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Old 07-12-2011, 01:24 PM   #1 
Shimizoki
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Shimizoki's Tank Cycling Help

Hey, so I have been asking in a few different places with no luck getting the traffic I need for an in depth response.

I have a 45gal tank with a hand full of Elodea vines, 1 Amazon Sword, 1 Java Fern, 1 Water Wisteria. I am trying to cycle this thing using the fish-in method but after a few days I'm still not having any luck.

4 Days ago I added 12 neon tetras as well as a minnow to my tank. I also added a handful of gravel from my fathers established tank. Every day I check the ammonia levels and everyday I get a reading of 0ppm. I have read that the plants will use some ammonia, as well as the bacteria from my dad's tank.

Its not that I mind waiting, its just that I have a betta that is in a .5gal quarantine tank and would like to get him over to the main tank as soon as I can. (for the fishes sake) I have read it can take months before some tanks cycle and it would be cruel to leave him in there for that long.

Are my fish not providing enough ammonia to cycle it correctly? Should I add more fish?

If you are wondering about the plant to fish ratio here is a picture.

If you can't find the tetra's, they are in the middle of the tank and at the very bottom.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:15 PM   #2 
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It takes about 7 days after the fish have been added for an ammonia spike to happen, so if you're not at 7 days past adding the tetras, I would keep testing. Nice tank! We just got a 45g long... we're putting angels/rams/rainbowfish/pleco in it :) What are you adding to yours??

Oh and adding the rock from another tank, great idea! Could you run the filter media from the other tank in this one for a bit with a new filter media too (both shoved into the filter)?

And yes, you have more than enough fish in there for an ammonia spike. With 13 fish though, it may take a while for the ammonia to come down. I had 1 fish in my 29gal and it took 3 weeks for it to be safe for my others. I also dumped mulm from a large goldfish tank in it, and put my media filter into it everyday. I would say about 3 weeks is normal if your seeding it. Sorry :(

Good luck to your Tetras!

Last edited by Pitluvs; 07-12-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #3 
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Thanks, I wasn't looking for the spike, but I expected a slow climb and it hasn't even started climbing yet. I mean it still being at 0ppm after 4 days seems a bit slow. I can't get the filter out of his tank, its kinda complicated and difficult to put back together. I also have 2 filters in there if that makes a difference. Once they are both established I was going to move the smaller filter into my 30gal so it would mostly be pre-cycled.

I wanted to add:
1 betta
3+ picus catfish
12+ platys
12+ neons
An apple snail or 2

From what I have researched these should more or less do well together in the tank. I might even find there is room for a few more. If there is I wanna stick in a Swordtail.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:49 PM   #4 
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It usually spikes... my tank went from 0 all week to .50ppm in a day. I was shocked haha

Two filers is good. I usually put a new filter behind my old one, so if I need a filter to establish a tank, I got an extra.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #5 
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Alright thats good to know, so then you don't think I need more fish in it yet? I should wait it out a few more days. I'll check back into this thread daily with any updates. All other thoughts are still welcome.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:38 AM   #6 
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Alright Pitluvs I hate you... just like you said it went from 0 to .25 < x < .50 in one night. I did a 50% water change on a 45 gallon tank using a pitcher... it took me almost an hour.

Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough for one of my tetras and he didn't make it. Its a little upsetting since I was hoping to make it with no casualties... but it's ok because he was still just a fish.

What should I be looking out for next?
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #7 
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Weird... its been 2 days now since the 50% water change and its reading at 0ppm again. That doesn't make any sense. I guess I have been cycling for about a week now, is it possible the Ammonia is already done? I was expecting to have to do like 5+ water changes.

Theoretically if the Ammonia is done I should be on the Nitrites right? I'm looking in the filter and don't see any growth.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:26 PM   #8 
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It took me a week to get my Ammonia to drop haha

If your ammonia is at 0, and you do not suspect a human fault or bad test... then start checking your nitrItes. They should rise and the ammonia drops, so your nitrItes should be high right now. When they start to drop, your nitrAtes will start to go up then go down. Once they are under 20, you're good to go! Keep in mind, the ammonia is the hardest on the fish, so your remaining fish may have a rough time but they should not pass unless they were not healthy fish to begin with. I had two large plecos in mine, I lost one :(
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #9 
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Well yesterday I tested a second time and it was still 0, however today it was .25 < x < .50 again. I don't know whats up with this silly AQ but I am doing another 50% water change. This time it looks like all my fish made it though. I also was going to test my Nitrites, but I pull out the test strip and realize they had gotten wet. I need new strips.

EDIT::
What about the Constant AQ dials that you stick inside of the tank and it always reads the ammonia levels. Do they work? Are they accurate? That way I don't have to trust myself to guess if a liquid has some green in it or not.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:47 AM   #10 
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Its been 3 days with my Ammonia reading at 0ppm. Just thought I would update.
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