Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   Fishless Cycling!! (

M496 05-22-2011 04:46 PM

Fishless Cycling!!
Hi all,
I am new to this forum but have been fishkeeping for about a year now. A couple days ago I bought another five gallon tank. Other than the one I just bought, I have a five gallon simular to it that contains three platies. That tank has been through all the "mess ups" I have made from day one and I bought this new tank to kind of start off fresh again. In my new tank, I put in gravel that I used to have in my other five gallon tank but took out about six months ago when I replaced it with sand. This gravel hasnt completely dried out from being in a bag with some water. Do you think it still has any bacteria still on it? Anyway, I filled up the tank with tap water and let it run for about thirty minutes and then put declorinator in. I also took the filter from my running five gallon and put it into the new one.
Yesterday, I added ammonia until the levels said around 2-5 ppm. It took me a water change and many tests to kind of get it around 3-5 ppm. Today, I did another test and the ammonia was around 4ppm to 5 ppm and the nitrites were around .25 and .50 ppm. Is something wrong because the nitrites showed up on the second day? Or is it just because I put in the gravel and filter that have been in my other tank?
I just want to make sure I am doing this all right! :)
thank you!

zof 05-22-2011 07:12 PM

Because there was no food source for the bacteria in the gravel you can pretty much assume its dead for sitting around for 6 months. Since you seeded your filter from another running tank the increase in speed in the cycle is to be expected, just think of it as starting out on week 2 or 3 instead of starting out on week 1.

Btw welcome to TFK enjoy your stay you will find many helpful people around.

M496 05-22-2011 09:09 PM

I have another question: Are three platies too many to keep in a five gallon? I am tranforing my three platies from the old 5 gallon to the new one once the cycle is done. I keep the water clean and clear and have aquatic plants in the tank (which i will also move to the new tank once cycled). Is this a healthy environment?

zof 05-22-2011 09:17 PM

You could probably get away with it but most people would recommend keeping them in at least a 10 gallon tank, I would say 2 in a 5 gallon would be optimal since they are a pretty messy fish, but if you keep an eye on the water quality 3 would be ok.

M496 05-22-2011 09:36 PM

Thank you! Good to know...I'll definatly keep an eye on those levels. I currently have one filter which I am using in my old five gallon tank for my fish and plants. I am not cycling my new tank with a heater. Will this significantly slow down the cycle?

M496 05-23-2011 11:19 PM

Today is the 3rd day of cycling. Currently my ammonia is around 3-5 and my nitrites are up to 2-3. How does this sound? I havent tested for nitrates yet. Also one more question. Once I am done cycling how long do I wait to add the fish from my other tank? Obviously, I dont want to wait too long b/c the bacteria would die. Also, can I add my 2 plants and 3 fish all the same day? Or should I just add the plants one day and the fish the next? If I do this, should I continue to add ammonia until the fish are in the tank?

Byron 05-24-2011 10:43 AM

When ammonia and nitrite are zero for a couple of consecutive days, you are set. Do a major water change (3/4 of the tank), with a good conditioner, then add the plants and fish. As you are adding live plants, they will assimilate most of the ammonia anyway, especially if they are faster growing species.

You can actually avoid the whole "cycle" thing with enough live plants.


M496 05-24-2011 05:26 PM

Thank you. So once my cycle is finished can I add the plants when I do the 3/4 water change? I find it easier to put plants in with low water level. Then I would add the water and fish.

Byron 05-24-2011 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by M496 (Post 682290)
Thank you. So once my cycle is finished can I add the plants when I do the 3/4 water change? I find it easier to put plants in with low water level. Then I would add the water and fish.


And as I forgot previously, welcome to the forum.:-)

M496 05-24-2011 05:49 PM

Thank you for making me feel welcomed! I really enjoy this forum!

Its now day four into the cycle and I just tested the water levels.
Ammonia: 3-5
Nitrite: 2-4
Nitrate: 0-5. its probably around .5 or 1 but the test only goes from o to 5 (yellow being 0 and orange being 5. my test is light orange)

Should I be cutting back from keeping the ammonia level at 5? I'm putting in as many drops of ammonia (janitorial strength) that it needs to get back up to 5. Should I cut this in half or just keep trudging like i have been?

Thank you for all your help so far:)

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome