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Old 09-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #1 
BlueHaven
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A A few questions about cycling tank and starting another

I have had my first betta, Thai in a 2.5 gallon tank for around 3 months. Then I transfered him along with his decor (gravel/river rocks & live plants and a new cave with some new rocks added) and his filter cartridge to his new 5 gallon tank. I have a new filter cartridge in there, but I also put his old one in with it to help it build good bacteria and so the tank would continue/finish the cycle. I've been keeping up the water changes and he's been in his new tank for arond 2 weeks. I did a water test today and on the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, and they all came up with 0 except the nitrates showed up as 5. But the test tupe had a stain on it from the previous ammonia test, and after I did the test on the nitrates, I don't know if it affected the results, so I tested the nitrates again and it showed up as 0.
So if everything is at 0, then the tank should be cycled right?

I have set up a 3 gallon tank for a new crowntail betta I got, he's in Autumn's 6 gallon WITH a divider while I cycle the new tank. I want to use Thai's old filter cartridge to help the new tank to cycle, but I don't know if I should do it now or wait a couple weeks to be sure Thai's tank is completely cycled.
If he has a new filter cartridge, but I've been using the old one to help, will it start over or mess up if I take the old one out now to use on the new tank?
I've been using a bacteria supplement along with frequent water changes to keep the levels from harming him, he is doing just fine!


Thank you for reading, and if you can help me, thank you! :D
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:10 AM   #2 
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It can take 4-8 weeks to cycle-you know you are cycled when your water prams read-ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm and nitrate 5-10ppm for several days with water changes.
When you seed the tank with cycled, established, healthy filtered media and substrate it can cut cycling time down-this depends on bioload, pH, water temp as well.

If you still have 0ppm nitrates you are not cycled

What kind of testing products are you using?
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #3 
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I'm using API master test kit....I read somewhere that the bacteria supplement (Top Fin brand) that's supposed to keep the water safer during cycling can make it harder to see the accurate results when you test the water...?
I can try testing it again on friday and stop using the bacteria supplement this week to see if that changes it. For the 5 gallon, I do a 20 percent water change twice a week and clean the gravel on the weekends.

Last edited by BlueHaven; 09-27-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #4 
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I have never used the supplements for cycling so I can't comment

Also-on the API nitrate-make sure you shake the test tube with reagent #1 really hard and shake the heck out of bottle #2 reagent and bang on the table and shake some more before you add to the test tube-this #2 bottle sometimes can settle and give false readings and step one shake is really important too.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:58 AM   #5 
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Okay, maybe that was it then, because I didn't shake bottle #1 and I was a little off on the time I needed to shake it.
Thank you!
Does it matter if I test it again after doing a water change? Cause I changed it already about 30 minutes ago.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #6 
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I would test again....
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:23 PM   #7 
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I tested it and it still came out as 0. I found out that the bacteria supplement might be the problem, It doesn't let the tank really cycle. I was thinking of just getting prime to be sure it cycles since it won't get rid of ammonia completely and it still helps keep the fish safer than without it.
I don't think I will be using that or any other bacteria supplement again.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #8 
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If you use any bacterial supplement at all, the only one I recommend is Dr. Tim's One and Only Life Nitrifying Bacteria. You can read in my 5g cycling thread how I used it. It doesn't mess with test results.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:02 PM   #9 
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Oh, cool. Thank you, :D
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