hmm...how far along in the cycle am I? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-06-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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hmm...how far along in the cycle am I?

So I started off with fishelss cycling, it smelled horrible so I drained it and started over with a fish-in cycle. I counted the days on the calendar and my tank has been set up for exactly 4 weeks today.

My ammonia has been exactly between 1.0 and 2.0 for weeks and my nitrites and nitrates have been 0. Well I tested the other day and I finally have a small nitrite reading of .25 and the ammonia dropped a tiny bit to match 1.0 exactly. Nitrates = still 0. On the nitrite reading of only .25 ... I was expecting more of a "spike" and perhaps a more dramatic reading? Or is my tank just really taking its time cycling?

It's a 20 gallon, temperature is about 76. I have 2 Goldfish and 2 Paradise Fish in there currently. No real plants. So I guess my question is for those who have gone my route for cycling: how much longer do you think it will take to get nitrates and when will my tank finally be cycled completely? Is a tiny nitrite reading of .25 normal?

Very excited about the nitrites reading btw ...
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-06-2011, 02:30 PM
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They say it can take 4-8 weeks, usually in the 6-8 week area, but sounds like you are getting very close. You should be looking for a NitrAte number of about 20ppm. Anything higher than that and you should do a partial water change. Yes sometimes the NitrIte spike isn't very big, mine never was either. Just keep monitoring and when you finally get a NitrAte number you are thru!

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-06-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jakiebabie View Post
They say it can take 4-8 weeks, usually in the 6-8 week area, but sounds like you are getting very close. You should be looking for a NitrAte number of about 20ppm. Anything higher than that and you should do a partial water change. Yes sometimes the NitrIte spike isn't very big, mine never was either. Just keep monitoring and when you finally get a NitrAte number you are thru!
Thanks! Yeah I was just thinking, my ammonia levels never quite got very high either so maybe it is expected that the nitrites won't spike high either. But it is progress - I never thought my tank would cycle! I will be looking out for nitrates and will celebrate when I get a reading
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