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Old 01-01-2012, 06:48 PM   #1 
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Cycling issue

I recently bought a 29G tank with a 150W heater and this filter.
I've had it running for roughly 3-4 days at around 80F. The only thing in in the tank is water and I've been adding food to try and cycle the tank. It has gotten pretty cloudy but in testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates I've gotten close to zero readings for all three. Am I doing anything wrong or should I just continue to wait? Is there any problem with adding too much food? Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:35 PM   #2 
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Tho have had tanks years past I'm far from an expert, but introduce perhaps some live plants or moss should help clear things, also add conditioners for correct PH etc. Soon as things clear add your fish. Lots of great info available here. Good Luck.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:49 AM   #3 
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3-4 days isn't a whole lot of time for a fishless cycle to begin. I know it feels like a long time when you're waiting to add fish, though!

The ammonia won't appear until the food starts to decay, and there need to be bacteria present for that to happen-- in a brand spankin' new tank, there aren't a whole lot present to begin with, so you have to wait for them to grow. Then a separate set of bacteria shows up to break the ammonia into nitrItes. So you won't see readings for them for even longer. And only after all that can the third set of bacteria move in-- the one that converts nitrItes into nitrAtes.

It's a test of patience for sure. I've always 'seeded' with some bacteria from another tank because I'm terribly bad at waiting. If you have a decent lfs (as in, one you trust the water from) you can ask them for a starter. Trust me, they've heard it before and it's not weird.

The whole process usually takes at least 4 weeks to get relatively stable, and often longer (and will adjust each time after that you add a new tank mate/plant/etc).

Don't worry about changing pH-- unless you have really crazy pH it's usually more dangerous to mess with it than it is to just leave it as it is. I'm in the middle of a fish-in cycle with some red claw crabs and they are giving me a heck of a time because they keeping digging up the Amazon Swords I've added to help with nitrItes .

It sounds like a lot of work+time, but a cycled tank so so much easier to maintain in the long run (at least for me).
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:20 AM   #4 
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To get a good start can really try your patience, recall before cultured water was available on starting a marine tank things kept failing. Went as far to use well water, added traces of soil and plants, after 10 days added a single small fish, was active and seemed happy, gradually added sea salt to a marine, clown fish went beautifully, setup lasted for years. Now cultured waters and great conditioners available, makes things a whole lot easier today. Hang in there and patience.
My recent Betta setup came with a liquid starter pack cultured, brought to room temp, added the Betta leaving his confined float to match temps and he is now active added Marimo Moss at the start, so far 2 weeks and no clouding, amazing.

Last edited by wnppmy; 01-02-2012 at 03:32 AM.
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