10 Gallon Tank Am I on the right track with cycling?

djas
Member
Hi all,

I have a 10g tank being cycled as of May 3. It's now May 11 and I am not sure of my progress. Here is how it was as a few hours ago:


20210510_224032.jpg


What you see in there is Mopani wood. I did NOT boil it. I rinsed if off with really warm water as I did with everything else (substrate, decor, etc.)

After I put in some of the API quickstart... I started the ammonia doses.

Ammonia Log:
  • May 3, 2:03 AM, 10 drops
  • May 3, 8:13 PM, 20 drops (making up for the wrong calculations)
  • May 10, 2:02 PM, 32 drops
I am using Dr. Tim's Ammonia (4 drops per US Gallon). My tank water volume is around 30L (subtracting substrate and decor)

Here's my water test results on May 3, after the 2nd drops at 8:30 PM:

May 3

20210503_202859.jpg


and here's May 10, as of a few hours ago:

May 10

20210510_135812.jpg


I think this looks good. Not sure if I am on the right track however...
 
grac3
Member
it does take a while for a tank to fully cycle, so just be patient :) mine took 1-2 months haha! expect your nitrites to spike soon have funn
 
GlennO
Member
Ammonia level looks to be around 2ppm which is fine. pH is good. Nothing much else to do but wait. You can start occasional testing for nitrites but they may not appear for a while yet.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
GlennO said:
Ammonia level looks to be around 2ppm which is fine. pH is good. Nothing much else to do but wait. You can start occasional testing for nitrites but they may not appear for a while yet.
Thanks! Seems like I keep checking and adding ammonia while waiting for nitrites.

It seems like I need to keep dosing it back to 3ppm? I've looked at calculators but I am not 100% sure yet.. I have a 10G (Aqueon) and subtracting 20% for substrate/decor... that would leave me with 30L of volume of water.

How much would I need to add of ammonia (drops) to bring it to 3ppm?
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
Thanks! Seems like I keep checking and adding ammonia while waiting for nitrites.

It seems like I need to keep dosing it back to 3ppm? I've looked at calculators but I am not 100% sure yet.. I have a 10G (Aqueon) and subtracting 20% for substrate/decor... that would leave me with 30L of volume of water.

How much would I need to add of ammonia (drops) to bring it to 3ppm?
Let the ammonia go down close to zero before adding more. Since this is just a 10 gallon tank I would only get it back up to 2ppm. That should grow enough bacteria to handle the future bio-load in this tank.

You will have to determine by testing to figure out how many drops it will take to get it up to 2ppm. Once you determine how much you will need just add that many drops each time it drops down to or close to zero.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member

1620968064155.png


I'm currently cycling my very first tank.

I have:
- Two pieces of Mopani wood
- Wisteria plant
- Water Sprite plant

However, I keep the light off because the cycling guide said to do so to let the bacteria grow faster. However, this brown water showed up long before I completed turned it off. I started this cycle on May 3. It showed up after a day.

I treated the Mopani wood by just rinsing it with really hot water. The room I am in receives sun light but the tank itself does not receive direct sunlight.

Is this perhaps due to the cycling? What is going on? The only other thing I can think of is that I know I did a poor job rinsing the substrate. I put it through a strainer once but I only realized I did it poorly after I set it in...
 
LowConductivity
Member
It’s the wood. It will continue to leach tannins into the water until it doesn’t....
 
Salem
Member
The water is brown from the mopani wood releasing tannins. It will continue to do this for a very very long time. Mopani wood is very dense with tannins, arguably the most of all driftwoods. I have a piece in my 20 long that has gone through several tanks over 2 years and it still turns the water brown.
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
Tannins. Mopani woods leeches this stuff for months. Good thing is it can be beneficial to your fish
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
Y'all are so kind and helpful. That was my intuition....

I read you can remove tannins but I am guessing they will keep coming back. Guessing I need to find another type of wood if I don't like the brown water
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
djas said:
Y'all are so kind and helpful. That was my intuition....

I read you can remove tannins but I am guessing they will keep coming back. Guessing I need to find another type of wood if I don't like the brown water
Yeah. Mopani wood leaks the most amount. Spider wood leaks barely if not anything
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Yeah. Mopani wood leaks the most amount. Spider wood leaks barely if not anything
I saw Spider wood. I chose Mopani because it was thicker and looked nicer.

Lets say I want swap mopani for spider. Would it ruin the cycling? Would I need to do a water change?
 
AcornTheBetta
Member
djas said:
Y'all are so kind and helpful. That was my intuition....

I read you can remove tannins but I am guessing they will keep coming back. Guessing I need to find another type of wood if I don't like the brown water
You can try taking the pieces out boiling them for a few hours to get rid of the tannins.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
AcornTheBetta said:
You can try taking the pieces out boiling them for a few hours to get rid of the tannins.
Wil that get rid of it completely? Will I need to do a water change and/or disrupt my cycling?
 
AcornTheBetta
Member
djas said:
Wil that get rid of it completely? Will I need to do a water change and/or disrupt my cycling?
It will help but probably not completely. Only do a wc if you feel like you don't like the coloration. If you do like the color, then make your tank into a blackwater tank. They are really great for the fish's health and you can keep some really unique fish in blackwater aquariums.
 
MacZ
Member
djas said:
Would it ruin the cycling? Would I need to do a water change?
No, it would not do anything to the cycle and waterchanges are up to you.

I personally would leave it in. But that's me. :D
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
However, I keep the light off because the cycling guide said to do so to let the bacteria grow faster. However, this brown water showed up long before I completed turned it off. I started this cycle on May 3. It showed up after a day.
You have already gotten some good advice about why the water is brown. I wanted to address this bit of information. Bacteria doesn't care if the light is on or off. Bacteria needs an ammonia source and oxygen to grow and thrive. Your plants may appreciate the light so I will recommend you turn it on for them.

If you choose to remove the wood and want to remove the tannin's you can water change it out. You are still very early in the cycling process but even at that the bacteria you have grown isn't free floating in the water so changing out the brown water will not be removing bacteria. Just be sure you add your water conditioner if you have chlorine/chloramines in your tap water.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
mattgirl said:
You have already gotten some good advice about why the water is brown. I wanted to address this bit of information. Bacteria doesn't care if the light is on or off. Bacteria needs an ammonia source and oxygen to grow and thrive. Your plants may appreciate the light so I will recommend you turn it on for them.

If you choose to remove the wood and want to remove the tannin's you can water change it out. You are still very early in the cycling process but even at that the bacteria you have grown isn't free floating in the water so changing out the brown water will not be removing bacteria. Just be sure you add your water conditioner if you have chlorine/chloramines in your tap water.
Thank you so much.

What if i want to keep the wood in? If i boil it, will the tannins be permanently gone or will i need to find other wood?
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
Thank you so much.

What if i want to keep the wood in? If i boil it, will the tannins be permanently gone or will i need to find other wood?
You are very welcome. From what others have said this kind of wood keeps producing tannin's for a very long time so simply boiling it isn't going to remove enough to keep it from turning your water brown. I've never had it so I leave that to those that have experience with it.
 
MacZ
Member
djas said:
What if i want to keep the wood in? If i boil it, will the tannins be permanently gone or will i need to find other wood?
There are types of wood that don't leach that much tannins. Spiderwood e.g. is relatively tannin free. But with most kinds of wood you will have to expect a certain level of tannin leaching. Mopani, Mangrove and bogwood are almost guaranteed to leach them. Boiling doesn't really help. You can't stop it permanently from leaching just by boiling. The process of preparation with watering and boiling in order to get most out can take weeks or months. And you can't really predict that before purchase.

I can only advise to embrace the tint.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
I started this tank cycle on May 3. I'm in the middle of a fishless (well -- was....) cycling a 10G (brand new) and before I went out, I took a reading of:


1621147445137.png


The nitrate is also between 10-20ppm.

I gifted a betta fish (From a friend) (koi female betta) and I just couldn't resist y'know? So, I acclimated her to tank and made sure to the 5ml of aquarium water after 15 mins of floating and eventually after 30 more minutes, I brought her into the tank. But not before a 30% water change and some Seachem Prime.

Now... my question is.. obviously I'll be doing fish-in cycling.... after I started a fish-less cycling. Did I mess up? I know I should have waited...

I have Dr. Tim's Ammonia (4 drops per 10G) ... but with a fish in the aquarium... can I still use it?

Is my next step to bring the Ammonia and Nitrites down to 0 while dosing it with Seachem Prime?
 
Roman96
Member
No, don't use the ammonia with the fish. The fish will produce ammonia for the cycle. Usually keeping ammonia and nitrites below 1ppm during cycling is the goal. So once ammonia or nitrites reaches past 1ppm, it's waterchange time.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
Roman96 said:
No, don't use the ammonia with the fish. The fish will produce ammonia for the cycle. Usually keeping ammonia and nitrites below 1ppm during cycling is the goal. So once ammonia or nitrites reaches past 1ppm, it's waterchange time.
Looks like it's water change time. My nitirites are off the charts...
 
Andyc1983
Member
Hi,
I wouldn't add any more ammonia as it is toxic to your fish. The fish you have put in will generate ammonia from now on.

Your nitrites are very high, I would do another big water change to bring it down.

The good news is that you have some nitrates which means the bacteria you need for your cycle are present and doing their job.

I would keep an eye on your levels and fish behaviour and keep dosing prime (though I seem to remember that at standard dose it only binds up to 1 ppm ammonia, not sure about nitrite).
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
Andyc1983 said:
Hi,
I wouldn't add any more ammonia as it is toxic to your fish. The fish you have put in will generate ammonia from now on.

Your nitrites are very high, I would do another big water change to bring it down.

The good news is that you have some nitrates which means the bacteria you need for your cycle are present and doing their job.

I would keep an eye on your levels and fish behaviour and keep dosing prime (though I seem to remember that at standard dose it only binds up to 1 ppm ammonia, not sure about nitrite).
I did a 50% water change around 10 hours ago and tested the levels today. Nitrites are still high. But I am guessing I gotta let it stir a bit more?

Ammonia is still 0 while pH and NitrAtes have risen to 7.0 and 10ppm respectively.
 
StarGirl
Member
I would do another 50% now. I would try to do changes until they are under .50. I would go under .25 myself. Then after that do changes whenever they rise to .50 again. Do not add any more ammonia now. Do you have Nitrates in your tap water? I would test your tap water to see whats all there.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
StarGirl said:
I would do another 50% now. I would try to do changes until they are under .50. I would go under .25 myself. Then after that do changes whenever they rise to .50 again. Do not add any more ammonia now. Do you have Nitrates in your tap water? I would test your tap water to see whats all there.
I will do a 50% water change now. I didn't test the tap water but I do indeed put Prime in it of course.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
I started a fish-less cycle on May 3. I was using Dr. Tim's until 1 day ago... I did a 50% water change 20 hours and 10 hours ago. I tested the water a few minutes ago:


1621204427149.png

I put in a betta (female) last night after misreading the cycle so I put myself in a fish-in cycling and started using her waste as ammonia...

Anyway, after doing a water change and letting it stir for 10+ hours... seems like I am nearing the end? What are my next steps?
 
Asomeone
Member
I'd personally suggest to keep testing nitrates for the next couple of days but from this test I would assume that yes you are finished. The cycle appears to have completed. Did you see that elevated nitrate and then ammonia spike following it?
 
Dunk2
Member
djas said:
I started a fish-less cycle on May 3. I was using Dr. Tim's until 1 day ago... I did a 50% water change 20 hours and 10 hours ago. I tested the water a few minutes ago:


1621204427149.png

I put in a betta (female) last night after misreading the cycle so I put myself in a fish-in cycling and started using her waste as ammonia...

Anyway, after doing a water change and letting it stir for 10+ hours... seems like I am nearing the end? What are my next steps?
What size tank and what was the test result for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates before the water change 20 hours ago?
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
Asomeone said:
I'd personally suggest to keep testing nitrates for the next couple of days but from this test I would assume that yes you are finished. The cycle appears to have completed. Did you see that elevated nitrate and then ammonia spike following it?
Will do. And yes. I did. However nitrates from my testing never spiked above or rather I didn't test it until later so perhaps it happened without my knowing.
Dunk2 said:
What size tank and what was the test result for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates before the water change 20 hours ago?
It was this. Size was 10g.
 
Dechi
Member
Nothing here suggests you were near the end. It’s impossible to know since you changed 50% of the water.

It doesn’t matter now because you’re now entering the fish-in cycle game. This is a water changing game. You test your water everyday, and as soon as you get 0.5 ammonia and/or nitrites (I do it at 0.25 ppm), you do a big WC to bring it as close to 0 as possible.

You might have to do WC everyday for a while. Just do it, or you will lose your fish.

Cycling takes on average 4-5 weeks.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
Dechi said:
Nothing here suggests you were near the end. It’s impossible to know since you changed 50% of the water.

It doesn’t matter now because you’re now entering the fish-in cycle game. This is a water changing game. You test your water everyday, and as soon as you get 0.5 ammonia and/or nitrites (I do it at 0.25 ppm), you do a big WC to bring it as close to 0 as possible.

You might have to do WC everyday for a while. Just do it, or you will lose your fish.

Cycling takes on average 4-5 weeks.
Thanks will definitely be doing a WC on this 10g. How much should I do daily? Dechi

Seems I keep doing it until the ammo and nitrites are at 0 after 24 hours of latest WC.
 
Dechi
Member
djas said:
Thanks will definitely be doing a WC on this 10g. How much should I do daily? Dechi
I wouldn’t go over 50% at once. If you need to do more, wait half a day in between. The fish have to adapt to new conditions each time so we want to make it easier on them.

How much you need to change depends on how much ammonia and/or nitrites you have. Go with the highest level of the two to decide. For example, if you have 1 ppm nitrites, doing a 50% WC will bring the nitrites levels to a more acceptable level of 0.5 ppm.

If you want to go down to 0.25 ppm, then wait at the end of the day and do one more 50% WC. Or test again the next day and decide then.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
I am in the middle of a fish-in cycling (nearing the end it seems) and my ammonia is 0 and my nitrite is 0.25pm

I have a 10 gallon. How much % of tank water should I change? I heard it's proportionate to your tank... but I am not sure what.
 
Idkitsathrowaway
Member
honestly, its hard to tell, I would do many small like 10% or under untill it is where you like it, make sure you give it a good hot minut to mix to new water with the old, it will dilute it better, and you wont have any hot spots when you check
 
mattgirl
Member
I don't want to seem to be being mean but it would be much easier for us to help if you could keep all of this on the same thread. By doing so we have all the previously asked/answer questions all in one place. Maybe you could ask the mods to merge the threads.

Looks like the mods are faster than I am :D
 
  • Moderator
Coradee
Moderator
Member
Hi djas, we have merged your cycling threads together.
Members can help you best if you keep all the information in one thread & they can easily see what’s already been advised without jumping from thread to thread.
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
I am in the middle of a fish-in cycling (nearing the end it seems) and my ammonia is 0 and my nitrite is 0.25pm

I have a 10 gallon. How much % of tank water should I change? I heard it's proportionate to your tank... but I am not sure what.
As long as it goes no higher than this I would skip the water change today. Let's give the bacteria a chance to clear it out. You are still very early in the cycle so just keep testing and dong water changes as needed. As long as ammonia plus nitrites is well below one you can skip the water change that day. If they are getting up near one get them back down with a water change.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
sorry about that, will be more cognizant in the future -- thanks
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
sorry about that, will be more cognizant in the future -- thanks
You may have missed it but I edited my last post and added more information.
I type rather slow :D
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
mattgirl said:
As long as it goes no higher than this I would skip the water change today. Let's give the bacteria a chance to clear it out. You are still very early in the cycle so just keep testing and dong water changes as needed. As long as ammonia plus nitrites is well below one you can skip the water change that day. If they are getting up near one get them back down with a water change.
Readings as of a few minutes ago:


1621398811859.png


Seems like tomorrow morning I'll expect to be doing a WC? Nitrites have been consistent since this morning.
 
mattgirl
Member
I am unable to tell what your pH reading is. Which of the 2 tests that come in the kit are you using? First we use the pH. If it pegs the chart out by being really bright blue then we use the high pH test because it is above 7.6.
 
  • Thread Starter
djas
Member
mattgirl said:
I am unable to tell what your pH reading is. Which of the 2 tests that come in the kit are you using? First we use the pH. If it pegs the chart out by being really bright blue then we use the high pH test because it is above 7.6.
pH is around 7. Using regulsr range pH
New reading:


1621434132283.png


Seems like Nitrite moved slight up to .50? I honestly cannot tell sometimes. Time for a 50% WC?
 
mattgirl
Member
djas said:
pH is around 7. Using regulsr range pH
New reading:


1621434132283.png


Seems like Nitrite moved slight up to .50? I honestly cannot tell sometimes. Time for a 50% WC?
I think you are right. Nitrite does look to be .5 so yes, time for a 50% water change.
 

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