Is my tank already cycled ? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-11-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Is my tank already cycled ?

I've upgraded to a 36 gal tank , and have been working on cycling it over the past 2.5 weeks. I moved some decorations from my older tank into the new one and also added 4 new zebra danios to start the cycle 2.5 weeks ago. I've been checking water ammonia and nitrite levels with the chemical test kits (not strips) . Nothing had registered until 5 days ago when I got some ammonia to register at 0.25 ppm, no nitrites. I retested again tonight and the ammonia is at 0 again and still have no nitrites. I decided to try testing nitrates for the first time tonight and they are registering around 5 ppm.
Does this really mean that my tank has cycled ?
I have 2 gouramis and 2 cory catfish that will go in the bigger tank when it's cycled. Do you think it is safe to add them over the next couple days ? Thanks for any help or advice. I'd LOVE to be able to have all the fish in the nice new tank, but don't want to hurt them.
Carrie
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-11-2009, 09:34 PM
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Hello Carrie and welcome to the forum!

It hard know for sure if the tank is cycled. There is probable not enough bacteria built up to support the introduction of 4 new fish to the tank at the same time.
What is your plans for the smaller tank? If you moved the cycled filter with media over to the larger tank, you might be alright, but I would still keep testing daily to be safe.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 01:00 PM
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The problem is, I don't see a source of ammonia in your tank, so the bacteria will die off (may already have done so after 2 weeks, with the ammonia now reading "0") since they have no "food." Transferring bacteria from an established tank is fine, but there has to be a source of ammonia in the new tank to feed it and keep the bacteria cycle working.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 01:30 PM
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I second both posts above.....just wantedt to ask byron what kind of fish that was on his avatar? very cool.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Byron - there are 4 danio's in the new tank and have been in there for the 2.5 weeks - so that and feeding them should be my source of ammonia. :) Thanks for checking though!!

Thanks TwisterMom... the smaller tank is going to be retired once everyone is safe and happy in the new tank - I had gotten a 12 gal bow front Eclipse about 4 years ago and have had problems with it ever since... the Filter won't start up automatically and I spend 5+ minutes restarting it each time it dies (which is regularly) or the power flicker. Then the transformer type box for the flight literally blew up! huge cracks in the box and everything.... So we decided to put the money into a whole new tank and be done with it and have more room for our fish!
I was just suprirsed the way the new one is cycling. The first tank more or less followed the normal pattern of spikes in ammonia and nitrite. It just seemed strange for there to be nitrate in there when I never saw a spike in nitrite values. I will continue to test for a while to make sure everything is going OK.
I may move over the Cory's and see what happens with the water quality, and if all goes good move over the Gourami's after some time passes. Any other thoughts or advice would be well appreciated. Thanks !
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSUCarrie View Post
Byron - there are 4 danio's in the new tank and have been in there for the 2.5 weeks - so that and feeding them should be my source of ammonia. :) Thanks for checking though!!

Thanks TwisterMom... the smaller tank is going to be retired once everyone is safe and happy in the new tank - I had gotten a 12 gal bow front Eclipse about 4 years ago and have had problems with it ever since... the Filter won't start up automatically and I spend 5+ minutes restarting it each time it dies (which is regularly) or the power flicker. Then the transformer type box for the flight literally blew up! huge cracks in the box and everything.... So we decided to put the money into a whole new tank and be done with it and have more room for our fish!
I was just suprirsed the way the new one is cycling. The first tank more or less followed the normal pattern of spikes in ammonia and nitrite. It just seemed strange for there to be nitrate in there when I never saw a spike in nitrite values. I will continue to test for a while to make sure everything is going OK.
I may move over the Cory's and see what happens with the water quality, and if all goes good move over the Gourami's after some time passes. Any other thoughts or advice would be well appreciated. Thanks !
Great, my fault (getting old again...) missed the zebras before. In that case, I agree you are probably progressing well with the nitrification cycle.

The nitrate occurred because you transferred bacteria over; the nitrospira bacteria produced the nitrate when it used the nitrite, so it will show. In other words, you had all the bacteria from day one, and the slight spike in ammonia and now nitrite is the bacteria catching up to the higher food source from the fish. Nitrosomonas bacteria can multiply in approximately 7 hours under optimum conditions; that means that every 7 hours they double (they multiply by binary division). Nitrosira takes a bit longer. I'd say you're doing fine.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 View Post
I second both posts above.....just wantedt to ask byron what kind of fish that was on his avatar? very cool.
Avatar fish is Tatia perugiae [sometimes Centromochlus perugiae], common names Spotted Driftwood/Bogwood/Wood Cat. Here's a link to photos and info from Planet Catfish:
Centromochlus perugiae • Auchenipteridae • Cat-eLog • PlanetCatfish

I have a trio of these in my 115g Amazonian riverscape. They spend all daylight hours in tunnels in wood, only coming out well after total darkness. But they can be trained to appear at feeding time. When I slide the glass cover back, they appear at the entrance of their respective tunnels, then charge out and circle the wood until the bloodworms appear. Neat little fish, though you never see much of them.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
The nitrate occurred because you transferred bacteria over; the nitrospira bacteria produced the nitrate when it used the nitrite, so it will show. In other words, you had all the bacteria from day one, and the slight spike in ammonia and now nitrite is the bacteria catching up to the higher food source from the fish. Nitrosomonas bacteria can multiply in approximately 7 hours under optimum conditions; that means that every 7 hours they double (they multiply by binary division). Nitrosira takes a bit longer. I'd say you're doing fine.

Byron.
Great ! That was what I was wondering, I just did not figure it happening that quickly even with the bacteria on the decorations from the old tank!
Thanks for the info :)
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 02:24 PM
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If you can make your established media fit in the new filter, add what ever you can from the cycled tank and put it into the new tank including the gravel or sand. You can put the gravel/sand in filter media bags, if you do not wish to leave them in the new tank. It should be safe to go ahead and move all the fish over.

Test daily and be ready to do a water change if you get any readings for ammonia or nitrite. Don't add any new fish, till the tank is more stable.

*** and just for Byron, it would not hurt to add some bottled bacteria for a little extra cycle support.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-12-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome Thanks for all the help :) I'll try to post an update to how it all went. i know the fishes will enjoy more room to swim!!
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