Did I Make A Huge Newbie Mistake? Help

  1. Loopy6588

    Loopy6588 New Member Member

    I've been trying to cycle my tank after inheriting (rescuing, really, but it's a long story) a fish with no fish knowledge. I learned about the nitrogen cycle and have been diligently trying to be patient and do it right, which has been stressful since its a fish-in cycle. I started with a 2 gallon tank, not knowing tim later that it's too small, but I wanted to get the cycle down pat before attempting it on a bigger tank.

    Well it's been about 3 weeks and I was possibly getting close and I was getting frustrated because when I'd pour in new water, noticeable particles/debris would kick up from the gravel. I could clearly see things were floating around and it was bothering me so much. It got to the point where I was changing so much water to try and get it clean and no matter what debris would kick up from the gravel.

    So I took the fish out and did a 100% water change to finally feel like it's *clean* and my fish is not swimming around in dirty water. I know a tank needs bacteria so I didn't do any scrubbing or actual cleaning, just a 100% water change.

    Did I completely and utterly crash my cycle? The filter has never been changed/cleaned (when should that happen by the way...?) and I didn't clean the things that were in the tank like his hidey place and fake plant. But afterward it occurred to me that I've never seen any talk about a 100% water change and only then did alarm bells go off.

    I was just so discouraged and worried about the water. Am I starting from scratch?
     
  2. Rtessy

    Rtessy Well Known Member Member

    What kind of filter do you have running?
    Edit: if the water doesn't have chlorine/chloramines, the cycle is probably fine.
     
  3. Zoomo

    Zoomo Well Known Member Member

    I don't think you ruined your cycle. The beneficial bacteria is in gravel, in the filter media, and on your decorations in the tank, not so much in the actual water. As long as you just wash off your media in old tank water and not the sink, think you should be good to go. I used to do 100% takedown of my snail tank once a week because it was too small for the amount of snails in it and I overfed horrendously, so I would put the snails in a container, dump all the water out, took out gravel eventually because that would get gross, wash off my media in old tank water, decorations in old tank water, and then put it all back together with new dechlorinated water.
     


  4. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    You're probably fine, but I'd suggest purchasing an API Master Test Kit to make sure. What type of fish is it?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Loopy6588

    Loopy6588 New Member Member

  6. OP
    OP
    Loopy6588

    Loopy6588 New Member Member

    Thanks so much! I honestly didn't wash the decorations at all, because I wanted to keep whatever bacteria I had managed to accumulate on them. Since some is in the filter, how and when do I change that without crashing a cycle?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Loopy6588

    Loopy6588 New Member Member

    It's a betta fish. What does the master kit have besides ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite testing? I have those all purchased separately. What do I look for to tell if cycle is not destroyed?
     
  8. Adriifu

    Adriifu Well Known Member Member

    I believe it has pH and high range pH. You'll need to look for any ammonia or nitrites. If it's destroyed, then they will be more than 0 ppm.
     
  9. yukondog

    yukondog Well Known Member Member

    No I don't think so either, When you clean your filter use old tank water [never use tap], if the filter which has all the beneficial bacteria you want to save, is covered in gunk it would not hurt to rinse it off, I use a tooth brush to lightly clean mine.
    Do you have a syphon to clean the bottom with? I would not worry to much about getting all the stuff that gets disturbed on the bottom your tank is still ageing and you'll never get it all. In my tanks there is always debris/sediment in the bottom after I vacuum it. Keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrites.
     
  10. Rtessy

    Rtessy Well Known Member Member

    95% of the BB is in the filter, so you're good to go
     
  11. Zoomo

    Zoomo Well Known Member Member

    When it gets really gross and you want to put a new cartridge in it (if you use cartridges), you cut open the old gross cartridge, pour put the carbon that is in there into the garbage, wash the now empty pad out in old tank water and then fold the old empty pad behind the new cartridge you put in there, so the beneficial bacteria stays in the filter.
     
  12. yukondog

    yukondog Well Known Member Member

    What Zoomo said.