember to add your new stock slowly. Add a couple of fish at a time so the BB can maintain your cycle. Adding too many fish all at once will probably give you an ammonia spike.
    The pH getting back to where it was is normal. It is difficult to keep pH altered unless you start to add chemicals or peat to your filter system. The driftwood lowered it initially but the tank will work it's way back to norm.
    I dont think your snail contributed to your cycle with added BB from the lfs.
    As far as having ammonia in your tap water is concerned, I use Prime as my water conditioner which is said to neutralize that ammonia as well as the other chemicals we dont want in our tanks.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Strider, I starting adding 3 neon tetras, no ammonia registered, then yesterday night introduced 2 cherry shrimps and 1 amano shrimp. I will definitely check Prime as a water conditioner. So far everything is looking good.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    New York

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    Cycling is very important for every fish tank, and for our unnecessery cycling, we will have to faced different type of problem. According to my experience fishless cycling is the best way.
    I have just started to cycling my tank before checking the suggestions from It is needful to replace water 10-15% water in every week.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   My fish say thanks - KoryKat   


    1 Not allowed!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts