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Old 04-01-2013, 12:40 PM   #1 
Leopardfire
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How do I know when my tank is fully cycled?

I am currently cycling my 10 gallon tank for my female betta and 2 ADFs that I will get. It's been a week and the tank now removes all the ammonia I add to it everyday but the nitrates are rising fast. Two days ago they were at 10 and now they are at 30. I know this is a normal part of cycling and that will have to change the water to get rid of the nitrates, but how do I know when to do this?

Because my tap water is so bad, I'm using Ready Water for this tank which is pretty expensive so I don't want to have to do many water changes to get rid of the nitrates. How will I know when they have stopped rising and won't come back so quickly when I change the water? Also, after the nitrates stop, does this mean that my tank is ready for fish?
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #2 
shellieca
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When you say your tap is so bad exactly how do you mean? Have you tested it for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates & Ph? Based on your first sentence I am assuming this is a fish LESS cycle. Have you been testing nitrItes? Have you seen any? Having tank fully cycled within a week is highly uncommon unless you have seeded media. Ammonia will typically 0 out within a week or two & that's when the nitrites show up. Your tank is considered cylced when ammonia & nitrites are 0, nitrates <20 & I would test for these levels for at least a week after I saw them the first time. You can only bring your nitrAtes down with a water change, if they stay at that level for too long it can stall your cycle. Have you tested your Ph to make sure it doesn't drop below 6.5? I'm guessing you are using the liquid test kit?
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:07 PM   #3 
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Yes I'm doing a fish less cycle and I used tetra safestart which works great for speeding up cycles. I tested for nitrites, but I never got any, just nitrates. My tap water is bad because it comes with .5ppm ammonia and a ph of 8.4. Should I do a water change now to get rid of some of the nitrates so they don't stall the cycle or should I wait until they get super high and then do a massive water change to get rid of most of them?

Also, once I add my fish, will the nitrates stop rising so fast? I'm not sure exactly how much ammonia I'm putting in, it's a little less than 1/8 tsp of 10% ammonia.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:46 PM   #4 
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Personally I'd use the tap, the .5 ammonia will process out & your fish would adapt to the Ph, IMO. In any case, yes I would do a water change to bring the nitrates down & see if they stay down. It took me a week or more to get my 46g nitrates to stay where they should <20. Seeing that big of spike I'd say the safestart worked well.
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