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Cycling tank and water changes


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Not sure if this is the right sub-heading, but I have a few questions about cycling and water changes in general-

The tank has been running fish-in since 7/28, The filter is floss, sponge, and ceramic media - has a 200 GPH rating (I know this is low for a 40gal, but I'm getting a canister for my birthday in 2 weeks). I now only have 1 small fantail about 1.5 inches nose to tail tip. It's bare bottom and full of elodea plants for munchies.

I do a 100% water change every other day, vacuum all the leaf bits / food / etc off the bottom. Right now my ammonia is 0 to >0.02, I don't know the nitrite - ran out of drops - it was 0 at last test a few days ago, and no nitrate yet beyond what the base tap water has - 10 - , pH is 7.4.

If I'm not getting nitrate above base tap water levels does that mean I have no cycle yet? Or is it possible that the plants are sucking it up?

I'm also at week 1 of salt in the tank, up to 0.2% since Wednesday, could this affect the speed of the cycle?

With just one small fish in 40gal should I be doing less frequent / large water changes? Basically are the large water changes slowing down the cycling process?

The one time I waited three days to do a change the ammonia built up to 0.05ish, but there were two fish in the tank, now there is one.

And finally, not fully about the water - but should I worry about getting a second fish before I'm sure the tank is cycled, or is it safer (for the fish) to finish this out with just the one? I'll have to start a QT over with a new fish, but I don't want the current one stressed to the point of lowering it's immune system since its alone either (not sure they really need company, but he's been hiding in the weeds a lot more and seems more skittish now that he's by himself - darts to hide when I walk up the tank)

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23 hours ago, SilverWen said:

Not sure if this is the right sub-heading, but I have a few questions about cycling and water changes in general-

The tank has been running fish-in since 7/28, The filter is floss, sponge, and ceramic media - has a 200 GPH rating (I know this is low for a 40gal, but I'm getting a canister for my birthday in 2 weeks). I now only have 1 small fantail about 1.5 inches nose to tail tip. It's bare bottom and full of elodea plants for munchies.

That sounds AWESOME! :)

 

23 hours ago, SilverWen said:

I do a 100% water change every other day, vacuum all the leaf bits / food / etc off the bottom. Right now my ammonia is 0 to >0.02, I don't know the nitrite - ran out of drops - it was 0 at last test a few days ago, and no nitrate yet beyond what the base tap water has - 10 - , pH is 7.4.

If I'm not getting nitrate above base tap water levels does that mean I have no cycle yet? Or is it possible that the plants are sucking it up?

Not Necessarily. The plants could be consuming all of it. Or you could  be changing the water so much that it doesn't build up.

23 hours ago, SilverWen said:

I'm also at week 1 of salt in the tank, up to 0.2% since Wednesday, could this affect the speed of the cycle?

No it will not. It will however protect the fish from nitrites if you had it. :) 

23 hours ago, SilverWen said:

With just one small fish in 40gal should I be doing less frequent / large water changes? Basically are the large water changes slowing down the cycling process?

Yes doing to much can slow it down. I would say with just one fish in there, let the tank go a few days longer, test the water and see if the tank needs a change. That is about the only way to know if you should do a water change. :)

 

23 hours ago, SilverWen said:

The one time I waited three days to do a change the ammonia built up to 0.05ish, but there were two fish in the tank, now there is one.

And finally, not fully about the water - but should I worry about getting a second fish before I'm sure the tank is cycled, or is it safer (for the fish) to finish this out with just the one? I'll have to start a QT over with a new fish, but I don't want the current one stressed to the point of lowering it's immune system since its alone either (not sure they really need company, but he's been hiding in the weeds a lot more and seems more skittish now that he's by himself - darts to hide when I walk up the tank)

IMO I wouldn't get another fish. I would continue with the one fish. This way you can get the tank all nicely setup and your current fish is nice and healthy. Then I would later get another fish, QT it for a month. :) 

When you turn your light on the tank, is there a light on already in that room? 

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1 hour ago, koko said:

When you turn your light on the tank, is there a light on already in that room? 

Yes, I have it on a timer to come on an hour after sunrise and go off just before sunset so that the ambient light prevents such a shocking difference. He seems a little less skittish today, might just take some time - they two stayed pretty close to each other. I added the extra elodea both for snacks and to give more cover since it is such an open tank at the moment. With the plants spread out more he seems more comfortableIMG_2842.JPG

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Well, I think your right. He might remember that his friend passed away and saw your hand take it out. Goldfish can remember ppl.

My last goldfish in my tank was sad for a good 2 weeks after her friend passed away. She wouldn't eat either. But after some time she came around to me. So yeah maybe your fish is just feeling down. Keep and eye on and comment if you see anything. :hug

 

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