Cycling Issues

fishtrated

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Okay, I'm new to the forum, but I have been reading and researching the establishing new tank information for several months. I had to replace a 46 gallon bow front back in February. I simply want to maintain a freshwater tank for goldfish. Unfortunately, its not that simple. I already had two goldfish that I kept in a 5 gallon bucket with a fliter attatched and an aerator operating while I was cycling my new tank. I lost all of the healthy media due to a faulty heater that fried everything. (At least I think that is what happened.) Anyway, I have an API master test kit and have been unable to get any readings of elevated nitrate levels. ( I read the post about shaking bottle #2 .) My gold fish have been in the new tank for over a month, probably closer to two now.(They lived in the bucket for over three weeks.) They look fine and are eating well. I started the tank with spring water adding aquarium salt. I have done one partial water replacement/change @7 gallons including suctioning the gravel bed(I have river rocks.) Now there is brown algae growing on the fake plants, rocks, and walls of aquarium. I've have two filters and have exchanged both several weeks apart. Still, I do not get any elevated readings for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. The ph reading is normal. I would like to add more fish when I can verify that the tank is cycled properly. Should I attempt to add biospira to initiate the process? If the tank isn't cycled, how come my fish are fine? The local fish store is no help in problem solving. When they test my water all the levels read normal as well. Suggestions? I keep a very close watch on the fish and how they are doing. They appear fine. I'm feeding them shelled peas every other day. I would have expected to have some elevation in the ammonia level since adding the fish, but I haven't. I would appreciate suggestions.
 

Luniyn

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The fish have been out of the bucket and in the tank now for 2 weeks and you haven't gotten any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate reading at all? Or are they still in the bucket while you are letting the tank sit and cycle without any fish in it?
 

COBettaCouple

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How long was your tank running before you took your first readings on it? If the tank has been running over 2 months now, it's possible that it really is cycled by now.
 

Gargoyle

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If you have brown algae growing then you have to have some sort of Nitrate readings...
 
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fishtrated

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Well, I am encouraged to get responses. The fish have been in the tank for 6 weeks. I filled the tank with the spring water in late February. I added the biospira and discovered about a week later that the tank heater had elevated the temperature to over 90 degrees. The thermometer was not accurate, but I checked it with a back up. I didn't have any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate readings. At that point I realized that all the good stuff must have died. The ph was elevated so I followed the instructions on ph down to get it normalized. My fish were living in the bucket with an active fliter and aerator. I let the temperature settle to room temp @ 72 degrees. (That took several days.) I then used the filter from the bucket to facilitate the proper bacteria growth. The next week I checked the readings and still did not get anything. I got concerned about the fish living in the bucket without a filter. One of my goldfish was losing his color. He almost looked white when he was very orange before. Since there was no ammonia or other dangerous chemicals in the tank water I transferred them to the bow front. I've been watching them and checking the water about once every week, maybe longer between testings. The fish has regained his color. My other goldfish looked to be suffering from swim bladder disease so I switched from feeding them "sinking pellets" to the shelled peas. That seemed to do the trick because he no longer floats vertically when he is stationary. When the water evaporated a good inch and a half I did a reading, (all were 0), suctioned the bottom and replaced with 7 more gallons of spring water. I did not add any more salt. I did exchange the carbon filter on my biowheel. (I don't actually have the wheel anymore since I threw it away when we moved here last July from Louisiana. I thought it would be simple to get a replacement. Not.) My other filter has one of the sponges that I now know not to rinse in tap water which I haven't with this tank. I replaced that carbon filter just last week. The brown algae started growing a few weeks ago, slowly at first, but it is becoming unsightly. Yesterday I did a water check and got 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 0 Nitrate. The ph was normal. I did the Nitrate test twice and timed how long I shook bottle # 2. Still, the color remained yellow after waiting 5 minutes. I've read where the brown algae should disappear by itself. I would like to add a fish such as a pleco to eat it, but I don't want to add anything until I can confirm the tank is cycled. I can take a water sample to the local store to see if they can get any readings. If that happens then maybe my test kit is faulty. I've been very careful to follow the instructions. I'm hoping that all is well and I am good to go. I'm not feeling quite so fishtrated as I was yesterday. Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to include as much info to help identify what the problem may be. Thanks for your patience with me. I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks!
 
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fishtrated

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Thank you FLBettaCouple! You really are hero members.
 

COBettaCouple

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fishtrated said:
Thank you FLBettaCouple! You really are hero members.
you're welcome.. I just hope i'm right.. i'm far from the cycle expert. are those fish the only occupants of that tank? i'd love to see pics of it when you post them. that's a great tank and i'd love a few of them.
 

tan.b

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sorry to put a dampner on things, but aren't you supposed to have nitrate when you've truly cycled?
i'd be inclined to take water to an lfs or willing friend with kit. is all of your kit in date still? my bottles all expire at dif times that's all? maybe when stored at lfs before you even got it it got too hot or cold nad thus the reagents don't work properly? goldfish are meant to be big waste producers so should get high readings throughout the cycle. sorry I can't be of more help ???
main thing is your fish seem to be doing well ;D
tan
 

COBettaCouple

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usually you do have some nitrates, but every so often I'll get a 0 for nitrates. i'm not sure why, but it's pretty rare that I get 0 on nitrates.
 

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