Has my tank cycled already or stalled or crashed?

  1. kizzet Initiate Member

    Sorry this is long but since I'm new I'll try to give as much information as possible. So I started a 10g tank 5/14 with 3 goldfish. I originally purchased a bowl and 4 goldies 4/27 (feeders I know they're not exactly good quality but read on) for my 4yr old nephew thinking they would just be easy temporary pets because our goldfish never lasted long when I was a kid so I figured they just weren't meant to. I kept them in a 1.5 gallon cute globe bowl with a couple plastic plants and gold gravel with flat glass marbles and fed them cheap topfin flake food for a couple days. Then I got to thinking that it didn't make much sense goldfish were made out to be these "temporary pets", if it's alive it should stay alive right?

    So I did a TON of research for hours after I noticed them gasping at the surface and one of them started displaying what seemed to be odd behavior (ie clamped fins wouldn't eat staying at the bottom of the bowl other fish picking on him) and found out I was in WAY over my head. Sadly the sick fish didn't make it he was probably the most sensitive but I've since moved the surviving fish into a proper tank albeit small at 10g. I put in 1 dual sponge filter and one corner filter which came with 3 stage filtration and a pebbles/rings basket for bacteria but I can add my own if I so chose. Both provide aeration but I also have an ornamental bubbler because they love their bubbles and it also provides shelter all 3 are running off of 2 air pumps one whisper 10g the other an aquatop-100 with two ports. I have a heater but took it out for the summer months because the tank is on the second floor and the temp stays at around 76-78F.

    I do 50% pwc every single morning without fail (twice I had to do 75% due to high ammonia) after I check the parameters with my api master kit. I switched from api stress coat+ to Prime 5/24 to help with ammonia buildup as stress coat adds 0.25 ppm to water before I ever add it to the tank due to chloride conversion plus I didn't like how slimy it made everything and prefer my goldies to get a boost to produce their own slime not a synthetic. I monitor the tank obsessively and in the beginning would test and pwc up to 3x a day much like when they were in the bowl. I've only had one cloudy water bacterial bloom from putting my hands into the tank too often cleaning and fixing things other than that their water has always been ridiculously clear.

    They are happy friendly healthy little fish and one of them lets me pet and hand feed him they all have names and unique personalities and the super friendly one has a dinky fin like Nemo which is adorable and I think he knows he's my favorite. I am already FULLY aware the tank is too small and I have purchased a 50g with plans to move them to a pond when/if they outgrow it so that advice is appreciated but completely unnecessary.

    They are doing very well in their 10g the ammonia never goes over 1ppm the nitrite never goes over 0.25 and the nitrate never goes over 10 and they are all under 4" so while I figure how and where to set up the huge tank they will be moved and the tank dosed with Safe Start plus so as not to put them through unnecessary stress. All this to say, I am very adamant about logging every gravel vacuum, parameter test, partial water change, and strange behavior down to the date and time. Nitrites have been appearing in my tank since 5/24 evening they never go over 0.25 and I always pwc after I test the parameters.

    Ammonia will go as high as 1 but usually never over 0.50 and hover around >0.25-0.25 after water changes I've never seen it 0 save for day 1 but with an overstocked tank I suppose it is to be expected. Nitrate usually stays at 5 I don't test for it after I've done pwc/waste vac because it's not necessary at such low levels so I assume it's lower afterwards. Anyway today after the morning parameter check nitrites were not present and for the past 5 days nitrate has been consistently <5-10ppm and ammonia was at >0.25.

    I went ahead and did a 45% pwc/waste vac just to see if I could finally get the ammonia to 0 and after a second test it appears to have gone to either 0 or very trace levels. Does this mean my tank is near or finished cycling? Has it stalled? Is this bad? I haven't done anything differently but I really don't know what this means as the tank is 4 days shy of a month old and was completely uncycled when I put the fish in (sorry! it was urgent!) and I know it can take up to 2 months to establish the bio filter.

    Could it happen that fast? With every water change I double dose with stress zyme+ to help the fish to be more comfortable while their tank cycles and keep the bacteria levels up to help break down wastes. I'm tempted to use the bottle of safe start for the same purpose once I run out of stress zyme but the one thing I did change was I stopped squeezing out the sponges every week and have left them alone for about two weeks. I added an 2 additional layers (5 total) of 50 micron filter media to the corner filter to help keep the water clean 5/31 along with changing all the plants to silk because fins were getting torn and I intend to make the 10g a betta tank one the 50g is ready.

    I also double dose Prime because ammonia was so persistent I put 4 drops per gallon only in aged tap water never to the tank directly. The past couple days I lessened Prime to 3dpg because I began to smell it wafting from the tank. The fish have never shown any signs of stress besides fighting during feeding which has lessened since I started feeding them more food more often and not just putting all the pellets in one spot. They eat omega one sinking pellets and I'm hoping to farm mosquito larvae during the warm months to supplement if the darn evil creatures would fall for the trap I set and lay eggs in the dang stagnant water already! I wish I could include photos but admittedly I don't really know how so when/if I figure it out I will. So tank parameters as of 12:30pm are ammonia: 0 nitrate: n/a nitrite:0 ph:8 thanks in advance for any help!
  2. Maxi1 Member Member

    You are doing such a good job. I. Wasn't sure if you have had nitrites and now you don't? Sounds like you might be getting cycled.

  3. kizzet Initiate Member

    Yes nitrites appeared when the tank was 2 weeks old and were present in every paramater test for the past 10 days until they disappeared today as well as ammonia dropping to >0.25 then to 0 after pwc. I know ammonia and nitrite dropping or going to 0 and nitrates increasing is a good sign but it just seems so soon especially since I couldn't do a fishless cycle and fish cycles are supposed to take longer and the tank has 4 days left till it's 1 month old. Believe me I want to jump up and down and get excited lol I just want to make sure it's warranted I do enjoy doing daily pwc but I know a cycled tank is better for my scale babies.
  4. kizzet Initiate Member

    I figured it out! This is their old bowl

    New tank

    From left Goldy Tamamushiiro and Kileko