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Old 05-15-2013, 08:27 AM   #1 
Tabby216
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Cycling Question

I am so confused why the ammonia levels have been constantly showing 0.50 and nitrites 0 nitrates 0 even though its been 3 days since I put substrate from a established 45 gallon tank (its hanging in pantyhose).

Yesterday I also added TSS after 24 hours of using Prime but after testing its still the same. Now today which should be 48 hours after Prime I put 10 mL of TSS into my 5 gallon tank

whats wrong?!
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:36 AM   #2 
shellieca
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First off its only been 3 days, that's not very long & rarely does a cycle move that fast. As for the gravel from an established tank, whether that helps speed things up depends if you added enough to the new tank for the tank size & how established the 45g tank is. The best thing to do is take some of filter media from a fully cycled tank & put that into the new tanks filter. I'm guessing TSS is Tetra Safe Start . . . if so its not a guarantee it will work & it won't be instant, it could take a few days or more for nitrItes to show up. Even with using things to assist a tank in cycling it can take a few weeks give or take, so I say relax, keep testing & give it some time.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #3 
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Patience...I'm going to wait for a week and during that time if there's a spike of anything I'll do a water change. When I start getting nitrites what is considered a safe level for my fish thats in the tank?
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #4 
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You could add some real plants.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:17 AM   #5 
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When doing a fish in cycle I don't like my ammonia & nitrites <.5. You can't get any filter media from the established 45g? I had some 10g tanks & then I set up a 5.5g, took some filter media from a 10g & never had a cycle.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #6 
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My tank cannot support any real plants because of the bad lighting (LED) and I can't get any filter media from the 45 gallon sadly :(
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:46 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabby216 View Post
I am so confused why the ammonia levels have been constantly showing 0.50 and nitrites 0 nitrates 0 even though its been 3 days since I put substrate from a established 45 gallon tank (its hanging in pantyhose).

Yesterday I also added TSS after 24 hours of using Prime but after testing its still the same. Now today which should be 48 hours after Prime I put 10 mL of TSS into my 5 gallon tank

whats wrong?!
Hi,
When using TSS you must add the ENTIRE bottle.
You then wait 14 days with NO water changes.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:47 AM   #8 
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Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
When doing a fish in cycleI don't like my ammonia & nitrites <.5. You can't get any filter media from the established 45g? I had some 10g tanks & then I set up a 5.5g, took some filter media from a 10g & never had a cycle.
Ooops, this should've said I LIKE my ammonia & nitrites <.5. Well, just keep doing what you're doing & your fish should be fine. Remember even with cycling help it can still take 6-8 wks to complete.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #9 
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When your tank is fully cycled you will have these levels:

Ammonia 0ppm
NitrITE 0ppm
NitrATE 10-20ppm

You are waiting for a safe level of nitrATEs to signal that your tank is cycled. You will see nitrITE levels in about 14 days, if you are lucky, but then you will have to wait anywhere from 4-6 weeks for the nitrATEs to reach a healthy level for fish.

If you want a basic guide to tank cycling, keep reading. If you only wanted to know why you are seeing a steady 0.5ppm Ammonia, it's because the ammonia spikes haven't started yet. Keep doing partial water changes to keep the ammonia at 0.25ppm and your fish should survive the cycle.


Since you seem to be doing a fish in cycle, you need to do partial water changes to keep the ammonia around 0.25ppm so it's safe-ish for the fish but present for the ammonia to nitrITE step. You cannot bring ammonia levels down to 0ppm or you will starve out the nitrITE step and you can't let the ammonia jump up to something crazy, like 4.0ppm, or you will kill the fish. So you are stuck in a balancing act for the next few weeks or so.

Unfortunately, there is no set schedule for the partial water changes because the ammonia spikes will be random until everything stablizes at the end of the cycle. Liquid ammonia test will be your best friend for the next 2 weeks or so until you start to see nitrATEs (this liquid test will become your second best friend). Once nitrATEs appear, you won't need to do as many partial water changes and the random ammonia spikes should stop.

If you need any more advice than that, you'll need to cross your fingers and hope someone who usually does fish-in cycling comes along. XD
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:14 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Tabby216 View Post
My tank cannot support any real plants because of the bad lighting (LED) and I can't get any filter media from the 45 gallon sadly :(
I have a small 5 gallon with not very good LED lights. In that tank I keep a couple of anubias plants that my betta brothers enjoy. They do great in that tank without a whole lot of light.
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