55 Gallon Tank anyone understand these numbers?

Meach
Member
I have a 55 g freshwater tank 11 days since filled new. It has a whisper 70 HOB a ugf with bubblers. There are three 2in red finned tinfoils and three 1in tiger barbs in since filled. I know, I know, this is my first aquarium and I wish I had done it fishless. With the little knowledge I now have, I will go fishless from now on. Can someone tell me where I am in the cycle with the following numbers? new water treated with prime and stability added as per instructions-
API liquid test kit-
day 9- Ph 7.4, ammonia 1.0 ppm, nitrite .25 ppm, nitrates not tested
day 10- ammonia checked 1st, read 2.0, I freaked and did 10% wc and retested
Ph7.2, ammonia 1.0 ppm, nitrite 1.0ppm, nitrate 5.0ppm
day 11-Ph 7.6, ammonia 1.5ppm, nitrite 1.0ppm, nitrate between 5 and 10ppm.
After initial tank acclimation (2-3 hours) the fish seem fine. They have good appetites, gills look good, staying on bottom to mid tank level, no problems.
What gives?
 
catsma_97504
Member
Welcome to Fishlore Meach!

To begin with, I'd throw out the Stability. It does not work all that well. There are many postings in this forum, even several who logged their experiences while using this product. And, in some cases, it actually caused the aquarium to become unstable.

With that said, I'd suggest you begin daily 50% water changes and use Prime. While your ammonia reads 1-2PPM and your nitrite reads 1-2PPM, I'd suggest you dose at 3-4 times standard dosage. So, in a 55G tank, that would be 3-4 capfuls.

Do you have a High pH test kit? If so, you might want to start using it. Although I would not be concerned with the pH as it will fluctuate during the cycling process.

Ammonia is converted into nitrite, and nitrite is in turn converted into nitrate in the cycling process. There is a good article discussing the Nitrogen Cycle on this site. If you haven't already, you might want to check it out to understand what needs to happen in your aquarium. Once you are able to get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some nitrate for a few days, then your tank will be cycled.

Good luck!
 
  • Thread Starter
Meach
Member
Thank you Dena for the response. I have indeed read the cycling article along with other
Literature on the topic, the article is very helpful. The reason these test readings don't make sense to me is the fact that there are significant amounts of all three indicators involved in the cycling process, but there has not been a spike in ammonia or nitrites as has been noted in most of what I have read on the subject. Due to the fact that nitrites and nitrates are present would indicate the "bacteria's" have formed converting both, if I am correct. So why so slow in stabilizing if the bacteria's are present? Also is there any indication of where this tank is in the process? I am normally a patient person but am going out of town with my lovely and very aquarium tolerant wife on Sunday the 24th. Also what can I do to "limp" this process along for the four days I will be gone?
 
Aquarist
Member
Hello Meach and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I hope you enjoy the site.

Ken
 
iloveengl
Member
to FishLore Meach.

Have you tested your tap water for the presence of Ammonia or NitrAte? It can throw off your numbers.

Also, the Stability could have been messing with your natural cycling process and screwing up the params.

The cycle can take more than 4 weeks depending on how it's done. The Stability may have interrupted it as well. So 11 days isn't so long into the cycle. You're doing well. Keep up the patience and the partial water changes with Prime (and without Stability).
 
Meenu
Member
Welcome to FL!
Also, I saw that you did a water change and then tested. Testing should be done at least 24 hours after a water change, for your results right after can be inaccurate.
 
  • Thread Starter
Meach
Member
Thank you everyone for your knowledgable input. It sure take a lot of the anxiety away having a forum and people like this as a sounding board. One follow up question- Would it be advantageous at this stage to add a friends spare and cycled filter pad to seed this tank? Thanks again for all the helpful comments.
Kevin
 
Fishies-for-me
Member
In my opinion it is never to late to add seeded filter media... just make sure it is from a healthy tank.
 
harpua2002
Member
Yes, that should speed up the process greatly.

Welcome to FL!
 
iloveengl
Member
Yes! I would definitely add it. Let us know if after a few days that positively affects your readings or if they still seem wonky.
 
  • Thread Starter
Meach
Member
Thanks again everyone. I'm picking up the seeded floss tonight. I will post results for those interested.
 
harpua2002
Member
We'll be following! Best of luck.
 
  • Thread Starter
Meach
Member
I added approximately 8x8 inch piece of seeded filter material to my HOB filter last night. I tore it in half and installed it in both sides of my filter. There was plenty of room for all existing material and the new seeded, so it's all in there. It was most easily fit as the first
stage of filtering, while my first choice would have been the middle stage, I didn't feel as it would make that much difference and might even "seed through" to the subsequent layers. As suggested, I followed with a 45% WC with prime. I will do an overly anxious water test Saturday. Who knows? Testing doesn't hurt the fish and I might have some data for future seeding.(but fishless next time)
 
MindTravel3r
Member
The seeded media should make great difference. I just did a fishless cycle with seeded media back in August and it took three weeks. I would imagine that it will take another couple of weeks, but it looks like you have good start.
 
  • Thread Starter
Meach
Member
Tested water sunday am. Ph 7.8, ammonia .5 ppm, nitrites 5.0+ ppm, nitrates 20+ ppm. With the ammonia falling, the nitrites rising, and the nitrates rising, it seems as though things are really getting going. I immediately did a 50% WC with twice the prime recommended, being careful of matching water temperature. Fish act fine, no gill issues or odd behavior. Here's the catch, I just arrived in Las Vegas for a romantic getaway with my wife until Thursday. I don't have anyone very knowledgeable to rely on. With the exception of my daughter who I could walk through anything that needed to be done. If anyone has any advice or insight on what to expect the next couple of days it would be much appreciated. I did not test water after WC as I was advised in a previous post that the water would not stabilize for about 24 hours. Thanks again!
Kevin
 

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