Please help me with my cycle - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me with my cycle

Sunday, the 18th I set up a 55 gallon with eco compete substrate. BEFORE I added ANY ammonia source, the water tests came back as:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
I have been adding food everyday since Sunday. Today, I tested the water and it came back as:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 20-40ppm
Could my tank have already cycled? I was preparing to wait 6-8 weeks. lol. Could it have been the eco complete that cycled the tank? It claims to already contain bacteria for cycling. Thanks.
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 05:31 PM
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I am not familiar with the product you used but I am leaning towards the tank is not cycled. I would test again and see what you get... Test the tap water as well.

Nitrifying bacteria can not survive drying out and there are also multiple spices with varying water chemistry requirements. Buying bacteria and introducing in your tank is no guarantee that the bacteria will survive the conditions of your local water/tank.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:03 PM
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I would add enough ammonia source to receive an ammonia reading and then see if I had nitrite and nitrate readings.

I would do this when I knew I would be home to test the water throughout the day and to see if the cycle was actually in place.

Pretty great if your tank did cycle in 3 days due to the substrate....

Let us know.

Have fun and be PATIENT!
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:06 PM
Your tank has not cycled. Throw a dead shrimp in there if you want an Ammonia source.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:19 PM
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I assume you intend live plants, hence the Eco-Complete substrate material, so plant the tank. Do NOT add ammonia of any sort. Faster growing plants (floating plants are ideal for this) are best. Once it is planted, add your first (few) fish. There will be no discernable cycle. Nothing could be simpler.

CarribSea does claim there is bacteria in E-C. I can't say there is, but that would explain your nitrates. Unless of course you have nitrates in the source water. Have you tested the tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

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 #6 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
I am not familiar with the product you used but I am leaning towards the tank is not cycled. I would test again and see what you get... Test the tap water as well.

Nitrifying bacteria can not survive drying out and there are also multiple spices with varying water chemistry requirements. Buying bacteria and introducing in your tank is no guarantee that the bacteria will survive the conditions of your local water/tank.
That, I do know. It was just a substrate that contained bacteria to help cycling. Not to cycle. My tap water doesn't contain any nitrates. I took another test today and got the same results. I haven't added any more ammonia. Should I add more or do a water change and try to start over?

Last edited by cjz96; 11-21-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cjz96 View Post
That, I do know. It was just a substrate that contained bacteria to help cycling. Not to cycle. My tap water doesn't contain any nitrates. I took another test today and got the same results. I haven't added any more ammonia. Should I add more or do a water change and try to start over?
We posted almost simultaneously. As there are no nitrates in the tap water, fine. Previous advice holds, plant the tank and away you go. But yes, do some major water changes to get rid of the ammonia, that might cause trouble.

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 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I assume you intend live plants, hence the Eco-Complete substrate material, so plant the tank. Do NOT add ammonia of any sort. Faster growing plants (floating plants are ideal for this) are best. Once it is planted, add your first (few) fish. There will be no discernable cycle. Nothing could be simpler.

CarribSea does claim there is bacteria in E-C. I can't say there is, but that would explain your nitrates. Unless of course you have nitrates in the source water. Have you tested the tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

Byron.
Just read this. Thank you! My tap water does not contain any nitrates. I have already added plants. Duckweed has also been added. Will I be able to put my first set of fish in? 7 panda corydoras?
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cjz96 View Post
Just read this. Thank you! My tap water does not contain any nitrates. I have already added plants. Duckweed has also been added. Will I be able to put my first set of fish in? 7 panda corydoras?
Yes on fish, but I would not make corys the first. They are especially sensitive to unstable water, and while it is not going to be the nitrification cycle there is some unstableness in every aquarium until the biology is established, which is usually 2-3 months.

What other fish are you intending? What plants (aside from floating Duckweed, which BTW is ideal for new tanks)?

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 #10 of 23 Old 11-21-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Yes on fish, but I would not make corys the first. They are especially sensitive to unstable water, and while it is not going to be the nitrification cycle there is some unstableness in every aquarium until the biology is established, which is usually 2-3 months.

What other fish are you intending? What plants (aside from floating Duckweed, which BTW is ideal for new tanks)?

Byron.
It was a mini community combined with my female betta sorrority. I was hoping corys, tetras, and possibly harlequin rasboras. The plants are: Wisteria, foxtail, micro swords, hairgrass, java fern, java moss, and duckweed. I just picked up and switched to the API Master Test Kit and nitrates are apparently in my water. What should I do?
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