Getting nitrates without any spikes?

Cue

Tested my water again, 0 ammonia and nitrites, 5 nitrates. Is this normal/is my cycle finally starting after 3 months (yes I’m feeding the cycle)? That would be wonderful, but I’m also fully prepared to do a fish-in cycle.
 

StarGirl

Have you seen ammonia and nitrites during this 3 months? Usually 0/0/some nitrates is a sign of a cycled tank. What have you been doing to feed it?
 

Cue

Have you seen ammonia and nitrites during this 3 months? Usually 0/0/some nitrates is a sign of a cycled tank. What have you been doing to feed it?
There’s snails in the tank that poop a ton, so that’s what’s been feeding it. It’s my first non-fish in cycle so I’m not sure that’s enough. I haven’t seen any ammonia/nitrites but I’m wondering if I missed it because I only got the test kit in the last 2 weeks of the cycle.
 

StarGirl

How big is your tank and how many snails are in there? Yes you could have missed the spikes. Were you testing with strips or just doing a general water changes thing?
 

Cue

How big is your tank and how many snails are in there? Yes you could have missed the spikes. Were you testing with strips or just doing a general water changes thing?
Weekly water changes, no testing. It’s a 15 gallon with two nerite snails. By the end of the week there’s snail poop all over the hardscape and I honestly don’t know how they do it.
 

StarGirl

Haha yeah I had a piece of driftwood in with my nerite and that wood would literally have poo going down the whole piece and underneath was a pile. Yes they can poop a ton in one week. I cant say if your tank cycled from just the 2 snails but it could have in 3 months. I would say if you add fish do it really slow and watch your parameters like a hawk.
 

Cue

Haha yeah I had a piece of driftwood in with my nerite and that wood would literally have poo going down the whole piece and underneath was a pile. Yes they can poop a ton in one week. I cant say if your tank cycled from just the 2 snails but it could have in 3 months. I would say if you add fish do it really slow and watch your parameters like a hawk.
Wonderful, thank you! I’ll add the gudgeons today and do daily testing for a few weeks.
 

StarGirl

How many are you planning on adding at once?
 

Cue

How many are you planning on adding at once?
I was thinking three, but I could definitely only do one or two to start out. I’ve heard that they’re territorial so I just don’t want one or two to take over the entire tank and then add a third.
 

StarGirl

3 should be ok just make sure you are ready for big water changes if stuff spikes on you. Every day if needed.
 

Cue

3 should be ok just make sure you are ready for big water changes if stuff spikes on you. Every day if needed.
Can and will do. I just want em to be safe.
 

StarGirl

Do you have Prime on hand also?
 

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