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Discussion Starter #1
I've been testing my water anywhere from once daily to every other day to keep a tab on things.
The ammonia has been approximately .25, nitrite =0 and the nitrate is about 2.5
Water changes have been averaging once a week to once every 10 days or so. I do approximately 20%.
Do I have to wait until the ammonia reads 0 again? How do I lower it- just time or do I need to actually do something?
Is it safe enough to add a few fish?
Forgot to mention: The tank was set up on Jan 1st.

Also, does anyone have any upside down catfish? Just curious, as I saw some yesterday. Didn't know anyone that had any.
 

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you should wait until the ammonia reads zero. There are no fish in this tank? What are the readings from your water straight out of the tap? I'm sure someone here can help you with the upside down cats...I haven't kept them in years and that was back in the dark ages where I didn't put much effort into determining the needs of the fish. Time will lower the ammonia and so would water changes...thats why I'm wondering what the base readings on the tap water is. You might be able to get away with a small fish or two (not sure what size your tank is) but it would be better to just wait it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are 6 danios in there, that have been in there since Jan4th.
I don't know the readings straight from the tap off hand.
The ammonia was zero until the 11th, which is when it started showing traces.
It's a 29gallon tank.
 

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lol i remember you, i reccomended the danios lol, how are they doing

Hmm i would add some type of bacteria in there, whether it be cultured gravel from an extablish tank or some bacteria in a bottle (bio-spira works well as well as stress zyme) add those things until your ammonia is zero, then dont add anymore as the bacteria will start to become dependant on that stuff if you use it for too long.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I'm obviously going to continue testing the water. I was just hoping it would be ready now or at least soon.
SUch a big tank with little danios is boring:-/ It's nice, but I'm so ready to add a few more exciting fish.
I'll keep an eye out bio spira or stress zyme. In the meantime I'll keep testing and anticipating.
 

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ok, a good sign of a tank that is starting to mature is brown algae, otherwise known as diatoms. Although they may look bad they are a good sign on your tank getting ready for a better load.
 

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Two small danio in a big tank are making for a slow but steady cycle. It sounds like you have been keeping good tabs on the ammonia so that is a good thing. It shouldn't take too much longer to complete your cycle, typically 6-8 weeks is all it takes. At that time, when your ammonia reaches 0 regularly you can add fish slowly to increase your bioload and let your bacteria population catch up to it.

You may or may not get diatoms, I saw them in one tank and not the other two so it is not always a good indicator. As for biospira or other bacteria products, it would really be a waste at this time because your tank is already showing nitrates which says the cycle is well on it's way and the bateria are already established.

Good job on the cycle and watching the parameters. Is not easy to do it with fish and keep them healthy. To get the levels down, larger water changes will help, 30-50% once a week and make sure to add dechlor to each change. Have patience, it won't be too long and it will be time to add a couple fish.
 

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I have one upside down catfish. He definately nocturnal, even more so than my pleco. He usually hides under a formation of rocks most of the day. I kept on thinking I lost him for the first week or so. Otherwise he's a great fish, just don't expect to see much of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The tank has been coming along rather nicely so far. Actually haven't had many complaints at all. The only thing, which i understand to be normal, was the cloudy appearance to the water in the beginning. It's back to being crystal clear again, so all is good.
If you think it will be a waste to get the bacteria products, I'll hold off.
I haven't seen the diatoms yet, but I haven't done a super close inspection. Life is pretty hectic right now.

The fish are very healthy and active. The pecking order has greatly decreased in terms of the one fish bullying everyone else. For the most part, it's kept to a minimum it seems, and they all seem happy. All 6 danios were from the same tank at the pet store.

What about the filter? It was put in on Jan 1st. When should I change it? Should I hold off bc it's cycling? Haven't done anything yet, it was just a thought for down the line. I know the package said 4-6 weeks is generally how long one will last before changing.
 

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if you are changing everything submersed in the filter (the filter media bag) you will need to recycle the tank all over again, and every time you change the filter, its another cycle. IMO get a filter that has separate compartments and at least once compartment that you wont change
 

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What kind of filter are you using? If there is a sponge of some kind in there don't change that as it is where most of your beneficial bacteria live. The carbon however can be changed without adversely affecting the rest of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I obviously wouldn't change where beneficial bacteria is. I was referring to the carbon.
Today will be the 4 week mark. So I guess anytime between now and the 6 week mark would be okay.
 

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yes that would be fine to change the carbon now, what would be even better is to not use carbon since carbon is just a cover-up for mistakes. Obviously keep some carbon on hand but dont use any in the tank until needed. But then again it is your choice
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I forgot to mention this earlier.
I took a closer look at my tank, and I'm pretty sure I saw diatoms on some stuff.
 

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that may be a good sign, my diatoms started growing 3 days before i had finished cycling, the diatoms will go away in time but only to be taken over by green algae.
 

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DanaJ said:
Well I'm obviously going to continue testing the water. I was just hoping it would be ready now or at least soon.
SUch a big tank with little danios is boring:-/ It's nice, but I'm so ready to add a few more exciting fish.
I'll keep an eye out bio spira or stress zyme. In the meantime I'll keep testing and anticipating.
I hear you there! My 3 little tiger barbs make my 26 gallon tank look empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The diatoms are very very noticeable now.
I can't wait to add more, get some more life in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah , I had a list of narrowed down choices... Was awhile ago though, and I haven't looked at it recently. lol Once I find it, I'll post it;)
 
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