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Cycling 30L tank


SAF
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hi everyone,

I'm starting to cycle an aquaone 320 tank.

it's about 4 days into the cycle.

I'm doing a fishless cycle using a raw shrimp to kick start it.

the tank is also moderately planted with a tennis size ball of java moss and subwassertang, 1x javafern and 2 small Indian fern.

Today's reading

ammonia: 1.0

Nitrite: 0.00

Nitrate: 20-40

Over the past 3 days ammonia has been stabled at 1.0 and this is the first time I've tested nitrate over these 4 days.

Is it normal for nitrate to be so high? I would of thought nitrite would register first.

What should I do? Water change ?

Andrew

Edited by SAF
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I agree with Bus ^^

I've never had any problems with my tanks and I do what he just said. If you can't get a hold of seeded media your tank should still be fine if you only add a few fish at a time.

Fish less cycling seems too fussy and fidgety for me. Look at this thread- same thing but a bigger tank.

http://ausaqua.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=14278&st=0

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Ok so I've removed the raw prawn and change majority of the water. Omg it stank.

I've put one of my bettas in and a few cherry shrimps.

I guess this would start the cycle all over again and I'll have to wait for the ammonia to rise again.

None of my mate's have a fish tank so I guess seeded media would be out of the picture atm until I can try find a source for it.

Would a tank that is cycling be bad for a betta ?

I'll have the test results after last nnights water change up soon

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I made the mistake of using shrimp too, whoever came up with that idea needs to know its a BAAAAD idea! I am on the home stretch now, my tank is converting 4ppm of ammonia into 0.25ppm in 24hrs. The only real advantage I see with fishless cycling is being able to add all your fish at the same time once it has cycled. I know it can be an advantage if you are going to have a cichlid tank as they are more tolerant of fish in the tank if they are all raised together but other than that...

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so i tested the water today after doing huge water change.

ammonia: 0 - 0.25

nitrate: 10-20

The fishless cycle is ridiculous. Maybe someone thought it would be funny to see if people would let a prawn rot in the tank before realising its a **** method. (me being one of them) lol

i think what i might do is just heavily plant my tank and let it slowly cycle by itself.

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I am using black and gold brand cloudy ammonia as the ammonia source (just make sure the bottle does not foam up when you shake it and you're good to go). If you have a local IGA store try there, yes the prawn method is rather absurd, might be ok for a 10 litre tank but beyone that...

I had 6 prawns in a bag open at the bottom of the tank, luckily I took 5 out but one escaped and blended into the gravel I have and I could not find it for the life of me! I eventually did find it a few days later and it just crumbled into a mess when I tried to get it out and it was a bloody mess. I will advise anyone not to use that method now.

I am having trouble reading my nitrates and nitrites, they both went off the chart so I did a 50% water change but still the readings are higher than the chart reads so I am just going to add 1ppm of ammonia a day until next weekend then a 90% water change and if all is well I will start stocking my tank. If fish still die after this it will feel like a huge waste of time though.

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What's the nitrate reading of your tap water? And if you are using the API test kit, are you giving the second bottle a good shake? You really need to bang it several times on a hard surface as well as it can crystalize and give incorrect results.

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it's good to have high nitrate levels doesn't it mean your bacteria is doing it's job converting ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate?

I use plants to help lower the nitrate levels in my tanks. I remember when I had a 2 ft tank with no plants and my nitrate levels are constants 40+ ppm (with weekly 50% water changes) and I keep having sick fish but I simply added a large anubias + a few clumps of java mosses and my nitrate level is is down to 20 ppm with weekly water changes and when I had a fully planted tank my nitrate with hovering around 5 ppm with fortnightly water changes.

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so maybe my tank has already completed its cycle?

I guess it would make sense that ammonia and nitrite being zero and only nitrate giving a reading.

I could be wrong tho lol

I must say thats an incredible looking betta in your avatar joan. lol

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it's good to have high nitrate levels doesn't it mean your bacteria is doing it's job converting ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate?

Yes but in a tank with fish in it you want to keep the nitrates as low as possible as high levels of nitrate are also harmful to fish and yes water changes are the only way to keep the nitrate levels down.( I have read conflicting advice about the safe level, one says keep it under 40ppm another says fish are affected at 100ppm so..)

SAF if you check out my 658 litre tank thread I think I had the same kind of nitrate reading for the first day, I think that is just the nitrates that are already in the water or could even be from the tank itself if its not the water, other than that I do not know why. I did not test my tap water either so not sure where the reading came from in my tank. My nitrates went off the chart, over 160ppm once the conversion started. The odd thing that has happened with my cycle is the nitrite and nitrates went up together as the ammonia started to drop. There was no spike of ammonia, then nitrite then nitrate as how I understood the cycle to work so it can be confusing at times. Makes me wonder if I have stuffed the whole process up somehow but....

My tank is now converting the 4ppm ammonia down to less than 1ppm in 24hrs and I have to add more so the good bacteria does not starve until I add fish but the nitrites and nitrate remain high even after a 50% water change. I need to get those nitrites down to 0 hopefully by this coming weekend but wether it is or not I intend to add fish this coming weekend anyway. Hopefully it has gone some way to building a decent amount of good bacteria.

I hope sharing my experience helps but I get the feeling im probably confusing you more :unsure:

Edited by 6ftaquaman
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i just read your thread.

It has definitely helped a bit.

I guess i got to be more patience.

The difference though now is im not doing a fishless cycle anymore. Ive get a betta in there and i think some shrimps, although i havent seen a shrimp for quite some time.

Patience is virtue is i guess.... but arrghhhhhh lol ...

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It is cycled if you are getting readings like this....

Ammonia - 0ppm

Nitrites - 0ppm

Nitrates - 40ppm <--(water change to keep at safe levels)

30L is not a large volume of water so yes I think it is possible but if you still have ammonia or nitrite reading then no its not. From my research it estimates between 2-6 weeks depending on each tanks situation but they do not give tank sizes so.....

My nitrites are finally coming down now so it looks like I will be good to go by next weekend, the cycle has taken me 4 weeks give or take.

Also that 40ppm is just an example, dont think im saying thats what your result should be.

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ok i'm almost pretty sure the cycle has completed because the past week the ammonia and nitrite has remained 0. The only reading for nitrate.

What i was wondering the nitrate is at 20-40ppm.

Should i do a massive water change so the nitrate reads < 5-10 in one go or should this be done as a gradual process and change out 25% over a span of a week,

Can Nitrate also burn the fish as i've noticed the betta's tail is looking pretty bad.

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What I would doo is change 90% of the water in one go then do weekly changes of about 25-30%. Nitrate does not burn the fish directly but in high amounts it reduces the fishes resistance to disease. You want to try and stay under 40ppm nitrate (safe level).

What is wrong with the betta's tail?

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the tail is starting to fray away. I'll try get a picture of it tonight.

I was hoping this was caused by the high nitrate level as this could be a simple solution with regular water change until the water stabilizes.

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I'm pretty sure its finrot, but just trying to figure out the cause of it.

Its a new tank so i cant think of what could be causing this besides the high nitrate level. It does have about half dozen cherry shrimps running around the bottom and also some live plants.

20121002_103114.jpg

20121002_103020.jpg

Also, I have a 1 gallon tank which i have stripped down to a bare bottom tank because another betta (Ken) got finrot.

The tank consists now only of a heater, IAL and about a teaspoon of seasalt. Hopefully i can recover him as well.

20121002_103405.jpg

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Yeah im not sure what else could be causing it other than nitrate either, he's a nice fish too. Did you change the water and get the nitrates lower? have you been making sure the water going into the tank is the same temperature as the water in the tank?

Edited by 6ftaquaman
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