New Freshwater Aquarium, cycling

acquariofilo
  • #1
HI all,

I bought a 64lt aquarium a few days ago. I let it run for a week (I only added iEvolution Aqua Pure balls in the filter) before adding 4 platies (4 females). After 4 days (I fed the fish once) and testing with API test strips there is no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. Fish are happy...so far so good
Is this normal?
I haven't done any water changes as yet.
I was also thinking of adding Tetra safestart to speed up the process. When do you think I should start using this product as there is still no ammonia in the tank?

Thank you so much for your help.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
HI AquaticJ,

Thank you so much for your reply.
Do I need to do a 25% water change before adding safestart?
Once the product is in, do I have to wait for the tank to be completely cycled? So no water changes at all?
Thanks
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
HI all,

As stated on my previous post: Help - New Freshwater Aquarium I recently bought a 64lt aquarium. I added 4 platies after one week. My API master kit still can't detect any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in the water after more than a month. I feed them flakes every other day.
Could my aquarium be underpopulated?

Thank you very much for you help.
 
Fishbeard
  • #5
Do you have carbon in the filter? Maybe filters have it built in.
 
Skavatar
  • #6
that's about a 16gal tank with only 4 platies, seems understocked
 
James079
  • #7
I mean that is a relatively understocked tank - but it should still register with something, My 125l tank with 5 platties still registered. Is your aquarium planted?
 
SaltyPhone
  • #8
Re read the instructions and retest there is definitely at least Nitrates in that tank and even heavily planted I assure you there is most likely a lot of ammonia. My first couple ammonia tests I read the bottle and it didn’t even occur to me I was supposed to be using both bottles; boy did I feel like an idiot
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Hi,

Thank you so much for your answers.
No, my aquarium is not planted.
Do I have to add more fish then?

Thanks
 
Skavatar
  • #10
have you tested again?

if you're still not showing any ammonia or nitrite after over a month, then you're probably cycled. 4 platies in a 16 gal is not much bio load. the bacteria was probably able to process the ammonia and nitrites in between testings.
 
Ed1957
  • #11
If there is no nitrates you are not cycled. Without a heavily planted tank there is no way a cycled tank has 0 nitrates. Without plants the only way to remove nitrates is with WC. And a 50% WC would only lower it,not remove all of it.

Did you shake bottle 2 of the Nitrate test for at least 30 secs. Did you shake the test tube for 1 minute.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Just checked water parameters. Bottle 2 was shaken for 30 secs tube for 1 minute.
Results are still the same: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate (see attached picture). I really don't know what to do.
Should I add more fish?
 

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lauren42
  • #13
When cycling my tank I couldn’t get any ammonia in there. I fed the fish and turned the filter down. Fed the fish 2 small amounts a day and left it slow running for 3 days and I started building ammonia!
 
Lacey D
  • #14
Just checked water parameters. Bottle 2 was shaken for 30 secs tube for 1 minute.
Results are still the same: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate (see attached picture). I really don't know what to do.
Should I add more fish?
No, I would not add more fish. Doing so would probably cause a spike. All fish will produce ammonia, and the bacteria they build will be sufficient to clean that ammonia out. There is no need to force the cycle by adding more ammonia--doing so is a good way to end up with dead fish, in my experience.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
No, I would not add more fish. Doing so would probably cause a spike. All fish will produce ammonia, and the bacteria they build will be sufficient to clean that ammonia out. There is no need to force the cycle by adding more ammonia--doing so is a good way to end up with dead fish, in my experience.
Should I just wait then?
So no water changes until ammonia appears?
Once ammonia is there, do I have to do a 25% water change every day or once a week? Sorry for asking so many questions. Thank you for your help.
 
Skavatar
  • #16
do you know how many are male, and how many are female?

1 male : 3 females is recommended ratio
 
Mermaid513
  • #17
HI all,

As stated on my previous post: Help - New Freshwater Aquarium I recently bought a 64lt aquarium. I added 4 platies after one week. My API master kit still can't detect any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in the water after more than a month. I feed them flakes every other day.
Could my aquarium be underpopulated?

Thank you very much for you help.
I think that's great what type of filter do you have.?

Should I just wait then?
So no water changes until ammonia appears?
Once ammonia is there, do I have to do a 25% water change every day or once a week? Sorry for asking so many questions. Thank you for your help.
It's been crazy for my 5 gallon I have a sick male betta in a container floating in with a female snail three catfishes, never had a problem till I added the cabbage lilies, now it seems I can't get rid of the ammonia it seems like I'm constantly changing the water and treating it, I even started to boil the water and adding conditioner so now I decided to buy another filter hoping that will help. My baby male guy also ended up getting Popeye eye that's why he's in the container and my female wants to mate. I've tried different solutions to treat the cloudy water I just don't know what else to do. I even decided to order another pump maybe not getting enough flow to filter out better. I've had my betta Siren for 5 months never had a problem and my two young bettas about 2 months and never had a problem it had to be a bad batch of the cabbage lilies. My catfishes are ready to mate have to buy a few males, and one female cory and albino. Anyway be happy that you don't have to deal with ammonia when the water turns cloudy that's the worst.
 
SaltyPhone
  • #18
That’s very ood. I would take a cup full of water to your lfs and have them test it. Especially with fish in the water you should be seeing something and definitely do not add more fish. In fact I would definitely recommend a large water change if one hasn’t been done recently.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
That’s very ood. I would take a cup full of water to your lfs and have them test it. Especially with fish in the water you should be seeing something and definitely do not add more fish. In fact I would definitely recommend a large water change if one hasn’t been done recently.
I did a 25% water change a couple of weeks ago.
My question is, what do I do when ammonia kicks in? Do 25% water change once a week?
 
Ed1957
  • #20
If the ammonia goes above .50 I would perform a 30-40% WC and dose the whole tank volume with a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. I like Prime.

You do not want your nitrites and ammonia added together greater than 1 with fish in the tank. Perform a water change to get the numbers under 1. Prime will detoxify both when around 1 or under.
 
SaltyPhone
  • #21
Like Ed1957 posted it’s really going to depend on the amount of ammonia as to how much/often you want to do a water change. Were you able to get your water tested with a different kit? I promise there has to be ammonia in that water. I put three guppies in a new 40 gallon and 2nd day even without feeding the ammonia jumped up to ~.5ppm.

Oh haha sorry didn’t read the op well. The tank has been running over a month so it should be cycled in which case you will not see any ammonia or nitrites. So Nitrates are what you will be looking for and as a previous poster said you really got to shake that second bottle hard. Like turn it upside down and break it down Gangnam Style. Water change to keep it ~20 ppm or lower. I’d still have you water checked at an lfs to be on the safe side just as comparison
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Thank you so much for your useful tips.
I'll get my water checked at the lfs...hopefully they'll find some nitrates.
Will keep you guys posted.

Cheers!

HI all,

I've finally detected ammonia in my tank! Around 0.25 ppm.
I have just performed a 50% water change. Should I do this once a day for the next 3-4 days? What about adding tetra safe start?

Still zero nitrites and 0 nitrates.
Please help!!!!

Thank you.
 
Jeffsglo
  • #23
You will 1st detect ammonia, then when ammonia goes to 0 you should detect nitrites, so start testing for both, then when nitrites go to 0 you should detect nitrates at which point you are cycled. You should keep your nitrates at the lowest level possible and test water everyday until this all happens. You can add tetra safe start plus if you want to speed up the cycle. I recently have done a fish in cycle and added the whole bottle of the appropriate proportion of TSS+. This will neutralize the ammonia and the nitrites and keep the water safe. Also I always use Seachem Prime after every water change to dechlorinate the water I add and to neutralize the ammonia. These are the only two additives I recommend. Good luck

You can do a water change if the ammonia goes above .5. Try to keep your ammonia at a low reading. Start with a 25% water change and do more as needed.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Thank you for your answer.
So I should only do water changes if it goes above 0.5? How long do you think will take my tank to produce some nitrites and then nitrates? Will water chenges speed up the process or should I just wait?
 
Mermaid513
  • #25
HI I had too much ammonia and cloudy water all of a sudden I believe I bought a bad batch of cabbage lillies, two of my Bettas died. I removed the lillies, and was changing 50% of my 5 gallon tank sometimes twice a day for a week I felt my fish were suffering I knew I had plenty of plants, then I bought a different filter, I added a leaf to kill any paristies, the water is clear again and no amonnia, there's pleanty of algae for the catfishes, and feed bloodworms, In my 5 gallon I have 5 catfishes, one Betta Sirenia and two zebra Tetras, and some snails they seem happy and I treat the same to my two-3 gallons, One I have 3 platies, 3 guppies and a catfish, snails and the same with my Betta Siren 3 gallon with his two buddy snails, in a 2 gallon I have my new Betta Torquise she's a sweetheart so I clean the sponges, removed any fungus food on the bottom, and remove 50% to 80% and use a good water conditioner like Prime and general cure to remove amonnia, clear water and a leaf I know you have all these different comments but that's what I do to keep good water and to keep my fishes healty and happy.
So I would suggest to remove 50%, 20% to help stabilize with a water conditioner, this information came from a fish guy from a fish store.
 
86 ssinit
  • #26
Thank you for your answer.
So I should only do water changes if it goes above 0.5? How long do you think will take my tank to produce some nitrites and then nitrates? Will water chenges speed up the process or should I just wait?
First welcome to fishlore. Ok as said earlier did you shake the heck out of the second bottle of nitrate formula? The chemical need to be broken down by aggressive shaking. After a month you should have nitrates. Me with fish in the tank I’d do a 25% wc with an ammonia reading of.25.
 
Ed1957
  • #27
Mermaid, Your situation is not the same as his. He is cycling and needs some ammonia or the cycle will not occur. He does not need to add any plants or fish. He definitely does not want to change or clean his filter. Cycling takes time and there is no defined time that it takes. Fish in cycles are tricky as you are trying to keep some ammonia but not enough to kill your fish. Just follow the advice most gave you and over time you will be cycled. Don't go trying ever thing someone tells you hoping they have the magic formula. Follow what most say here and most agree on.
 
Coradee
  • #28
Let’s not take focus from the Op, if you have questions about your own tank then start a new thread
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Sorry but I am a little confused by your answers.
Should I then perform a daily 25% water change until the ammonia drops to zero and I start seeing some nitrates?
Thanks
 
SaltyPhone
  • #30
Yes unless you add the tetra safe start do some daily water changes. In a smaller tank like that it should be easy to do ~50% and reduce feeding to one small feeding every other day.
 
Mermaid513
  • #31
Like one said here to your post, the tank probably already cycled, now you only have to change 20 to 50% once a week or two. That's my thoughts.
 
acquariofilo
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
I tested the water after adding two bottles of SafeStart into my aquarium 2 weeks ago.
I finally have some Nitrates, around 20ppm and 0 Nitrite. Unfortunately Ammonia is still there: 0.25 - 0.50 ppm.
What am I supposed to do now? I am so confused
 
Ed1957
  • #33
Dose Prime and check water each day and dose Prime if any ammonia is present. You are almost there.
 
Jeffsglo
  • #34
I tested the water after adding two bottles of SafeStart into my aquarium 2 weeks ago.
I finally have some Nitrates, around 20ppm and 0 Nitrite. Unfortunately Ammonia is still there: 0.25 - 0.50 ppm.
What am I supposed to do now? I am so confused

Have you tested your tap water? Just to see if it has anything in it like ammonia etc. Do water changes and don't feed too much food. That can cause ammonia also
 
Ed1957
  • #35
I wouldn't do water changes with the low ammonia. I would monitor and dose Prime each day. If in 2 to 3 days your ammonia is not lower I would do a water change.
 

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