Newbie cycling question..
Hi all and might I say what a great forum you have here!
I have a brand new 64 gallon tank that has been running for a week with a few live plants in it. Today I bought 6 pearl danios for the cycling process.
I am not to clued into what im supposed to be looking for next and how long the process takes?
Im aware the ammonia should go up and then it should drop off and the nitrite will go up and then that will drop off and nitrate goes up and then a 50% water change and the tank is cycled?
Im confused about how many water changes I should be doing at this stage and when I take the parameters tests what levels should I be reading to let me know to do a water change?
If someone could clarify this for me that would be a great help to me!
Thanks so much
Oh yea current params: ammonia 0-0.25ppm, nitrate 0, nitrite 0, PH 7.4
Hello and welcome to Fishforum!
Test the water daily or at least every other day (before any water change). Try to keep the ammonia and/or nitrites under 0.5 ppm. If it tests at or above this do a water change. It sounds like you are using a liquid test kit hopefully? They're much more accurate than the test strips. Don't clean or change the filter cartridge until the tank is fully cycled. If it gets really gunked up gently swish the filter in some used tank water. The filter media is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria colonizes so you want to make sure it gets well established. The cycle process can vary in how long it takes but generally anywhere from 4-6 weeks or longer. Once your tank is fully cycled and you have steady readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some reading for nitrates you can switch to weekly water changes to keep your nitrates low.
I agree with what jeaninel said 100%.
Any idea what's going in the tank once the cycle is complete?
Great explanation Jean, thanks ever so much! I have a good idea about what kind of tank im gonna do.. probabaly:
6 pearl danios (cycling fish)
20-24 rummy nose tetras
4 pearl gourami (3f m1)
2 german blue rams (1m 1f)
So you know...
Those Pearl Danios will lead a life of suffering for putting them through the cycling process... It will burn their gills and they will never be able to breathe properly...
Furthermore, since you find fish cycling a necessity, use Zebra danios... They are hardier than pearls and are the industry standard for fish cycling
Keep in mind that finding female German blue rams can be very difficult so be sure you can sex them.
Have you ever seen Asian Rummy Nose? I recently saw them for first time. I think they are gorgeous. Some lfs will call Asian Rummynose Tetra but I'm sure it is not a Tetra since it is missing adipose fin which is characteristic of Family Characidae. I believe they are some sort Cyprinids ( Rasbora ).
As far as German Blue Rams, if not sure how to sex them, one way is to stand in front of tankful of German Blue Rams at lfs. In NYC, very common fish and some lfs has in great numbers in one tank. what you can look for is pair that may be bonding or mated, trying by taking over one corner of tank, chasing away all others.
If you happen to see such action, ask the staff to put the container toward the corner they have taken over and chase them into the container. This way you know you got the possibilities of increasing number of tank at home. If chased them with net, you may not get the same pair since will blend in with other Rams. Males are usually larger and more brilliant in colors. Dorsal Rays are another method to distinguish but it would'nt be easy w/ German Blue Ram.
Another method is the shape of breeding tube (sharp for Male and blunt for female) when they are breeding. I can't seem to remember the term for it since I been out of breeding for a while and getting older.
LMK if you need any assitance. More than happy to share what I learned from my experiences with fish for about few decades.
Good luck and Enjoy the beauty.
I wouldnt have cycled with the plants... and strongly feel its going to set you back.. regardless of what others say. Also, hold off on the water changes until you see a spike...
"They wont suffer too much because I will do daily water changes and check parameters all the time.. "
Consistency is the key.. check it every other day... keep a fish count and watch where they are in the tank, take note of their movments ect., while your daily water changes may make life a tad easier on the danios, i feel its going to get you into a partial cycle, you'll add fish, and have mass chaos.
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