Need Advice On Cycling

bob350

Member
Hello everyone,

I got a 33 gallon tank recently and I have been cycling it with fishes for the last 8 days. Here are the test readings

Ammonia:0.25
Nitrite :0
Nitrate : 10 ~20
Ph: 8.2

I have been using seachem stability on all days so far and I have done one 20% water change. I wanted seek your advice and let me know how to go from here. Should I continue with stability until the ammonia reaches zero.

Please let me know.
Thanks in advance
 

75g Discus Tank

Member
You are close. Nitrates are present so they cycle is almost there. Keep it up and you may be cycled in a week's time.

Once the ammonia goes to 0 and the nitrites stay 0 for a couple of days, you should be cycled. After that, do a 50% WC.
 
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bob350

Member
75g Discus Tank said:
You are close. Nitrates are present so they cycle is almost there. Keep it up and you may be cycled in a week's time.

Once the ammonia goes to 0 and the nitrites stay 0 for a couple of days, you should be cycled. After that, do a 50% WC.
Thank you for responding. Sorry for asking again. Should I continue with the daily dose of stability?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
I won't hurt to use it, since you already have it. You can also add more than the recommended dosage, but it may make the tank a little cloudy for awhile.
 

OscarHoya

Member
Just keep going, it takes a little more time. Don't clean out any mechanical filter material in clean water. Clean it out in water you have out of your tank (in a bucket). That way you don't lose any good bacteria.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Thank you all
 

Fashooga

Member
I think you just need to let it sit and do its thing. Sometimes doing nothing is a good thing.

Cycling is like cooking prime rib...you have to let it cook in the oven, if you keep opening up and poking holes into the meat you not only use the heat but your drying it out...just sit back and let it do it's thing.
 
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bob350

Member
So I did a water change yesterday and today's test revealed that my ammonia is now at 0.25 whereas nitrite is now 1 and nitrate at 40? Should I do another water change?
 

Mom2some

Member
bob350 said:
So I did a water change yesterday and today's test revealed that my ammonia is now at 0.25 whereas nitrite is now 1 and nitrate at 40? Should I do another water change?
If Ammonia + nitrites > or = 1.0 do a 50% water change.
If ammonia + nitrites < 1.0 retest in 24 hours.
Both of these scenarios assume you are dosing with Prime or a similar dechlorinator.

You are so close! Nitrites will be there (perhaps for a couple of days) then as if by magic poof they are gone & you are cycled!
 
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bob350

Member
Thanks! I just did a 25% water change and yes I use prime. Hopefully this should bring down the levels. How long should I wait to take the next test?
 

AnnaP

Member
I would test again in 48 hours
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Nitrite can spike quickly and you only did a 25% change. I'd do another 25% and check in 24hours. Prime may not detox that much nitrite over 48 hours.
 
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bob350

Member
Because I just did a 50% yesterday and was wondering if I do back to back 50 it may harm the cycle. will it? If not I can do another 25
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Bacteria doesn't really live in the water column, it grows on surfaces that has water flow. You should be fine doing another 25%. Just keep an eye on those nitrites. With your ph, hopefully this part of the cycle will go quickly. Make sure you have good aeration, HOB waterfall, or airstone.
 
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bob350

Member
So I did another 25% wc yesterday and here is how it looks now

Ammonia - almost zero
Nitrite - 0.5~1
Nitrate 10~20

Should I just wait now?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Just dose Prime and wait another day. What's your current temp and ph?
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
TexasGuppy said:
Just dose Prime and wait another day. What's your current temp and ph?
78F and 8.2
 

Mom2some

Member
Water changes should not hurt your cycle. Back to back large water changes are sometimes needed to bring parameters under control.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Same readings as of yesterday. I think I need to be more patient?
 

Mom2some

Member
I would do another 50% change if Nitrite is at 1.0. It is very toxic, and if it keeps rising in the next 24 could cause you to loose fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Mom2some said:
I would do another 50% change if Nitrite is at 1.0. It is very toxic, and if it keeps rising in the next 24 could cause you to loose fish.
Thanks will do.
Should I keep adding stability until it cycles?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
With nitrites under 1 and no change from yesterday, you are probably close. You can add stability, it won't hurt.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Ok here is how it looks today. Since I need to travel and will return only by Monday I did another 50% today

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 1
Nitrate - 10
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Are those readings before or after the wc? If after, I'd do another 50% and put in a double dose of prime right before you leave.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
TexasGuppy said:
Are those readings before or after the wc? If after, I'd do another 50% and put in a double dose of prime right before you leave.
Before. I have someone to dose stability until I return.
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Have them dose 'Prime' daily as well... to cover the growing nitrites.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
I came back this morning and did another test

Ammonia is zero, Nitrite around 1~2 and nitrate at 20. I immediately did a 50% water change and added stability with prime. Although all my fishes are active, one fish's back fin was like bitten... It looks like a small bump with couple of lines missing in the fin. Feeling pretty bad that I left at the wrong time. May be due to nitrite?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Probably. I'd do another 50% to get the nitrites down and do another 25% every day or two for the poor fella.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
TexasGuppy said:
Probably. I'd do another 50% to get the nitrites down and do another 25% every day or two for the poor fella.
Sure, am I in the right path of getting my tank cycled?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Nitrites may have spiked while you were gone, which would explain the tail and if so, then you're you may be towards the end of the cycle.
Looks good, but it's hard to say how much longer, sometimes the nitrite portion can take awhile. Hopefully, it just continues to drop over the coming days until it reaches zero.

P.S. hopefully you already know, but never let untreated water touch your filter.. only switch in old tank water when you do need to do a little cleaning.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
So my tank finally cycled?

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10~20

I did a 25% wc yesterday. Should I do another one now?
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Looks like it. How's the fish doing?
No need to do another change right away. I'd wait another few days and see how nitrates are doing. Keep them under 40, but under 20 is even better.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Better. I can see the fins growing a bit now. I'll probably do another test over the weekend. Thank you for all your inputs. Appreciate it.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
Ok same readings this morning both ammonia and nitrite still at zero. Nitrate - 10~20. I hope my tank is cycled now. BTW I did a 50% wc just to make my sand substrate look clean
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Sounds good. You'll want to use a gravel vac on a portion of the gravel weekly. Food and fish poop will accumulate down there and start to cause ammonia that will eventually cause large nitrate levels.
 
  • Thread Starter

bob350

Member
TexasGuppy said:
Sounds good. You'll want to use a gravel vac on a portion of the gravel weekly. Food and fish poop will accumulate down there and start to cause ammonia that will eventually cause large nitrate levels.
Thank you, I kind of stir the sand a bit every time I do a wc. I hope that should prevent the spiking. Yes I use python as a gravel cleaner
 

TexasGuppy

Member
Great, sand is better than gravel since most of the gunk stays on the top.
 

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