View Full Version : Cycling Question

02-19-2005, 11:51 PM
OK. Here are the stats.

135 gallon tank. Play sand substrate. Two Fluval 304 Canister Filters.

I set this tank up 30 days ago. I added 9 small Mbuna 25 days ago. The tank never showed any detectable amounts of Ammonia or Nitrate. 10 days ago I added 7 more small Mbuna and added a tray of bio rings out of an established Fluval 304 that I run on my 54 gallon. I was never able to detect any Ammonia. Nitrites went up to .5 ppm for about 5 days. It has now been 5 days of the tests showing 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates.

During this whole process I did weekly water changes (30%) because I want the fish to be used to my normal maintenance process.

What gives?

Is this bioload just so small that I'm not testing the limits here? I was totally expecting much more of a Nitrite spike. Why aren't Nitrates starting to show?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated here. I'd like to add a few more fish (these will be more expensive and were held for the last). Is it safe? I just want some other opinions.

02-20-2005, 12:23 AM
how old are the test kits? did you get yor results double checked at a lfs? maybe they are expired? other than that.. i can't think of anything. seems weird to me

02-20-2005, 07:24 AM
That's a good point that I hadn't thought about. The test kit is only about 1.5 months old to me, but who knows how long it sat on a store shelf. I'll go buy another test kit today and double check it.

This whole thing seems weird to me. I can't figure out what's going on. Every tank I've ever set up has done about a 30 day cycle with pretty big spike and all that good stuff.


02-20-2005, 09:01 AM
0 all the way across seems pretty suspicious to me, even with a very small bio-load. See if the lfs will double check your sample for you.

02-20-2005, 09:25 AM
I just used this test ket to test my three other tanks. All read 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 5 ppm Nitrates.

That lends at least some credibility to the test kit.

02-20-2005, 09:34 AM
Really, if your other tanks are well established, they should be zero on the ammonia and the nitrites, but the 5 ppm nitrates sure looks suspicious to me.

03-09-2005, 09:46 PM
I forgot to update this thread. I double checked my results at the LFS. They got the same readings I did. About two weeks later the tank started showing some nitrates.

I guess the bioload was just too small in relation to the tank size...cuz I never really experienced any spikes.

03-10-2005, 11:05 AM
You do have a small bioload for that tank. It could be that the tank cycled quickly because of the small bio load. But, I'm not too sure about that. Did you wait the 5 mininutes for your nitrite test before you read it? Did you shake your nitrate bottles really well prior to testing? If you don't you will get a false reading. What is your reading out of the tap?

03-10-2005, 12:04 PM
In my most recent cycle after a week with a heavy bioload I am showing 1 ppm ammonia .5 ppm nitrite and 5 ppm nitrate.

With a light bioload I can see a tank having nearly undetectable levels and still cycling.

Remember even our titration drop tests are not all that accurate.

03-10-2005, 12:05 PM
Good point about the tests not being that acurrate , Glaive.

03-10-2005, 05:29 PM
Yeah. I wait the time and I shake the bottles. I'm not new to this or anything, I started this thread because I had never seen anything like it in my life.

03-11-2005, 10:21 AM
Granted drop tests are better than strips as far as accuracy goes.

03-11-2005, 02:53 PM

I didnt' mean to imply that your a newbie or dont know what you doing. I have forgotton at times to wait the 5 minutes or shake the bottle prior to testing. Just trying to bring up an idea as to why you got those readings. BTW what type of fish are you looking to add?

03-25-2005, 10:31 PM
why the he;; dp u want the ammonia?

03-26-2005, 09:03 AM
It was probably the established bio-rings you added at the beginning. Given the small bio-load, everything ramped up nicely with the established rings.

03-26-2005, 06:54 PM
Troop420x if you don't know why a person starting out a tank wants to see ammonia it might be a good idea to read up on the cycle.... Pretty sure there's a sticky around.