I think....I'm cycled???! Can it be? Advise please!
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I think....I'm cycled???! Can it be? Advise please!

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I think....I'm cycled???! Can it be? Advise please!
Old 09-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
 
I think....I'm cycled???! Can it be? Advise please!

I can't believe it but I just tested my water and I have a nitrate reading. Please tell me where I'm at in the cycle?

I have a 10 gallon tank, temp. around 72, with two very healthy Paradise fish in it (I've been adding 20 drops of Prime every 24 hours for about 2 weeks since I first put them in there to keep them safe). No plants yet. Natural gravel. The water is extremely crystal clear (strange because my last cycling episode was a total disaster!) and get this: I have not done a single water change since I first started it up 2 weeks ago, and today I have a Nitrate reading (very excited! ) My readings today are:

pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm

My question is: am I almost there? I believe the Ammonia and Nitrite should be 0 and keep Nitrate below 20 ppm right? How long should it be until I start seeing 0 Nitrite readings? Since it's doing so well should I hold off on any water changes until the Nitrite is at 0? I think I really need to stress how incredibly crystal clear my tank is, I have never seen anything like this lol.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by whitecloud7 View Post
I can't believe it but I just tested my water and I have a nitrate reading. Please tell me where I'm at in the cycle?

I have a 10 gallon tank, temp. around 72, with two very healthy Paradise fish in it (I've been adding 20 drops of Prime every 24 hours for about 2 weeks since I first put them in there to keep them safe). No plants yet. Natural gravel. The water is extremely crystal clear (strange because my last cycling episode was a total disaster!) and get this: I have not done a single water change since I first started it up 2 weeks ago, and today I have a Nitrate reading (very excited! ) My readings today are:

pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm

My question is: am I almost there? I believe the Ammonia and Nitrite should be 0 and keep Nitrate below 20 ppm right? How long should it be until I start seeing 0 Nitrite readings? Since it's doing so well should I hold off on any water changes until the Nitrite is at 0? I think I really need to stress how incredibly crystal clear my tank is, I have never seen anything like this lol.
You may be close, but nitrite is very dangerous to fish. I'd do a big water change. You can dose Prime 5 times the recommended dosage, but I think a water change is necessary.

Gwen
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
 
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You are very close but can i suggest, and i dont mean to simply contradict people here...... just leaving it to do its thing..... dont do a water change...... Nitrite is a volatile sutff and it will drop quickly to 0.00.... without the need to eb disrupting the system with a big water change..... especially from a nominal result like 0.25. everything else looks fantastic! Well done.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
 
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You are very close but can i suggest, and i dont mean to simply contradict people here...... just leaving it to do its thing..... dont do a water change...... Nitrite is a volatile sutff and it will drop quickly to 0.00.... without the need to eb disrupting the system with a big water change..... especially from a nominal result like 0.25. everything else looks fantastic! Well done.
Yeah the fish have been fine. Very active, hungry fish lol I'm going to leave it alone because like I said, I've been adding Prime every 24 hours and that makes the nitrites and nitrates safe so I don't see a reason to do a water change yet either. I'll wait until nitrites drop to 0 and then do a water change.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by whitecloud7 View Post
Yeah the fish have been fine. Very active, hungry fish lol I'm going to leave it alone because like I said, I've been adding Prime every 24 hours and that makes the nitrites and nitrates safe so I don't see a reason to do a water change yet either. I'll wait until nitrites drop to 0 and then do a water change.
Cycling a tank can take up to 6-8 weeks. If this is only the end of week 2 you have likely not even seen the first Ammonia spike yet. Water changes dilute your tank water and will not hurt. They are used to dilute water that has fish poop, AM, NI, NA and meds. They can be done daily when readings are high.
Did you actually see readings of Ammonia yet?? What are the reading of your tap water?
I'm not understanding the usage of so much Prime. How many drops in a Cap full since a cap does 50 gallons. But I'm very curious as to this method... can anyone elaborate that is experienced with Prime? Is this tank where I think it is? If cycling a tank was this easy why have I not ever heard of this method ever here in TFK ? (Hoping Byron will shed some light and an explanation here). I want to understand this method myself and others, especially other new tank owners will read your thread.
Good Luck with this new tank!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
 
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Jakie given the fact that White cluod has two paradise fish he will have had an ammonia spike quite quitely as they are voracious poopers. Also given the fact that he has a nitrate reading the nitrite is likely to have come down to 0.25 as it is a more volatile compound than nitrate so the likelyhood is that there has already been a spike in the ammonia and the nitrite and the next cumulative effect will be the nitrate which he is starting to see. I personally have experienced that given good dosing with bacterial supplements a cycle rarely if ever takes as long as 6 to 8 weeks. I DO however AGREE with you regarding the prime regime. Prime seems to be a reduction agent in which the chloramine compound is reduced to ammonia.... this could also be a reason for the exceelrated cycle conditions... though if this si the case Id say the cycle is probably quite immature or tenuous in nature. Another reason to stop with the prime and let nature do its thing.
The key point here is to not add any more fish untill you can be certain of the stability of the cycle.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
 
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Tank's I have cycled, rarely produce nitrite reading's before ten to fourteen day's.
could be the nitrite portion is just getting started but if nitrites continue to fall ,and read zero for four consecutive day's,,then perhap's the biological filter has developed to degree that it need's for waste produced by the two Paradise fish(these don't alway's get along well with each other ,or other fishes).
Would not put too much stock in Nitrate reading's if bacterial supplement's are used .
Some /most of these are/could be, little more than dead organic's .(food source for bacteria)
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
 
Jakie, Prime has the ability to neutralize ammonia so in case of ammonia spikes, it is often used (up to 5 times its regular dosage) to keep fish safe during cycling. Prime turns highly toxic ammonia into slightly less toxic ammonium and if I'm not mistaken (I could be), the bacteria that eat ammonia also eat ammonium so while the fish are kept safer, the bacteria are still being fed and the cycle is still ongoing.

Also not sure, have to doublecheck but I think it detoxifies nitrite as well.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:08 AM   #9
 
Hi guys, I have a question on this subject (sorry OP, but they seem to be reading this thread lately)

I too have been cycling for around 2 weeks, have never had an ammonia spike but had high N02 & No3, which then went down and have stayed down... so could my tank be cycled?

Also I bought one of those filter start bacteria things but have not used it yet as I was unsure.... can it hurt the bacteria if they are actually there already?

(I am fishless cycling, first it was with shrimp, now with fish food)
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #10
 
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Hi FlyingFish, I have used this type of product for many years. You are actually adding live bacteria to the tank to help the tank get established. Yes it is IMO ok to use. I did stop using it once my tank was "aged", meaning several months old. It should be fully established by 4-5 months and should not need to use it. I'm sure members in here would never buy this product at all. Especially if you want to be as chemical free as possible.
Having said that, if I had to tear down my canister filter or had a tank leak, something major that might cause me to make a huge change to my tank and cause a mini cycle, I would use it again for some stability to my fish.
The LFS where I bought it, insisted I need to use it (their brand.) all the time. I disagree. Hoping again others will give their opinion.
Thank you Whitecloud7. I am very intrigued by this cycling method and have asked the Mods why this method is not encouraged.
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