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I Think My Tank Is Finally Cycled! Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by TamiR, May 20, 2019.

  1. TamiR Valued Member Member

    It is day 40 of cycling my 5 gal aquarium. I was doing fishless cycling, but I kept getting stuck on a really high nitrite spike. On advice from this forum, I would do a water change to get the nitrites down and they would spike right back up the next day..I did this like 3 times and I was growing frustrated feeling like my cycle just would not make the final turn. So on day 38 (Saturday) I changed out the water until I had no more nitrites and I got a bottle of TSS+ and a fish and decided to see if that would make the final turn. I believe it worked as yesterday I had .25 Am and .25 Nitrites 20ppm Nitrate...this morning I tested and I have 0 Am 0 Nitrite and 20ppm Nitrate. So now my question is this: With TSS+ it advises you not to do a water change for 2 weeks, but my nitrates are at 20 now...so do I do a partial water change anyway, or do I wait and only do a water change if it gets higher before my 2 weeks are up. I am unsure if I will affect the bacteria colony if I do a water change too soon. I have a planted tank (3 java fern, ludwigia and 3 moss balls)..my tank inhabitants are one female betta, one assassin snail and some bladder snails (the colony is getting under control since the addition of the assassin so I dont see them as much now)..what are your suggestions? Thanx to everyone for all your help this far!

  2. JChi Valued Member Member

    congrats on getting your tank cycled! Personally, I think you should simply start a regular maintenance schedule now and not worry about the directions on the TSS bottle. Personally I feel best about a weekly water change schedule, so I would advise that.

  3. TamiR Valued Member Member

    Any other opinions?
  4. HAYGEE New Member Member

    I agree with JChi :). If you’re testing the water and it says it’s cycled I’d leave it to what your regular weekly water change (or bi-weekly) would be if you had fish in the tank :). Wouldn’t want to mess up any good bacteria in the tank or anything! I think it might be wise to continue testing the water for a week or two every few days and maybe if you see a spike in ammonia/nitrites do a change then. Congrats on getting the tank cycled!
  5. TamiR Valued Member Member

    I do have a fish in the tank and my nitrates are at 20....that is why my question is, do I do a partial water change now or only if it gets higher? I dont want to undo anything that I did with the TSS 2 days ago and TSS says no water changes for 2 weeks.
  6. JChi Valued Member Member

    I totally get where you are coming from. It's your fish and you've put so much love and effort into setting up a great tank that I would hate to see you do something that you feel isn't right. If your water testing isn't showing any changes in your parameters, and the nitrates aren't rising then everything will be fine to wait out the recommended two weeks by the manufacturer.

    I added the TSS too when I was setting up my tank, and I did not follow that guideline o_O. Don't know if that was the right or wrong thing to do, but if I understand it correctly, in theory it's just seeding the bacteria instead of waiting for the bacteria to naturally find it's way into the tank. The bacteria should be living in the filter, and on the decorations, not floating free in the water, so you shouldn't be destroying it by doing water changes. Again, though, do what you feel is best and right.
  7. TamiR Valued Member Member

    I am sure they suggest the 2 weeks to be sure all the bacteria has had a chance to seed and grow before doing a water change....it is probably longer than necessary but in order to put out a blanket guideline they have to overestimate the time to avoid mass failure I would presume. I will keep an eye on my parameters and if the nitrates rise, I will do the change. I will probably do one this weekend regardless, I will have allowed it a week to seed at that point and I am sure that will be fine. Thank you for your advice, I do appreciate it.
  8. HAYGEE New Member Member

    Oops! My bad, misread your question it seems :). I personally would wait the two weeks and continue to monitor your ammonia and nitrites. I feel personally that of those are at 0ppm, and it’s just your nitrates that are worrying you, I’d continue to wait. I’ve heard that you can get away with higher nitrates as long as they don’t go above 30/40ppm, but keep in mind I’m still new to testing water myself! I don’t think it’ll hurt your tank or fish babies either though if it’s really weighing on you to do a small water change of let’s say, 10%. :)