Voila - tank is cycled!


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FINALLY! Yesterday and the day before, my nitrites had gone down to .25ppm (from .50ppm), and like magic this morning, they were at ZERO! Nitrates are still 5ppm, ammonia 0ppm. I'm so excited and actually quite amazed that it finally worked. Thanks to everyone who helped me through this learning process. I could not have done it without you!

So, now what do I do? Start weekly water changes a week from today kinda thing? HOw often do I perform water tests? And when I change water, is it ok for me to return to thorough gravel vacuuming?


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Woo hoo! Congrats! What you need to watch for now, is how quickly your nitrates get to the 20 ppm mark. When it reaches 20 ppm, it's time to do a water change. This is one way you can figure out maintenance. I don't do it that way but probably should. I normally do a 50% water change in all my tanks every week without checking the nitrate levels. However, my 100 gal. tank probably should be done twice a week because of the high waste load of the fish I have in it. They all appear very healthy, except I lost a jack dempsey from that tank about 2 weeks ago, which could have been caused by fighting, and a small wound or exposure from a lost scale caused infection. Anyway, once your tank is cycled, you could do daily water changes and it would be fine, as long as the biological filter which is mainly in your filter media is not disturbed. Don't change the filter media just because it looks gross. When your water flow appears clogged, rinse the filter media in old tank water and put it back. Don't change the media until it starts to fall apart, and then try and keep some of it to "seed" the new media. Also, if you do more than 1 water change a week, don't vacuum the gravel each time. This will also help keep enough bio bugs in your tank to keep it cycled! Great job!


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5 to 10 years
Great job! I recommend doing weekly 20-25 percent water changes and vacuum the gravel, and once you're sure your tank's more or less stable you only have to test it once a week. In a week or so you can probably start adding a few more fish!

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