Aquarium Cycle Log 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Members Fish Tanks' started by klogue2, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    This is my cycling log for my 10 gallon aquarium :) I'll keep track of my parameters and questions here.


    - 10 gallon standard aquarium
    - Light to moderately planted with anacharis and java fern plantlets
    - kept at 75-76*F
    - 2x13w 5000k CFL lighting

    Day 1 - 12/24/2012 - 11:30pm

    Ph - 7.4
    Ammonia - 0.5 ppm
    Nitrites - 0 ppm
    Nitrates - 0-5 ppm (little hard to tell, looks more like 5)

    I filled the aquarium and set it up yesterday evening, but it does not have a filter yet (mine pooped on me when I went to set it up, I think there was some sand in it. oops!). Will be getting one in two days, since the stores are closed for X-mas :) Probably getting an Aqua-Tech 5-15g, 125gph HOB filter.

    Does my Ph seem a little high? I think 7.0 is average correct? My 29g tested between 7.4 and 7.8 for some reason as well, which seems very high. Is this anything to worry about?

    I plan to use fish food to cycle. I have added a tiny pinch, which I ground up between my fingers. I read I need to keep the ammonia between 1 ppm and 4 ppm, never letting it drop below 1 ppm. I'll test again in two days, after I get my filter, and see what the ammonia levels are as of then.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Don't you have a cycled tank already?

  3. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Save yourself a lot of headache down the road. Get a new nylon stocking and add 1/4 cup fish food to the toe and tie it off. Drop this sock into the tank. It takes a few weeks for the food to decompose enough to build up the ammonia. Not only does this approach ensure you get the required ammonia buildup, but it also ensures that your tank isn't a mess with a ton of rotting food in the substrate.

    Also, while doing a fishless cycle crank the heat. The more heat the faster the bacteria will grow!

    Just ignore the pH. A stable pH is more important than a perfect one. Plus, it is going to bounce from one extreme to the other while the cycle is progressing.

    But, Jaysee is right in asking about another tank that is already cycled. Simply transfer some of the media when you get your new filter and your tank may be instantly cycled.

  4. LyleBWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, your profile says you have two filters on you 29 gal, an AquaTech like you say you will get for this tank.

    If both those filters have been running on the 29 gal for a month or more, when you get your new filter, just put the old media in that when you set it up. Put the new media in the 29 gal. That should give you a pretty close to instant cycle. Just keep an eye on the ammonia/nitrite in both tanks for a few days to make sure.

    When I used cycled filter media in my 29 gal to cycle, it took less than half the time as my initial 10 gal did.

    Good luck.

    Edit: OK, just saw your other post about wanting to do a "from scratch" cycle. Then the word is PATIENCE. It took mine almost eight weeks, but that included a 10 day vacation with just some rotting shrimp to keep it going.

    Again, Good Luck.

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  5. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    Question, how do you have ammonia & nitrates in your water already? If I read your post correctly you haven't added an ammonia source yet. Does your tap have them? Just curious.
  6. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    That's what I had wondered too about the ammonia, I added the plants yesterday though, so maybe the plants have done something this far? Although I thought that the plants consumed the ammonia, not made it.

    I'll do a test on my tap water and see what I get. Merry Christmas!
  7. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Plants dont directly consume ammonia, they use the nitrogen compounds in the water.

    Dena made a great point about the stocking and I would use the theory if you can.

    As far as pH goes, while the statement of done worry is true to a point, in the matter of the cycle as things happen you will need to watch your pH, when the cycle turns to about the end and your really getting that nitrite to nitrate conversion going the bacteria take up almost ALL of the Alkalinity (KH) in the water and if not replaced (Ill get back to this in a min) will cause a pH crash and the cycle will stall, and if not dealt with fast enough the cycle will fail.

    Now I said I would get back to replaced, in the natural cycle which we all have once we have gone thru the steps of growing the bacteria, it will release the alkalinity that is used durring the cycle back into the water after it does the conversion to nitrate. So in almost all the cases of aquariums you wont have to worry about this issue again unless you mini cycle or lose your cycle. There are rare times that other factors play in but for now lets just say they are rare.

    I would pay attention to the pH as stated above and when it starts to crash, as it will, just make sure it doesnt get too far down below 6.5, your cycle can work at that range, just barely. Alot of times it is enough to get thru and things are find but if it starts to drop below that you will need to add a source of alkalinity to the tank. Personally when cycling and just needing the one time boost in the tank I will use a bucket and some tank water and mix in some baking soda, a pinch will usually do fine in a 10gal. Where you have no fish I wouldnt worry as much if you get the pH a little high at this point as your water change will help bring that back into line before you add fish.
  8. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Oh I see. That makes sense.

    I tested the tap water, Here's my results:

    Ph - 7.4
    Ammonia - 0.25 ppm
    Nitrites - 0 ppm
    Nitrates - 5.0 ppm

    I changed the ammonia in my first post to 0.5 because I thought it looked closer to that, but maybe it was closer to 0.25. That would explain why I have ammonia and nitrates then, it's in my tap water.
  9. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    it would indeed, you will most certainly need to keep some water conditioner on hand to assist with some of that, thou that small amount of ammonia should be able to be taken up by the bacteria once established. Your plants will enjoy the tap water thou.
  10. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Having a slight amount of ammonia and nitrate in your tap is why your test results are what they are today. This is something very important to know as you don't want to cause an issue with your livestock with water changes since you will be adding a small amount of ammonia. I recommend using a detoxing water conditioner. Seachem Prime or StressCoat+ are good choices. I use Prime in all my tanks because it is so economical! The bottle may cost around $15; but it will last the better part of a year with a couple of small tanks....making it cheaper to use than those cheap conditioners.

    Yes, plants can create ammonia when the leaves themselves begin to die and decompose. Do your plants have any such leaves? Right now your plants are simply attempting to put down their roots and settle into your tank. There will be very little, if any, growth at first. But, once they do begin to grow they will consume the ammonia for their nitrogen source. This is how live plant help the cycle. By consuming ammonia there is no need to convert it into nitrite or nitrate.

    Once you get your new filter and set it up things should move along quite nicely.
  11. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Hey everyone! I did more thinking and decided when I get the new filter tomorrow, I'll just move some filter media into the new filter and see how that goes instead. I change my mind a lot... it's how I've always been >.< probably part of my ADHD but who knows.

    Would it be better to move the sponge piece, or the filter pad? Or would they both have plenty of BB on them?
  12. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    How long has this media been in service? It takes a month, if not longer, to have enough bacteria for an instant cycle. Taking this approach you could purchase a single fish and then monitor the tank closely to keep the waste levels as low as possible.

    Nothing wrong with changing your mind before you actually get started. It is changing mid stream that causes issues.
  13. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    If I remember right I started the 29g around the beginning of October, so it's been running for almost 2-1/2 months.

    Even if it doesn't instant cycle, I don't mind the wait. Like I said, it's a new experience for me and I like to learn :)
  14. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Since your other tank hasn't been running very long (basically just cycled) you would get some help by transferring media. But, use caution. If you pull too much you can also send your current tank into a mini cycle and have to deal with daily water changes in it until the cycle catches up again.

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