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Old 07-21-2012, 06:28 PM   #1 
AltheaGlyndwr
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How far in the cycle do you think I am?

I was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me at what stage in the cycle I most likely am and how I can help the tank move on to the next part of the cycling process. What is the best way to culture to the nitrites which is what I assume is the next part. What happens after that? How long should the rest of it take? Should I turn the light on or leave it off? Water changes? Remove the heater so that it can get cold at night? I'm just not sure but I want to make sure the cycle completes and is then safe for my Sunshine to return to what is supposed to be his home. Thanks!


I've borrowed the relevant parts of the questionaire for sick fishes so as to give anyone who wants to help an idea as to what I've got.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? between 77 and 80 degrees depending on the heat of the day.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, but I do have live plants.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No betta at present but 6-8 Ghost Shrimp live in there right now.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? I've performed a couple in the last month, mostly just partial changes. And also mostly to replace evaporated water and remove some of the ammonia so it didn't kill the shrimps that live in there.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Partial, sometimes as much as half.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator, Start Zyme, EasyBalance.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: somewhere between .05 and .1 I assume. It is only the slightest bit green from the yellow coloration but NO WHERE near the .25 marker coloration.
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10ish It's only barely pink but no pink enough to be 20
pH: 7.2 about
Hardness: 150
Alkalinity: 80
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #2 
AltheaGlyndwr
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Some kind of response from someone more experienced than myself would be beneficial and greatly appreciated. Am I asking in the wrong forum?
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #3 
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It's difficult to say.

How long has your tank been running?

And what are the parameters of your tap water?
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #4 
AltheaGlyndwr
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I'm not sure on the tap water. I will have to check it when I get home. Is this before or after I treat it for chlorine? The tank has been running since May 13th. But over a month ago I had to do a huge water change to clean out after the 3 otos died and so I think it restarted the cycle process. How long does cycling usually take? Do I need to do anything to help it along? I think it is trying to go from the nitrate to nitrite part now... How can I aid in that?
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #5 
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After you treat for chlorine. I'm mainly interested in the nitrates. If they are higher in your tank than in your tap water, that would mean you are already done cycling.

If they are lower then it's difficult to say, because you have life plants.

You don't need to do anything to help the cycle along. Your temperature is fine. The cycle doesn't really care if you have a light on or not, but I would turn it on to help your plants grow.

Have you monitored your water parameters frequently, by any chance? Did you see a spike in ammonia?
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #6 
AltheaGlyndwr
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I only just recently got the kits for testing. Before I had taken my water in for testing to my petsmart. I haven't seen an ammonia spike but then I wasn't looking for one either. I wasn't questioning my cycle until I put my betta in there and he freaked the heck out. Someone suggested it might be the Nitrates in a cycle process that were irritating him so much. That is the reason I am questioning. What is the normal healthy parameters for a good cycled tank? I am going to be testing at least once a week from now one since I got the kits.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #7 
mahi
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Since your nitrites are at zero, you are either still at the beginning of the cycle or you have completed it. (It goes: First ammonia spike, then nitrite spike, then nitrates go up. The nitrates can be high from the beginning because they could be in your tap water. If you have life plants, the plants will consume the nitrate so it might not go up much).

Since you have been doing this since march, I'm leaning towards you having finished your cycle even with your big clean in the middle of it.

You seem to have a test kit at home, so here is what I would do:
Measure ammonia and nitrites every day for a week, without changing the water in the tank. If they stay at zero, or almost zero, your tank is most likely cycled and your fish can go back into the tank. I would continue measuring for another week after the fish is back, just to be save.

Last edited by mahi; 07-23-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:31 PM   #8 
AltheaGlyndwr
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Sounds like a grand plan! Thank you very much :) And if SUnshine happens to freak out again maybe I'll put Flutter or Titan in there or something. :) (Maybe Sunshine is just weird)
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