HOWDY FOLKS, I'M ON WEEK 4 AND NO SIGN OF NITRITE. SO BEFORE I GO OVERBOARD HERE....IS IT STILL NORMAL FOR SOME TANKS TO TAKE THIS LONG? I HAVE BEEN DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT THUS FAR, OR SO I THINK I HAVE.
What size is your tank? What method are you using? What is the temperature of your tank? This type of information is needed to give you an answer. How long have you been getting ammonia readings and how high?
Do you have fish in the tank?
If you have posted before and I am just missing something forgive me. I do not have the time to go back to check for prior posts on every post I look at and I do not remember your posting to me before. I do apologize if I have and have forgotten.
If you are using ammonia, yes it is unusual for the cycle to take this long. If you are using fish food, shrimp, fish or have put live fish in the tank to cycle it, it is not usual but not overlong either. If you are using a cycle enhancer like Cycle or one of the products supposedly used to speed things along, they do not. The cycle you get is unstable and will fall apart like a house of cards when you stop using the product. (perfect insurance for the manufacturer)
Yeah Rose sorry, I should have posted more info...I had another initial entry when I first got to the forum and was given good advice thus far.. anyways, it's my daughter's tank; it's 10 gallon and was a package deal from Petco. Unfortunately fish were added totalling 4 and 2 have died. They are all Mollies, 2 gold and 2 black. The Black ones did not make it. I have a fish tracked that I have been posting my water readings on for 4 weeks now. To sum it all up when I had all 4 fish, my ammonia made it up to 1.0 which makes sense with 4 fish. Since the 2 black ones died the ammonia hovers at around .50 after about a daily to every other day 30% water change. I can get it down to .25 if I vacuum the gravel well. I test for Nitrite most everyday and have been doing Nitrate and PH for practice and to teach my daughter. The water temp was at about 78 but this forum suggested bringing it up 80, which I have for about the last week and a half. I am using the liquid test kit and I have a very good tracker of all the readings since the tank was first set up. I am following things as closely as I know to which makes me wonder if I may have missed something.
I would say that the progress is okay since you are doing the cycle with the Mollies and have to change the water for them. It is going to be very slow this way since you are losing ground every time you have to do a water change. The vacuuming is costing you I am afraid. The gravel bed is one of the prime locations for growth of bacteria and you are keeping it stirred up and probably almost too clean (probably the last time you will hear those words from me). You may have to stop being so quick to vacuum the gravel and let it sit undisturbed and just try to keep the ammonia down the best you can with water changes.
I am so glad that you are training your daughter to do things right while she is getting her tank set-up. It is something she will have more luck with, knowing what to do about checking the parameters of the water and keeping her involved in the cycle process. Besides it gives the added reward of time spent together, now doesn't it??
Just keep the faith and try not to get too discouraged with this situation. It will happen. You just took the long way about. The only way to hurry things along is to get Bio-spira and then the fish are cycled and safe in 24 hours. You can still add it if you are interested and then you would not change the water for 7 days to allow the bacteria to grow in the tank and then you are good to go.
ROSE, THANKS FOR THE SPEEDY REPLY... I WILL BRING THE WATER CHANGE DOWN TO ABOUT 25% EVERY OTHER DAY AND BASICALLY LIMIT MY GRAVEL VACUMMING. THIS SOUNDS LIKE IT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE I NEED. I WILL UPDATE AS THINGS PROGRESS.
I was like you when I got my first tank(10G) I was impatient and added fish right away, I did manage to only lose one platy in the process, but it still took about 2 and a half months to be fully cycled and water perfectly clear