Is My Nitrogen Cycle Complete ? With Pictures!!!

Kristina33
  • #1
Hey everybody, I’m struggling to find information on how to tell exactly where my tank is at in the nitrogen cycle. My readings are: Ammonia (I think its currently a mix between 0 and 0.25ppm, check out the photos and let me know what you think) Nitrite (0ppm) Nitrate (0ppm). Where exactly am I at, and what is the perfect conditions to add fish ? Thank you in advance!!!
IMG_0582.JPG

IMG_0583.JPG

IMG_0584.JPG
 
GreekGills
  • #2
Welcome

Once you consistently get 0 amm, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate, you're cycled. To me, you have .25amm 0 nitrite and some nitrate at this point. I'm a newbie so I don't have a ton of info for you, but you came to the right place for help

What is your tank size and stocking plans? Water temp,hardness and pH info is important to know. The more info you can give about your tank, the better answers you will receive
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Welcome

Once you consistently get 0 amm, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate, you're cycled. To me, you have .25amm 0 nitrite and some nitrate at this point. I'm a newbie so I don't have a ton of info for you, but you came to the right place for help

What is your tank size and stocking plans? Water temp,hardness and pH info is important to know. The more info you can give about your tank, the better answers you will receive

Hi! Thank you very much for your response. I thought nobody would reply lol. That’s fantastic, I’ll watch the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites and pH in the next few weeks and wait until it’s completely perfect. I have been cycling already for about 3 weeks. My tank is a Fluval Edge 48litre tank (picture included), it’s not massive so I don’t have a crazy amount of options as to stocking the tank, so feel free to suggest some options!
Thank you again and all the best

Image1525610637.082771.jpg
 
GreekGills
  • #4
What are you using for ammonia?
That tank would work great for a betta, in my opinion. Maybe a couple snails also.
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
What are you using for ammonia?
That tank would work great for a betta, in my opinion. Maybe a couple snails also.

I began the nitrogen cycle with a product called bioculture which has ammonia in it to begin the cycle along with beneficial bacteria. Recommended to me by one of the marine biologists who works at the fish store... I think that is a great suggestion, I’ll take your advice on that. I may have to install a heater for the betta and begin aquascaping. This is addictive
Image1525611549.455298.jpg. Thank you!!
 
emmysjj
  • #6
Here's what I'm doing in my two ten gallons that you may like
Tank one, betta and a few snails
Tank two, endlers, guppies, shrimp and snails.
Tank one is really peaceful and nice to watch. My other 10 gallon isn't stocked yet, but I can imagine it as a bright and active tank!
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Here's what I'm doing in my two ten gallons that you may like
Tank one, betta and a few snails
Tank two, endlers, guppies, shrimp and snails.
Tank one is really peaceful and nice to watch. My other 10 gallon isn't stocked yet, but I can imagine it as a bright and active tank!

Great advice for stocking similar to my tank size! Looking at your combinations for the different communities you have happening online to get an idea of the vibe. Thank you
 
mattgirl
  • #8
I began the nitrogen cycle with a product called bioculture which has ammonia in it to begin the cycle along with beneficial bacteria. Recommended to me by one of the marine biologists who works at the fish store... I think that is a great suggestion, I’ll take your advice on that. I may have to install a heater for the betta and begin aquascaping. This is addictive View attachment 435854. Thank you!!
You used a bottled bacteria with ammonia in it but unless you have been adding more ammonia I am afraid your tank is not and will not complete its cycle. The cycle (bacteria) needs a constant supply of ammonia to grow. Once the bacteria in the bottle consumed the ammonia it came in it started dying.

If you had added fish when you added the BB they would have produced the necessary ammonia but since you didn't then you need to add it by either adding fish, fish food that rots and forms ammonia or preferably, bottled pure ammonia.

You have come to the right place to get you back on track. We can help you get this tank up and running.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #9
Ace hardware janitorial strength 10% ammonia is the only acceptable ammonia source you can get locally. $3. 10 drops in your tank will give you 1ppm ammonia. It's the easiest way to measure your cycle progress.
 
yukondog
  • #10
Welcome to the sight Kristina, I would start to build the tank and if you don't want to do a fish in cycle start putting a pinch of food in every day, or add a couple of guppy's. I've done fish in cycle many times at about the stage your at now. Good luck, you came to the right place
 
emmysjj
  • #11
No problem! Let me know if you need any more ideas. All I have is small tanks so I'm used to it.
 
FishL:))
  • #12
Welcome Kristina!

To answer your ammonia question, I think you are in between 0 and 0.25. It was looking is looking a little green, so I would double check and maybe even test again to make sure.

Best of luck!
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
You used a bottled bacteria with ammonia in it but unless you have been adding more ammonia I am afraid your tank is not and will not complete its cycle. The cycle (bacteria) needs a constant supply of ammonia to grow. Once the bacteria in the bottle consumed the ammonia it came in it started dying.

If you had added fish when you added the BB they would have produced the necessary ammonia but since you didn't then you need to add it by either adding fish, fish food that rots and forms ammonia or preferably, bottled pure ammonia.

You have come to the right place to get you back on track. We can help you get this tank up and running.

Thank you very much for your help. It’s so insane how pet stores in Australia where I am give such biased advice. The guy there was like yes buy this bottle and wait four weeks and you shall have a cycled tank. Thank you for letting me know this is not the case and I need to keep adding a source of ammonia. So thanks to you I won’t have any problems with poor quality water conditions!!! Back on the cycle we go!

Welcome to the sight Kristina, I would start to build the tank and if you don't want to do a fish in cycle start putting a pinch of food in every day, or add a couple of guppy's. I've done fish in cycle many times at about the stage your at now. Good luck, you came to the right place

That’s great advice! Thank you for your input, I will definitely take this into account. What kind of food would you say is the best kind to place in the tank which lets off the ammonia ? I will order your recommendation online to ensure I do the right thing.

Ace hardware janitorial strength 10% ammonia is the only acceptable ammonia source you can get locally. $3. 10 drops in your tank will give you 1ppm ammonia. It's the easiest way to measure your cycle progress.

Thank you for your help!



Is this the one you recommend ? If so I’ll order ASAP! Thank you and best regards

Ace hardware janitorial strength 10% ammonia is the only acceptable ammonia source you can get locally. $3. 10 drops in your tank will give you 1ppm ammonia. It's the easiest way to measure your cycle progress.

Just getting the hang of the website and forgot to reply directly to this comment. Is this the bottle that you recommend ? (Picture included) how often should I put dosages of ammonia in the tank ? Thanks Texasguppy


Image1525692077.414310.jpg
 
TexasGuppy
  • #15
That's it. 10 drops will add 1ppm to your tank. I'd dose to 2ppm and add each time it gets to zero, first time may take a couple weeks. Do you know your temp and pH?
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Fantastic, I had to be specific just in case of the scented soap kind... The temperature is 19 degrees Celcius in the tank, I have not yet added a heater (do you think a heater would help the cycle in any way ?) pH is 7.5
 
TexasGuppy
  • #16
Yes, 80-82 will speed the cycle. pH is good.
 
Ms rose
  • #17
Fantastic, I had to be specific just in case of the scented soap kind... The temperature is 19 degrees Celcius in the tank, I have not yet added a heater (do you think a heater would help the cycle in any way ?) pH is 7.5
yes heat it to 80 to 83, this helps build bb much faster

edit to add: haha TexasGuppy , funny to see you here. op, I learnned a lot for this guy!! hes a good person to have on you side! your in great hands here


edit #2: MAKE SURE YOR PH NEVER GOES UNDER 7.0 , this will stall your cycle, and make you loose your mind lol
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #18
Greetings and Welcome to Fishlore
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
yes heat it to 80 to 83, this helps build bb much faster

edit to add: haha TexasGuppy , funny to see you here. op, I learnned a lot for this guy!! hes a good person to have on you side! your in great hands here


edit #2: MAKE SURE YOR PH NEVER GOES UNDER 7.0 , this will stall your cycle, and make you loose your mind lol

Amazing, screenshotted all of these tips, this is a much more complex hobby than I thought it to be lol! thank you so much for the tips. I certainly wouldn’t have learnt this from my local Sales associate! So happy I joined the forum

Greetings and Welcome to Fishlore

Thank you! Happy to be here
 
Mick Frost
  • #20
edit #2: MAKE SURE YOR PH NEVER GOES UNDER 7.0 , this will stall your cycle, and make you loose your mind lol
I've successfully cycled tanks (by the dozens) at 6.0 for South Americans. I'm curious as to what might have caused your issues...
To the OP on this note, PH swings will cause lots of other issues including Nitrite availability, so just try to keep it stable for fastest growth.
 
mattgirl
  • #21
Thank you very much for your help. It’s so insane how pet stores in Australia where I am give such biased advice. The guy there was like yes buy this bottle and wait four weeks and you shall have a cycled tank. Thank you for letting me know this is not the case and I need to keep adding a source of ammonia. So thanks to you I won’t have any problems with poor quality water conditions!!! Back on the cycle we go!
You are so very welcome,

Sadly it isn't just in Australia. It seems to be worldwide. I can only assume the companies that make these products expect folks to immediately add fish so it seems none of them say anything about needing a constant ammonia source to feed the product once it has used all the ammonia that came with the produce.

I haven't figured out yet if it is just an oversight on their part or if there is a reason behind it. Like, if the first bottle doesn't work one will buy another and another.....while all the time wondering what they were doing wrong

Thankfully you found this site and should now be able to get up and running. we will try our very best to never steer you wrong.
 
Ms rose
  • #22
I've successfully cycled tanks (by the dozens) at 6.0 for South Americans. I'm curious as to what might have caused your issues...
To the OP on this note, PH swings will cause lots of other issues including Nitrite availability, so just try to keep it stable for fastest growth.
hmm I was under the impression ph played a role in the stall of my cycle. but either way I know for a fact "chasing" ph is a no no and keeping is stable is the best thing to do. I am new to this hobby as well so I thought I was stating a fact about low ph but now there is proof that is not exactly fact. sorry to have given mis infornmation. but the heat is an absolute lol
ps welcome! we are happy to have you, this is the greatest forum/community you can find. as for sales associates......dollar dollar bill yaaaallll haha
 
TexasGuppy
  • #23
This site has detailed information on bacteria..
Nitrifying Bacteria Facts

"The optimum pH range for Nitrosomonas is between 7.8-8.0.
The optimum pH range for Nitrobacter is between 7.3-7.5
Nitrobacter will grow more slowly at the high pH levels typical of marine aquaria and preferred by African Rift Lake Cichlids. Initial high nitrite concentrations may exist. At pH levels below 7.0, Nitrosomonas will grow more slowly and increases in ammonia may become evident. Nitrosomonas growth is inhibited at a pH of 6.5. All nitrification is inhibited if the pH drops to 6.0 or less."
Did you use starter bacteria on those tanks at 6.0Ph or use seeded media?
 
Hunter1
  • #24
I've successfully cycled tanks (by the dozens) at 6.0 for South Americans. I'm curious as to what might have caused your issues...
To the OP on this note, PH swings will cause lots of other issues including Nitrite availability, so just try to keep it stable for fastest growth.

Complex hobby?

At times, but very rewarding.

The folks on here will keep you straight although you will get differing opinions at times. But each person states what has worked for them, doesn’t mean the other opinion is wrong.

So soliciting an opposing opinion, I suggest a beneficial bacteria supplement (bottles bacteria) before you start dosing with ammonia. IMO anything you gained from your first addictive died when it didn’t get fed.

Those that use Prime to declorinate their water, swear by Stability. I prefer TetraSafeStart +.

But you have to wait at least 24 hours after you use Prime. And I would dose to 2ppm and do nothing except test every other day until ammonia went under 1ppm. Then dose to get to 2ppm.

Keep repeating until the ammonia goes from 2 ppm to 0 in 24 hours. And you have 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

Then you are ready for fish after a water change to lower nitrates.

Stock slowly and add your most delicate species last.

Once you get your stocking complete, it’s all about enjoying your fish and doing weekly water changes.
 
Gypsy13
  • #25
Complex hobby?

At times, but very rewarding.

The folks on here will keep you straight although you will get differing opinions at times. But each person states what has worked for them, doesn’t mean the other opinion is wrong.

So soliciting an opposing opinion, I suggest a beneficial bacteria supplement (bottles bacteria) before you start dosing with ammonia. IMO anything you gained from your first addictive died when it didn’t get fed.

Those that use Prime to declorinate their water, swear by Stability. I prefer TetraSafeStart +.

But you have to wait at least 24 hours after you use Prime. And I would dose to 2ppm and do nothing except test every other day until ammonia went under 1ppm. Then dose to get to 2ppm.

Keep repeating until the ammonia goes from 2 ppm to 0 in 24 hours. And you have 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

Then you are ready for fish after a water change to lower nitrates.

Stock slowly and add your most delicate species last.

Once you get your stocking complete, it’s all about enjoying your fish and doing weekly water changes.

Spot on!

Welcome to fishlore! We will do our best. I’m not perfect and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything. Thankfully. Life is no fun if you have nothing left to learn. Btw, you may as well make room for your next aquarium. You’ll need a qt eventually anyway. I’m so glad you’re here!
 
SFGiantsGuy
  • #26
Hers is looking pretty darn close though--almost ideal though with 0 nitrates. Although some people would want some nitrates! (me and plenty of others heh) Should be any day now really, as those readings looks like she's almost done. : )
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Omg people are so nice on this forum, I’m truly shocked by the amount of support and knowledge that is being shared around! Thank you ALL, I am grateful!

I have a NEW question, when I do receive the ammonia in the mail, is it safe to put it in the tank with the product I used for bacteria? (Bioculture) OR should I empty the tank and start fresh considering my current readings (which are the same as before in the pics except the ammonia has dropped a little?) What do you guys think ? I’m scared the product might interfere with the effectiveness of the ammonia when added.
My ammonia level has also dropped for some reason even though no ammonia has yet been put in the tank.
Pics below

Here’s the picture of the ammonia
Image1525769065.041659.jpg

Here’s the picture of the ammonia
Image1525769065.041659.jpg


IMG_0656.JPG
 
Ms rose
  • #28
that looks like 0 ammonia to me. test you other two. nitrite and nitrate, you may be finished cycling if you have 0 nitrite and 5 or above nitrate. doesn't need to be five. but some sign of an orange tint in the nitRtae test shows you are cycled, assuming you have no nitrIte
 
TexasGuppy
  • #29
the ammonia is the food for the bacteria.. You want both in the tank. You look like you are out of ammonia, so you need to dose it up again.
Many of the bacteria starters need additional ammonia to continue/grow if they have any at all. A nitrate of near zero means there has not been any additional ammonia aside from that initial .25 you measured. Dose up the ammonia and monitor the progress.. you may be starting over at this point.

P.S. Here is a research paper from the EPA with more details on bacteria growth levels... It would indicate Ph of 6.0 is not good for growth. These levels are wider than the previous site I referenced and actually go quite high. Nitrosomas 7.1-7.8 and nitrobacter from 7.6-8.1



Bacteria.jpg
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
the ammonia is the food for the bacteria.. You want both in the tank. You look like you are out of ammonia, so you need to dose it up again.
Many of the bacteria starters need additional ammonia to continue/grow if they have any at all. A nitrate of near zero means there has not been any additional ammonia aside from that initial .25 you measured. Dose up the ammonia and monitor the progress.. you may be starting over at this point.

P.S. Here is a research paper from the EPA with more details on bacteria growth levels... It would indicate Ph of 6.0 is not good for growth. These levels are wider than the previous site I referenced and actually go quite high. Nitrosomas 7.1-7.8 and nitrobacter from 7.6-8.1


View attachment 436454

You are a genius. Beyond helpful, thank you for sharing this info. Checking out the article now and following all of this great advice religiously. Thank you so much for your help.

that looks like 0 ammonia to me. test you other two. nitrite and nitrate, you may be finished cycling if you have 0 nitrite and 5 or above nitrate. doesn't need to be five. but some sign of an orange tint in the nitRtae test shows you are cycled, assuming you have no nitrIte

Thank you Rose, it’ll be rewarding to finally have the NC finished! your comment about sales associates couldn’t be more accurate. This forum is probably the best asset a hobbyist could have! Thank you for welcoming me to the hobby. All the best
 
TexasGuppy
  • #31
You are a genius. Beyond helpful, thank you for sharing this info. Checking out the article now and following all of this great advice religiously. Thank you so much for your help.

Just standing on the shoulders of others. You don't need to probably read that article.. Just try to keep your Ph between 7.2-7.8 to finish your cycle... then it won't matter too much. Also, 19c Celsius is too cold. Raise it up to 28c to speed the cycle.
 
Kristina33
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Complex hobby?

At times, but very rewarding.

The folks on here will keep you straight although you will get differing opinions at times. But each person states what has worked for them, doesn’t mean the other opinion is wrong.

So soliciting an opposing opinion, I suggest a beneficial bacteria supplement (bottles bacteria) before you start dosing with ammonia. IMO anything you gained from your first addictive died when it didn’t get fed.

Those that use Prime to declorinate their water, swear by Stability. I prefer TetraSafeStart +.

But you have to wait at least 24 hours after you use Prime. And I would dose to 2ppm and do nothing except test every other day until ammonia went under 1ppm. Then dose to get to 2ppm.

Keep repeating until the ammonia goes from 2 ppm to 0 in 24 hours. And you have 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

Then you are ready for fish after a water change to lower nitrates.

Stock slowly and add your most delicate species last.

Once you get your stocking complete, it’s all about enjoying your fish and doing weekly water changes.

This is great advice, thank you! I am really enjoying receiving lots of different opinions from people with years and years of experience compared to mine with little to none. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share ‘the right way.’ I ordered pure ammonia in a crystallised form called ammonchlor (I found out in Australia ammonia is a controlled substance which makes it very difficult to find in liquid form) so then resorted to ammonchlor which turns into pure ammonia as soon as it gets dissolved into the tank. I’ll add 2ppm as soon as I receive the ammonia and follow your instructions for cycling!

Just standing on the shoulders of others. You don't need to probably read that article.. Just try to keep your Ph between 7.2-7.8 to finish your cycle... then it won't matter too much. Also, 19c Celsius is too cold. Raise it up to 28c to speed the cycle.

I’ll order a heater especially for the tank. Will be sure to update on the progress of the cycle in coming weeks. Thankfully there are measures to take to speed up this process as you have outlined. Do you believe a quarantine tank would be wise? If so I’ll begin cycling a second tank to the primary one as well!
 
TexasGuppy
  • #33
QT is generally recommended... if you have the place/room for it. I cycled my 10g, and was keeping it cycled by adding .5 ammonia each day or 2... 4 drops of ammonia from a dropper... At the moment, I'm raising baby Amano Shrimp in it.
Many people will keep extra media in their main tank.. and if they need to QT, they'll move it over to get an instant cycle. Probably the easier way if you have room for extra media, although, your tank may not have a lot of room in the back section. I don't know if you tap water has phosphates, or if that bottled bacteria had any either, I would through a small pinch of fish food into the tank as well just in case.. may help the cycle also.
 
mattgirl
  • #34
that looks like 0 ammonia to me. test you other two. nitrite and nitrate, you may be finished cycling if you have 0 nitrite and 5 or above nitrate. doesn't need to be five. but some sign of an orange tint in the nitRtae test shows you are cycled, assuming you have no nitrIte
I just needed to clarify something. One could think seeing no ammonia and a tiny bit of nitrates would signal a completed cycle but that isn't always a true sign of a cycled tank. One needs to have had a nitrite spike at one point before we can say the job is done.

If one was willing to change water daily these perimeters could be kept in check even in an uncycled tank. The main reason for cycling is not to have to do daily water changes.

Once the cycle is complete (meaning the bacteria has grown) the circle keeps spinning. Meaning Ammonia is produced by fish poo, nitrites (although seldom seen after the original spike) eat the ammonia and nitrates eat the nitrites. Since there is nothing to eat the nitrates except plants, water changes must be done to keep them in check.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #35
There are many instances of cycles not seeing nitrites. I think the key indicator is that a certain ammonia is converted to nitrates within 24 hours with zero ammonia or nitrites left.
When fishless cycle you have to add ammonia to keep that bacteria alive.
 
mattgirl
  • #36
There are many instances of cycles not seeing nitrites. I think the key indicator is that a certain ammonia is converted to nitrates within 24 hours with zero ammonia or nitrites left.
When fishless cycle you have to add ammonia to keep that bacteria alive.
I agree. Some folks miss the nitrite spike 'specially if they are using bottled bacteria. But normally one will see the nitrite spike. The spike happens whether or not one happens to test when it does. Normally the nitrite spike lasts long enough to show up if one is testing daily though.
 
GreekGills
  • #37
I saw the spike but only because my pH was so low it stalled the cycle. Once I brought my pH up, nitrites went down for a few days then gone.

And you can cycle with a 6.4pH but, as I experienced, takes a minute
 
Ms rose
  • #38
I just needed to clarify something. One could think seeing no ammonia and a tiny bit of nitrates would signal a completed cycle but that isn't always a true sign of a cycled tank. One needs to have had a nitrite spike at one point before we can say the job is done.

If one was willing to change water daily these perimeters could be kept in check even in an uncycled tank. The main reason for cycling is not to have to do daily water changes.

Once the cycle is complete (meaning the bacteria has grown) the circle keeps spinning. Meaning Ammonia is produced by fish poo, nitrites (although seldom seen after the original spike) eat the ammonia and nitrates eat the nitrites. Since there is nothing to eat the nitrates except plants, water changes must be done to keep them in check.
hmm, very interesting. I think I am still a small bit confused whn it comes to the "cycle". its a hard concept to understand when you over analize it as I do. in its simplicity, its very eay to understand.
 
SFGiantsGuy
  • #39
Even though you're about a heartbeat away from completing your cycle, exercise and always continue to ahere and stay consistent to the base foundational fundamentals, which is the task of responsibly monitoring your water quality; from breeding conditions...to ill fish...to plants, to unexpected or dramatic weather swings...power outages...new fish introduction...live plants, lighting, inverts and other animals, etc. Water quality is EVERYTHING to maintain a steady ecosystem. "Thus, if it ain't broke, it don't need fixin'." ; )
 
Alltema00
  • #40
You can use fish to create the ammonia that the bacteria feed off of, just buy cheap minnow size fish. That way if you lose a few it won't break the bank. That way you don't end up staring at an empty tank for a month.
 

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