HELP with other tank cycle- totally lost! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
Ezzie's Avatar
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Exclamation HELP with other tank cycle- totally lost!

Yup, i'm lost at what to do regarding my other tank and where / what i am or should be doing in regards to its cycle so i need some help / advice to get me to understand where things should be reading.

Info on the tank:
- Fluval EBI 8 gallon tank
- Fully live planted with driftwood
- Heated
- 9 guppies and 2 mystery snails

I started the tank proberly start of this month / end of january.

I was doing alot of reading regarding a cycle and saw alot of people saying it cannot be done while the other half had great success with it, so i gave it a go.

I used some cycled media from my big established tank (4 foot tank been running for 2+ years with NO problems, totally cycled) which was some spongeing and some of those little tube like pieces that the bacteria grow on (cannot remember the name) that has been used in my big tank for all those years and i put them into a spare space that came in the filter which came with my fluval.
I also used 75% the cycled tank water and the rest clean treated tap water to give a kick start to my cycle.

I left the tank for 8 days like this and the entire time i was putting little pieces of fish food to rot away and i also had half my plants in there at the time to get a kick start a cycle without the fish.
My ammonia was reading 0 the entire time. (YES I KNOW I SHOULD HAVE TESTED NITRATES AND NIRATES BUT I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT IT UNTIL NOW HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS, i thought i was okay since it all came from an already cycled tank) and i was happy so bought 10 guppies to start.

The tanks been running the entire time, with more plants added as well as a nice driftwood, to date i only lost 4 guppies (which i assume was due to them being sick when i bought them, they werent really from the best aquarium shop to start with..) the rest are GREAT and healthy, big appitites and all, so i assumed all was good.

I went to the pet store and with a credit decided to buy a nitrates tester as i was curious where i was in or if it was cycled, these were my readings today:

Ammonia: 0ppm
NITRATES: 40-80ppm
nirates: (they ran out of the kits to test these so i couldnt do it)
PH: 7+

Based on this i did a total 50% water change with conditioner and re tested with the same results (WHAT?!)

Im lost what to do right now, i know i should have waited for the cycle but i was too damn impatient. Do you think my fish will be okay for the time being with water changes? Where in a cycle am i?

Tomorrow im going to take a sample of water to the aquarium shop to get him to test it and maybe they will have some suggestions.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 11:28 PM
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Is that reading for your nitrites or nitrates? You've written nitrates twice. :) If nitrites, do a 50% change now and another one within 24 hours. If nitrates, do a 50% change now.

If that reading is nitrite, you are in the second stage of the cycle, where ammonia converts to nitrite. If it is nitrate, and you have 0 ammonia and nitrite, then you are finished.

Just a warning: you are heavily overstocked so expect to see continuous high readings.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Its the one with the a hahaha i always get so mixed up with it!

it was the nitrate i tested for today, its the nitrite they didnt have the kits left for so i cant test it right now, hence why im taking it to the fish man to get it tested for me :P (yay free)

How many guppies / snails do you reccomend for this tank (keep in mind i have a big fat oscar who wouldnt mind a guppy snack if need be)
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 03:55 AM
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I would only recommend 3 guppies for a ten gallon, so only 3 in an 8 gal too. If it is heavily planted or filtered, then a snail could be added.

Sounds like your cycle is pretty much finished, but there is a huge difference between 40 and 80ppm. Either one is too high, though, so a water change is in order. :)

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 06:34 AM
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I certainly agree with Bombalurina on the cycle and, especially, on the stocking. At 40-80ppm that's got to be nitrate. Over 40ppm will stall your cycle. Nitrite and ammonia much over 6.0ppm can also kill the bacteria. It would by this time also have killed the fish,

If you have a lot of plants in there, it will take a long time to cycle. If they are fast-growing, the plants will consume the ammonia before the bacteria can convert it. That's OK. Call it a planted tank. Your fish will be safe. Just use the filter/substrate as a backup.

Many keepers think that plants are a better way to control ammonia than bacteria. I provisionally agree. Cycling is for people who can't grow plants. I cycle all my tanks because I can't grow sand in the desert.

Cough up the $20 and get yourself an API master test kit from Amazon to keep track of all your parameters

Last edited by Hallyx; 03-01-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ill be picking up a nitrite test kit when I go out tomorrow, I'm also havin the local aquarium shop to test my water for everything :)

The tanks heavily planted as well, and there frowning pretty darn well for my first planted tank, I attached a photo of it :)

Ill def move some guppies from the tank soon, my mums going to get a tank going so I can give some to her :)

3 guppies in a 9 gallon tank seems a little less... Everywere I've read says that the 1 inch per gallon (give or take) can be okay if the tank is stable..
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I dont know why when i post a photo from my phone they always come sideways, very frustrating
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 02:50 PM
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I have the same problem with phone photos.

An inch per gallon is not a great rule to work with except under very specific conditions. It is ok for neon tetras if your tank is at least 20 gallons, stable and you are taking into account other fish needs, but guppies have a higher bioload than tetras. You could go 4 at a push, with the number of plants you have, but definitely not 8.

Your tank is absolutely beautiful, by the way. :)

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