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I thought my tank was cycled... And now there's a gf on the way.


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  • Regular Member

This is really bad. I assumed my tank was cycled because I had 0 ammonia and nitrites and nitrates were at 20. I recently added more ammonia (just to keep the bacteria alive) and then nitrites and nitrates rose significantly. Nitrites were between 2 and 3 and nitrates were around 50. I did a WC and my new readings are:

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 5

Ammonia: 0

I am very concerned that my tank is not finished cycling because I have a fish on the way. I feel so bad. What in the world should I do? :(

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  • Regular Member

Did you add back ammonia to 1ppm after WC? Check back later tonight and tomorrow to see what the readings are.

Yes, sorry I failed to mention that. The fish is expected to be here tomorrow morning. Do you think it will be okay in this tank for a little while? I suspect the cycling process is almost over... Ugh, I really hate doing that though.

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  • Regular Member

Do you have a separate (QT) tank, with its own set of filters and air pump etc? What I would suggest is to put the newly arriving fish in the uncycled tank while you finish up the cycling. I would want to put fish in a tank that is still spiking nitrites, as this could cause a lot of problems down the road. On the other hand, in the uncycled QT, as long as you do large daily water changes, you should be ok, and the fish will be safe.

That should give you time to sort out the cycling in the other tank :)

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  • Regular Member

I wish I had a QT, but I don't.

Is it possible to finish up cycling this tank with a fish in it? I don't mind doing daily water changes. I realize it will take longer, but I am more than willing to do daily water changes to keep the nitrites low.

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  • Regular Member

Yes, it's absolutely possible. Considering that you are either at the nitrite peak, or right after that, it shouldn't take much longer.

The good news is that because of where the cycle is at, you can add salt to help blunt the nitrite toxicity.

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  • Regular Member

What a relief. Now I'm not so worried. So I'm just going to keep the nitrites below... 2? If they go any higher, I'll need to do a WC right? Not trying to kill my first goldfish here... And no more adding ammonia, right?

Thanks for the suggestions. I already added salt after the WC. I usually add some salt after water changes anyway because I have had some good benefits from it with other fish.

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