Cycling Questions

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NewAquarist

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I started setting up a 20 gallon (tall) aquarium about 3 weeks ago. The picture is of it today.

I have lights on a timer, a thermometer, a 20 gallon filter, a 20 gallon air pump with a stop valve, the smallest gravel you can get from PetSmart, an API fresh water drop tester kit, a few buckets and stress coat+ conditioner.

I added some ammonia that I bought at ace hardware (no dyes, fragrances, or surfactants) to get me up to around 6 ppm. And bumped the temperature up to around 86. Yesterday after about 2 weeks it got down to 1 ppm. So I added about 2 ml of ammonia to get me back up to around 5 ppm. This morning it read 0 ppm for ammonia. So i think I have sufficient bacteria to handle the first part of the cycle.

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My nitrites have risen to about 10 ppm and my nitrates have remained steady at around 5 ppm. So I know that I'm not all the way through the cycle yet. I don't have the second type of bacteria.

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I plan on adding about 2 ml of ammonia every few days to keep my first bacteria fed. But I don't want to stall the process and get too much nitrites for the tank to handle. About how long do you think it will take for my tank to finish cycling. I'm thinking it could take about 3-4 weeks since it took about 2 weeks for the ammonia to drop off. Also, how long can I really go between ammonia dosages without negatively impacting that first colony of bacteria?

I'm using this app to ask questions and aquaPlanner pro to log data. Is there anything else I should get?

I've already started researching how to stock my tank and used AqAdvisor to come up with a plan. I'll ask what you guys think about that next.

 

jmarks

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clarissasjh

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When I cycled my tank the ammonia levels took 3 weeks to go back to 0. The nitrites however, started appearing only in the second week and it went to 0 about 1 week after the ammonia did.

But I did a fish-in cycle and used prime with daily water changes so I'm not sure whether it'll be similar
 
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NewAquarist

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Thanks. I'll bump it up to 2 ppm tomorrow and keep checking for a nitrite reduction and a nitrate increase. I'll let you know how long it takes.
 
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