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Old 02-17-2011, 11:27 PM   #1 
Airplane
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Unhappy Cycling FUBAR'd or I'm just impatient?

Okay guys, so I was doing a 100% WC in Airplane's 1 gallon today and decided to test the water in his 10 gallon tank which had been cycling since January 9. I tested it a week ago and it had about 0.25-0.5 ppm of ammonia, nitrites was off the chart (ie. darker purple than the last purple on the chart), and Nitrates were at about 40-80 ppm.

I decided to do a 75% WC on the 10 gallon before I tested it. I did a 50% WC back on February 4th.

Here's today's readings were via API's Freshwater Master Test Kit:

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.5-1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 40-80 ppm
WT: 82F

What I used to start the cycle was feeding the tank a tiny pinch of fish food. I then gravel vac'd to remove the excess that was littering the bottom of the tank.

Other than that, the only thing I've done to try to speed up the cycle was Seachem Stability.

I use Seachem Prime to treat water.

Do my readings look alright, or did I muck up the cycle somehow? Or am I just impatient lol...

Either way, my Nitrate reading looks a little high, even after a 75% WC.

What do you guys think?

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:59 AM   #2 
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Seriously? No replies? Either no one wants to help, or no one else has a clue...
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:06 AM   #3 
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Airplane,

It looks like you're heading in the right direction. You've got conversion of the chemicals to nitrates, so I'd say you're cycling. I'd re-test today, to be sure your readings are correct, then perform another water change to bring down the nitrates to below 40ppm, as too high a level of nitrates will harm the fish.

Once you add fish, you'll want to watch the chemicals closely for about a week or so, to make sure nothing 'spikes' - if it does, perform a water change to bring the levels back in line.

I'm a fairly new aquarist... been through only two cycles. You may want to get additional information before you proceed...

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:26 PM   #4 
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Cheryl,

Thanks for the tip. I did a retest today and they were pretty much the same.

I did a 75% water change and waited about an hour and a half as the new water cycled through the filter and whatnot. Here are my new readings:

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25-0.50 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0-10 ppm
WT: 82F

It looks like I've just been lacking in water changes, or something.

Today's readings seem to be a lot better than two days ago.

What do you think?

I'm doing my first cycle, so you've definitely got more experience than me, haha...
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #5 
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Yes, the nitrates are much better; 5.0-10 ppm is where you'll want to keep them. Regular water changes will help keep them in check.

Keep in mind that with any big change to the tank (for example, adding a batch of fish or fish illness) may cause a mini-cycle or change in water chemistry. So you'll want to step up your testing and water changes around such events.

Nitrites need to be at 0ppm to be safe for the fish.

I would do another 50% water change in a couple of days and re-check. Remember, it's okay to have some Nitrates - that means your tank has cycled.

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #6 
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Oh, one other thing...

You can turn down the tank heater some... high heat is great for spurring on bacterial growth, but unless you have fry (baby fish) going into the tank, you'll want it more in the 76F-78F range.

High heat=more bacteria=sick fish (if they are stressed or otherwise compromised)=shorter life span.

There are certain reasons to lower or raise the heat in a tank: breeding, age, treatments, etc. As you read more on the forum, you'll see what I mean.

Also, if your betta is going to have tank mates, 76F-78F is a good median for a community tanks.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:46 AM   #7 
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Mines at a constant 80-82' because my heater absolutley hates me, and Alle does quite well. Anything over 83 isnt good, Id say, but many people do keep it at that higher range without issue.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:55 PM   #8 
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That makes sense.

I'll lower the temp to ~78F today and retest again tomorrow.

How long after should I wait to introduce fish?
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PewPewPew View Post
Mines at a constant 80-82' because my heater absolutley hates me, and Alle does quite well. Anything over 83 isnt good, Id say, but many people do keep it at that higher range without issue.

my bettas tank is at a steady constant 80..

Hes in with Fry and a Bronze cory (yea i know they prefer groups of 4+ but the cory is evil)
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:02 PM   #10 
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I just checked the temperature. The stick-on gauge says 76-78F. I put the glass thermometer that I have in Airplane's 1g tank and it was pretty much spot on.

I didn't expect stick-on gauges to be as accurate as glass ones :/
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