Jump to content
fish10

New member, tank set up questions

Recommended Posts

Hello! I am looking forward to getting goldfish in the near future, but for now I'm researching and taking my time to (hopefully) set things up properly with a fishless cycle. Advice is welcome and appreciated.

I tested the tap water first, with the following results: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • High Range pH:  7.5
  • Ammonia:  0
  • Nitrite:  0
  • Nitrate:  0

I added Flourite black sand with a few rocks and a java fern, and the filter has been running for a couple days. I retested the water for a baseline (before I planned on adding ammonia), with these results:

  • High Range pH:  8.3
  • Ammonia:  0
  • Nitrite:  0
  • Nitrate:  3-5?

Do the elevated pH and Nitrate levels make sense? Is there anything else I should consider before adding the ammonia (using the Fishless Cycle guide on this site)?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its interesting that your ph went up after the sand and rocks went in.

I would say go ahead and get your ammonia going. Keep an eye on the ph.....

:welcome

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback! 

I added the ammonia today and am now waiting... :whistle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1 of the fishless cycle, I slowly added ammonia until I got the following readings:

  • High Range pH:  8.4
  • Ammonia:  4.0
  • Nitrite:  0.0
  • Nitrate:  0.0

Today is Day 7 of the cycle:

  • High Range pH:  8.2
  • Ammonia:  3.0
  • Nitrite:  1.0
  • Nitrate:  5.0

I did add an Anubias and some marimo moss balls, but that is the only change from Day 1. I wasn't expecting to see Nitrites/Nitrates yet? Is this unexpected? Are there any adjustments I should make? 

IMG_20200703_204848_538.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there,

You did a good thing. Plants can help with cycling....now that the nitrites are at 1ppm you will need to do some water changes to keep it below 1ppm. Higher than 1 can stall the cycle. 😲

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, ok. Thanks for the info. 

How much water should I change out? 50%? More? Or whatever it takes to get nitrites back to 0? 

I appreciate the input. I wasn't planning on water changes until much later in the process... Still learning. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, fish10 said:

Ah, ok. Thanks for the info. 

How much water should I change out? 50%? More? Or whatever it takes to get nitrites back to 0? 

I would do 50% then test the nitrites and ammonia. Get the nitrites down. Then add your ammonia back in. Once your ammonia is being consumed in the cycle. You will be good.

This is the hard part.

5 hours ago, fish10 said:

I appreciate the input. I wasn't planning on water changes until much later in the process... Still learning. :)

Your doing great 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm understanding you correctly, the plants helped push me into Week 4 of the fishless cycling (based on the article here) in terms of nitrites?

Here's what I did: 

1) 50% water change with this result:

  • Ammonia:  0.25
  • Nitrite:  2.0

I can only assume that the nitrites continued to elevate between early yesterday when I measured and tonight before I changed the water, because after a 50% water change, the nitrite levels increased (they were 1.0 yesterday morning; should have re-tested before the water change tonight).

2) I then did a 75% water change with this result:

  • Ammonia:  0.0
  • Nitrite:  0.5

3) Added ammonia to bring it back to:

  • Ammonia:  3.0-4.0 range

Will I have to check levels every day and do water changes if nitrites again rise above 1.0? And also monitor for adding more ammonia if it drops below a certain level?

At what point do I add Prime? 

Again, I can't thank you enough for the guidance! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tested the parameters again after ~24 hours (from what I did in the last post), so this is Day 9 of the fishless cycle:

  • High Range pH:  8.2
  • Ammonia:  1.0
  • Nitrite:  5.0
  • Nitrate:  20.0

Am I doing something wrong? It looks more similar to what should happen around Day 30, instead of Day 9, based on what I read? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, fish10 said:

Tested the parameters again after ~24 hours (from what I did in the last post), so this is Day 9 of the fishless cycle:

  • High Range pH:  8.2
  • Ammonia:  1.0
  • Nitrite:  5.0
  • Nitrate:  20.0

Am I doing something wrong? It looks more similar to what should happen around Day 30, instead of Day 9, based on what I read? 

Wow, that was a jump.

Okay your tank is doing well. I would only add enough ammonia to get it to just 1ppm.

If the nitrites are above 1ppm it will stall the cycle. So let's do a 60% water change. Test it again. If your ammonia is still at 1ppm don't add anymore. Right now your tank is cycling, but I think we might have added to much ammonia....thats my fault as I been busy and didn't get back to ya... 😲

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might be just about right to add fish. Once your cycle can consume the ammonia in 24 hours and you have 0 nitrites and some nitrates, your good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow, ok! Hopefully I've got the hang of it now - will test parameters again this evening, do a water change, and see what I've got tomorrow. 

Thanks so much for your help. I was expecting to wait a few more weeks to add fish. I guess the live plants played a part in expediting the cycle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/8/2020 at 12:11 PM, fish10 said:

Oh wow, ok! Hopefully I've got the hang of it now - will test parameters again this evening, do a water change, and see what I've got tomorrow. 

Thanks so much for your help. I was expecting to wait a few more weeks to add fish. I guess the live plants played a part in expediting the cycle. 

How are things going?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for checking in, it's coming along! Day 14 of the cycle today.

I've done a couple water changes since Wednesday to keep the nitrites in check. The ammonia I add is being fully consumed within a day so I think I'm on track? But the nitrite level is still elevated. Once I *think* it's fully cycled, I'm planning on adding 4.0 ammonia to ensure the ammonia/nitrite levels will be 0 after 24 hours. 

Then...it's fish time! :D I've been looking for a couple slim-bodied fantails, but haven't had too much luck sourcing them. It seems to be hit or miss, so I'm open to suggestions. :idont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/12/2020 at 12:08 PM, fish10 said:

Thanks for checking in, it's coming along! Day 14 of the cycle today.

I've done a couple water changes since Wednesday to keep the nitrites in check. The ammonia I add is being fully consumed within a day so I think I'm on track? But the nitrite level is still elevated. Once I *think* it's fully cycled, I'm planning on adding 4.0 ammonia to ensure the ammonia/nitrite levels will be 0 after 24 hours. 

I would only feed it now 1-2 poms of ammonia. I think that's what's making your nitrites going high. How high is it getting?

On 7/12/2020 at 12:08 PM, fish10 said:

Then...it's fish time! :D I've been looking for a couple slim-bodied fantails, but haven't had too much luck sourcing them. It seems to be hit or miss, so I'm open to suggestions. :idont

That's what I like too. I just gave away a nice fantail. She/ he was my fall fry.

Have you looked at koi shops or moms and pop shops?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7. When you first register a nitrite reading, drop the ammonia concentration down to 1ppm. From now on you will dose 1ppm of ammonia. Allow ammonia to drop near 0ppm before raising ammonia back to 1ppm. It is important to begin testing nitrates at this point in the cycle.

9. If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, koko said:

I would only feed it now 1-2 poms of ammonia. I think that's what's making your nitrites going high. How high is it getting?

A couple days ago the ammonia had fallen to 0 with Nitrite=5.0 and Nitrate=30.0, so I did a 75% water change. I attached a pic of what the levels are today. The ammonia is pretty straight forward, but want to make sure I'm reading the Nitrite/Nitrate correctly? The side-by-side pic of the Nitrate shows the difference in color when I hold the tube either 1/2" away from the chart (Left), or directly on the chart (Right). It changes the color quite a bit. 

7 hours ago, koko said:

7. When you first register a nitrite reading, drop the ammonia concentration down to 1ppm. From now on you will dose 1ppm of ammonia. Allow ammonia to drop near 0ppm before raising ammonia back to 1ppm. It is important to begin testing nitrates at this point in the cycle.

9. If nitrites reach a concentration of 2ppm, do a large water change and add ammonia back in. Nitrites higher than 2ppm can sometimes stall the cycle, so water changes are necessary to keep these lower.

This is exactly what I've been doing - if Ammonia reads 0 (checking it daily or every other day), then I do a large water change (because the Nitrites are always elevated also), and then add Ammonia back in to bring it to 1.0. So looking at my levels today, it seems like I'm close to being fully cycled (once the Nitrites fall on their own)?

8 hours ago, koko said:

That's what I like too. I just gave away a nice fantail. She/ he was my fall fry.

Have you looked at koi shops or moms and pop shops?

There is one local shop near me that has a ton of different types of fish, but in the couple times I've called, they don't seem to know what they'll have until the week it comes in. They also weren't sure whether they had Ryukins or something else. And my understanding is that it's difficult to tell when they are young whether they are Ryunkin or slim-bodied? (This is all based on what I've read, I don't really know :)). There is a local Koi shop also, but they said they don't guarantee their goldfish for indoor aquariums (understandable) and they only have 4" fantails in stock, and weren't sure what kind they were. I'm sort of on hold anyway, until I get this tank squared away... hopefully I'll find the perfect goldfish pair once the time comes!

PhotoCollage_20200715_201858575.jpg

IMG_20200715_193949.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always read mine lifted off the card. Always look at the tubs in the same matter all the time.

Man so so close to a cycled tank. 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know, so close... almost there!

I've refrained from cleaning the tank at all since I'm in the middle of the cycle, and some algae is starting to grow... Green algae on the sides of the tank and brown on the plants/wood. I'm assuming that's ok during the cycle and I should wait to clean it until it's fully cycled? (I'm having a hard time NOT cleaning it...) 😁

IMG_20200717_142429.jpg

IMG_20200717_142634.jpg

IMG_20200717_142702.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh you can clean it off. It would be good as this will go into the filter and make more Bio bugs in the filter :)

Just dont clean the filter flosses out yet. :) this is where your bio bugs like to live. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Cycle Day 24...

Yesterday my levels were:

  • High Range pH:  8.2
  • Ammonia:  0.0
  • Nitrite:  0.25
  • Nitrate:  5.0

I did a water change and added ammonia to bring it to 1.0.

Today (24 hours later), my levels are:

  • High Range pH:  8.3
  • Ammonia:  0.5
  • Nitrite: 0.25
  • Nitrate:  20.0

Am I still on track? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

your doing great :thumbs: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say THANK YOU for the help with the fishless cycle. 

Settled these cuties into their tank a couple days ago. They are adorable and hilarious! They've been actively exploring every inch of their new surroundings and don't seem shy at all. 

IMG_20200808_210850.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your so welcome. Look at that tank. That is so stunning. Great work! 

I'm sure they are just loving it. ☺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
  • Create New...