Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Cycling question (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/cycling-question-74177/)

Vnessa123456 07-03-2011 11:38 AM

Cycling question
 
I've had my tank set up with starter fish since June 2nd, so it's been about a month. Anytime I test my tank, I get 0 nitrate 0 nitrite and .25 ppm of ammonia.

What does this mean?

Shouldn't my tank have progressed at all in the month I've had it?? What am I doing wrong?

Reefing Madness 07-03-2011 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vnessa123456 (Post 721648)
I've had my tank set up with starter fish since June 2nd, so it's been about a month. Anytime I test my tank, I get 0 nitrate 0 nitrite and .25 ppm of ammonia.

What does this mean?

Shouldn't my tank have progressed at all in the month I've had it?? What am I doing wrong?

Your tank has not completed its cycle as of yet. Have you done a water change yet? It has progressed, or your trites and trates would be showing also.

Vnessa123456 07-03-2011 07:30 PM

I have done quite a few water changes. When I do a water change normally the next day the ammonia readout is 0, as well as nitrates and nitrites. The ammonia has yet to go very high like suggested in books. I read that the ammonia will go dangerously high before it dies out completely in the cycle, and this has not happened yet. The highest I've seen is .25ppm. I am using the API master fresh water test kit as well as easy test strips daily.

corry 07-03-2011 09:58 PM

Hi, I am in the same boat as you, set up since 19th June in my 56g and still only occassional reading of 0.25 ammonia (and not sure if thats me just wishing for the slight green colour), and NO nitrite, can't wait to get an ammonia spike, because like you, reading I have done says spike should have happened by now! Eager to start getting fish, but also want to do it right from the beginning for a healthy happy tank :-)

Vnessa123456 07-03-2011 10:00 PM

I'm terribly confused by all of this. I read that ammonia should spike and then go down, and then you should start to see nitrite and then nitrate. It concerns me that I haven't seen ANY nitrite or nitrate readings AT ALL now.

For people who have used starter fish to cycle their tanks, how long did it take for the cycle to complete?

lorax84 07-03-2011 10:28 PM

How often are you doing water change and how much are you changing? IMO fish-in cycles take a long time because by constantly trying to keep the ammonia down, you limit the amount of bacteria that can establish. This is especially true in a large tank with few fish. I am not trying to discourage you from doing water changes, or suggesting you get more fish, but in my experience a fish in cycle often takes longer than a fish-less one using something like fish food.

Reefing Madness 07-03-2011 10:30 PM

How many water changes have you done? And you say that when you do the change, your readings go to 0? Then they go back up? What do you have in the tank exactly? This may take you longer. Are you using RO/DI water? What are your readings on the water your using?

1077 07-03-2011 11:00 PM

If this tank is fishelss, then some source of ammonia either by pinch of fish food daily,,raw shrimp,or near daily dosing with liquid ammonia (no surfactan'ts) must be present.
Cycle begins when food source is present for bacteria.
Water changes will not slow down the cycle to any measureable degree for there is next to no bacteria found in the water, but rather the type of bacteria of benefit, will colonize on hard surfaces in the tank as well as the filter where it receives steady source of food,oxygen.
If fishes are present during maturing or (cycling) process, then water changes,and lot's of em,, are only hope for fish.
The smaller the tank holding fishes, the more frequent the water changes with or without tank being (cycled) if fishes health is of primary concern.
Dead fish will cycle a tank, but most don't buy fishes to kill them.

lorax84 07-03-2011 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 722539)
If this tank is fishelss, then some source of ammonia either by pinch of fish food daily,,raw shrimp,or near daily dosing with liquid ammonia (no surfactan'ts) must be present.
Cycle begins when food source is present for bacteria.
Water changes will not slow down the cycle to any measureable degree for there is next to no bacteria found in the water, but rather the type of bacteria of benefit, will colonize on hard surfaces in the tank as well as the filter where it receives steady source of food,oxygen.
If fishes are present during maturing or (cycling) process, then water changes,and lot's of em,, are only hope for fish.
The smaller the tank holding fishes, the more frequent the water changes with or without tank being (cycled) if fishes health is of primary concern.
Dead fish will cycle a tank, but most don't buy fishes to kill them.

Reducing the amount of ammonia, the food source for bacteria, most definitely inhibits bacterial growth. Not to say that someone doing a fish in cycle shouldn't be doing lots of water changes, but if you are doing large daily water changes that keep your ammonia under .25ppm you are going to spend a lot more time cycling your tank than dong a fishless cycle and letting you ammonia spike up to 1-2ppm

1077 07-04-2011 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lorax84 (Post 722559)
Reducing the amount of ammonia, the food source for bacteria, most definitely inhibits bacterial growth. Not to say that someone doing a fish in cycle shouldn't be doing lots of water changes, but if you are doing large daily water changes that keep your ammonia under .25ppm you are going to spend a lot more time cycling your tank than dong a fishless cycle and letting you ammonia spike up to 1-2ppm

Have used both methods and have not found that one is quicker than the other.(bacteria develops at near same rate for both methods regardless of food available.)
I agree with you that with fish in the tank, water changes are much better than allowing ammonia to kill the fish, but there is no evidence that I have seen, or expierienced, that indicates that water changes slow cycling.With fishless method you add food near daily for bacteria and no harm to fishes.
With fishes, food for bacteria is created daily through poop and respiration) and water changes to dilute this food or waste,are needed to prevent toxins from killing stock.
Either way, food for bacteria is being created in assembly line fashion,(bacteria is fed) and water changes will not slow the assembly line or production of waste to any measureable degree, (maybe a day or two in my expierience.) That's not much .


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