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Cycling?


Guest Megan Steele

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Guest Megan Steele

Hey Everyone!

I started cycling my tank about 2 and a half weeks ago. The Nitrite has finally kicked in. I have a reading of 1.0 Nitrite. And I still have a reading of .50 ammonia. Is there anything I should do for the Nitrite? Or should I leave it alone to let it build benificial bacteria? As for the ammonia, how long until that disappears?

I also have some questions about the tank AFTER it has been through its cycle. When you do a water change, wouldn't that start some of the cycling all over again because of the new water? escpecially with 100% water changes???

And when the tank is cycled and stable, will I continue to get ammonia and Nitrite readings? What is the ideal level for the NITRATE to be?

If anyone can answer these questions, that would be wonderful! I am still a tad confused on the whole cycling process. Thanks! :rolleyes:

-Megan

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  • Regular Member

Well when cycling with fish, you want to keep the ammonia and nitrite as low as possible, or it will kill the fish.. I try to keep them under 0.50 if I can... Daily water changes and daily water testing are your best way to do this... Basically do enough water changes to keep the levels as low as possible, without going insane lolThe most important thing during this time is that you don't replace the filter media (all the stuff in your filter box)... The majority of the beneficial bacteria will grow there, so even when you are changing the water, you are okay.. Just rinse it with tank water and replace it if it gets dirty or gunky..

The whole process can take up to a few months... It can be a real pain in the ---... When you start out you have NO beneficial bacteria.. They will begin to grow when they have a source of ammonia. This can be done WITH fish because the fish will produce ammonia through their gills and through their waste.. OR without fish.. (in this case you need to add a source of ammonia to the tank) In either case the bacteria will begin to grow that will convert the ammonia into nitrite.. But this takes time because they need to mulitply so that there are enough of them to eliminate all ammonia that is produced each day.. Right now you are seeing nitrites so that means these bacteria are there, and multiplying.. but there aren't enough of them yet, which is why you still see ammonia. Then the same thing will happen with nitrites to nitrate.. Once you see nitrites the bacteria that feed off nitrites will begin to grow. And you will have to wait yet again for those to multiply. It is actually possible to have ammonia, nitrites and nitrates at the same time...Some cycles will even skip and go straight to nitrates.

The end goal with fish or without fish is the same.. When your tank is fully cycled you will have enough bacteria of both kinds established that they will be able to convert all of the ammonia produces to nitrites and then to nitrates and your levels of those two should always remain zero. At this time, you should be seeing only nitrates... It's best to keep those under 20 if possible, and no more than 40..

The thing is, if you let this just happen without water changes, the ammonia would get sooo high, and so would the nitrite.. Technically the tank would still cycle, but the levels are too dangerous for the fish. This is why you do water changes.. If you change enough water each day to keep your ammonia and nitrites close to zero, you will still be feeding the bacteria, but the levels will be low enough to keep the fish safe...

I hope that helps! I am really sleep so if anything seems off just ask me and I will try to explain better :)

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  • Regular Member

Right you actually WANT to do water changes right now.. Don't let your ammonia and nitrite go over 1ppm. Aim to keep them around 0.25 to 0.50 ppm if you can.

It shouldn't take longer fishless. Maybe even happen faster. It depends on a lot of things. How many fish, what the temperature is..

What are you going to do with the danios? Are these the fish you plan on keeping in this tank, or are you trying to keep a goldfish in it?

Oh and also.. I aplogize for saying pain in the ---! I shouldn't have said that!! You're 13! I just now saw that!! Oops! : ) Actually I shouldn't really say it anyway, at least I didn't ACTUALLY print the word.. lol

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Guest Megan Steele

Well I really wanted to put goldfish in the tank, but I don't know what I would do with the Danios since I only have one tank. Thats why I have been asking so many questions about what kind of fish can go together.

Its ok. Don't worry about it!! I don't really care. lol!

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