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Thread: Is my tank cycling?
09-20-2012, 08:58 AM #1
Is my tank cycling?
Please could someone give me some advice? I bought two tanks, a 20 litre about 6 weeks ago and a 60 litre about 3 weeks ago (having realised a bigger tank is easier to maintain etc)
I have a few fish in both, but added them gradually over a few weeks, there are only baby fish in the small tank at the moment so I can't imagine that would overload the tank. I plan to give them away when they get bigger.
I have just bought Tetra Safestart as I was finding that everytime I tested the water I would get a high ammonia and more recently very high nitrite reading. I added this yesterday and tested the water, here were my readings:
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: off the scale 5ppm plus
Nitrate: 40ppm plus
I have tested the water in both again today and here are the readings:
Are my tanks cycling correctly? There are high nitrate readings in both but particularly in the small tank, I don't seem to be able to get the ammonia or nitrite down. I have carried out lots of water changes and they don't seem to make much difference ie they just go straight back again after a day or so.
I would like to do a water change in the small tank now as I'm aware that I have very high ammonia and nitrate readings and I don't want my fish to suffer. Is now the right time to do a water change when I've only just added Tetra Safestart?
Please help! Its so frustrating and I feel as though I'm doing something wrong but I have done everything I can to make the tank better, for example I replaced the crappy filter in the small tank (one which came with the tank) and bought another, water changes and using stress Zyme and cycle but it appears they don't work!
09-20-2012, 09:30 AM #2
The great news is that your tanks are cycling beautifuly!
The not so great news is, that the ammonia and nitrite results in the 20 litre tank are very bad for your fishes at the moment. You have to start doing water changes, until you get those test results down to .25ppm - .50ppm. This means, if you have to do 1, 2 or 3 25% - 50% water changes per day, to do your best to keep the ammonia and nitrites down, then that's what you've gotta do.
Your 60 litre tank, is about a week away from finishing the cycle. Possibly a little longer. Your ammonia results are getting low, and your nitrites and nitrates are high. This is telling you that the cycle is well on its way to completion. Again, with this tank, you should do water changes to bring the level of nitrites down to around that .25ppm - .50ppm.
Don't panic though, ok? Do the water changes, to get those lower test results, and everything will work out perfectly! And don't forget to use your dechlorinator every water change. And do not clean or swap any of your filter media, as this is where the good bacteria is living that keeps your tank cycled. Have a look at your dechlorinator, and see if it detoxifies or neutralizes ammonia and/or nitrites. If it doesn't, grab one that does, such as Prime, and start using that. It will help out your fishies!
Last edited by escamosa; 09-20-2012 at 09:33 AM.Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark
09-20-2012, 06:18 PM #3
Ah great thanks! I've actually already done two water changes in the small tank today and my last readings were much better with ammonia down to .5ppm and nitrite also down to .5ppm! So hopefully that will help. I've also done a 50% water change in the bigger tank so will test that one shortly and hoping the nitrite will go down in this one. Thanks for your advice :-)
09-20-2012, 06:29 PM #4
09-20-2012, 06:38 PM #5
Agreed with Escamosa and Lady Hobbs. I added my cichlids before my 60g was fully cycled because it was a take-it or leave-it grab for 5 free cichlids each about 2.5" so i pounced on it. I was registering 0ppm ammonia, but off the chart nitrites, so I did a 20% water change daily to maintain it around .25ppm, added stress zyme every two days, and the bacteria colonized and dropped to 0ppm overnight after roughly 5 days. Follow the experts advice and you'll be fine. That's how I got started and have never had problems. Lady Hobbs has tons of great advice as I've noticed browsing the forum. (I did buy secondary filtration :D)60g african cichlid variety: 1 demassoni, 1 blue johanni, 1 yellow banded moori,1 acei,1 fuelleborni ,1 OB peacock ,1 unidentified peacock
20g long 3 glass cats, 6 celebes rainbowfish, 1 black khuli loach, and 2 gold snails
15g column livebearer 2 hifin, 1 bumblebee platy
20g half full red claw crab set-up
29G 1 blood red parrot and 2 Blue ram
"Fish recognize a bad leader." ~Conan O'Brien
09-20-2012, 09:43 PM #6
0Originally Posted by bubbles1088Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark