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Old 01-08-2013, 12:22 PM   #1 
WhiskeyHands
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Unhappy Stalled Cycle or Just Impatient? Cycle Questions!

So the title says everything. Can you try to answer the most of the questions you can? Thanks!

1. How much time does a cycle normally take?

2. After how much time does nitrites usually appear?

3. How to know if you messed up your cycle?

4. My 21 gallon tank is on its 7th week of cycle and i still have no sign of nitrites and nitrates. Is this normal or unusual due to the time a tank cycles?

5. Any other things i should know?
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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So the title says everything. Can you try to answer the most of the questions you can? Thanks!

1. How much time does a cycle normally take?
A cycle can take anywhere from 2-6 months, with 3-4 being about average for a stable cycle. This can be reduced with using media (filter media or gravel) from another tank that is already cycled.

2. After how much time does nitrites usually appear?
It depends on how high you can let the ammonia get. Do you have fish in the tank? The higher you can let the ammonia get, the sooner it will turn into nitrites, but you can't do this with fish in the tank or they will die. Hence why some people opt for a fishless cycle. Otherwise, it could take a month or more for nitrites to be detectable.

3. How to know if you messed up your cycle?
Have you done a 100% water change? That is the #1 way people mess up a cycle. Otherwise, you can mess up a cycle by adding too many new fish at once (the bacteria won't be able to keep up).

4. My 21 gallon tank is on its 7th week of cycle and i still have no sign of nitrites and nitrates. Is this normal or unusual due to the time a tank cycles?
Do you have plants? A planted tank will likely take longer to cycle, as the plants should do a good job at removing ammonia.

5. Any other things i should know?
Just keep testing for ammonia and doing water changes. Don't obsess about getting a cycle either. It will happen eventually. As long as none of the fish die and otherwise appear happy and healthy you are doing good.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #3 
WhiskeyHands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytkattin View Post

1. How much time does a cycle normally take?
A cycle can take anywhere from 2-6 months, with 3-4 being about average for a stable cycle. This can be reduced with using media (filter media or gravel) from another tank that is already cycled.

2. After how much time does nitrites usually appear?
It depends on how high you can let the ammonia get. Do you have fish in the tank? The higher you can let the ammonia get, the sooner it will turn into nitrites, but you can't do this with fish in the tank or they will die. Hence why some people opt for a fishless cycle. Otherwise, it could take a month or more for nitrites to be detectable.

3. How to know if you messed up your cycle?
Have you done a 100% water change? That is the #1 way people mess up a cycle. Otherwise, you can mess up a cycle by adding too many new fish at once (the bacteria won't be able to keep up).

4. My 21 gallon tank is on its 7th week of cycle and i still have no sign of nitrites and nitrates. Is this normal or unusual due to the time a tank cycles?
Do you have plants? A planted tank will likely take longer to cycle, as the plants should do a good job at removing ammonia.

5. Any other things i should know?
Just keep testing for ammonia and doing water changes. Don't obsess about getting a cycle either. It will happen eventually. As long as none of the fish die and otherwise appear happy and healthy you are doing good.
I have 3 female bettas and 2 plattys in there. I once had 3 but one of them died the first week i got him. I have 2 live plants maybe that's why it is taking long. And about water changes, i do them every 2 days is that good?
and no, i haven't done a 100% WC so i guess i'm still good to go, thank you (:
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