New Tank - No Changes In Water Parameter

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Yukie

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Hi there,

I got a 10 gal tank 2 weeks ago. I got it all set up (driftwood, anubias nangi, nana petite, and water wisteria live plants) and had the filter running to realize that I wasn't cycling it the right way because there was no introduction of ammonia. The first week without a fish, my water parameters have been:

Temp: 79F
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

So, second week, I introduced a betta in the tank and at the end of the week my water parameters have not changed since I had no fish in the tank. I am confused as to why there hasn't been a change in my parameters. Thank you!

Hi there,

I got a 10 gal tank 2 weeks ago. I got it all set up (driftwood, anubias nangi, nana petite, and water wisteria live plants) and had the filter running to realize that I wasn't cycling it the right way because there was no introduction of ammonia. The first week without a fish, my water parameters have been:

Temp: 79F
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

So, second week, I introduced a betta in the tank and at the end of the week my water parameters have not changed since I had no fish in the tank. I am confused as to why there hasn't been a change in my parameters. Thank you!
EDIT:

I have been using Prime to tap water when I first started the tank, then added Stability for 7 days since adding my betta in. I also use Flourish for the live plants twice a week.
 
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Zigi Zig

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Morning
The nitrite should spike around the second week of cycling. After this it will begin to convert to nitrates. When the nitrite has spiked and fallen to 0ppm (anywhere from 2-8 weeks) You are able to add fish into the aquarium (very slowly) Ensure your ammonia and nitrites are 0ppm at this point in time. During the cycle be sure not to add any chemicals that reduce or remove ammonia. These are counterproductive because the beneficial bacteria need this to feed! If you haven't see any nitrite spike it means chemicals you adding crashing cycle and bacteria not able to be feed. Unfortunately betta is not good starter fish once you cycle start fish will probably be stressed as they carry the brunt of the cycling process or possible death .Only one way to manage ammonia is to do small water changes every few days. About 10-15% should be changed, any more and you will be taking away the ammonia and nitrite that the bacteria are trying to feed on.
 

Yukie

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Morning
The nitrite should spike around the second week of cycling. After this it will begin to convert to nitrates. When the nitrite has spiked and fallen to 0ppm (anywhere from 2-8 weeks) You are able to add fish into the aquarium (very slowly) Ensure your ammonia and nitrites are 0ppm at this point in time. During the cycle be sure not to add any chemicals that reduce or remove ammonia. These are counterproductive because the beneficial bacteria need this to feed! If you haven't see any nitrite spike it means chemicals you adding crashing cycle and bacteria not able to be feed. Unfortunately betta is not good starter fish once you cycle start fish will probably be stressed as they carry the brunt of the cycling process or possible death .Only one way to manage ammonia is to do small water changes every few days. About 10-15% should be changed, any more and you will be taking away the ammonia and nitrite that the bacteria are trying to feed on.
Good morning! Thank you for your detailed response. I know it’s early in the cycling process but I wasn’t sure if I was doing anything counterproductive as you mentioned or if I missed the nitrite spike and the nitrates were being consumed by the live plants. I thought it was interesting that the ammonia level remained the same as it was before I put my fish in. I thought maybe the filter was handling the ammonia well.

Do you think the ammonia level hasn’t changed yet because I have one fish in a 10gal?
 

mattgirl

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With one little fish in a 10 gallon tank you shouldn't get high readings for ammonia. While doing a fish in cycle it is important to keep the ammonia level as low as possible. If you can keep it down to no more than .25 with water changes the cycle will grow. It won't grow fast but it will grow and by keeping the ammonia down your little Betta should never be in danger.

even if the ammonia level never goes above .25 I would be doing 50% water changes every week. If you get a nitrite spike you will want to do them more often. As long as the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites is below one add enough prime to treat the full 10 gallons every other day. If the total amount goes up to one or above do a water change to get them back below one and again add prime to detox what is left.

No matter what the readings are you should never go longer than a week before doing a 50% water change.
 

Yukie

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With one little fish in a 10 gallon tank you shouldn't get high readings for ammonia. While doing a fish in cycle it is important to keep the ammonia level as low as possible. If you can keep it down to no more than .25 with water changes the cycle will grow. It won't grow fast but it will grow and by keeping the ammonia down your little Betta should never be in danger.

even if the ammonia level never goes above .25 I would be doing 50% water changes every week. If you get a nitrite spike you will want to do them more often. As long as the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites is below one add enough prime to treat the full 10 gallons every other day. If the total amount goes up to one or above do a water change to get them back below one and again add prime to detox what is left.

No matter what the readings are you should never go longer than a week before doing a 50% water change.
Thank you!! This is very informative for me and answers my confusions. I understand that the cycling process takes time, I wasn't sure if I should be expecting results within the first week or how fast/slow the process would be for me. My LFS also told me to not do any water changes until my cycle has completed which concerned me knowing that ammonia and nitrites are dangerous to fish, but I will make sure to do water changes to keep my betta safe.
 

mattgirl

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Thank you!! This is very informative for me and answers my confusions. I understand that the cycling process takes time, I wasn't sure if I should be expecting results within the first week or how fast/slow the process would be for me. My LFS also told me to not do any water changes until my cycle has completed which concerned me knowing that ammonia and nitrites are dangerous to fish, but I will make sure to do water changes to keep my betta safe.
You are so very welcome. I keep hearing that lots of folks are being advised not to do water changes during the cycling process. I am glad you questioned that advice and came to us.

Sadly some folks get that advice and then come to us wondering why their fish are not doing well or wandering why their cycle has stalled. Fresh clean water is the very best thing one can add to their tank for both the health of their fish and for the cycling process.
 
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