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Old 06-18-2010, 12:17 AM   #1 
Phoxly's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
How often should I test my cycling tank?

I've been testing my tank daily with my API ammonia kit, I'm probably going to get a Nitrate kit this weekend since I am seeing my Ammonia spike now, but is it really necessary to test daily? I did a 50% change the day before yesterday, and a 20% change today for vacuuming the floor of the tank.

Before my 20% change it was about .25 and after it was pretty close to the yellow for 0 on the card.

I'm going to be gone Friday Night through Sunday Morning, should I be worried about any needed water changes over the next 3 days? I may do a water change tomorrow before I leave for the weekend, probably 30%.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:05 AM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Are you cycling with or without fish? Well--I guess it must be with fish since you're talking about getting an ammonia spike rather than causing the ammonia spike directly. >_> Anyway, you should be testing at least once a day. Fish constantly release ammonia, and you need to be able to keep up with this ammonia that you're purposefully leaving in the tank. Testing only takes a few minutes of your time, I don't think it's a very arduous task, lol.

I'm not really sure about what exactly you're doing, but if this involves a betta, it would be much better if you relocated the betta into a temporary bin (rubbermaid or sterilite bin from target/walmart) and cycled using the fishless method of adding pure ammonia. The bacteria colony you get would be more stable and the cycle would be finished faster, and your poor fish wouldn't be subjected to ammonia--and you wouldn't be doing so much work in the way of cleaning and water changes.

Also, there is no reason to get the nitrate tester before you get the nitrite tester. Or maybe I misunderstood you?

As for leaving the tank, that depends on the stocking level and the size of the tank. More information please.
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