55 Gallon Tank Cycling a 55 Gallon

Gameynerd23

Member
Hello, I recently get a 55 gallon tank setup, about a week, and I've got two sponge filters running. I also have a reasonably large piece of driftwood from one of my cycled tanks to help the new tank cycle. I have seeded sponge filters, but I can't take any of them out of their tanks rn. For the past few days, I've been using Fluval Biological Booster and API Quick Start and I planned on using them until they ran out as I figured it couldn't hurt. The driftwood has some pond snails on it and I added some Assassin Snails earlier today. There are a few plants, anubias Nana, java fern, and amazon sword. I also got an Albino BN Pleco and she's about 2 inches. I bought her earlier than planned because I wanted a guaranteed female, so rn she's in one of my ten gallon tanks. That's only temporary and I will be moving her asap. I'm wondering if there's something I can do to help the cycle along so she can be moved to her new home or if it would be best to move her now, test everyday, and do the required maintenance. I do have some API Ammo Lock as well. Sorry if this was kind of rambly, I'm just looking for some help. Thanks.
 

jmaldo

Member
Patience! I know it's tough but... Don't rush it, the pleco will be fine and better off in a mature tank.
The additional time it takes to cycle the larger tank will be well worth the wait.
Just my 02..

Good Luck!
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
jmaldo said:
Patience! I know it's tough but... Don't rush it, the pleco will be fine and better off in a mature tank.
The additional time it takes to cycle the larger tank will be fine.

Good Luck!
Alright. I'll keep testing everyday until it's cycled and I'll probably move some other decorations from my mature tanks. I'll also keep an eye on the pleco. She hasn't been in the ten gallon for long, so she's a little skittish, but there's some algae for her to nibble on and I'll add a wafer half once a day. Thank you!
 

jmaldo

Member
My Plecos enjoy zucchini, algae wafers and gnawing on driftwood. I have kept a number of types, right now raising Starlights (L183), hopefully a male and female in separate tanks eventually hope to breed them still a year or so to go.

What did you pick up?
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
jmaldo said:
My Plecos enjoy zucchini, algae wafers and gnawing on driftwood. I have kept a number of types, right now raising Starlights (L183), hopefully a male and female in separate tanks eventually hope to breed them still a year or so to go.

What did you pick up?
You mean what kind of Pleco is she? She's an Albino Bristlenose. I've got some driftwood in the tank she's in right now and her 55g will have lots of driftwood to nibble on. I'm also gonna feed her blanched veggies every now and again.
 

mattgirl

Member
Since you have moved some bacteria over from other tanks and are also adding bottled bacteria you also need an ammonia source. I don't think the snails alone will feed and grow very much bacteria. To be perfectly honest if it were me I would put the pleco in there and would start gradually stocking this tank. Just keep a close eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
Since you have moved some bacteria over from other tanks and are also adding bottled bacteria you also need an ammonia source. I don't think the snails alone will feed and grow very much bacteria. To be perfectly honest if it were me I would put the pleco in there and would start gradually stocking this tank. Just keep a close eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed.
Hmmm... Plecos are pretty hardy and, from what I've read, adding her to a big tank like that won't be too hard on her. Right now there's a little bit of ammonia in the tank from some flakes I added. Would it be a good idea to start with 50% weekly water changes and do more as needed?

EDIT: I'm going to be stocking the tank with nano fish (Chili Rasboras, Ember Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, Habrosus Corys, and Honey Gouramis). I already have the Kuhli loaches, so I'll add those maybe a week or so after the pleco goes in.
 

mattgirl

Member
Gameynerd23 said:
Hmmm... Plecos are pretty hardy and, from what I've read, adding her to a big tank like that won't be too hard on her. Right now there's a little bit of ammonia in the tank from some flakes I added. Would it be a good idea to start with 50% weekly water changes and do more as needed?

EDIT: I'm going to be stocking the tank with nano fish (Chili Rasboras, Ember Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, Habrosus Corys, and Honey Gouramis). I already have the Kuhli loaches, so I'll add those maybe a week or so after the pleco goes in.
I would go ahead and do the water change to both get the ammonia down and also remove the decomposing food. We want to be sure to start fresh.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
I would go ahead and do the water change to both get the ammonia down and also remove the decomposing food. We want to be sure to start fresh.
Yep, that's what I was thinking, too! Tomorrow I gotta change the water in my 75g, so I'll change the 55g too. Thanks for the help!
 
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Gameynerd23

Member

mattgirl

Member
Gameynerd23 said:
UPDATE: I've added the Pleco, my Kuhli Loaches, and two adult, male honey gouramis. I just did a water change a little bit ago and added, API Stress Coat+, API Stress Zyme, Seachem Flourish, API Quick Start, Fluval Biological Booster, and API Ammo Lock. Afterwards, I tested the water parameters.

PH: 7.4
AMMONIA: 0.25-0.5 ppm
NITRITE: 0 ppm
NITRATE: 0 ppm

The tank is a little messy as I'm waterlogging some spider wood and I have a seeded piece of driftwood in there to help cycle.
16150638620202671966634116221427.jpg
The one thing on your long list of things you have added to this tank I would NOT add again is the ammo-lock. You want this tank to cycle. You don't want to lock up the ammonia. Your bacteria needs it.
API Stress Coat+: this is a water conditioner and needed each time you do a water change.

API Stress Zyme, API Quick Start, Fluval Biological Booster: all of these are bottled bacteria's. Shouldn't hurt anything but I can't see all of them being necessary 'specially since you have already moved bacteria over from a cycled tank.

Seachem Flourish: This is a very weak fert that in my humble opinion doesn't contain much of what your plants need. It should cause a problem though.

API Ammo Lock: Locks up ammonia so the level will just keep going up if you continue to add it.

If you are concerned about the low amount of ammonia in the tank after water changes I will recommend you replace both ammo-lock and stress coat with Prime.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
The one thing on your long list of things you have added to this tank I would NOT add again is the ammo-lock. You want this tank to cycle. You don't want to lock up the ammonia. Your bacteria needs it.
API Stress Coat+: this is a water conditioner and needed each time you do a water change.

API Stress Zyme, API Quick Start, Fluval Biological Booster: all of these are bottled bacteria's. Shouldn't hurt anything but I can't see all of them being necessary 'specially since you have already moved bacteria over from a cycled tank.

Seachem Flourish: This is a very weak fert that in my humble opinion doesn't contain much of what your plants need. It should cause a problem though.

API Ammo Lock: Locks up ammonia so the level will just keep going up if you continue to add it.

If you are concerned about the low amount of ammonia in the tank after water changes I will recommend you replace both ammo-lock and stress coat with Prime.
Alright, I won't use the Ammo Lock anymore, I actually finished the bottle while dosing the 55g, it wasn't even a full dose, btw. Thanks for telling me because I was going to buy more. I'll look into Prime. I also have some API Leaf Zone, is that a better liquid fertilizer?

EDIT: I also have Seachem Iron, but the bottle says to only use when necessary.
 

mattgirl

Member
Gameynerd23 said:
Alright, I won't use the Ammo Lock anymore, I actually finished the bottle while dosing the 55g, it wasn't even a full dose, btw. Thanks for telling me because I was going to buy more. I'll look into Prime. I also have some API Leaf Zone, is that a better liquid fertilizer?

EDIT: I also have Seachem Iron, but the bottle says to only use when necessary.
I am glad you mentioned the ammo-lock so we were able to discuss it. It does have its place but in my humble opinion a cycling tank isn't the right place. I can see it coming in handy if someone has an ammonia spike and can't for what ever reason do a water change right away it will buy them some time.

I've not read much about API Leaf Zone so don't know anything about it. You may want to ask around to see if it contains the nutrients your plants need. I really don't know enough about the various individual kinds of ferts to recommend which ones to use. I do know when it comes to the Seachem line you have to use several different ones to give your plants all they need. I chose to use Thrive. It is an all in one fert so just one bottle instead of several different ones.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
I am glad you mentioned the ammo-lock so we were able to discuss it. It does have its place but in my humble opinion a cycling tank isn't the right place. I can see it coming in handy if someone has an ammonia spike and can't for what ever reason do a water change right away it will buy them some time.

I've not read much about API Leaf Zone so don't know anything about it. You may want to ask around to see if it contains the nutrients your plants need. I really don't know enough about the various individual kinds of ferts to recommend which ones to use. I do know when it comes to the Seachem line you have to use several different ones to give your plants all they need. I chose to use Thrive. It is an all in one fert so just one bottle instead of several different ones.
Thank you! I'll reasearch the best fertilizers.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
The two Honeys are hanging out in the plants a lot, but they do come out some. Is hiding in the plants normal acclimation behavior or do I need to add at least two females? I don't want to add too many at once, but ultimately I want to have 5 female Honey Gouramis. Here's a picture of both of them, just to confirm that they are male. I got them from a big box store and they couldn't confirm the gender.
Right before posting the previous reply, I added the last of my bottled bacteria and it's been about 30 minutes. I just took my water parameters and I'm really thinking I need to do a 50% water change.
PH: 7.4
AMMONIA: 1 ppm
NITRITE: .5 ppm
NITRATE: 5 ppm

The Nitrates may go down because I've noticed the Fluval Biological Booster makes Nitrates read, but they tend to go away.
Also, my GH is 80 mg/L and my KH is between 120 and 180 mg/L. I use the same tap water for all my tanks, so I already knew it's pretty hard water.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
UPDATE: I had some company over, so I couldn't do the water change immediately, but I has since done it and tested the water again.
AMMONIA: .75 ppm
NITRITE: .25 ppm
NITRATE: 2.5 ppm

The Ammonia and Nitrate tests were both kind of in between colors, just btw.
 

mattgirl

Member
Gameynerd23 said:
UPDATE: I had some company over, so I couldn't do the water change immediately, but I has since done it and tested the water again.
AMMONIA: .75 ppm
NITRITE: .25 ppm
NITRATE: 2.5 ppm

The Ammonia and Nitrate tests were both kind of in between colors, just btw.
I highly recommend you keep the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites below one with water changes. Right now yours is one .75+.25 I would do another water change to get the ammonia down to no more than .25 Higher may not be detrimental to our fish but why expose them to it if we can prevent it with water changes. We may not see immediate damage but it can't be good for them.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
I highly recommend you keep the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites below one with water changes. Right now yours is one .75+.25 I would do another water change to get the ammonia down to no more than .25 Higher may not be detrimental to our fish but why expose them to it if we can prevent it with water changes. We may not see immediate damage but it can't be good for them.
Alright, I'll do another 50% water change when I get home, thanks!
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
I finally got home and got another 50% water change done. Here's my parameters after the change.

AMMONIA: .25-.5 ppm
NITRITE: 0-.25 ppm
NITRATE: 0 ppm
 

mattgirl

Member
Gameynerd23 said:
I finally got home and got another 50% water change done. Here's my parameters after the change.

AMMONIA: .25-.5 ppm
NITRITE: 0-.25 ppm
NITRATE: 0 ppm
Much better. If you can hold the numbers at these levels or even lower your fish should come through this process unharmed. Is your 75 gallon tank well established? If so is there anything you can move from that tank to this one to help speed this cycle along?

I am surprised you aren't seeing any nitrates since you started this tank with seeded media. Did the seeded media come from a well stocked firmly established tank? Are you shaking bottle #2 of the nitrate test like your life depended on it? If the sediment isn't broken loose and mixed in well you won't get an accurate reading.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
Much better. If you can hold the numbers at these levels or even lower your fish should come through this process unharmed. Is your 75 gallon tank well established? If so is there anything you can move from that tank to this one to help speed this cycle along?

I am surprised you aren't seeing any nitrates since you started this tank with seeded media. Did the seeded media come from a well stocked firmly established tank? Are you shaking bottle #2 of the nitrate test like your life depended on it? If the sediment isn't broken loose and mixed in well you won't get an accurate reading.
I don't think the 75g is established enough to produce enough good bacteria. My go to seeded material is a 15 inch tall piece of driftwood (Malaysian, I think) that's been in one of my ten gallons since I started it6 months ago. It doesn't really provide and cover or hiding spot, so I figured no fish in there would miss it. That tank has had several kinds of stocking (with the same male betta being the only constant) from guppies (which I didn't know weren't good with Bettas), Kuhli loaches (who all got upgraded to the 55g), ADFs (moved to a different ten gallon with more floor space), and now there's four Ottos in there along with quite a few pestsnails and a few Assassin Snails. I am giving bottle #2 a good shake for 30 seconds and then the test vial for a minute. I think there may be some starting to appear, but it's between 0-5 ppm. I am going to have to do a 50% water change everyday until the ammonia and nitrites drop, but I think right now I'm in the spike before the plummet, so I'm hopeful.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
Good day, I'm wondering if I should be adding more fish or if I'm just anxious for my Honey Gouramis to have some lady friends. Here's my stocking and water parameters right now:

AMMONIA: .25 ppm
NITRITE: Between .25 and .5 ppm
NITRATE: Between 5 and 10 ppm

STOCKING:
12 Kuhli Loaches
2 Male Honey Gouramis
1 Female Albino BN Pleco
7 Assassin Snails
 

mattgirl

Member
I wouldn't add any more fish until I started seeing a constant zero reading for both ammonia and nitrites. Your little guy can wait a while longer.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
mattgirl said:
I wouldn't add any more fish until I started seeing a constant zero reading for both ammonia and nitrites. Your little guy can wait a while longer.
Alright, thanks. I was just wondering.
 
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Gameynerd23

Member
Great news! I've got my first 0 ppm reading for both Ammonia and Nitrites. I'll keep testing for a few days, but hopefully in about a week I'll have a few more Honey Gouramis.
 

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