Opinions - is my tank well on its way to being cycled?

  • Thread starter

taylorbrettj

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Points
86
Experience
1 year
My 20 gallon tank used tank has been up and running for three weeks now. This tank was one I "inherited" from my dad, and I used all of the gravel and decorations that were in the tank previously. I originally thought that there wouldn't be any beneficial bacteria in the gravel or on the decorations, and I decided to cycle my tank using fish. I know it is not recommended, but I did daily water changes with Prime and continuously monitered the water parameters. I bought 6 zebra danios, and have had them for 2 weeks now. They are all 6 still very happy and healthy - no signs of illness, etc.

Thoughout these 2 weeks, I have been testing the water very frequently and have been confused by my results. For the first week, I never got any readings whatsoever. I still did daily 20% water changes just in case. But no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates... nothing. Then, I started to get what I think was an ammonia reading - a very, very slight one (API Master test kit... I couldn't tell if it was yellow or a very very light green ) I continued my daily water changes. Now over the past three days, my ammonia readings have been definite 0's, AND I have also been getting a 5.0 nitrate reading. I have never gotten anything but 0 nitrites. I read recently that you REALLY have to shake up the nitrate #2 bottle, and have been noticing the nitrate readings ever since I've started banging around the bottle quite a bit more haha!

So... Where do you think my tank stands? I am starting to believe that there was bacteria still in the gravel that could be speeding along my cycling process. I tested my tap water to make sure there were no nitrates/ammonia in it, and I got 0 for both.

P.S. I always test the water BEFORE a water change - at least 24 hours after the last one, so I don't think the Prime could be affecting my result. Also, I have let up on changing the water ever since I noticed the nitrate readings (haven't done a water change in 3 days), and have still been getting consistant 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5.0 nitrates. Thanks!
 
  • Moderator

Lucy

Moderator
Messages
45,221
Reaction score
2,440
Points
1,383
Experience
5 to 10 years
I think your readings look good.
It's not unusual not to have a nitrite reading if you're using used gravel etc.
We've seen that happen quite a bit on the forum and I have experienced this myself.
Not sure why, perhaps the bacteria that process the ammonia is less hardy that the bacteria that process nitrites.
 
  • Thread starter

taylorbrettj

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Points
86
Experience
1 year
Thanks Lucy. Of course I'm itching to get new fish, but I'm going to wait a few more weeks just to make sure everything is still doing okay.
 
  • Moderator

Lucy

Moderator
Messages
45,221
Reaction score
2,440
Points
1,383
Experience
5 to 10 years
You're welcome and smart move waiting, just in case.

One thing I missed though, was the gravel dried out?
Have you tested your tap water for nitrates?

Your avatar is adorable, btw
 
  • Thread starter

taylorbrettj

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Points
86
Experience
1 year
Thank you the gravel was not dried out, and my tap water has 0 nitrates.
 
  • Moderator

Lucy

Moderator
Messages
45,221
Reaction score
2,440
Points
1,383
Experience
5 to 10 years
taylorbrettj said:
Thank you the gravel was not dried out, and my tap water has 0 nitrates.
Great! Then your readings look good to me .
 

MindTravel3r

Valued Member
Messages
195
Reaction score
3
Points
113
Experience
5 to 10 years
I agree your numbers look good. I am not sure if you are still doing daily water changes, but, if ammonia and nitrite are at zero, I would switch to weekly water changes, but continue to test ammonia and nitrite every day or two. This way you can get a sense of whether your nitrates are rising. If you're ammonia and nitrites are staying at zero and your nitrates are on the rise, you're cycled.
 
Toggle Sidebar

New Threads

Similar Threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media





Top Bottom