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Meganrae8148 and jazmin , just FYI water changes, even 90% water changes will not affect a tank cycle, even when you're in the middle of cycling a tank. The bacteria you are growing in the tank are on surfaces (substrate, filter media, decorations, plants, rock, wood) in the tank, not in the water itself. So water changes can only help the tank and it's critters.Meganrae8148 said:Let me start in general from experience and I'm a beginner. But Personally I got a tank 3 months ago my first ever I'm 17 I had no clue about fish. I bought the tank decor and freaking neons didn't cycle. In a week they all died. Since then I'm a firm believer in fishless cycling... it can take 3 weeks to 4 months or more to cycle safely... since you already got the fish I suggest you go to petsmart get some prime u can get a small bottle for 5$ n literally a mml goes a long way. When u first buy prime I don't see harm in not doing a water change just adding in enough for your tank size then the next day preform a water change. Since you have fish in the tank a 25 percent water change wouldn't destroy your cycle I've done it I'm doing it now for guppys did it for a betta. It'll delay the cycle maybe but keep the fish alive if things spike. Personally I have 40 nitrates in my tap water and 2ppm ammonia. I use a filter thing for removing toxins for aquarium water its expensive I'll leave a pic. My nitrates stay around 20 honestly my fish are fine its ammonia and nitrites I get concerned over or if my nitrates reach red. They have didn't kill or harm anything but I did preform a water change. And another thing with my tanks I can't get non of them at all to be 0 ammonia. I test with api test I believe its maybe how I see the color also bc my tanks are cycled and have been for a while now expect one and they all have 0 nitrites 10 to 20 nitrates and ammonia always looks yellowish green but not as green as the 0.25 color shows confusing. I've started to learn as long as nothing is at 1ppm no nitrates are in the red zone and no fish are dead or acting weird... staying at the top of the tank or bottom not moving not eating kind of weird then they're okay
*The one and only exception to this is when you add a liquid bacteria starter to the tank. When you do that, the bacteria IS in the water for awhile and you need to follow the instructions on the bacteria starter and refrain from doing water changes for the time instructed (that gives the floating bacteria time to attach and become firmly fixed in the tank). Otherwise changing water and vacuuming substrate is the best thing you can do for the health of your fish!