Cycle Question Update - Please Advise

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by booboo7336, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. booboo7336

    booboo7336New MemberMember

    Hi all,

    I am in day 30 of cycling my 26 gallon bow tank. I have been using 6 tetra's and 2 cory's (all doing well) to cycle for 15 of those days. My readings now are:

    Nitrates          20-50
    Nitrites                 1
    Ammonia              0

    My last water change was two days ago - 25%. Am I close and what's happening here, my ammonia is finally good but my nitrites are real high as are my nitrates.

    Should I do more water changes and am I close? Water also is starting to look a little cloudy last two days? My filter is packed with stuff and I have not changed it at all?

  2. Isabella

    IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Your tank isn't fully cycled yet. Ammonia is great but nitrite should also be 0, and nitrate should be as low as possible. I have read that nitrate cannot be higher than 40 but I think 40 is too much. It's better to keep nitrate at 20 or less, of course best at 0. Since nitrate is removed through regular water changes, maybe you should do still another water change. But wait to see what Gunnie or Butterfly will tell you to do. Maybe water changes every 2 days are too frequent (however I don't think that would really hurt fish). Or perhaps nitrite will disappear on its own in a couple of days or even sooner. When I cycled my 10 gallon tank some time ago, nitrite would be there one day at 0.25 and the next day it would be at 0.
  3. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Isabella is right on the money. Your nitrates are too high, and your nitrites need to be lowered a little to make the fish more comfortable. If your water flow is slowing down from the filter, simply squeeze/rinse/swish the media around in some of the old tank water and put it back in your filter. Don't change the filter media (sponge, floss, etc. depending on what type of filter your have) until the media is completely clogged and can no longer be cleaned. I know the directions from the manufacture probably tell you every week or once a month, but don't do it. That's where most of all your good bacteria is, and your tank will probably go into a mini cycle whenever you replace it. When it does come time to replace the media, either place the old media directly behind the new media if possible, or if it's just floss with some carbon in it, simply cut a piece of the old floss, and place it in the new floss pouch. Carbon is not necessary to maintain your tank on a regular basis, and does not need to be used/changed unless you are trying to absorb something out of the water like meds or a bad smell. So go ahead and try to clean the filter media and do a water change. Don't vacuum the gravel though, just remove some water, and post the nitrite and nitrate levels about an hour later to see if it helped any. ;)
  4. OP

    booboo7336New MemberMember


    Thanks, did another water change 25-30% and nitrates stayed about the same 20-50 range and nitrites did seem to go down a little, between .5 and 1. Ammonia is still 0.

    Suggestions? More water changes?

    Also, I must say with the filter going for a month without cleaning sure is starting to make the water smell a little and I do know not to change it and have cleaned it like you suggested.

    Thanks again!
  5. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    At least for now, you may want to consider getting a product called amquel plus. It neutralizes ammonia and nitrites, but still makes them accessible to the bacteria. It's also supposed to help reduce nitrates. Have you every tested your water stratight out of the tap for nitrates? You may have some already in your tap water. If that's the case, you may have to use amquel plus as your dechlor to help with the nitrates once your tank is cycled. Live plants also help with nitrates.
  6. OP

    booboo7336New MemberMember

    Thanks gunnie and yes I have tested water from tap as I put it into another new aquarium and I had none. I will go get what you suggested and try it. Should I do water changes every few days?
  7. Gunnie

    GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    The amquel plus should help neutralize everything so it will be safe for your fish. If the level gets high even when using the amquel plus then do a water change.
  8. OP

    booboo7336New MemberMember

    Re: Cycle Question Update - Trying to keep the faith

    ok day 33 and growing confused. My tank started looking like dirty water and smelling which was coming from the filter.

    I had no choice but to replace filter but I did cut 2X2 piece of old one and slide in in new filter, I also changed about 35% of the water and added Amquel, but have had no real luck yet. Water cleaned up and smell diminished greatly. I have not touched the gravel since my cycle started.

    My readings tonight are:

    Nitrates 20
    Nitrites 1
    Ammonia 0

    Have been cycling with 6 tetra's and 2 cory's but am getting frusterated.

    Any suggestions?
  9. dahly

    dahlyValued MemberMember

    Do you have any charcol in your filter? Although not usually needed, it will reduce/eliminate smells. I suggest that you do gravel vac a third of you tank each time you do a water change. It won't add much, if any, time to your cycling, but will keep you tank cleaner and healthier. Good Luck!