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Curious Cycling Question

Discussion in 'All Questions from Newbies' started by Cheyenne B., May 11, 2017.

  1. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Last week, I got my 4th tank set up (I know, you'd think I'd know what I'm doing by now). It's 60 gallon Marineland tank with AquaClear 70 filtration, two eight inch bubblers, and gravel substrate. So far, here are my readings:

    5/6
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.2
    Ammonia 0.25

    5/7
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.0
    Ammonia 0

    5/8
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.2
    Ammonia 0

    5/9
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.0
    Ammonia 0

    5/10
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.0
    Ammonia 0

    5/11
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.0
    Ammonia 0.25


    So far, I've been using Prime and Stability. I was thinking about adding some filter media (ceramic rings) from my other 60 gallon canister but I'm not sure where to get a bag for them or if you can just lay them inside. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to speed up the process. Coast Gem USA is having a surprise sale and just got in some butterfly telescopes (what I've been wanting). I know cycling takes time but I feel like I'm not getting anywhere.
     
  2. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I have also been adding fish flakes to produce ammonia. (Note that this is a fishless cycle)
     
  3. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Just put the cycled medium in the filter. To speed up the process, put a fish in the tank. The fish will convert the fish food into ammonia for you. Do water changes to keep the ammonia below 1 ppm. Prime will protect the fish from that amount of ammonia.

    If you feel you must do a fishless cycle, put some ammonia in the water. Add enough to read 1-2 ppm. Fishless cycling usually takes 2 months or more.
     
  4. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    So it would be okay to go ahead and get the fish as long as I keep up with the water changes?
     
  5. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I would probably just get one fish until I knew the aquarium was ready.
     
  6. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Absolutely OK. IMO severe understocking (like one fish in a 3-fish aquarium) is the best and fastest way to cycle a tank as long as you are willing to test and change water as needed. I would start out changing ~ 25% of the water daily. Dose Prime for the full volume of the tank daily to maintain ammonia protection. Test before each change, and as long as you get ammonia readings of 0.25 -0.5 ppm with no nitrite before your water change, continue that water change schedule. If the ammonia disappears, change less water. If it goes up to 1ppm, do a 50% water change and increase your daily changes.

    If and when you see nitrite, the instructions will change a bit. Do not be concerned if you never see ammonia or nitrite. It just means the nitrifiers can keep up with the small amount of ammonia produced by one fish.
     
  7. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thanks for info! I just brought home a black moor to help out. He really likes all the room he has so hopefully, he'll help me speed up the process. ❤
     
  8. orangecrush

    orangecrush Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Location:
    Loma Linda, CA 92354
    I never do fishless cycling, I just don't have the patience. Just set up your tank, put in your fish, check your parameters, and do WC when needed. Your Prime will protect your fish.

    Good Luck and Happy Fishkeeping, Jim.
     
    Cheyenne B. likes this.
  9. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    UPDATE

    Since I posted, here's what I've been getting. The pH in the tank is holding steady at 7.4, Ammonia at 0.25, Nitrate at 0, and Nitrite at 0. I've been doing 50% water changes every other day, adding Stability and Prime daily, and my little black moor is doing excellent. I recently added some ceramic rings to the AquaClear 70 from a cycled canister from another Goldfish tank. All in all, everything is going well. :)
     
  10. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    I think you should stop adding Stability daily. The microbes in Stability, while they have nitrifying ability, are not the ones you find in established filters. As your tank matures after initial cycling, the nitrifiers best suited to your tank will take over, but that process will be slowed by continually adding Stability, since the large number of Stability bugs can somewhat starve the native nitrifiers. I suggest you add Stabilty only if the ammonia/nitrite creeps up a bit.

    Refresh my memory. Does your tap water read 0.25 ppm too? Have you ever tested distilled water for ammonia? Some people have trouble distinguishing zero ammonia and 0.25 ammonia readings.
     
  11. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I will discontinue then. My tap water reads the same as the water in the tank. And I could understand why they have issues, the colors are very close. I would actually call it between 0 and 0.25. The tube isn't green but not yellow either.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  12. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Can you get some distilled/deionized/RO water and test that for ammonia to see what pure zero looks like? People see colors differently. Particularly in the green range, I see a very noticeable difference viewing with my right vs left eye.

    A bit of ammonia won't cause any problems as long as you treat with Prime.
     
  13. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I will get some tomorrow and test it then compare. I think my grandparents have some for a humidifier.
     
  14. RhaeSoleil

    RhaeSoleil Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Do you use a water conditioner?
    The ammonia reading in your tap is chloramine and not ammonia.
    Chloramine is what they use in water treatment centers as a disinfectant.
    It's derived from ammonia and bonded with chlorine.

    Using a water conditioner like Seachem Prime will neutralize the chloramine and make the water safe for your fish.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I do use Prime :)
     
    RhaeSoleil likes this.
  16. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    UPDATE

    Originally, I was doing 50% water changes every other day and ammonia was between 0.25 and 0.50. Fish were fine with Prime. I also discontinued Stability. Now, I've been getting 1.0 readings and doing 70% water changes daily the past three days. I was asked to do a test on distilled water, the first picture is with it, the second with my aquarium water yesterday.

    I also added more cycled media to the filter and added another AquaClear 70 as well. Any more advice?

    (also, fish are showing no signs of distress)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  17. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    That first sample is really weird. Did you repeat it?

    I agree you have 1.0 ppm ammonia in the tank water. How much do you feed? What nitrite readings do you get? When did you add more cycled media?

    How many fish in the tank now -- still just the one moor?

    When you change water do you vacuum the gravel well? Have you cleaned your filter? If so, how do you clean it?
     
  18. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yes, there was no change, I thought it was kind of odd myself. They get fed twice a day with Solient Green, only as much as they can eat in four minutes. Nitrate and Nitrite are both 0. More cycled media was added yesterday afternoon. There are 4 fish in the aquarium. I haven't vacuumed the gravel at all, as it was only about three weeks old, and I was afraid of taking bacteria out but I did today as I saw some feces stuck in the gravel. How often would you recommend? (I do it about every two weeks in the cycled tank)


    I haven't cleaned the filters yet as I was afraid of losing the bacteria.
     
  19. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    You won't take bacteria out vacuuming the gravel, but you will take out debris that will release ammonia. At the very least, dump the dirty water from the filters and rinse the filter medium. Debris in the filter can also release ammonia.

    I guess I should have told you not to add another fish until the tank was fully cycled for one. I also should have told you to feed very lightly. If you can move some of the fish out of the tank it will help a lot.

    I think feeding twice a day is fine, but I also think if I fed my fish all the soilent green they could eat in 4 minutes they would burst. The food is the original source of all the ammonia in your tank. Give them all the food they can eat in one minute. If you feel like you are starving them, give them some leafy greens -- like spinach, cooked enough to tenderize it.
     
  20. Cheyenne B.

    Cheyenne B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Okay, I did vacuum yesterday and I'll do a deeper vacuum today. Unfortunately, I'm maxed out for space right now. They are butterfly telescopes and have trouble seeing food, so I usually hand feed. I'll also clean the filter today. I'll post my results later today. Thanks
     

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