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Author Topic: Cycling 20 gallon tank  (Read 473 times)
sparkly-puffball
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Cycling 20 gallon tank
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:13:34 PM »

Ok, so I'm cycling my 20 gallon high fish tank and I wanted to know if my aquarium is "normal". It's been exactly 1 week since I've started my cycle and my source of ammonia is fish flakes. My ammonia is 1.0 ppm, nitrites is 2.0 ppm, and the nitrates is 5.0 ppm. All of these numbers are rising, so is this normal?

More info:
My filter pumps 100 gph (sorry folks, I'm getting tropical fish) and has biological and mechanical filtration. There is a heater that I haven't turned on and black plant substrate at the bottom.
Before I started this cycle, I attempted to cycle but I gave up because I thought it wasn't working because there wasn't any gravel for the beneficial bacteria to live. I was probably wrong in doing that because I might've just washed away the test tubes before they finished testing.

BTW, what is the stuff at the bottom of my tank where the fish flakes are? Is it normal?
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Cycling 20 gallon tank
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 10:57:12 PM »

Whoa! You put in tons of fish flakes!  Shocked It is working for you though because your ammonia is quite high for only a week in. The flakes look pretty nasty, I would vacuum them out but it probably doesn't hurt anything to let it rot away like that. Usually when people do a fish-free cycle the tank mini-cycles as soon as fish go in because the ammonia they created wasn't anywhere close to the amount the fish produce. I doubt you'll have that problem, at least not too bad. Are you adding beneficial bacteria? Did you have any established media to start with? Good luck! I too am cycling a 20 gal for my fry to hatch in.

Side note- I had no idea tropicals need so little filtration! When I had my (failed) community tank I had 10x turnover. Lol.  Roll Eyes
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sparkly-puffball
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Re: Cycling 20 gallon tank
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 07:41:16 PM »

No I am not adding beneficial bacteria, and frankly, I had no idea I was supposed to . . . I chose not to use any established media because I haven't had any fish recently, don't really trust PetSmart, and my friend who has 4 single tailed goldfish stuck in a 10 gallon  Embarrassed, so I didn't want to use her filter. Usually tropical fish don't need as much filtration because they don't have as much waste as goldfish, and because a strong filter would might hurt my female bettas' fins. But you could certainly have more if you have a filter baffle of some sort so they don't get sucked against the filter.  Wink
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Cycling 20 gallon tank
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 08:14:12 PM »

Beneficial bacteria will make things go much faster. I use it at every water change and a double dose if the tank is cycling. It is cheap and chain pet stores have their own brand which is fine to use.
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Nossie
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Re: Cycling 20 gallon tank
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2012, 11:33:48 AM »

That is far too much flakes, they're rotting *_* It's supposed to happen, but not... like this.
Just imagine that you have fish there and add just as much as you'd feed the fish... Grin
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