Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Ashetto24 01-10-2010 02:33 PM

Tank cycling - stalled?
Hi all -i am new here so I apologize if this post is quite long. I was wondering if anyone could lead me to find a graph of the nitrogen cycle. Not sure if I am doing too much or not enough of something to find this cycle stalled.

A little background on my tank:

20 gallon w/ 6 Serpae tetra. Decent amount of Java moss in the tank. The tank has been up and running for 15 days.

I started testing the ammonia levels after a week of having the fish in there. After testing 2x daily I have never let my ammonia levels exceed .50ppm. Normally they are .25ppm or under....and lately I have been able to accomplish getting the levels down to 0ppm for about 12 hours or so. I have accomplished this through daily water changes between 75-80%...also with cleaning the gravel. I feed the fish once a day and I feed them right before I do a water change so I can siphon any additional food if there is any.

My question is...when should I be expecting any presence of nitrite in the tank? Not sure if it is too soon to look for nitrite in the tank. My tank temperature is about 77 F and I keep the lights on until about 10pm at night (I am beginning to think that is too much)

Thanks in advance for any advice!

iamntbatman 01-10-2010 02:42 PM

It depends on so many factors that are beyond your ability to measure that there's really no way to just tell you how quick it will happen.

You can try bumping the tank temperature up a couple of degrees. Serpaes will do just fine at about 80*F, which will encourage bacteria growth.

If you have any other tanks or know someone who does, you can ask to borrow some filter media, decor or substrate from his tank to help seed your own. A filter media bag of gravel from an established tank placed in a high-flow area on your own substrate would help, or putting some of his media into your filter (in addition to whatever you've already got in there).

Angel079 01-10-2010 03:13 PM

Having plants in there and being such a lil tank, you may not see any NO peaks at all. The plants absorb it to an extent and utilize it, only when its getting so much that they can not absorb it any more is when you'd get a reading.

PRichs87 01-10-2010 03:41 PM

The fact that you are almost instantly siphoning out the extra food would stop large amounts of ammonia from staying your water also and the water changes.

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