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?
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.
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 :-)
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?
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.
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?
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.
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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