Nitrogen Cycle - Should I be happy or worried? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-29-2007, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrogen Cycle - Should I be happy or worried?

It has been about 27 days now and I'm guessing that my new 29 g tank is almost finished cycling or as I presume. It seems none of my 5 fish had showing signs of problems because they eat alot and are very active. I have 2 platies, 2 black skirt tetras and 2 gouramis. I did add plants and green algae are forming on the gravel. I'm using an aquaclear 70 w/ foam & carbon. Also I had no cloudy water due to bacteria bloom. I did use seachem prime to eliminate chorine/chlormine so I doubt the bacteria are dying. I also use refrigerator filtered water for top-offs and once accidentally added tap water to top off 1 gallon; which occured on day 16 or so.

Should I be worried at the fact that there could be a problem w/ the cycling or should I be happy that its cycling and my fish are thriving?
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-29-2007, 07:32 PM
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You'll be able to tell whether it's cycling properly with a simple test kit. Master Test kits, which test for all necessary water parameters are only like $40.00. Pick it up, it'll be your best friend.

After 27 days, I'd say there's a generous amount of nitrifying bacteria built up. However it's still immature, and your filter will need more time to become fully colonized.

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-29-2007, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MattD
You'll be able to tell whether it's cycling properly with a simple test kit. Master Test kits, which test for all necessary water parameters are only like $40.00. Pick it up, it'll be your best friend.
I don't think I want to spend that much money on a test kit. I have some hardy fish so I don't have to worry about how high levels are unless a fish shows signs of stress. I was thinking of guessing and waiting 4-8 weeks.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-30-2007, 07:14 AM
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Even after your cycle is complete, it is highly recommended that you test the water weekly as ammonia etc can appear long time after the cycle has been completed.

How much did you spend on the tank/ornaments/gravel/filter/heater/etc? My guess is that it was a fair bit more than $40. If you're willing to spend whatever you spent to set it all up then surely you're willing to spend an extra $40 to ensure the wellbeing of the fish which haven't asked to be put into an uncycled tank where their wellbeing will not be monitored.

I'm not having a go at you - mistakes are often made when we start out and we have all been there. I'm just saying: is it really fair that the fish should suffer, and live in the equivalent of a septic tank, as long as they do live and aren't killed by ammonia poisoning etc because you don't really want to spend $40 to buy a test kit.

I'm guessing by your questions that you are new to fishkeeping, like I said, though obviously I could be wrong. In that case I'll give you a bit more information about cycling and the after effects:

There is no time limit for a cycle, it can take as little as a week or two, or as much as a number of months.

Any fish present during cycling are likely to be subject to permanent, irreversible damage that is not usually immediately noticeable, so you do have to worry about levels, long before a fish appears stressed. Nitrate poisoning is possibly most true of this as it can cause liver problems, just as one example, which would take a long time to show up on the fish.

After cycling, it does not mean that ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will remain at 0, 0, < 40ppm. They can each go up at any point which is why it's important to test the water on a regular basis.

The test kit will last you a very long time so it's $40 spread over this long time.

Good luck with your tank.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-30-2007, 08:31 PM
Ditto the test kit. The API kit has over 700 tests in it so it's really economical. You don't want to guess things are fine, add fish too quickly and then run into trouble.
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