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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang, *** been running my 55 gallon system with fish for a little over a month now.
1 week no fish, 1 week with 2 plecos and a danio then a week where we added some mollies and a couple gouramis, then last week added a gold ram and a pictus catfish.
So far my fish load is 5 mollies, 2 gouramis, 2 plecos, a pictus catfish, a danio and a gold ram.
I have been testing my water since the first addition of the 1st fish (plecos) and since the first tests my amonia, nitrites and nitrates have all read 0ppm.

It sounds good but maybe too good to be true?
How do I know where I am at in my cycle?

I am using api master test kit and i thought maybe it was a flawed kit so I bought additional testing kits/strips.

Im confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also for some reason I cannot edit the post
But I have added a couple bottles of topfin readistart nitrifying bacteria starter.
 

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You may have some bad chemicals in your test kit, but unlikely. Before you run out and by another test kit, try shaking your nitrate # 2 for a good minute and you may even want to bang it against a hard surface to dislodge any crystals in the bottle. Once you do that, test for nitrates again. You may be surprised with your reading.
 

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I would wait. You did not have a serious amount of fish in the tank until last week. It can take 2 weeks for enough ammonia to build up to show on your tests. That will be first.

Also some dechlorinators neutralize ammonia so it may be hard to tell. The bottled bacteria further impacts test results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ironspider said:
Even if you are fully cycled, you will have nitrates. I'm cycled with ammonia at 0 and nitrite at 0 but always have nitrates.
This is the reason I was concerned, my thought process was even if ammonia and nitrites tested 0 that i would at least have a readable amount of nitrate.

DJRansome said:
I would wait. You did not have a serious amount of fish in the tank until last week. It can take 2 weeks for enough ammonia to build up to show on your tests. That will be first.

Also some dechlorinators neutralize ammonia so it may be hard to tell. The bottled bacteria further impacts test results.
Agreed definitely gonna wait and see.

Thank you all for feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok so home from work and just performed a 20% water change.
Idk how chlorine and chloramine will affect any bacteria that may be starting to form?
should I be worried about it?
 

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You are using dechlorinator right?

Chlorine is toxic to your fish and your bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DJRansome said:
You are using dechlorinator right?

Chlorine is toxic to your fish and your bacteria.
Of course I am, turning off all filters and running a power head until I am satisfied that all new water introduced has been treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update on this...
Since the first ammonia readings 9 days ago, it got as bad as the ammonia spiked to over 4ppm, nitrites have rised to 2ppm and nitrates have gotten to 20ppm
I have also developed a little bit of and ich problem so a water change 4 days ago and a salt treatment has begun.
Today's readings are ammonia 1ppm, nitrite at 1ppm and nitrates read 40ppm.
I want to do another water change but because I just started treating for ich with salt that getting the salinity correct may be a problem?
 
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