Over year old tank never cycled?

GoGoCharlie

My main freshwater tank is a little over a year old and I don't think it has ever cycled.

Its a 120 Gallon tank filled to about 5-6 inches below the edge. 4'w x 2'd x 2't. It houses a R.E.S., many guppies/shrimp, 2 flying fox, and a YoYoLoach. I have never lost a fish in 2+ years of tank ownership.

Though I have LITTERALLY lost a few crabs though... Found one in my Bathroom 100 feet away, up 3 steps, and past 2 doors... Also a brand new Golden Mystery snail recently died, but that was in my plant tank. I think it was the lack of heater that did him in.

Someone told me the process involves the water turnng cloudy for at least a day. I have never seen this for even an hour, unless you count cleaning day.

The tank is filled with a mix of even parts tap water and turtle , and the only thing I have ever added that couldnt be considered turtle food in one way or another was a tiny bottle of something I am told is an off brand of a product called Stress-Zym+ (or something like that).

I added that in the first month of the tank when it was only filled to 20%. This was because the turtle was still small. I was later able to convince my fiance that turtles can in fact swim, and was allowed to fill it the rest of the way.

Is this normal? Could I be changing the water too much? I am fairly busy, so I often prefer to change less frequently, but with more water replaced. Again... Only tap water is added into the tank.
 

bubblynutter

HI GoGoCharlie, welcome to the forum!

Have you read up on the nitrogen cycle? <-- Click the underline and it will take you to a great article explaining it for you.

The only true way to determine if your tank has cycled is to test your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate with a test kit. A good quality LIQUID test kit is an essential tool to maintaining your aquarium. The API Freshwater Master Kit is the most highly recommended, and retails at around $30-$40 USD. There is also a cheaper (rebranded) version sold by Walmart. This ~$30 will provide you with hundreds of tests, and often last you over a year. Steer clear of test strips, as they are difficult to read, expensive and wildly inaccurate.

Once you have a test kit, you want to have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and under 20 nitrate to have a cycled tank.

Hope this helps! I hope you enjoy the site.
 

GoGoCharlie

I don't need a test kit, I live less then a block away from a store who offers free testing.

Just gotta bring in a sample of the water and they will pull out their own super kit. 1 time I saw the guy pull out what looked like a plastic sextant and look at the water in the light...

Also, I have read up on the nitrogen cycle, I read one of the items on the beginners section of this site in fact. I noticed it mentions nothing about the cloudy water that the other guy mentioned, so that has me a bit curious.

Maybe it did happen and I was just watching for a signal that never came... Oh well... I'll get the water tested tomorrow.
 

bubblynutter

I don't need a test kit, I live less then a block away from a store who offers free testing.

Just gotta bring in a sample of the water and they will pull out their own super kit. 1 time I saw the guy pull out what looked like a plastic sextant and look at the water in the light...

Also, I have read up on the nitrogen cycle, I read one of the items on the beginners section of this site in fact. I noticed it mentions nothing about the cloudy water that the other guy mentioned, so that has me a bit curious.

Maybe it did happen and I was just watching for a signal that never came... Oh well... I'll get the water tested tomorrow.

Not all tanks go through a bacterial bloom (white cloudy water). Check that your LFS uses liquid kits that are within 3 years of manufacture, too. Otherwise the reagents go 'stale', for lack of a better term. Given how many tests they would run, I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue. Ask them to tell you the "ppm" (parts per million) readings of your water and let us know tomorrow what they are. That will be your indicator of a completed cycle or not.

Good luck!
 

TedsTank

I agree that you may never see cloudy water...depends on the water when you set up.

Your tank has more that likely cycled, but... with at turtle and fish, shrimp etc. it possibly has minI cycled a few times, or had small ammonia spikes, depending on how clean you are able to maintain it.

The real importance is that you can maintain 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and as low as possible nitrates...preferred under 40 for nitrates. Most of that can be controlled by not over feeding, not leaving uneaten food in the tank and removing turtle poop often.

I believe you are cycled since you have not lost the fish and shrimp in a year, but if you had a test kit, from time to time you may see small ammonia spikes etc. (minI cycles)

Even if you saw cloudy water, does not mean your tank is fully cycle when it clears up.
 

DrTim

HI GoGoCharlie

Cloudy water has nothing to do with whether your tank is cycled or not. Cloudy water is due to heterotrophic bacteria not the nitrifying bacteria which remove ammonia and nitrite. As others have written the only way to truly know is to analysis the water but as other also have said - after a year your tank is almost certainly cycled.
 

bowcrazy

IMO, if your tank has been up and running for a year and you aren't having problems with fish dying your tank is cycled. Ether that or you have been doing very large water changes daily. A year old tank being properly maintained and not having any fish problems has to be cycled.

A tank doesn’t have to get cloudy to cycle. Some tanks get cloudy due to a bacteria bloom but not all tanks do it. If you properly set your tank up and slowly stocked it you might not have noticed the cycling process going on.
 

I would have to think it is cycled.....:
 

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