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You shouldn't laugh at beginners trying to learn mate. I know my tank isn't cycled & I now know that this will reflect the 0 Nitrate reading. I wasn't born with the Aquarium keepers guide in my hand. That's why i joined this forum to learn!

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You shouldn't laugh at beginners trying to learn mate. I know my tank isn't cycled & I now know that this will reflect the 0 Nitrate reading. I wasn't born with the Aquarium keepers guide in my hand. That's why i joined this forum to learn!

exactly, i ask alot of questions on here to, i know how to keep fish alive but i want them to be healthy and happy as well, everyone starts in thus hobby not knowing much

Sent from my RM-821_apac_australia_new_zealand_218 using Tapatalk

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[MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION]

Make sure you shake the bejesus out of the nitrate test liquids, especially number 2, & don't take the reading instantly, let the tube with the mixed chems sit for a min or 2 then take the reading. If you haven't done that then retest for nitrates & see.

What stock is in your tank mate? If it's not heavily stocked then going through the cycle won't be too much of a drama :)

What size tank?

What type & how many fish?

What sort of filtration?

Any plants? If yes, how many, what types, what lights?

Plants can consume nitrates too so if you're plant to fish ratio is plant heavy you may have some nitrate reduction going on.

Apologies for the barrage of questions but the more info you give the easier it is for us to help :)

We were all beginners at some stage, don't stress it mate

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Cheers BigPete86.

Mate i have 15 neon tetras, 3 black widows, 2 cory's & 2 flying fox sucker fish.

840lt tank, Aqua one 2700lt canister with the standard media it came with plus i added Marine pure to it (22 balls)

The plant situation is Anubis, 2 kinds of grasses, aluminium, veil fern.

A six foot light with white & blue lights on separate switches - i know nothing about the light sorry it came with the tank. It may be T5??

Cheers for the interest

Troy

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[MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION]

If the tubes are only bout 20mm in diameter then they're T5, if they're more like 30-35mm then they're T8 but that's all good, both sufficient for half decent plant growth (I'd guess the white would be a daylight or grow tube, fine for the plants you've listed).

Depending on how many plants you have, you may get some slight nitrate reduction from growth but won't be anything crazy.

That's a big tank with only a light stocking, perfect for a cycle if the media hasn't already. How long has it been running & how long have the fish been in?

Did you retest for nitrates or did you get it right the first time? If they really are 0, feed lightly, monitor ammonia & nitrite levels to indicate when your bacteria is caught up to the stock. You should see a small ammonia spike, then a nitrite spike, then things should stabilise. If ammonia gets too high then water change ;)

Once the tank is cycled to that level & everything is stable, you can add a few more fish. Wait another week or two for bac to catch up, then add a few more, rinse repeat til happy/fully stocked. General rule of thumb I go by for a heavily stocked tank of small fish is 2L of water per 1cm of fish. This stock level will require 25-30% water change per week or 50% a fortnight (based on 2-3 fairly light feeds per day). Halve that stocking level (4L per 1cm fish) & you halve your water change regime. I'd still recommend to test to work out your own schedule but that's a rough guide. I maintain my tanks below 20ppm nitrate but up to 40ppm is considered safe for mature fish. On big water changes do your refill slowly, don't want to shock the fish with any differences in temp, chemical composition, hardness/softness etc.

If you've got any Q's line em up :)

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Thanks mate. I did the nitrates rest correct the first time. Followed the destructions to the letter :) the light looks to

Be T8. The tank has only been running a week today. I appreciate you taking the time to explain things. I will keep you on speed type lol for next time. Cheers

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No worries mate, happy to help. Just test daily for ammonia, once you get a lil spike in ammonia then test for nitrites daily (keep monitoring ammonia aswell), once the nitrites settle to 0 then you will see nitrates starting to appear. Once ammo is stable at 0, nitrites stable at 0, the tank is cycled to that stock level.

You can get biological kick starters of good bacteria for your filter. Have a look in your LFS (local fish shop) or online at TheTechDen or AoA, good prices & heaps of range at those guys.

Bac consume ammonia (fish poo, decaying matter), produce nitrite as waste. Different bac consume nitrite, produce nitrate as waste. Nitrates are controlled mostly by water change although there are a few techniques to lower nitrate levels within the tank, eg. Heavily planted, "algae scrubbers" (have a google, pretty cool).

To mention someone so they get a notification for a quicker response put the @ symbol in front of their name with no space [MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION] :)

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[MENTION=9752]BigPete86[/MENTION] mate today i tested my tank as per the norm. Ammonia was .50ppm & Nitrites are 0.25 to 0.50ppm no Nitrates present as yet. I have however lost 2 neons & 1 Zebra tetra over the last few days. All other fish appear very happy though.

Cheers

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[MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION]

When doing a cycle with fish I've always kept Ammonia & Nitrite down below 1ppm (which you're well under) with water changes as the cycle happens but the trick is using robust fish to do it. With Tetras & really most of your small tropical species they're extra sensitive to chems so even maintaining Ammonia & Nitrite below .5ppm you will more than likely have a couple drop off. The best small tropicals I've found for cycles are barbs & although not a tropical, goldfish are perfect cycle fish too, very robust.

The thing is, even though you might lose a couple fish you can't really lower the chem levels much more without prolonging your cycle. The developing bacteria colony need their "food" to mature & multiply.

If I were you I'd aim at keeping levels around or just under .5ppm, if fish are looking sick (gasping, clamped fins, inactivity) do a small water change (bout 15-20%) & remember to keep an eye out for whitespot, fungus & other problems due to the small fish being in a slightly weakened state.

Now that Nitrites are showing up in good number it shouldn't be long now but remember, even once Ammonia & Nitrite settle to 0 the cycle is only complete to the current stocking level & feeding regime, so increases in stock numbers & feeding frequency must be done slowly. Add a few fish then wait a couple weeks for bac to catch up (I'm sure you're gettin the idea now, gotta care for our filters as much as our fish, they rely on one another :D)

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Oh yeah thanks [MENTION=231]gingerbeer[/MENTION], I keep forgetting Prime & Supachlor can bind it up, sorry [MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION] I missed something lol

Haven't had to cycle a tank myself for awhile due to an abundance of cycled filters & media to transfer & I only learnt of the ammo binders maybe a year ago, haven't got to try it myself yet...

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Marine pure cycles faster than any other media I have ever used.

Good stuff.

Keep in mind that when using prime type products (and theres a lot to choose from) that the bound ammonia is harder for the microbes to utilise.

So while it makes ammonia non toxic to fish (good thing) and can save the day when you have no time to water change (good thing) its still not as good as a water change (good thing) OR fishless cycling a tank (best thing).

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[MENTION=9752]BigPete86[/MENTION] Hey mate. Took a water sample to my LFS today just to double check my testing. The lad there has been in the industry for 30 years & tested my water. All tests came back perfect & now my tank is cycled :amen:

Thanks for all of your help & to everyone else as well :)

Regards,

Troy

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Excellent [MENTION=12589]Bear[/MENTION], congrats on your first tank cycle :)

Now you know what the deal is for any other tanks you set up in the future & you'll be able to inform any mates who see your tank & decide they want one lol (happens more often than you think, 4 of my mates & my mum have all started tanks over the years after seeing mine & realising they have me as on call aquarium advisor lmao).

Hope all the fish are doin well :)

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