Cycling Questions

  1. NosseI

    NosseI New Member Member

    Hello, so I’m new here and have started a tank for the first time in about 3 years. I have recently been reading a TON on the nitrogen cycle and cycling a tank. This is after having already put 5 zebra danios in my 54 gallon corner tank. I have recently put one hornwort in there as well. The tank is off to weird sstart. I first set everything up with some natural rocks, African cichlids substrate, some artificial piece, a fluval 306 canister, a heater ofc, and an air pump that has two hoses with regular stones.
    Anyways I set everything up and used api quick start and tap water dechlorinator originally and have since bought seachem prime for WC. After 4 days I picked up the 5 danios and they have been doing fine ever since. Today is the 10th day overall of the tank being set up.
    Now 2 days after I put the danios in I had a ammonia spike over 1.0 and did 3 WC with prime to and it was brought down for 2 days( or the test was being messed with by prime) and ever since the ammonia has floated around 0.25-0.5 ppm with nitrites being at 0 and nitrates always around 0-0.5 closer to 0.5(btw my tap water has this exact nitrate level, no nitrite, and no ammonia.)
    All this testing is done with an API master test kit and I understand that you have to beat the nitrate bottle. Now the last several days the levels have been 0.25-0.5 ammonia 0 nitrites, and the same 0-0.5 closer to 0.5 nitrates. All with no WC since the 3 and the fish have been fine. Btw I feed them once a day an okay amount of fish flakes.
    Now today I decided to purchase a hornwort plant and put it in the tank already. After several hours I decided to test again and the ammonia is now 0-0.25 I think personally closer to 0. Nitrites are at 0 and nitrates are the same 0.5sh the same as tap water.
    Also my PH is high every time I have tested it and usually 8-8.2 and have not tested it since the plant addition. I understand it can raise the ph and my plan was to get some driftwood.

    So sorry for all that and I hope I explained it decently. But my question is what is going on in my tank? And can anyone make sense out of it? Is it on track? Or is it stalled? Or not started?
     
  2. E

    E150GT Valued Member Member

    Just keep trucking. It’s going to take a while. You have fish and you have filters so you will cycle but it’s going to take a bit. My 5 gallon took a good long while to cycle.
     


  3. OP
    OP
    NosseI

    NosseI New Member Member

    Okay so I should still just play the waiting game as long as my ammonia levels aren’t too toxic?
     


  4. E

    E150GT Valued Member Member

    Yup.
     


  5. OP
    OP
    NosseI

    NosseI New Member Member

    Sounds good. Will keep testing occasionally and wait. Thanks for the quick reply! :D
     
  6. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Well Known Member Member

    Make sure you aren't washing filter media with tap water, only wash it in a bucket of tank water or tap water that has water conditioner added. Try to keep your ammonia in between 0.5-1.0, and dose Prime every 24 hours. When it goes above 1.o, do a water change down to 0.5. If you water change the ammonia down to 0, it stalls the cycle a bit. Prime will detoxify ammonia up to 1ppm, so as long as it's 1 ppm or lower, they're safe. You just don't want to starve the bacteria.
     
  7. Hunter1

    Hunter1 Well Known Member Member

    I would add TetraSafeStart + directly into your filter to jump start your cycle.

    I did my initial cycle in a 36 with 5 zebra danios back in November. I have instant cycled 6 more tanks with media (sponge filters) from that tank.

    After a couple of weeks of screwing around, I added TetraSafeStart and did no tests or water changes for 14 days like the directions say.

    I still have those 5 zebra danios in a tank too warm for them, 77.

    They are a very hardy fish, perfect for a fish-in cycle.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    NosseI

    NosseI New Member Member

    I couldn’t just add the TSS to my overall water? And would I dose for the whole gallon amount or?
     
  9. K

    Keith83 Valued Member Member

    Dose for the whole gallon amount and don't use Prime to dechlorinate. That will kill the bacteria in TSS. Use Tetra Aqua Safe for that per TSS instructions.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    NosseI

    NosseI New Member Member

    Okay! I will do that now as I just got home from work. Thanks again guys for the quick replies.