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shadetreeme 10-21-2010 07:37 PM

I am confused about cycling
You guys have been soooo helpful already..... but I am lookin for more help

I bought a 55 gal tank that was up and running and I brought most of the water and all the decorations and sand with it. I set it up withe the few fish that came with it and have been adding fish from there. The tank has a Whisper 60 and an Aquaclear 70 filters.
I just put a few small plants in the tank
I installed the tank on 10-8
The install acted as a 30-40% water change
I have been testing the water as I add fish with a good test kit (no strips)
every test has been
Amonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
ph was a little high at first but since adjustment it has been 7-7.2

I thought that there was suppose to be ups and downs in the numbers. I have read people talk about a "stalled" cycle. Is that what I am dealing with???

This is what is in the tank now:
1) Rainbow Shark

Pleas let me know what you think.


zof 10-21-2010 08:14 PM

I'm a bit worried about your test kit/testing method, you should never have all 0 readings past the first day of adding all new water.... (unless of course you have some sort of nitrate removal device which still would probably leave some nitrates). A stalled cycle along with a regular cycle would have high ammonia and/or nitrites and low nitrates at least for some time until the ammonia goes to 0 then a while later the nitrites will go to 0 and you will see your nitrate levels rise.

What test kit are you using, and what is your method for collecting/testing the water? You have a pretty heavy fish load, one that should be showing plenty of nitrates

shadetreeme 10-21-2010 10:06 PM

I am using an API fresh water master kit. I rinse and hand dry the tubes after each use. I have a 30cc syringe that I use to draw the water from the tank, but have tried just dipping the tubes in the tank with the same results.

shadetreeme 10-22-2010 08:17 AM

One more note tosdd....
I did have a swardtail die and I took it back to LFS with a water sample, and they got the same results.
I guess ...... if the fish are fine..... maybe I shouldn't worry.

Romad 10-22-2010 08:44 AM

I would think that with that many fish all at once your ammonia would be sky high without nitrites or nitrates. Something doesn't add up.

I had an established 75 gallon tank that was only about 50% stocked. I added 10 smallish fish at the same time and within two days I had ammonia.

Keep testing the water. And when you test for nitrates, shake the bejeesus out of bottle number two and the test tube for a good two minutes.

shadetreeme 10-22-2010 10:03 AM

I added fish a few at a time over a couple of weeks, but still alot in a small time period.

I am taking a sample to lfs to get tested today. Thanks for the tip about shaking the chem bottle.... I was not doing that.

jeaninel 10-22-2010 03:40 PM

Since this was a used tank that was already cycled you probably didn't have much of a mini cycle when you moved it. You used the original substrate and decorations which help a lot. Did you use the original filter also? Did you keep the filter media wet when you moved it? How long was it down while you moved and re-set it up?

shadetreeme 10-22-2010 04:56 PM

The tank came with a whisper 60 and an aquaclear 70 which I did keep in the water while we moved it. I did change the carbon filters in the 60 about 2 days after setup because they were pretty clogged.

The entire move from Full to Full wasabout 3 hours.

I think I have pinpointed where my confusion lies.......
Is the "cycle" a one time thing??? I was thinking that I was going to see a constant fluctuation in these numbers.
What I think I now understand is that once the tank has cycled I is a good thing to see all 0 in my test results.

PLEASE if I am still way off base let me know.

I did check on and it says that I am at 125% filtration.... so maybe that is helping.

jeaninel 10-22-2010 05:42 PM

Well a cycle tank will have 0 reading for ammonia and nitrites but you should have some reading for nitrates. Maybe re-test for those and be sure to shake the bottles as noted by Romad.

shadetreeme 10-27-2010 07:10 PM

I think the shaking made a difference. I am now showing 20 ppm Nitrate.
I think I read that it should not go over 40... is that right??
Tanks for all your help :-D

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