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Is Tank Cycling Or Not?


Guest danxxx

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Guest danxxx

Hello, me again. I have so many questions! Hope you all don't mind. I just want to take care of Mary right!

1. My new tank has had the fish in it for one week now. I test the water every day, and change 20%. But when I test, there's no ammonia or nitrItes showing up at all! Never. Do you reckon this could just be because of the daily water changes (and the Stresszyme I added), or might the tank not be cycling for whatever reason? I did have the tank going for a few weeks before I got the fish. I had a snail in it. But when I got the fish I got a new filter (I'd been using an old 2nd hand one). Might the tank have cycled and stayed cycled even though I got a new filter? I was thinking I'd not change any water for a couple days to see if ammonia or nitrItes start showing up. Do you reckon this would be wise? I want to keep the fish as healthy as possible, don't want to mess up the cycle.

2. When I check the temperature (or to adjust the filter flow etc) I touch the water. I don't do this unless I really have to, and I rinse my hands well under the tap (no soap), but I worry that germs from my hand will hurt the fish. Do I need to worry about this or not?

Thanks so much. Apologies again for my millions of questions...You guys are incredibly helpful.

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Hello Danxxx, of course we don't mind your questions. This is how we help people, by answering questions. Ok, your tank's ammonia and nitrites may not show up because either it hasn't started yet, the cycle i mean or you are controling it by water changes. The water is cycling, but you should change water when the ammonia and nitrites are too high, you could try to cut down on the water changes but it won't change the cycling process.

Your 2nd hand filter, do you still have the filter media? And what brand is the filter? If it is the same, you could put the old media (if you still have it) or borrow someone elses filter media, this will make the water cycle faster, since the bacteria is already there, if not, there is no problem, just keep checking and waiting for the tank to cycle.

Ok, touching the water is no problem, just wash your hands with no soap before you put your hands in the tank, and wash with soap after working with the tank, don't get any soap into the tank. It is not a problem to put your hand in the water.

I hope your tank cycles with no problems.

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Guest danxxx

Hello Fantail (and everyone else), Thanks for putting my mind at ease about my hands-in-the-water worries! As far as the cycling thing goes, I just tested the water and, after 2 days now without a water change, there's still no ammonia or nitrIte showing up. The nitrAte shows up right now at about 15 or 20. The tap nitrates are about 10. I really do have a notion that the tank might have cycled before I got Mary, and that even though I got a whole new filter, there may have been just enough good bacteria in the gravel etc to keep the cycle going...My neighborhood fish shop keeper (who does oddly seem to actually know a good deal about fish-keeping) told me that this might be the case too. I'll go another day or two with no water change, and check if the ammonia or nitrites show up. How many days without water changes and with no amonia or nitrites do you reckon I ought to go before deciding that the tank has cycled?

Thanks for the help!

By the way, the medium from the old filter doesn't fit int he new one.

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