Is My Tank Cycled/ Nearly Cycled?

Hanzo Watanabe

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Newbie here. So I went to my LFS fes weeks ago without much knowledge and bought a 5 gallon tank with these fishes:

•6 Neon Tetras
• 6 Albino Cories
• 2 Platies

I know my tank is a bit overstock and I'm gonna buy a 20 gallon tank soon. But I just wanna know if my tank if nearly cycled? I learned cycling through online forums such as this. My filter is only a mini HOB with a replaceable cartridge. It has gone black in just 1 week! So I made a DIY and fitted a sponge and carbon at the bottom. Casualty so far is 1 Cory cat.

Any tips for me to add things for beneficial bacteria to thrive? And also, if I move to a 20 gallon, how can I transfer all my fishes to that tank if it's uncyclef. Thanks guys!
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all-out-fallout

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You’re in the very beginnng stages of cycling. You’re not seeing signs of nitrite, which means ammonia, the first step in the nitrogen cycle, isn't being processed just yet. At this point your tank is just as good as that 20G (get a long for best results)—it’s not cycled. In the case that you have bacteria starting to grow on your filter media, keep the media in tank water (not tap—that has chlorine that will kill your colony). In my experience, it didn’t matter how much water I changed on my tank so long as I kept the bacteria on my media alive by keeping it wet. What kind of media do you have by the way? Do you have a sponge? Those are great for bacteria to cling on to.

I’ve always used SeaChem Stability and Prime for cycling, and they work great for me.
 
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Hanzo Watanabe

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all-out-fallout said:
You’re in the very beginnng stages of cycling. You’re not seeing signs of nitrite, which means ammonia, the first step in the nitrogen cycle, isn't being processed just yet. At this point your tank is just as good as that 20G (get a long for best results)—it’s not cycled. In the case that you have bacteria starting to grow on your filter media, keep the media in tank water (not tap—that has chlorine that will kill your colony). In my experience, it didn’t matter how much water I changed on my tank so long as I kept the bacteria on my media alive by keeping it wet. What kind of media do you have by the way? Do you have a sponge? Those are great for bacteria to cling on to.

I’ve always used SeaChem Stability and Prime for cycling, and they work great for me.
Thanks for the reply.. I use this type of sponge (attached pic). Problem is, it turns black after only one week despite cleaning it with tank water during water changes... I can't place any bio balls since the filter is too small.. any tips on the cycling process to work faster with fishes? Thanks!
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rrbauer96

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Hanzo Watanabe said:
Thanks for the reply.. I use this type of sponge (attached pic). Problem is, it turns black after only one week despite cleaning it with tank water during water changes... I can't place any bio balls since the filter is too small.. any tips on the cycling process to work faster with fishes? Thanks!View attachment 440533
Sorry if I missed where you were talking about it, but is there carbon in your filter?
 
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Hanzo Watanabe

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rrbauer96 said:
That could possibly cause the floss to turn dark quickly?
Yeh, that's a possibility. But whenever I rinse it the fibers seem to have lost its effectiveness... I'm planning on placing Java rocks where the carbons are. Or is there any other DIY way for bacteria to thrive in inside the mini HOB filter? Thanks!
 

mattgirl

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Transferred from another thread....
mattgirl said:
Most folks don't recommend this but If you are willing to do the work you can cycle your tank without anything other than a for your tap water and fish in there to produce the ammonia.

You have to be willing to keep up on the water changes though. Since you don't have a test kit to see what is happening with your water then you just have to assume the water needs to be changed at least every other day for the first 6 weeks and then do it. It takes a lot of commitment to do this but if you are willing to do it your fish should be fine.

Cycling a tank just means allowing it to grow the bacteria it needs to keep it healthy. That bacteria grows on all the surfaces in the tank but the majority of it grows on and lives in your filter.

Fish poop...That poop turn into ammonia...in time that ammonia forms nitrites and then those nitrites form nitrates. Simply put. That is what a cycle is.
Hanzo Watanabe said:
I like your process. I'm sort of doing that right now with a couple of Platies and cories. How much water should I change tho? I change my water 20-30% almost daily (if I can).
While I was cycling my 55 I was doing 30% every other day and that seemed to work for me. You really need to let some ammonia build up in your tank to grow and feed the bacteria you are trying to establish. At this point in your cycle every day could be too much.

A fish in cycling process is a balancing act between enough ammonia to grow the bacteria and keeping the water safe for the fish. That is where either Prime or any other brand of water conditioner that binds up ammonia comes in handy. You can let the ammonia build up to about .75 It shouldn't hurt your fish and will still be there to feed the bacteria. If the ammonia builds up to over 1 you need to do a water change to get it back down and add a full dose of prime.

Test daily and let the test guide you as to when to do a water change.

Yeh, that's a possibility. But whenever I rinse it the fibers seem to have lost its effectiveness... I'm planning on placing Java rocks where the carbons are. Or is there any other DIY way for bacteria to thrive in inside the mini HOB filter? Thanks!
Filter media is going to start looking gross. Gross is natural. I don't understand what you mean be it looses it effectiveness.
 
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Hanzo Watanabe

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mattgirl said:
Transferred from another thread....


While I was cycling my 55 I was doing 30% every other day and that seemed to work for me. You really need to let some ammonia build up in your tank to grow and feed the bacteria you are trying to establish. At this point in your cycle every day could be too much.

A fish in cycling process is a balancing act between enough ammonia to grow the bacteria and keeping the water safe for the fish. That is where either Prime or any other brand of water conditioner that binds up ammonia comes in handy. You can let the ammonia build up to about .75 It shouldn't hurt your fish and will still be there to feed the bacteria. If the ammonia builds up to over 1 you need to do a water change to get it back down and add a full dose of prime.

Test daily and let the test guide you as to when to do a water change.


Filter media is going to start looking gross. Gross is natural. I don't understand what you mean be it looses it effectiveness.
Thanks for the helpful tips! The fiber just disappears overtime. It doesn't seem to catch much of the fish poo
 

Aqua Hands

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Hanzo Watanabe said:
Thanks for the helpful tips! The fiber just disappears overtime. It doesn't seem to catch much of the fish poo
Compact it and stuff more into the filter.
 

mattgirl

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Hanzo Watanabe said:
Thanks for the helpful tips! The fiber just disappears overtime. It doesn't seem to catch much of the fish poo
You're welcome. Normal filter media shouldn't just disappear.

I just read the specs on the package of your filter media. I see that it isn't actually a sponge. It is basically the same poli-fill a lot of us buy by the huge bag for a few bucks. If you could get some real sponge material I think you would be better off. It won't fall apart for a very long time.

The bacteria you are trying to grow lives mostly in/on your filter media. If I were you I would get some kind of bio-balls to put in the bottom of that filter housing (if they are too big break them up into smaller pieces)and some real sponge media to put in the top. The carbon really isn't necessary. I would be willing to bet most long time fish owners no longer use carbon in our filters.
 

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I take the carbon pouches out and add more bio media in both my fluval tanks. I agree carbon isn't necessary (unless you are medicating the fish).
 
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Hanzo Watanabe

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Aqua Hands said:
Compact it and stuff more into the filter.
Makes sense. And the beneficial bacteria stays there I assume.?

mattgirl said:
You're welcome. Normal filter media shouldn't just disappear.

I just read the specs on the package of your filter media. I see that it isn't actually a sponge. It is basically the same poli-fill a lot of us buy by the huge bag for a few bucks. If you could get some real sponge material I think you would be better off. It won't fall apart for a very long time.

The bacteria you are trying to grow lives mostly in/on your filter media. If I were you I would get some kind of bio-balls to put in the bottom of that filter housing (if they are too big break them up into smaller pieces)and some real sponge media to put in the top. The carbon really isn't necessary. I would be willing to bet most long time fish owners no longer use carbon in our filters.
Got it. Planning on placing lava rocks at the bottom. Thanks!

Mazeus said:
I take the carbon pouches out and add more bio media in both my fluval tanks. I agree carbon isn't necessary (unless you are medicating the fish).
Got it. Thanks!
 
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