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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question about cycling. My tank is about 3 or 4 years old. The last year the tank got disgusting looking but my 1 fish seemed to be ok. I know, I knew nothing of taking care of a tank… Well on Wednesday a week ago the 5th of March, I decided it was time to do something about it. I removed my fish removed and discarded most of the decorations that where in the tank cleaned the tank and substrate with water only and reassembled the tank and returned the fish. On Thursday the 6th I was so happy with how the tank looked I went out and bought another fish and then found this forum. I did have a test kit and after reading a few things here I tested and recorded the results every day. The question is, I have seen very little movement of any of the readings in the tests. Is it possible that the tank is already cycled? Here is what I have:
15 Gal Tank
2” Of rock substrate
1 Black Skirt Tetra
1 bushy/bristlenose pleco
1 medium sized bunch of Java Moss
Temp = 78deg
Ammonia = 0
PH = 7.6
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0
I have done 1 1/3 water change in this week period
Does this seem right? Next question if the chemical readings are all good do I still need to do a water change?
 

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You don't mention what sort of filter you have or how you cleaned it when you stripped the tank. If you had the filter in before you stripped the tank and didn't go over the top in cleaning it then your filter will already contain bacterial colonies to process the fish waste. Also in 15 gallons of water you have very low stocking which is putting very little strain on the filter. With the figures you have I can see no reason to do a water change as you have already performed one this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You don't mention what sort of filter you have or how you cleaned it when you stripped the tank. If you had the filter in before you stripped the tank and didn't go over the top in cleaning it then your filter will already contain bacterial colonies to process the fish waste. Also in 15 gallons of water you have very low stocking which is putting very little strain on the filter. With the figures you have I can see no reason to do a water change as you have already performed one this week.
My filter is a Aqua Tech 5-15 and all I did was rinse it out and replace the filter cartridge. I did nothing to the bio filter. The entire cleaning was rinsing with freshwater only no chemicals or soaps. So would it be safe to add a couple more fish or should I wait?
 

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I take it you mean freshwater out of the tap? Filter media should only be rinsed in old tank water to avoid any adverse effect on the bacteria. Having said that, and looking at your readings, it appears that no damage had been done. With the size of the tank and your current readings I would think you are OK to start increasing the number of fish.

Your Black Skirt should ideally be in a group of at least 5 or 6.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I take it you mean freshwater out of the tap? Filter media should only be rinsed in old tank water to avoid any adverse effect on the bacteria. Having said that, and looking at your readings, it appears that no damage had been done. With the size of the tank and your current readings I would think you are OK to start increasing the number of fish.

Your Black Skirt should ideally be in a group of at least 5 or 6.
I did not rinse the bio filter itself. My Black Skirt, ya well.... I know that... Now..... Will fix it..... Thanks for all your help.
 

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Sorry, meant to say as well. Don't forgot to keep measuring your water params after yo have added new fish just to be on the safe side. Happy fish hunting
I check my levels every day right now to be sure all is as it should be.
 

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The sure sign of a cycled tank is 0.0ppm ammonia ana nitrire and a slight increase in nitrate between water changes.

You should not have replaced your filter. That's where a lot of bacteria like to colonize. But if you just rinsed everything in warm water, there should be bacteria left in the tank and substrate to restart your cycle fairly quickly.

As suggested, test often for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The sure sign of a cycled tank is 0.0ppm ammonia ana nitrire and a slight increase in nitrate between water changes.

You should not have replaced your filter. That's where a lot of bacteria like to colonize. But if you just rinsed everything in warm water, there should be bacteria left in the tank and substrate to restart your cycle fairly quickly.

As suggested, test often for a while.
I did not replace the filter. Just the filter cartridge which is what you are supposed to change on the filter I have. There is a bio filter which I did not touch. New fish have been in several days and all levels are fine. More changes to come and I am hunting for a larger tank. :-D Seems like all the folks on Craigslist and such all think their used tanks are worth a small fortune! Will just go buy a new one soon....
 
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