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Tank Cycle Question

Discussion in 'Beginners, New Tanks, Recommendations' started by JustinG, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. JustinG

    JustinG Thread Starter New Member

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    Hello!
    I recently setup a 10 Gallon tank. I got the heater, filter, thermometer all setup. I let the tank sit for about a week, then added some Tetra's and a betta. Now, this is entirely my fault (I must have missed reading it when doing research), but I believe I got new tank syndrome. The day after I added the fish, the water was very cloudy. After some research and after I understood the cycling process, I saw the mistake I made by adding fish too early.

    So instead I guess my only other option would be to do a cycle with fish. For the past week, I've done daily water changes of about 20% to try and keep the ammonia and nitrate level down. I've also cut back on feeding (every other day). The water has cleared up now, and my fish seem healthy and swim around happily.

    I know that is not a true test of if the cycling process finished or not, however it is very difficult for me to leave the house and go to the petstore, so I'm currently waiting on an ammonia test kit to come in the mail.

    So my question is, how long does a normal cycle take for a smaller, 10 gallon fish tank take? Would a week sound accurate, or am I just being too optimistic?

    Thanks in advance for the responses... this seems like a nice forum and I look forward to meeting new users on here :)
     
  2. betta

    betta Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Justin! Welcome to Aquarium Space and thank you! What type of betta did you get?

    The best way to move the cycle along quickly is to buy something to help the tank cycle more quickly -- adding the beneficial bacteria directly to the tank.

    Nutrafin Cycle
    API Quickstart

    Either of these should help you accelerate the cycling process and remove ammonia more quickly. Ammo Lock can neutralize the ammonia immediately but I wouldn't go that route -- I would use Seachem Prime which is the gold standard to me. It will purify your tap water and it will neutralize existing ammonia in the tank. Although ammonia tests may show ammonia in the water, the ammonia is neutralized into an inert form. The cycling process can take several days but with the above setup, you can expect things to start moving within a day or two and the tank starting to settle down.

    Regarding feeding, that actually helped the cycling process move along because that creates waste in the water - which is good for bacteria but bad for fish. Best to keep feeding moderate and add the cycling agents to the tank and you should be good to go.

    Here's the issue you ran into with New Tank Syndrome - you need something to start the process of having the beneficial bacteria multiplying. You need to add some ammonia to the tank. I will usually take one drop of pure ammonia and add it to the tank and take readings every morning to see whether it is going away / dropping as a result of beneficial bacteria multiplying. Note also that if you are using a filter with a sponge, you need to have a replacing soaking nearby in the tank or you don't rinse the filter much (because you will destroy much of the bacteria which will live in the filter.) On my 16 gallon I used a small canister filter because you could add bio balls or biomax ceramic balls which is great for keeping beneficial bacteria in the filter while you change dirty sponges. Just something to know.

    Best of luck and let's see some photos when you have a chance!!
     
  3. JustinG

    JustinG Thread Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions!! Definitely will look into that. Also my Betta is a female veiltail.

    awww.jgndata.biz_jgoetz_file2_DSC_0001.JPG
     
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