General Aquaria Discussion • Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

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Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:33 pm

Once you guys have zero read outs on nitrites and ammonia and nitrates at 10-20ppm on a cycled tank how long do you leave it be before next water change,gravel vac, or filter clean out.
I know you dont want to do all of those at the same time.
I have good test results for the last week straight on my 90 gallon tank.
My issue is my tap water reads 1ppm ammonia and 2ppm nitrite straight out of the faucet.
On my community tanks that are 6-7 monthes cycled i can do a 50% water change and it will beat down the nitrites to zero in 2-3 days along with ammonia.
Im just worried that if i do a water change it will spike my nitrites to high to be brought back down considering it just cycled.
Can i go 2 weeks at least on this 90 gallon as long as my nitrates stay at 20ppm or lower?
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby DJRansome » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:00 pm

You can go until nitrates are 20ppm yes.

I would do frequent, small water changes since you are introducing 2ppm nitrite instead of clean water. You want the nitrites to go to zero in one day so maybe do 25% 2X weekly instead of 50% 1X weekly.

Have you spoken to your water authority about the nitrites and ammonia? Mine have always been zero from the tap no matter where I have lived in NJ.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:54 pm

DJRansome wrote:You can go until nitrates are 20ppm yes.

I would do frequent, small water changes since you are introducing 2ppm nitrite instead of clean water. You want the nitrites to go to zero in one day so maybe do 25% 2X weekly instead of 50% 1X weekly.

Have you spoken to your water authority about the nitrites and ammonia? Mine have always been zero from the tap no matter where I have lived in NJ.


Man i live in texas where hydraulic fracturing is huge and we pump the ground full of #%$& literally. I myself work in the oil field here in texas and i cant say much good about what we do as far as pumping millions of gallons of chemical mixed water 2 miles or more down hole to release hydrocarbons via fractures but it pays my bills extremely well so what can i do. Our towns water supply is horrible. I dont give it to my dogs. We get a letter about 3 times a year on how messed up our water supply is. They just pump more chemical into the water to call it good enough and when that wont work we get the letters. Its truly a disaster.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby DJRansome » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:09 pm

Bottled water for water changes? (Not distilled.)

Do you use Prime to help with the nitrites?
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:28 pm

DJRansome wrote:Bottled water for water changes? (Not distilled.)

Do you use Prime to help with the nitrites?


I live and die by prime with the water we have i have to. Got 4 bottles of it currently along with stability.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Oscar6 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:53 pm

Sad about your water. Not even human safe let alone fish safe. Speaking of.. you may want to switch to Seachem Safe. Its the powder version of Prime, more highly concentrated, far more efficient and cost effective for heavier applications.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby cyclonecichlids » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:59 pm

Lars23 wrote:Can i go 2 weeks at least on this 90 gallon as long as my nitrates stay at 20ppm or lower?


The answer depends heavily on the bio-load of your tank and how much food you're giving your fish.

Problem: water source having ammonia and nitrite.
Solution: doing smaller water changes at a higher frequency.

I recommend doing 25% wc once or twice a week.

Here's how I approach the frequency of wc: Check nitrates after 3 days of not changing the water. If nitrates are below the maximum range, try checking again at 7 days. Pick intervals you feel are appropriate, and eventually you'll find what works for your tank and your feeding schedule.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby cyclonecichlids » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:13 pm

Lars23 wrote:Can i go 2 weeks at least on this 90 gallon as long as my nitrates stay at 20ppm or lower?


Also, if your nitrates stay under 20ppm after 2 weeks, you should be fine with changing the water every 2 weeks. Just watch the behavior of the fish too. If they act odd, especially flashing, then it's probably time for a water change.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby DJRansome » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:51 pm

This is the very first 2 weeks after cycling, so IME it may take longer for nitrates to build up now than later when you are starting off with a beginning level of nitrate.

Since you also have a nitrite problem, I would not let it get above 1ppm ever so you may have to change water more often just for that.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:19 pm

cyclonecichlids wrote:
Lars23 wrote:Can i go 2 weeks at least on this 90 gallon as long as my nitrates stay at 20ppm or lower?


Also, if your nitrates stay under 20ppm after 2 weeks, you should be fine with changing the water every 2 weeks. Just watch the behavior of the fish too. If they act odd, especially flashing, then it's probably time for a water change.


Out of all 17 peacocks and 1 embuna only the fish that have really good color including the embuna are flashing here and there not all day long on the rocks and on the bottom.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:11 am

What are the dimensions of your tank? Lack of color could be due to stocking or age and not water quality.

Ammonia or nitrite in the water could contribute to flashing. What are the test results for pH, ammonia and nitrite in your tank now?
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:11 am

DJRansome wrote:What are the dimensions of your tank? Lack of color could be due to stocking or age and not water quality.

Ammonia or nitrite in the water could contribute to flashing. What are the test results for pH, ammonia and nitrite in your tank now?


Nitrites zero, ammonia zero, nitrates 10-20 the color of Orange on the API test kit are identical to my eyes between 10 and 20.
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Re: Needed advice from you guys on cycled cichlid tank.

Postby Lars23 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:26 am

All of my non colored fish are 2-2.5in juveniles. They have some color but nothing like the 3.5in fish do.
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