Cycle Done But... Water Change Before Adding Fish

Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #41
Waiting might be the best option at this point. I know the waiting is difficult but in the long run I feel sure your fish will thank you.

This is just one more reason why I have always done fish in cycling, well that and I didn't know there was any other way to do it or that any other way was necessary. With it you set up a tank. Fill it with fresh dechlorinated water and add fish. Before I joined this forum the only test kit I had was one for PH. I was always on top of the water changes though because I realized the fish needed fresh clean dechlorinated water.

While doing a fish in cycle it progresses along a pretty well set line of things that happen. Just because fish in cycling is being frowned upon by some doesn't mean it isn't still a viable way of doing it. I had already had water pets for over 35 years before I ever even heard of fishless cycling a tank and I heard it first right here on this forum.

This is actually what I would do If I found myself in your shoes. I would do a 90% water change to get this tank back to fresh clean water and go ahead and add some hearty fish and allow nature to follow its course. Clean fresh water is the main thing the fish need.

Since you are using spring water (I am assuming it contains all the minerals necessary for both us and our fish in drinking water) a dechlorinator isn't necessary but it is good to have Prime to help neutralize the low amounts of ammonia that will be present in a tank cycling with fish in it.

All of this to say, yes just be patient for a while longer or backup, regroup and go ahead and get some fish to finish this cycle

Thank you for your help I will wait and if it doesn't chamge by next weekend I will do a large water change and put hardy fish in to finish it. My ph is at 7.2 so I will be looking at that more closely for now on ( lesten learnt) and do water changes to make sure it stays up past 7. I believe the water I'm using has enough nutrients bin ot can you look at the pic and let me know what you think I don't mind buying additives to up them. Thanks again and I'm sure you will be hearing from me often with this cycle

20180823_182201_Burst01.jpg
 
mattgirl
  • #42
It looks to me like the water you are using is a perfect source. It looks to have all the minerals that are supposed to be in our drinking water. Since it has no chlorine in it a water conditioner really isn't necessary while finishing up your fishless cycle.

I will be here so just ask away and if I can help I will.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #43
It looks to me like the water you are using is a perfect source. It looks to have all the minerals that are supposed to be in our drinking water. Since it has no chlorine in it a water conditioner really isn't necessary while finishing up your fishless cycle.

I will be here so just ask away and if I can help I will.
Thank you so much
 
Kjani
  • #44
Just going to ride it out I think. My ph is good now since I did the water change so I'll make sure I keep an eye on it.
Ph looks good!!! It could be done by next weekend....
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #45
Ph looks good!!! It could be done by next weekend....
I hope so .How is your cycle going? Better then mine I hope .Lol
 
Kjani
  • #46
It finally got there...it will happen to you too! You’ll wake up go in to test (or whenever you test) and suddenly you’ll be like WHAT??? Kind of shocking... the big test at the end using darn near full dose... was the scariest... I was so afraid I was gonna slide back down the hill backwards again

I think you’re closer than you think ! It’s the last push Nitrite to Nitrate! Takes so darn long...

Would love to hear how you do!!! And would love to hear your fish ideas and selection!!!
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #47
It finally got there...it will happen to you too! You’ll wake up go in to test (or whenever you test) and suddenly you’ll be like WHAT??? Kind of shocking... the big test at the end using darn near full dose... was the scariest... I was so afraid I was gonna slide back down the hill backwards again

I think you’re closer than you think ! It’s the last push Nitrite to Nitrate! Takes so darn long...

Would love to hear how you do!!! And would love to hear your fish ideas and selection!!!
Well I'm hoping to get 6 panda corys 8 ember tetras and possibly 2 honey gouramis
 

Kjani
  • #48
Well I'm hoping to get 6 panda corys 8 ember tetras and possibly 2 honey gouramis
...so cool... I haven’t read up much on the honey gouramis! I will need to check those out
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #49
It looks to me like the water you are using is a perfect source. It looks to have all the minerals that are supposed to be in our drinking water. Since it has no chlorine in it a water conditioner really isn't necessary while finishing up your fishless cycle.

I will be here so just ask away and if I can help I will.

Ok so this is what my tests still show and I have not added any ammonia


20180922_103727.jpg

My ph is 7 to 7.2 I don't understand why I'm still at this stage I have started this cycle Aug 27 shouldn't I be done by now?
 
Kjani
  • #50
Ok so this is what my tests still show and I have not added any ammonia

View attachment 482990

My ph is 7 to 7.2 I don't understand why I'm still at this stage I have started this cycle Aug 27 shouldn't I be done by now?
Can you do me a favor and get 1/2 test tube with aquarium water and add 1/2 tap water to the line and test for nitrite?
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #51
Can you do me a favor and get 1/2 test tube with aquarium water and add 1/2 tap water to the line and test for nitrite?
Yup give me one minute
 
mattgirl
  • #52
Ok so this is what my tests still show and I have not added any ammonia

View attachment 482990

My ph is 7 to 7.2 I don't understand why I'm still at this stage I have started this cycle Aug 27 shouldn't I be done by now?
I know this is frustrating but sadly each cycle is different. A normal cycle from scratch with nothing added to speed up the process can take a solid 6 weeks. Yours stalled for a short time when the PH bottomed out so it may have added a few more days to the timeline.

You can do water changes to get the nitrites down but since this is a fishless cycle if it were me I would just give it time to do it naturally.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #53
I know this is frustrating but sadly each cycle is different. A normal cycle from scratch with nothing added to speed up the process can take a solid 6 weeks. Yours stalled for a short time when the PH bottomed out so it may have added a few more days to the timeline.

You can do water changes to get the nitrites down but since this is a fishless cycle if it were me I would just give it time to do it naturally.

You would think the ammonia would be going down its been now then 48hrs now and it barely moved. Stupid ph[/QUOTE]

Can you do me a favor and get 1/2 test tube with aquarium water and add 1/2 tap water to the line and test for nitrite?

20180924_172402.jpgso its close to 2 I think. What does this mean?
 
Kjani
  • #54
It means your nitrites are higher than the chart can read

If you’re really into this as I am LOL next try 1/4 aquarium and 3 quarters tap water - may even have to go to 1/8 aquarium water and 7/8 tap

Your goal is to get to a measurable nitrite in the middle like the .50 area...

Now I’m no expert and there’s a lot of more knowledgeable people than me on here but this happened to me and for me to get to .50 I had to dilute my 1/8th aquarium water with 7/8 tap to get to that.... so basically I did a massive water change 80%.

Then I tested and made sure my nitrites were approximately at .50 I just needed a mid-range . I then tested my ammonia and if I was at zero I added 1/4 of a full test of drops for me that was about 60 drops - I tested in 1 hr and I was at between 1-2 ppm ammonia AND THEN I ADDED a really full capful of tetra safestart - then I waited till next morning and tested again and was at zero ammonia and I believe I had the some trace nitrites BUT NO WORSE so now I went to 102 drops ammonia and ran that- next morning I was at ZERO ammonia and tested nitrites and was at zero and nitrates were sky high - I water changed about 1/2 and then went for 4ppm with ammonia and it took and was zero both ammonia and nitrites - the next morning. course nitrates were to the moon and did massive 90% water change

I forgot you were using bottled water - so sorry not trying to cause you worries...
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #55
I forgot you were using bottled water - so sorry not trying to cause you worries...
No no I'm just thinking I thout my nitrite was low like .50ppm it depends on what light I look at and if I put it right on the booklet it looks very dark but hold it a little away and it's much lighter. What do I look at touching paper or a little away?
 
Kjani
  • #56
You can wait it out it will eventually process I think my nitrites were higher than yours. If you can go a 1/4 aquarium water and 3/4 tap amd get to .50 than your nitrites will be lower than mine were -
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #57
This could explain a bit if I'm to have it touching then my nitrates are lile 10ppm or so not 5
 

Kjani
  • #58
Put it on a Snow White cloth or towel and find the best NATURAL light in your house and check it out

You can do the 1/4 aquarium and 3/4 tap just to see and validate the 2ppm

That didn’t work for me until I got down to 1/8 and 7/8... so it tells you a lot beyond the chart
 
mattgirl
  • #59
I agree with KjanI Your nitrites are actually off the chart. At this point if I were in your situation I would do a couple of back the back water changes. I would test the nitrites at that point to see where they are. If they are still deep purple, run the diluted test again...1/2 tank water and 1/2 spring water. If it is still showing the deep purple do another water change.

It is possible that you could just wait it out but by following Kjani's very good and detailed advice I believe you will find that you are really close to a finished cycle.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #60
I agree with KjanI Your nitrites are actually off the chart. At this point if I were in your situation I would do a couple of back the back water changes. I would test the nitrites at that point to see where they are. If they are still deep purple, run the diluted test again...1/2 tank water and 1/2 spring water. If it is still showing the deep purple do another water change.

It is possible that you could just wait it out but by following Kjani's very good and detailed advice I believe you will find that you are really close to a finished cycle.
Well then haha I will try to figure that out after work. So why do I still have ammonia? If say my nitrite are high wouldnt that make my ammonia 0 pr am I thinking of nitrates
 
Kjani
  • #61
Because nitrite producing bacteria have a very hard time with high levels of ammonia... and you like me really dosed high even after the first two times so we kinda overloaded the front end then the nitrites get so high that it will take forever to come down so you’re stuck...

Think of it like plumbing... you’ve got an off-the-chart nitrite reading it seems like it’s 4-5pmm but it’s really like 8 or 10ppm it’s gonna take a really long time to push that through to nitrates and you already have mid-range nitrates so - it’s like you’re at maximum head-room and it’s gonna be very slow going till you push that number of nitrites down and nitrates down

Therefore you can help the process - by artificially lowering the nitrites to Mid-range aI'm for .50ppm it does not have to be perfect just not on the upper end where it is hard to tell where you’re at - it should be obvious and easy to read you want mid-range

Clearing the water opens the”flow” doing a tender quarter load of ammonia ( if you show ammonia after a ginormous water change don’t add any more - I showed none so I added a baby dose) IF you show no ammonia after the water change, add a baby dose something to get you to only 1ppm or between 1-2ppm EITHER WAY whether you add ammonia or don’t add ammonia (you will need some ammonia for this process- so test B4 adding any in - we need to be gentle with your bacteria)

NOW kick start it will Tetra safe start, I think that one has some bacteria that adds the one that changes nitrites to nitrates. ADD one very full to the brI'm capful thing - Then wait 24 hours then test ammonia- it should drop to zero, you may have no nitrites or may have a little certainly no higher than mid range

Only add ammonia if yours is zero... we don’t want to overload your bacteria.

So if you’re at zero ammonia double your dose from the day before - so I did like 58 first then this next dose here I did 102 I believe - does not have to be totally exact. THEN WAIT. 24 hours

The water changes are gonna kill ya $ with the spring bottled water... but look at it this way, your fish will have pristine water and you can start out with the fish you REALLY want!!!

Testing a 1/4 aquarium water to 3/4 tap water tells you a lot about how far off the chart you are
FOR ME 1/4 was not enough I had to go to an 1/8 aquarium water and the rest tap water to even get a mid range nitrite reading. THIS then told me how much of a waterchange I had to do

Think of the test tube as a minI aquarium... it helps

Plus you fixed your ph... so that is solved

Make sure your temp is up 79-80 is good don't need higher
 
mattgirl
  • #62
Well then haha I will try to figure that out after work. So why do I still have ammonia? If say my nitrite are high wouldnt that make my ammonia 0 pr am I thinking of nitrates
I know a lot of this doesn't make total sense but cycling a tank is all about getting it balanced. Right now your high nitrites have your growing cycle too far out of balance and for now it can no longer consume all of the ammonia.

I truly do believe you are teetering on the edge of completing this cycle. If you can get those nitrites down to a reasonable level things will start moving again and in my humble opinion they will move very quickly.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #63
Thank you both for your help through this. I have a pretty harsh work week so will try to do water change Wednesday. Is that ok?
 
mattgirl
  • #64
Thank you both for your help through this. I have a pretty harsh work week so will try to do water change Wednesday. Is that ok?
You are so very welcome. Actually it is more than OK. I think it is a good idea. You may find some movement in the numbers during that time.

One thing I would do though if you can find a few minutes to do it. Test the PH each day just to make sure it doesn't drop again.
 
Kjani
  • #65
Thank you both for your help through this. I have a pretty harsh work week so will try to do water change Wednesday. Is that ok?
Yep - you don’t have fish so A.ok
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #66
You can also order the seachem pH alert on amazon. My pH oddly did the opposite while cycling and got over 8. Since the cycle completed, it's been at a steady 7.4. The alert just sticks on the inside of the tank and can give you an idea of where your pH is at with just a quick glance, so you'll know pretty fast if it's getting too low.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #67
You can also order the seachem pH alert on amazon. My pH oddly did the opposite while cycling and got over 8. Since the cycle completed, it's been at a steady 7.4. The alert just sticks on the inside of the tank and can give you an idea of where your pH is at with just a quick glance, so you'll know pretty fast if it's getting too low.
You are so very welcome. Actually it is more than OK. I think it is a good idea. You may find some movement in the numbers during that time.

One thing I would do though if you can find a few minutes to do it. Test the PH each day just to make sure it doesn't drop again.
Ok so Did tests before water change and they are

Ph 7.6
Ph high 7.4
Ammonia 0 to .25ppm
Nitrite looks only like 1ppm to 2ppm
Nitrates 5ppm

So I did 1/4 tank and 3/4 jug water and the test came out 2ppm to 5ppm.

So now that I did 25% water change should I add ammonia? And if so how much?

Thanks
 

Kjani
  • #68
Ok so Did tests before water change and they are

Ph 7.6
Ph high 7.4
Ammonia 0 to .25ppm
Nitrite looks only like 1ppm to 2ppm
Nitrates 5ppm

So I did 1/4 tank and 3/4 jug water and the test came out 2ppm to 5ppm.

So now that I did 25% water change should I add ammonia? And if so how much?

Thanks
Hey so cool you are making progress! Ok what is your ammonia at right now are you zero?

Also what is the size of your aquarium AND what type of ammonia are you using? Dr Tim’s? If dr Tim’s what do the directions say... 1 or 4 drops per galllon?
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #69
I
Also what is the size of your aquarium AND what type of ammonia are you using? Dr Tim’s? If dr Tim’s what do the directions say... 1 or 4 drops per galllon?
Have a 20gal high tank and I'm using old country cleanimg ammonia. I believe it 5% ammonia. A member did a post on good ammonia to get in canada and this was it.

Also what is the size of your aquarium AND what type of ammonia are you using? Dr Tim’s? If dr Tim’s what do the directions say... 1 or 4 drops per galllon?
Oh and it looks like 0 to .25ppm ammonia very hard to tell
 
Kjani
  • #70
Ok I use dr Tim’s so I am unsure how to dose with cleaning ammonia - so sorry but perhaps you know this ammonia so I myself would dose very minimally and get it to 1ppm only if possible and let that wash through - no more and see how it clears...in 24 hours...baby steps and gently coaxing the bacteria

....if possible, dose minimally and test in like 1/2 hour see if you can get it to barely 1ppm once there THEN if you have it I would dump in a capful of tetra safestart as well...
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #71
O
....if possible, dose minimally and test in like 1/2 hour see if you can get it to barely 1ppm once there THEN if you have it I would dump in a capful of tetra safestart as well...
K I will be at work when it goes 12hr. But if I wait till around 6pm tonight just before I leave I should be home to test 12hr. Is that ok or should I add it now? It will be like 30hr before I can check it
 
Kjani
  • #72
You only need a half hour not 12 hours ... just enuff time for your filter to pump ammonia through the water so you can test to see if 1ppm
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #73
You only need a half hour not 12 hours ... just enuff time for your filter to pump ammonia through the water so you can test to see if 1ppm
Ahhh my bad haha I thought I was seeing if it goes down to 0ppm in 12hrs. Dont mind me having one of those days I will do that now .
 
mattgirl
  • #74
I am still following but good advice is being given so will just listen for a while. I want to be here when the celebration over a fully cycled tank begins
 
Kjani
  • #75
...keep us informed as it goes ... this is kinda exciting!!!
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #76
I am still following but good advice is being given so will just listen for a while. I want to be here when the celebration over a fully cycled tank begins
Mark my words I will be like I just watched a team win a Stanley cup when this thing FINALLY get cycled. Lol
 
Kjani
  • #77
LOL I can completely relate....

Also after dosing with the ammonia and after making sure you are 1ppm and if u have the safestart etc. wait 24 hours before testing ammonia again this way it’s a good solid test!
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #78
Also after dosing with the ammonia and after making sure you are 1ppm and if u have the safestart etc. wait 24 hours before testing ammonia again this way it’s a good solid test!

Let me try this again so test results are

Ammonia .25
Nitrite looks like 2ppm or 5ppm no sunlight to use.
Nitrates 5ppm still

So should I add more ammonia?
 
Kjani
  • #79
My feeling is no. You need the nitrites to go to zero too...

And ammonia should really go to zero

I would get some tetra safe start... you really need it!!!!!!!!!!!!

And when this works right it should roll it all through in 24 hours - with only nitrates left... they will be really really high
Test again tomorrow - check your ph and make it hasn’t dropped below 7.0



I was really hoping it would rock and roll here
DID it get to 1ppm yesterday when you added the ammonia? If so, then it did wash a good percentage through but it’s not ready yet for “the final test”
 
Kjani
  • #80
What all do you have In your tank ?

Size is 29 g
Substrate is -
Lights? -
Plants? Live ones -
Any plastic stuff? -
Any rocks or shells? -
Any wood? -
 

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