Tank Setup - Weird Cycle Choice
Ok, here's my problem people..
I've read all about the cycling process and taken on board all advice, there are so many different ways of doing this it seems. Anyway, this is what i've done to date (slightly controversial I know!):
Set up the tank (65 litre tank), removed the chlorine and chloramine. Added the tetrafin cycle and left for a few days.
Added plants and 6 neons last thursday (12th). have been feeding once a day since.
Saturday, Tested PH (was between 7 and 8), tested ammonia (Nil), nitrite (virtually none), nitrate (Virtually none).
Yesterday, i removed approx 8 litres of my water and added 8 litres of a friend's tank water as he was changing his water, the theory behind this is that he would have naturally occuring ammonia in his water for my bacteria to convert to nitrite.
Checked Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels today. Ammonia nil. Nitrite was now above 1 possible 1.3 (Whatever the unit is) the nitrate was about 80 (Whatever the reading is).
I am surprised to find such a jump in nitrite and nitrate ?!
I know this isn't the most straight forward of tank set ups but any advice would be appreciated to help with the situation.
Well the first thinkg I can see is you didn't say anything about feeding the tank after the initial setup. Without decaying food in the water or other food souce the bacteria had no food to multiply.
I am not sure about what you wanted to get with the old water form the other persons tank. There should have been no ammonia from an established tank, not measureable levels anyway.
The feeding is going to trigger the ammonia, then the nitrites then the nitrates. The nitrates could be from the other persons tank but isn't uncommon in a new tank to see such levels.
Just keep up with your testing and water changes. Also, if you are using the all in one test strips, try to get a liquid regent test kit as soon as you can. The test strips are often inaccurate and can give misleading readings.
Thanks for replying.
I'm using a liquid testing kit at the moment made by nutrafin.
There's still virtually no trace of ammonia but the test for nitrate and nitrite shows dark colouring of the water. I found one of the neons dead today, bizarrely under the stones up against the glass. I dont know if the poor blighter got trapped or its down to the chemistry in the tank, the other fish look fine and show no signs of distress that the books and web sites describe.
With the level of nitrate looking over 50mg/l should i look to do a 25% water change?
I'm confused, I appreciate that the tank should do a full cycle but its difficult to know what do next as i think these levels of nitrite and nitrate may be bad for the fish.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
50% water change right now and again every other dya until the levels drop to where they belong. When the nitrites are 0 and nitrates are below 30ppm then you can stop the water changes and test every other day to make sure they stay down. Your tank will settle and it will become easily managed with a 50% weekly water change you just have to be patient.
Hi, I took your advice and carried out the water change. The nitrite and nitrate levels remained fairly high.
I decided to let the tank carry on as it were and resisted another water change. I was afraid of creating a mini-cycle and pushing the progress back.
The 2 weeks the fish have been in there they've showed no sign of stress at all.
I tested the nitrite levels yesterday, they've dropped to less than 0.3 (I was over the moon!). Ammonia reading is non-existant and the nitrate levels are still high. From the results, I'm guessing my cycle is pretty much done. No ammonia, nearly no nitrites and the nitrates are present.
IF you too agree the cycle is nearly complete, am I ok to add a couple more fish. Maybe 1 or 2?
If so, what fish would you recommend that I add that will live in harmony with the neons? They've been warriors for the last two weeks, I want them to be happy with any new additions ;)
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thats great :)
How do I know when its complete?
Yah, wait until the cycle is COMPLETELY finished. No nitrates and no ammonia. Then you can add slowly.
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