Quick cycling question. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quick cycling question.

I recently set up a new 55g tank, after the set up ran for a few days I knew it was time to kick the cycle off. I picked up 5 long fin danios to get the cycle going. Since I put the danios in 3 weeks have past with monitoring the water levels using API master kit. I havent had so much as a slight spike in any of the levels. I'm wondering if I should do anything or just keep being patient and wait for the ammonia to spike up on it's own? I remember with my 10g tank it took a while to cycle but 3 weeks without anything seems a little odd to me.

Thanks for any advice in advance!
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 09:57 AM
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Is your tank running a lot of live plants?
If so plants take up ammonia and so you might not even see the spike.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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I have no plants in this tank yet. I have the fish, gravel, and 1 nice size piece of drift wood which as far as I know shouldn't effect ammonia?
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 07:27 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

It is possible that the five small fish in the 55g will cycle the tank without causing noticeable rises in ammonia or nitrite. Let's hope so, because either will harm the fish seriously.

The more water volume, the more diluted the ammonia will be, and the bacteria can establish and handle it. Even so, I wouold not risk any fish, but toss in some fast-growing plants; floating are excellent for this.

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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 #5 of 16 Old 01-09-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

It is possible that the five small fish in the 55g will cycle the tank without causing noticeable rises in ammonia or nitrite. Let's hope so, because either will harm the fish seriously.

The more water volume, the more diluted the ammonia will be, and the bacteria can establish and handle it. Even so, I wouold not risk any fish, but toss in some fast-growing plants; floating are excellent for this.

Byron.
The thing that's really throwing me off from thinking this is that there is no nitrate it's reading 0ppm when I test it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-10-2013, 07:26 AM
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Chances are your tank is not obviously cycling due to the small fish load, as mentioned. You may not see a spike in ammonia but the bacteria will start growing, just slower according to the ammonia available... very low levels. This will produce nitrites in correspondingly low levels and nitrates will follow suit. Good for the fish but if you start adding more you may get the missing spike and, as Byron said, harm the fish.

I'd suggest going ahead and adding your plants as they will suck up any ammonia that is produced by your fish... enough plants and you avoid having to do the whole ammonia spike in the first place, better for the fish.

I have a 37 gallon with 13 fish, 40+ plants and have not seen any ammonia yet and the tank is about two weeks old.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-10-2013, 08:08 AM
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The thing that's really throwing me off from thinking this is that there is no nitrate it's reading 0ppm when I test it.
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In a larger tank with only a few small fish, everything is pushed out... it takes longer to get ammonia levels up to where nitrosomonas bacteria oxidize it into nitrites and that much longer before nitrobacter/nitrospira bacteria oxidize the nitrite into nitrates... (consider that your 55g is 5x+ bigger than your 10g was)

In any case, you're still better off adding floating plants (I like Anacharis) as they buffer the process making it much safer for the fish. This ensures against spikes in ammonia and/or nitrite that can harm or even kill the fish. An additional benefit is that the plants help purify the water and make excellent resting/hiding places for the fish. With plants in the process, in time the beneficial bacteria will develop as the tank becomes established to pick up any slack. Still, always add new stock just a few fish at a time, better allowing the system to adjust to the increased bio-load.

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post #8 of 16 Old 01-10-2013, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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My plan was to slowly migrate the fish from my 10 gallon over to the 55. Would it be safe to pick up a few of the plants you recommended and possibly add 2 more danios and maybe one of my tetras from the 10 gallon?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-10-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbib1089 View Post
My plan was to slowly migrate the fish from my 10 gallon over to the 55. Would it be safe to pick up a few of the plants you recommended and possibly add 2 more danios and maybe one of my tetras from the 10 gallon?
I'd suggest getting the plants in first, as many as you can manage, make sure the ammonia is staying at zero then move the fish as you planned. This just establishes your ammonia sink first, stabilizes the whole setup.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-10-2013, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'll tackel the plants this weekend in that case. Would it help to pick up some of the liquid cycle to help the process along as well?

Thanks for all the advice!
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