my cycle please consult

Shelby

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I thought I was close to cycled, Once my ammonia dropped to zero and I was getting nitrites. But it has been almost 2 weeks, nitrites and borderline toxic, and nitrates or low in the safe zone. I'm using those dunk in the tank test strips with the pretty colors you match to the bottle. I have been changing the water 25 to 30 percent, daily for 3 days now. Is this normal can I speed it up or am I just impatient

I have to rant somewhere
 

chickadee

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What method are you using to cycle the tank? Some of the methods take 4-6 weeks and so 2 weeks is not a long time. If you do not have fish in your tank, stop with the water changes and let the cycle proceed at its own rate. If you are cycling with fish in your tank, then you have a long way to go and are not near finished. Cycling with fish can take 4-6 weeks easy.

The test strips are notoriously unreliable and can be giving you false readings. you need to invest in a Freshwater Master Test Kit (most of us use the one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. or API) They are the most accurate and do not give false readings that can cause a lot of trouble. I am enclosing a link just to show you the test kit I am talking about. They have test tubes and liquid reagents that you add to tank water in the test tube. It is not fast and it is not the dip & go type thing, but it is worth the extra effort to have accurate results.

If you can give us more information about the method you are using, it will help to be able to answer a little better. But the only thing you are doing that may be slowing things down is doing the water changes. They are not necessary unless you have fish in the tank and may slow the cycle. If fish are in the tank though, you need to keep the changes up.

Rose
 
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Shelby

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yes, I know it's ONLY been 2 weeks and will take longer. I have a 28 gal. tank with 5 serpae tetra's to cycle with. So I must continue to change the water. I will have to get the master's test kit when I run outta the test strips. I found a link on here the other day after this post that showed a nice timeline. It suggests that I have at least another week. Which I'm sure every tank is different cause they are not all the same. size, number of fish-or no fish, and amount of water being changed are all factors, I'm learning. Now do beat me up or anything, but how much nitrites could my little tetra's take? I'm thinking the higher they stay the faster the little bugs that eat them will thrive. Just a thought, I'm really ready to get more fish But I'm fighting the urge down until I'm cycled.
 
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Shelby

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Re: I cycled

;D ;D ;D I think I cycled my ammonia is 0 Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates or low bottom of the scale. Does that mean I'm cycled and can get more fish

Only took 3 weeks I added my tetra's Dec 30
 

chickadee

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Yes you are cycled if those are the readings you are getting with a liquid test kit. The strips are notoriously inaccurate so do not go by the readings on them please or you could have a disaster.

Congratulations.

Rose
 

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