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Cycling process of 29 gal.


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You have a small amount of ammonia and a buttload of nitrite, and a decent amount of nitrate.  

How do these readings compare to your tap water you started with?  Assuming your tap water doesn't have a lot of nitrite or nitrate to begin with, you look to be trucking along on the cycling process.  You will know you are done when the nitrite always reads blue, and the ammonia reads yellow.  Keep an eye on that nitrite, and when it comes back blue instead of purple, you should be great! That means your beneficial bacteria are doing their job and making nitrates from ammonia and nitrites.

edit: your pH is kind of high, are you using crushed coral as your substrate?

Edited by RockMongler
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14 minutes ago, MichelleMichelle said:

I'm into week two of cycling a 29 gal.  I'm using a sponge filter and a ziss bio filter. Can anyone tell me where I'm at with the cycle?  

20210414_131043.jpg

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Your cycle is progressing along nicely. Notice that your Ammonia is light green, while your Nitrites are maroon (high) -- that indicates that the biological cycle has begun. Nitrate is building up, going from orange towards the deeper hue. Give yourself enough time for the Nitrate to build up, and you'll be golden.

For what it's worth, at this point in a cycle, adding a bottle of something like Dr. Tim's beneficial bacteria boost . . . or some similar biological boost / additive from Fritz will often push you over the top, and ready you for fish. (But don't tell the Internet I said this 😅

Edited by Fish Folk
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1 minute ago, Fish Folk said:

Your cycle is progressing along nicely. Notice that your Ammonia is light green, while your Nitrites are maroon (high) -- that indicates that the biological cycle has begun. Nitrate is building up, going from orange towards the deeper hue. Give yourself enough time for the Nitrate to build up, and you'll be golden.

For what it's worth, at this point in a cycle, adding a bottle of something like Dr. Tim's beneficial bacteria boost . . . or some similar biological boost / additive from Fritz will often push you over the top, and ready you for fish. (But don't tell the Internet I said this 😅

I do love those little bottles.

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9 minutes ago, MichelleMichelle said:

I'm assuming that these numbers will start to drop as bacteria grows. Is that correct?

The ammonia and nitrite will drop because the bacteria’s turning them into nitrate... so the nitrate level will actually go up! Once your plants get bigger they’ll be able to use up that nitrate and keep it low too, but I’m guessing since your plants are still small they won’t be able to keep up with it yet. As others have said though, reality doesn’t follow the textbook rules. 

So far things definitely look good!

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25 minutes ago, Fish Folk said:

Your cycle is progressing along nicely. Notice that your Ammonia is light green, while your Nitrites are maroon (high) -- that indicates that the biological cycle has begun. Nitrate is building up, going from orange towards the deeper hue. Give yourself enough time for the Nitrate to build up, and you'll be golden.

For what it's worth, at this point in a cycle, adding a bottle of something like Dr. Tim's beneficial bacteria boost . . . or some similar biological boost / additive from Fritz will often push you over the top, and ready you for fish. (But don't tell the Internet I said this 😅

I just stopped at the local Petsmart and Petco, only pet stores within a 2 hour drive,  for beneficial bacteria.  None to be had.  Sigh...both stores seem to be struggling with stock. So for now I wait.   Thank you for your input.😃

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34 minutes ago, RockMongler said:

You have a small amount of ammonia and a buttload of nitrite, and a decent amount of nitrate.  

How do these readings compare to your tap water you started with?  Assuming your tap water doesn't have a lot of nitrite or nitrate to begin with, you look to be trucking along on the cycling process.  You will know you are done when the nitrite always reads blue, and the ammonia reads yellow.  Keep an eye on that nitrite, and when it comes back blue instead of purple, you should be great! That means your beneficial bacteria are doing their job and making nitrates from ammonia and nitrites.

edit: your pH is kind of high, are you using crushed coral as your substrate?

I'm using eco complete.  I'm going going to test my tap water.  I do know we run hard but not sure how hard.

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30 minutes ago, Fishdude said:

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who likes the Ziss moving bed filter. That thing is mesmerizing to watch. You've got a lot of filtration and that's good!

Are you thinking about adding anymore plants or trying to grow out what's in there first?

Yes, I just purchased more plants locally and I have an order that seems to be traveling the United States at the moment. The tank sits close to the wall so I couldn't use a HOB.  I added to the filter end of the ziss to help polish the water.  I do like it so far.   

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28 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

The ammonia and nitrite will drop because the bacteria’s turning them into nitrate... so the nitrate level will actually go up! Once your plants get bigger they’ll be able to use up that nitrate and keep it low too, but I’m guessing since your plants are still small they won’t be able to keep up with it yet. As others have said though, reality doesn’t follow the textbook rules. 

So far things definitely look good!

I'm going to add more plants.

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I think plants help more than any other single thing. Besides consuming ammonia and it's relatives, plants also provide an important place for beneficial bacteria to live. The surfaces of plant leaves are complicated and provide shelter for the bacteria. Beyond that the surfaces of plant leaves also provide sugars, and organic acids that help nutritionally sustain the bacteria you are trying to promote.

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Hi There! I recently cycled my 29 gallon with lots of plants (15 plants to start) and Dr. Tim's Ammonia. At this point in the cycle -- where you're at now -- I added bottled bacteria (Tetra SafeStart, full bottle), and kept monitoring nitrites. They're spiking in your tank right now, and what helped me measure if they were dropping was doing a 50% measure (by mixing with my 0-nitrite tap) and taking the reading, or doing a roughly 25% measure of tank water to tap water. That way you can see the true value. Your PH is about the same as mine, too (8.0), and I also used eco-complete substrate.

Even if you don't add bottled bacteria, I think you're getting pretty close. The Nitrite spike stage took more than twice as long as the initial Ammonia spike stage.

Once you start noticing the nitrite dropping -- which it should be, if you're getting nitrates -- it could start dropping really quickly over the next few days. I would wait until Ammonia drops to 0 before adding ammonia to feed the bacteria if you can help it.

For what it's worth, my 29 gallon fully cycled in 10 days, processing 2 to 4 ppm of ammonia straight to nitrates in less than 24 hours. 🙂 Good luck! You're almost there!

NOTE: I also had to change 50% of my water twice in succession to get the nitrates dropped to a reasonable level once I finished cycling my tank. This is normal! Just test your nitrates after your first water change and perform a second one if necessary to get the levels below 20 ppm.

Edited by laritheloud
adding info about water change
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Posted (edited)
On 4/14/2021 at 1:17 PM, MichelleMichelle said:

I'm into week two of cycling a 29 gal.  I'm using a sponge filter and a ziss bio filter. Can anyone tell me where I'm at with the cycle?  

20210414_131043.jpg

20210414_131608.jpg

Here are today's stats..ammonia is down.  What are your opinions on the pH?

20210416_120329.jpg

Edited by MichelleMichelle
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32 minutes ago, MichelleMichelle said:

Here are today's stats..ammonia is down.  What are your opinions on the pH?

20210416_120329.jpg

Looks like your pH is maybe dropping slightly since your last check in.  The ammonia is looking good.  You should consider yourself cycled when the nitrite stays that nice blue instead of turning purple.

Do you know if your high pH is a consequence of your tap water, or something in your tank?  What is a glass of tap water set out for a day (or even right out of your tap) measure as far as pH goes?  If you are using crushed coral as a substrate, that could be leading to your higher pH (and hardness).

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