Cycling Help Appreciated

Nada Mucho

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I'm new. I've got a 30 gallon tank that I set up with an Eheim 2215 filter. I bought some SeaChem Stability and used it according to the directions for a week. Based on another post I've made I discovered I had to add something for "food" which I had not done. At this point I planted my tank out and added one pinch of flake food.

Today, about a week later, I tested my water and found my stats to be Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5.0 ppm. That seemed good until I tested my tap water which had the exact same measurements. Now I haven't done a water change since my plants went in so I don't know what those measurements mean exactly. I really want to make sure my tank is fully cycled before introducing fish.

How can I tell if my tank is fully cycled other than the tests I've already performed? I've got some Fritz Pro Aquatics Ammonium Chloride (NH4CI) but I've not used it yet as I'm not sure of the process or if it will actually reveal the state of my tank. There are instructions on the package detailing the amount to use to bring the water to 3-4 ppm. So what's next?

Add some and add some more Stability and check every day?

Any help or insight would be most appreciated.

Thank you!
 

AWheeler

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You will want to add some of the ammonium to your tank, I 'm not sure I'd dose to 4ppm, 2-3 should be enough. If you see you have ammonia readings in 24 hours, then it's not cycled...you keep testing the water, adding stability as needed, doing water changes as needed, and adding ammonia when the ammonia level gets down to 0.
 

CraniumRex

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Did you ever test in between and get any ammonia or nitrite readings?

I'm not sure how the Stability is supposed to work, exactly, but I thought you could do a fish-in cycle with it provided you were dosing with Prime to detoxify the ammonia and nitrites. Low stocking and light feeding, then test. Doing it fishless with your ammonium source should work well - you should see nitrites first, then nitrates after that.

I used Stability as well, but it was in a planted tank that had been set up for a month before I added the fish (a betta) and I tested for ammonia and nitrites and never got any. Readings have been 0 0 5 every day for 9 days.

I hope someone more experienced comes along and answers, but for now I'd suggest that without an ammonia source and given your tap water readings, I'd say your tank is not cycled.
 
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Nada Mucho

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Thank you APierce and CraniumRex for the information. The first time I tested the tank (about a week ago) the Ammonia was 0, the Nitrites were 0.4 ppm and the Nitrates were 5. I really don't think it's cycled so I'm going to assume I'm starting over. I just dosed the water with the Ammonium Chloride enough to bring it up to 3ppm, hopefully and I'll keep testing. Thanks again!
 
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Nada Mucho

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Just an update

Measurements (before dosing): Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5
4/15 - Dosed Ammonium Choloride to bring ammonia to 2ppm. Added cap full of Stability.

Measurements: Ammonia 2, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5
4/16 - Added cap and a half of Stability

Measurements: Ammonia 2, Nitrites 2, Nitrates 15
4/17 - Added cap and a half of Stability

Looks like it's working... thankfully.
 
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Nada Mucho

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Holy **** did a test just now (the earlier one was from this morning) and things have changed...

4/17 (Evening)
Measurements: Ammonia .25, Nitrites 5, Nitrates 80
 
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