Can't find this out about cycling!
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Can't find this out about cycling!

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Can't find this out about cycling!
Old 03-08-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
 
Can't find this out about cycling!

Hello everyone, Here again to ask a question about cycling that I just can't seem to find information about.

I am currently, and involuntarily(from not doing the research before buying) involved in a fish-in cycle.


I currently have 5 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank(the tank is only temporary until i can find a 30+, hopefully soon)

I have the test kits, and am now testing ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc.

The cycle has only just begun less than a week ago, so I am well aware i still have plenty of time left waiting, but my question is about the partial water changes.


It seems to be out there that once the ammonia levels get high, the water should be changed, the amount seems to be varied from 15-45% pwc's wherever I have read, but I haven't seen anything saying when the water should be changed, at what ammonia level that is.

This morning I tested my ammonia levels, and they were 4.0ppm, which I am well aware is far to high as it should be at 0, which obviously would mean the tank is cycled, but it isn't so that's not my concern.
(After realizing it should be checked in well light against the white, my levels now seem to be around .5 to 1, so earlier, they were probably closer to 2-3, but I'm not 100% positive)

I did about a 30-35% pwc, and after just testing now, about 10 hours after the pwc, the levels of ammonia seem to be a little lower, about 2-3, but I can't be sure, as it just looks lighter than 4, and darker than 2 on this liquid test kit.


I don't know if I should change the water again, it looks clear, but the ammonia is obviously higher than the fish would like, and the only numbers I really could find were that in a fishless cycle the ammonia levels need to be at 3-4 to grow a bacterial colony.



In the end, I really just don't know if there is a certain ammonia level range when I should be changing the water, as I'm not sure if I should keep the ammonia levels at the 3-4 suggested for the fishless cycle, or if I should keep them lower, or really just anything I should know about when to maintain the water for a proper, safer cycle.


Any help is appreciated, as I really don't want to change the water far too much(or too little) for the cycle to happen properly, and end up leaving the fish in the bad conditions of cycling for any longer than is already inevitable.


Thanks for any help!
And hopefully this might help anyone else who is starting an aquarium like myself!

Last edited by Castro235; 03-08-2010 at 07:24 PM.. Reason: I fail at properly reading tests
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #2
 
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3 -4 ppm is a bad amount of ammonia to have in a cycling tank..may be me, but i don't remember my ammonia ever being that high.....you should be doing anywhere from 20-40% water changes until your ammonia reads zero...

ammonia is a killer to fish, espically at the levels of which you are reading....keep doing water changes until you get this down to zero and see some nitrites...

PS - what kind of goldfish are these? a 30 gallon tank may probably won't be enough to hold all your goldfish...
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castro235 View Post

I don't know if I should change the water again, it looks clear, but the ammonia is obviously higher than the fish would like, and the only numbers I really could find were that in a fishless cycle the ammonia levels need to be at 3-4 to grow a bacterial colony.

In the end, I really just don't know if there is a certain ammonia level range when I should be changing the water, as I'm not sure if I should keep the ammonia levels at the 3-4 suggested for the fishless cycle, or if I should keep them lower, or really just anything I should know about when to maintain the water for a proper, safer cycle.
You can disregard anything you're reading about a fishless cycle and ammonia readings because you aren't doing a fishless cycle. Ammonia, at any level, is toxic to fish. The one time I cycled a tank with fish I did a water change on the spot anytime I got an elevated reading for ammonia. Sometimes this meant doing water changes on a daily basis for nearly five days in a row. A couple of days I had to do a w/c in the am, and then another one in the pm! Anytime I saw a reading going over .25 I did a water change. I didn't lose any fish and I'm pretty confident that my fish didn't suffer in the process.

5 goldfish in a 10 gl pretty much means daily water changes, cycled or not. Sorry to say. :(
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
You can disregard anything you're reading about a fishless cycle and ammonia readings because you aren't doing a fishless cycle. Ammonia, at any level, is toxic to fish. The one time I cycled a tank with fish I did a water change on the spot anytime I got an elevated reading for ammonia. Sometimes this meant doing water changes on a daily basis for nearly five days in a row. A couple of days I had to do a w/c in the am, and then another one in the pm! Anytime I saw a reading going over .25 I did a water change. I didn't lose any fish and I'm pretty confident that my fish didn't suffer in the process.

5 goldfish in a 10 gl pretty much means daily water changes, cycled or not. Sorry to say. :(


That's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for, They say elevated levels, but that doesn't mean anything to a newbie like me, hearing that I should change it above .25 sounds like a solid figure to me!
I really don't mind doing a daily water change, I just wasn't aware if keeping the ammonia levels so close to nothing would adversely cause the cycling time to increase from the 6-8 weeks into a many many month long process. (I'm also curious to hear about that, if the cycles will take much longer than that this way, whether they do or not, I'm still going to go your route of changing often to keep the fish healthier, even if it is a longer process that way, I'd rather their health than my convenience)

Also, the reading most likely wasn't at 4 ppm, I didn't realize how to properly read it, so it was more likely around 1, which is still obviously high, but I will be doing another pwc now, and start changing above .25.

And as far as the 30 gallon, I'm aware it's too small, as with the 10 gallon, but unfortunately right now everything is coming in strides, as I'm temporarily not working, and was sold 6 goldfish with a 1 gallon tank(the 6th littlest one was attacked by another one and unfortunately didn't make it), so I was able to get this 10 gallon from someone, until I can get a bigger one from someone else, and I'm hoping for at least a 30-55 gallon for the next one, and once I'm working again, I plan on getting a 70+ gallon tank ideally, but for now it is just a matter of getting the biggest replacement tank I can within my budget(Since my budget is pretty much eaten up just by the test kits, fake plants, and hiding places, as well as the new substrate I will need to get when I have the larger tank)

I am aware that a 30 gallon would be overstocked, they seem to be 3 comets, one common, and one that almost looks somewhere in between, so I know they will all be very large, but at the moment the largest one seems to be about 3.5 inches from head to tail, so I'm hoping the 30-55 gallon tank I end up with will be big enough for them to be comfortable in for the 1-3 months they will probably be in it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castro235 View Post
That's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for, They say elevated levels, but that doesn't mean anything to a newbie like me, hearing that I should change it above .25 sounds like a solid figure to me!
I really don't mind doing a daily water change, I just wasn't aware if keeping the ammonia levels so close to nothing would adversely cause the cycling time to increase from the 6-8 weeks into a many many month long process. (I'm also curious to hear about that, if the cycles will take much longer than that this way, whether they do or not, I'm still going to go your route of changing often to keep the fish healthier, even if it is a longer process that way, I'd rather their health than my convenience)

Also, the reading most likely wasn't at 4 ppm, I didn't realize how to properly read it, so it was more likely around 1, which is still obviously high, but I will be doing another pwc now, and start changing above .25.
I wish I could remember how long the cycling process was for me, I'm going to say it wasn't more than six weeks, I think it was less. Your fish are producing ammonia as fast as you can remove it so I'm glad you don't mind doing water changes!
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post

5 goldfish in a 10 gl pretty much means daily water changes, cycled or not. Sorry to say. :(
+1 to that!
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
I wish I could remember how long the cycling process was for me, I'm going to say it wasn't more than six weeks, I think it was less. Your fish are producing ammonia as fast as you can remove it so I'm glad you don't mind doing water changes!
Well, as long as the cycling process isn't much over 2 months I'll be very satisfied, as when I DO manage to get the bigger tank, it will be put into action in a fishless cycle as soon as I get it... I just need to figure out how exactly to do that, since I'm still not sure about getting a new filter, since a big part of that depends on the size of the new tank, I think if the tank is 30 gallons or less, I will stick with this pump(even though it is only rated at 10-20 gallons) as it seems almost too powerful for comfort for the ten gallon, and consider getting a sponge filter as well, but if I'm working at any point during the cycle for the new tank, I will just end up getting a good filter that is made for the proper size of the new tank.

But either way, thanks alot for finally giving me a real number to change the tank at, I've been going nuts not knowing if I should keep it high to let the bacteria grow to benefit the fish, or keep it low to benefit the fish and be at risk of slowing the cycle.

All this ammonia ammonium nitrite nitrate oxygen co2 stuff is just a little overwhelming to get into after being ignorant and thinking "I can just get a little tank and a bunch of goldfish"

But in the end, it seems like this will end up as a nice hobby with many tanks in the future... As I already have plans for the 10 gallon when I get the larger one, and the larger one when I get my ideal one hehe.


Thanks again though!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:13 AM   #8
 
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5 gold fish in 10 gallons?
That aquarium is never going to cycle. The amount of dirt they make in such a small tank will never allow it to cycle unless you will not feed the fish for a month or so. But if you do that your fish will be like the gipsy's donkey: by the time they learn how to live without food they will die.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:35 AM   #9
 
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I'm not sure I follow. Why shouldn't the tank cycle?
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:27 AM   #10
 
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Those fish are going to create a ton of dirt in a small amout of water. It's pretty much impossible to cycle a way to overcrowded tank with fish that poop more than they eat. There's simply nothing that can handle the amount of ammonia in such a small tank taking in consideration the number of fish in there and the quantity of dirt they make in that small tank.
To be more exact the tank WILL cycle but only if you remove some of the fish OR if some of the fish die, and some will die if not all unless they are removed.

Last edited by Redknee; 03-09-2010 at 04:32 AM..
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