Cycling with 3 Mollies - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-30-2009, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling with 3 Mollies

I currently have 3 mollies (two dalmatian, one balloon) in a 30 gallon tank. The tank had been running for two weeks before adding the mollies two days ago. I had my water tested the day I added the fish, and the guy at the aquarium shop said that the ph and ammonia levels were perfect. I plan on buying a test kit to keep monitoring the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels for the next week or two.

ammonia and nitrates are expected to spike and then drop back down to zero before cycling is complete, correct? at what point should i start to worry, if the ammonia or nitrates begin spiking too high, what is too high? where should i expect these to spike at? should i be doing partial water changes every couple of days, or only when i start seeing ammonia levels to rise past a certain point?

thanks for the help, I just want to make sure my three mollies will be alright throughout this process
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-01-2009, 06:56 PM
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Buy a test kit. You'll have a hard time monitoring your tank without it unless the LFS is 2 minutes walking distance away. My nutrafin test kit states the following:

Ammonia: if above 1.2mg, do a 20% wc;
Nitrites: if above 0.3mg, do a 20% wc;
Nitrates: if above 50mg do a 20% wc;

Now I never had a problem with Nitrates but I'll tell you that during the time my tank was cycling, I would do a 20% wc pretty much every day, for a 2 week period. AT some point it peaked and simply died down, and that's when I knew my tank was cycled. Now I was adamant about doing a daily wc because I was cycling with fish as you are. Your cycle will likely take longer to start and complete because you only have 3 small fish in there... it's all about having patience! I don't have any!

The more fish you add, the more maintenance you will have to be ready to do during the cycling process. Once that's done... maintenance is a breeze.

Oh and welcome to the forum eh? (Yes I'm Canadian )
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-01-2009, 07:06 PM
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Can only second Hawkin's info there.
Thou I'd not recommend watching the Ammonia past 1, at one and over I'd do a instant larger water exchange. Otherwise is all NO2, 3, Ammonia levels stay within posted range just do the regular partial water exchange each week.

What really helps the cycling process and the stability of your tank later on is live plants, so maybe if you don't have any right now, that's worth while considering for you, anything fast growing stem plants will do fine for the beginning. The pretty much will act like a 'bio filter' in your tank.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-03-2009, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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ok cool thanks, yea i picked up an api ammonia test kit and a nitrite test kit (i forget which company's). I tested both ammonia and nitrite 3 days ago, both were 0. i have been (and plan on continuing) testing ammonia every day. So far I haven't seen my ammonia go above what looks to be zero (yellow), but as soon as i start seeing an ammonia reading i'm going to start testing for nitrites again. I plan on doing a partial water change (about 15%) tonight, and then when i start getting ammonia and nitrite readings, i'll start doing a PWC every day until the levels drop back to zero. Thanks for the info!
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