Cycle Question - Should I Do Water Change?

Applescruff

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I have a fairly new 20gallon tank. I started adding a few fish every couple of days after it ran for 48 hours. Now that I have read more about the cycling process I wish I had done things differently but it’s too late. My ammonia level is high and my nitrate level very low.

My question is should I just wait for the cycling to start happening on its own, checking my ammonia and nitrate levels every day and then start changing out some water when the ammonia is gone and the nitrates are high or is there something I should do in the meantime? I’m afraid changing water now will slow down the cycling process.

I have only lost one fish , so far.
 

oldsalt777

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Applescruff said:
I have a fairly new 20gallon tank. I started adding a few fish every couple of days after it ran for 48 hours. Now that I have read more about the cycling process I wish I had done things differently but it’s too late. My ammonia level is high and my nitrate level very low.

My question is should I just wait for the cycling to start happening on its own, checking my ammonia and nitrate levels every day and then start changing out some water when the ammonia is gone and the nitrates are high or is there something I should do in the meantime? I’m afraid changing water now will slow down the cycling process.

I have only lost one fish , so far.
Hello App...

Test the water daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. You can feed the fish little every day or two to maintain a steady source of ammonia. If a daily test shows traces of either ammonia or nitrite, remove 25 percent of the tank water and replace it with tap water treated with a product that removes chlorine and chloramine and detoxifies the nitrogen produced by the fish. Seachem's "Safe" is a good product. Just test every day and remove and replace one-quarter of the water if needed. 25 percent changed will keep the chemistry safer for the fish and leave some ammonia and nitrite to grow the bacteria. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. At this point, you just change out half the water weekly to maintain good water conditions for the fish.

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Applescruff

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oldsalt777 said:
Hello App...

Test the water daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. You can feed the fish little every day or two to maintain a steady source of ammonia. If a daily test shows traces of either ammonia or nitrite, remove 25 percent of the tank water and replace it with tap water treated with a product that removes chlorine and chloramine and detoxifies the nitrogen produced by the fish. Seachem's "Safe" is a good product. Just test every day and remove and replace one-quarter of the water if needed. 25 percent changed will keep the chemistry safer for the fish and leave some ammonia and nitrite to grow the bacteria. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. At this point, you just change out half the water weekly to maintain good water conditions for the fish.

Old
Thanks! I shall follow,your advice.
 

mattgirl

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I agree with @oldsalt777

The bacteria doesn't live in the water so changing it can only help with the cycling process. The bacteria colonizes on everything in your tank but the majority of it will live on your filter media. Take care of that media and your cycle (bacteria) will grow and thrive.
 
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Applescruff

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mattgirl said:
I agree with @oldsalt777

The bacteria doesn't live in the water so changing it can only help with the cycling process. The bacteria colonizes on everything in your tank but the majority of it will live on your filter media. Take care of that media and your cycle (bacteria) will grow and thrive.
mattgirl said:
I agree with @oldsalt777

The bacteria doesn't live in the water so changing it can only help with the cycling process. The bacteria colonizes on everything in your tank but the majority of it will live on your filter media. Take care of that media and your cycle (bacteria) will grow and thrive.

So in that case do you recommend that I DO NOT take the filter apart and rinse it out even if it seems scummy? also my filter has a blinking light that tells me when the change the filter cartridge and it seems like it does that every two weeks or even less. Should a leave the dirty filter cartridge in longer while trying to cycle the tank?
 

Ms rose

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Yes leave it in til it's literally falling apart, if it starts to slow the filter flow simply take it out and rinse it ONLY in tank water. Usually done while doing water changes.

Edit to add: I took out that stupid cartrage censor and now.... I don't have to watch it tell me to kill my cycle and spend more money lol
 
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Applescruff

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Ms rose said:
Yes leave it in til it's literally falling apart, if it starts to slow the filter flow simply take it out and rinse it ONLY in tank water. Usually done while doing water changes.

Edit to add: I took out that stupid cartrage censor and now.... I don't have to watch it tell me to kill my cycle and spend more money lol

I swear that sensor is intended to sell more cartridges. I thought a week and a half was not long enough. I made the mistake of rinsing out the filter . That probably set me back. Now I know better. Thanks for this advice !
 

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Applescruff said:
I swear that sensor is intended to sell more cartridges. I thought a week and a half was not long enough. I made the mistake of rinsing out the filter . That probably set me back. Now I know better. Thanks for this advice !
I hate those manufactures with their expandable filter cartridges. Must have been a really slimy marketing director, who came up with this cash cow idea. They should be the ones who know about the cycle and how important the filter media is it. Sorry for the rant.
 

mattgirl

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Applescruff said:
So in that case do you recommend that I DO NOT take the filter apart and rinse it out even if it seems scummy? also my filter has a blinking light that tells me when the change the filter cartridge and it seems like it does that every two weeks or even less. Should a leave the dirty filter cartridge in longer while trying to cycle the tank?
For the most part a scummy cartridge is a healthy cartridge. The ONLY time you should change it is when it no longer allows the water to flow through it freely. As others have already told you, just rinse it in some of the water you have removed from the tank after a water change. You can rub it to get the top layer off but 'specially while cycling, be gentle with it.

When it gets to the point of restricting water flow cut the fiber off the old cartridge and put both this fiber and the new cartridge in your filter housing. This way you won't be throwing your cycle away each time the cartridge needs to be changed.

Personally I no longer use the cartridges. I have replaced it with media that can just be cut to size for whatever size filter one has.
 
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