Hello! New to the forum and new to owning a fish tank


Hi everyone! My name is Phoebe. I am new to the forum and new to owning a fish tank. Sad to admit it, I am one of those parents with a 7 year old boy who found ourselves coming home with a common goldfish after a visit to the fair. I did know keeping fish is not as simple as it seems from watching my father’s fish tank when I was little, so I read up on as much as I can while trying to keep this little guy safe and sound. In a hurry, we got a 5 gallon tank kit to settle him in (understanding that we will have to get a bigger tank at some point) and launched into the arduous journey of a fish-in cycle 26 days ago. Thanks to all the information i have found online, and especially on your forum, Our goldfish is actually doing quite well, it seems very active and growing. We are actually able to feed him with our fingers! I am still grinding through the nitrogen cycle, but want to get some confirmation from the experienced folks here to see if we are doing things correctly.
What is the water volume of the tank?: 5 gallon
What type of water are you using in your tank? Tap - dosed with searches prime
When did you start cycling the tank?: 10/11/2021
What type of filtration are you running on this tank? Built in HOB type filter with carbon cartridge + sponge filter(pretty weak); also running a submerged air driven bio corner sponge filter with fluval bio max, and a very small sponge filter in the corner(mainly to run as a spare)
Do you have good water agitation/surface movement?: yes
What is the water temperature?: between 68 to 70 degree

What is the entire stocking of this tank? 1 common goldfish; I do have 3 nerite snails in separate quarantine containers at the moment - only day 9 in quarantine for them; just moved 4 small Anubis plants into the tank today after bleached dip and quarantined for 16 days.
How often do you feed them and how much?: 8-10 small flakes (tetra goldfish flakes) each time, once in the morning and once at night - consumed within 30 secs, lol. Also given a few hikari freeze dried blood worm as treat once a week in place of one of the regular meals
Are they showing signs of distress? No
Do you have live plants in the tank?: yes
If so are they healthy and actively growing?: just moved into tank today- they are healthy going in

Products used while cycling
Are you using a dechlorinater and if so, which one?: seachem prime
Are you using bottled bacteria and if so, which one?: started with seachem stability, switched to fritz-zyme turbo start 700 (dosed for 12 days now)
Did you add seeded media from a previously cycled tank?: no
What other products/chemicals are you using? (list them all): seachem stress guard

Testing and cycling process
What was your knowledge of the nitrogen cycle before beginning to cycle your tank? Beginner
What do you use to test the water? API liquid master test kit
Did you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, if so post the results below?: yes
Have you done any water changes and if so, when?: I was doing 50% water change everyday for first 3 days until the API test kit arrived; then I having been doing 50 -75% water change whenever NH3 hits 1ppm
How much water did you change?: 50-75%
Did you vacuum the substrate?: yes
Did you clean your filter, filter media, decorations and/or glass?: no
If using disposable cartridges have you replaced one recently?: no

*Parameters - Very Important
What are your parameters?
Tank water: (after today’s 60% water change)

Tap water:

Explain your cycling problem in detail.
I have not seen any Nitrite reading this far. I have read that it is not unusual to not have a reading for it if bacteria is added, but since my tap water have 0 nitrate, I am assuming the nitrate has to come from somewhere, as in there is bacteria consuming nitrite to produce the nitrate, in turn there must be bacteria consuming ammonia to produce the nitrite. The strange part is the ammonia level is not going down on its own, albeit not climbing rapidly. For the last couple of weeks, I only have to do a water change once a week to keep ammonia below 1ppm, while nitrate would creep up to 10ppm during the week. There is no sign on nitrite during my daily water parameter test. I am assuming I just need to keep doing the same thing until ammonia would hit 0 on its own. With the introduction of the live plants, maybe that will help things along.

Apologies for having such a long winded first post, but I do want to provide some basic information here, so you guys can let me know if i am making any mistakes and/or missing something here. I’d appreciate any help or suggestions you can provide! Thanks!


It sounds like you're off to an excellent start! Keep up the great work and you'll have a happy, healthy tank to enjoy!


It sounds like you're off to an excellent start! Keep up the great work and you'll have a happy, healthy tank to enjoy!
Thanks for reading through my post and letting me know we are on the right track!

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