Is my tank cycled?

Mistacliff
Member
I filled my 125 gallon tank yesterday using seachem prime and I used a top fin bacteria starter. I’m using the sand from my previously fully cycled tanks but everything else is brand new.
I tested everything today and as best as I could tell it reads ph 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 ppm.
The sand from the old tanks is the specially formulated cichlid sand and I rinsed it really well before transferring. Is it possible that enough good bacteria was on the sand that my tank is cycled instantly?
 
marmaaa
Member
Mistacliff said:
I filled my 125 gallon tank yesterday using seachem prime and I used a top fin bacteria starter. I’m using the sand from my previously fully cycled tanks but everything else is brand new.
I tested everything today and as best as I could tell it reads ph 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 ppm.
The sand from the old tanks is the specially formulated cichlid sand and I rinsed it really well before transferring. Is it possible that enough good bacteria was on the sand that my tank is cycled instantly?
I doubt the sand made that big of a difference. Have you added in ammonia to see how fast it gets converted? Filter media has the most beneficial bacteria so if you had transferred that then maybe it would have cycled but without it then it is not cycled.
 
Jojo205
Member
What did you rinse it in? If you rinsed it in chlorinated (tap) water it definitely has no beneficial bacteria.have you checked your tap for nitrates at all? that seems most likely.
Hardly any beneficial bacteria is on the substrate. I completely changed out the substrate in my tank with no effect on the cycle.

To know your tank is cycled you add 1-3 ppm ammonia then if it’s down to 0 24 hours or less your tank is cycled.
 
mattgirl
Member
Mistacliff said:
I filled my 125 gallon tank yesterday using seachem prime and I used a top fin bacteria starter. I’m using the sand from my previously fully cycled tanks but everything else is brand new.
I tested everything today and as best as I could tell it reads ph 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 ppm.
The sand from the old tanks is the specially formulated cichlid sand and I rinsed it really well before transferring. Is it possible that enough good bacteria was on the sand that my tank is cycled instantly?
Without an ammonia source adding the bacteria in a bottle can't help cycle a tank. The bacteria needs food. I feel sure there was little to no bacteria on the sand since it was rinsed well before putting it in the tank.

If you can move some media from your cycled tank the bacteria on the media should speed up the cycle in this tank but you still need an ammonia source. The cycle isn't going to even start without it.
 
  • Thread Starter
Mistacliff
Member
So likely not cycled. I had purchased fritz zyme 7 thinking it was a different option of a bacteria starter. The dosage on the fritz says 4 oz per 10 gallons of water so the one bottle wouldn’t even be the proper amount for my tank.
Does anyone have experience with fritz zyme fishless fuel? Should I add that and the one bottle of fritz 7 I bought? I did put the full dosage of top fin bacteria starter in.
Or is there a recommendation for ammonia to get?
 
mattgirl
Member
Mistacliff said:
So likely not cycled. I had purchased fritz zyme 7 thinking it was a different option of a bacteria starter. The dosage on the fritz says 4 oz per 10 gallons of water so the one bottle wouldn’t even be the proper amount for my tank.
Does anyone have experience with fritz zyme fishless fuel? Should I add that and the one bottle of fritz 7 I bought? I did put the full dosage of top fin bacteria starter in.
Or is there a recommendation for ammonia to get?
The fishless fuel should work along with the fritz-zyme turbo start. The main thing is you are adding ammonia. Without ammonia the bacteria in a bottle will just die off. Fishless fuel is basically ammonia. Dr Tim's ammonia chloride is another one some folks use.

Depending on how long ago you added the top fin bacteria without also adding ammonia it may have already died off. For bottled bacteria to actually work the instructions have to be followed exactly as written.

Sadly most of them don't mention an ammonia source. The only reason I can think of for not adding that very important piece of information is because they are assuming fish will be in the tank providing the ammonia.

If you already have cycled tanks using media from them will actually work just as well or maybe even better than anything you can buy in a bottles.
 
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Mistacliff
Member
So as for an update, I have switched to a fish in cycle. After reading the sticky threads and then having my LFS say basically the same thing I realized the fish in cycle was going to be best for me.
So with my tank sitting at the levels mentioned above I added 3 silver dollars and 2 bottles of fritz zyme 7.
I have been testing the levels daily or every other day. I haven’t seen any ammonia levels or nitrites. I have been feeding pretty heavy for just the 3 fish twice a day for a week.
I just tested and again 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 6-7 nitrate, 8.2 ph.
Originally I posted that the nitrates were 5, but really they were maybe a smidge below 5. And this time it is definitely not at the 10 but maybe a smidge above the 5.
It seems to me I should’ve seen something on one of the other levels even if it is a 125 gallon. Am I cycled now?
My next thought is just add more fish and continue to watch the levels.
 
mattgirl
Member
Nothing is going to happen fast with just 3 little fish in a 125 gallons of water. Even with over feeding there is not much ammonia being produced. Personally I would not be over feeding. That isn't good for the fish.

No you are not cycled but you are on the right path if you choose to do this type of fish in cycle. You need to add more fish but just a few at a time. Wait at least a week for an ammonia spike each time you add fish before adding more. If you see some ammonia/nitrites within a week of adding the last fish wait until it zeros out. When it does add more fish. You are very gradually building up the bacteria in this tank.

By doing this you are not going to get high spikes of ammonia or nitrites. Your nitrates will very gradually go up.
 
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Mistacliff
Member
So I didn’t mean to say that I am over feeding, just that I am not doing a light feeding.
The LFS has some of the other fish I ordered in. 5 tapajos, 1 jack dempsey, 1 firemouth
What should I put in as far as taking it slow? All 5 tapajos? Just the other 2? Or is all of these fish okay with it being a 125 gallon?
 
mattgirl
Member
Mistacliff said:
So I didn’t mean to say that I am over feeding, just that I am not doing a light feeding.
The LFS has some of the other fish I ordered in. 5 tapajos, 1 jack dempsey, 1 firemouth
What should I put in as far as taking it slow? All 5 tapajos? Just the other 2? Or is all of these fish okay with it being a 125 gallon?
Gotcha. I understand what you are saying now.

If these 7 fish are still babies adding all of them may be alright. It is very possible adding that many will cause a spike in ammonia. If you don't already have it get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It is going to be a life saver for your fish should the ammonia spike.

It is also possible you won't see a spike since you added the Fritz-Zyme. How long ago did you add it?
 
  • Thread Starter
Mistacliff
Member
The SD’s and the fritz were added this last Saturday so exactly one week ago today.
All the fish would be babies and I used seachem prime at start up when I filled the tank. As far as that goes I will just use the prime at water changes once I see ammonia rise if I’m not mistaken. One thing I have seen that just seems a little off is that a lot of people say they just use the full amount of prime that they would if they were filling the entire tank at every water change. Is this accurate? And why?

also the sticky thread on fish in cycle was helpful, and as I mentioned my LFS basically echoed the exact same thing.
 
mattgirl
Member
Adding the fish now is a good idea. We want to feed the bacteria you added. We don't want to wait too long. Bacteria will only grow up to the amount of food it is getting. Without enough food I fear the bacteria you added will start dying off due to lack of food.

When using a python type system and refilling straight from the faucet it is recommended we add enough water conditioner to treat the full volume of the tank. It is also recommended we add the same amount if we are getting an ammonia reading in the tank. we want to detox all the ammonia in the tank. It takes a full dose to do so.

If refilling with buckets and there is no ammonia in the tank we just need to add enough to treat each bucket before pouring the water in the tank. In other words, the amount we add depends on different conditions.

I am happy to hear my thoughts on fish in cycling has helped you. :) Unlike so many LFS's it sounds like the folks in yours are more educated on what it takes to successfully cycle a tank.
 

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