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Old 01-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #1 
Roemgie
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Exclamation Cycling 5 gallon and 10 gallon tanks

Hey guys! So I have a friend who wants her betta in a 10 gallon tank and i stopped her because she didn't realize about cycling or anything related to that. So for a couple of weeks I've been cycling her tank. Well now it's ready BUT my ammonia level reads between 0ppm and .25 ppm. So when I moved the tank I did almost a 50% water change (it was heavy) and I'm hoping this won't mess up the process. There is no live plants in the 10 gallon


So with my 5 gallon I have so far 5 plants in there and it is also cycled BUT my ammonia levels are also between 0ppm-0.25 ppm so I did a 25% water change yesterday. Today the levels still read the same I would hope i'm reading it wrong but please tell me if I am or not. Here's my 5 gallon

Now for my 5 gallon I was going to put in two females. I saw them at Petland and someone had dropped them off, they're in a tank with larger fish and frogs and they all seem fairly friendly with each other. I of course just read some where that you shouldn't have less than 10 gallons and less than 4 females. So I don't know what to do. Someone just dropped them off to petland, and it seemed they brought a lot of them (they said they'd sold 4 already, they could be lying). So any who I really need some advice on that but I'll post it on another thread as well hopefully to get more advice.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #2 
jeaninel
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What are you using as an ammonia source to cycle the tanks? The bacteria won't grow if there is no food for them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #3 
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The nitrates are HIGH so there has to be some ammonia source.

I would add more ammonia, get it up to like 2-4ppm then retest in 24 hours. If it can cycle that out in 24 hours you may just be misreading the test.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:41 PM   #4 
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What are you using as an ammonia source to cycle the tanks? The bacteria won't grow if there is no food for them.
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I was at first using actual ammonia and then I started using water from my betta's tanks. I had two in 2.5 gallons and so when I did their water change every 4 days I'd add some of their water into the tanks and continue on my way. I personally would like the 10 gallon to have a sponge filter instead. How would I do that without having to start all over again?
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #5 
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The nitrates are HIGH so there has to be some ammonia source.

I would add more ammonia, get it up to like 2-4ppm then retest in 24 hours. If it can cycle that out in 24 hours you may just be misreading the test.
Ok so if I take my regular ammonia and just add (how many?) drops until I get it to 2-4 just wait until tomorrow to see what happens? But I just moved the 10 gallon to her room so I'll have to wait for her to be back or her roommate but I can do my 5 gallon right now
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:47 PM   #6 
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I personally would like the 10 gallon to have a sponge filter instead. How would I do that without having to start all over again?
When you get the new sponge filter, wet it in tank water and then squeeze the filter cartridge from the cycled hang-on-back filter all over the sponge - then install the sponge and use it as you normally would. This will seed the sponge, but it will take time for the bacteria to breed and fully establish.

0-0.25 ammonia is normal, especially in a newer tank that is getting the cycle established. Nitrites look good and nitrates indicate that bacteria is present and working.

You'll want to keep your nitrates at 40ppm or less. You accomplish that with a large water change.

Honestly, it looks like it's ready for a fish if you leave the HOB filter installed. If you switch to a sponge, I'd give it another couple of weeks, unless you want to do a fish-in cycle (my normal course of action) which means you'll need more frequent testing and water changes for a while.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #7 
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When you get the new sponge filter, wet it in tank water and then squeeze the filter cartridge from the cycled hang-on-back filter all over the sponge - then install the sponge and use it as you normally would. This will seed the sponge, but it will take time for the bacteria to breed and fully establish.

0-0.25 ammonia is normal, especially in a newer tank that is getting the cycle established. Nitrites look good and nitrates indicate that bacteria is present and working.

You'll want to keep your nitrates at 40ppm or less. You accomplish that with a large water change.

Honestly, it looks like it's ready for a fish if you leave the HOB filter installed. If you switch to a sponge, I'd give it another couple of weeks, unless you want to do a fish-in cycle (my normal course of action) which means you'll need more frequent testing and water changes for a while.

Ok because i have a female waiting for me at petland that I wanted to either get this week or next week but I'm worried about adding her to the tank. If I do need to wait I have a 2.5 gallon tank that I can put her in while I wait. The 10 gallon though if I could possibly just put the sponge filter in and while a while and then take the other filter out that would be wonderful but schools ends first week of may and so a couple more weeks will leave hardly anytime for Umi to enjoy his tank before his owner takes him home. Should i just leave that filter in for now?

And in adding the female to my 5 gallon, do I just first let her sit in the water until I think her's is the same temperature and slowly add the cycled water with hers or is there another way I should do it?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:26 PM   #8 
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Squeezing the old filter media onto the new filter will do nothing. Your good bacteria live on the surface area, NOT in the water. I would run both filters in the tank at one time for a month and then remove the old filter.

Your tank is close to cycled and adding the fish now won't do any harm as long as you keep up with water changes but you will need a large (like 90%) water change to get rid of those nitrates.

I'd try like maybe 4 drops, test it and then recheck in 24 hours. It really only needs to be at least 1ppm but no more than 4ppm.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #9 
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Squeezing the old filter media onto the new filter will do nothing. Your good bacteria live on the surface area, NOT in the water. I would run both filters in the tank at one time for a month and then remove the old filter.

Your tank is close to cycled and adding the fish now won't do any harm as long as you keep up with water changes but you will need a large (like 90%) water change to get rid of those nitrates.

I'd try like maybe 4 drops, test it and then recheck in 24 hours. It really only needs to be at least 1ppm but no more than 4ppm.
Ok I can get the girl today if that's ok and just put her into the 5 gallon? Or should I do the huge water change right now and wait until tomorrow to get the girl? Or should I get her today and put her into my 2.5 gallon tank until my 5 gallon is ready? And I'm afraid to add all that ammonia because i've been waiting for weeks to finally cycle my tanks.

And the sponge filter is on its way over so hopefully it'll get here by next week or this week
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #10 
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Your nitrates are really high.. How long has this been set up?

5 drops of ace ammonia will bring a 10 gallon to 4-5ppm. I'd use 2-3 drops in a 5g. Since you are so so close I'd dose 1-2 drops and see how things look in 24 hours. That ammonia test looks pretty yellow to me..

Before you add fish you will need to do a 90% ish change - siphon all the way down to the gravel but don't' disturb the gravel. Then retest make sure nitrates are under control. I would have them low as possible for new fish who have never seen nitrates before. Your nitrates should stay under 20ppm.

Last edited by callistra; 01-15-2013 at 03:00 PM.
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