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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok heres the deal.

Short version. Ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites been zero for last 5 days after I just added some large tetras to cycle.

Long version. Tank has been running with no fish and minimal light for a 3-4 months. I fill the side sump when needed ( 1/2 gal every 3 days or so). I have been waiting, trying to find a good place to get my Tang fish from. 5 days ago I added 8 large tetras to cycle this tank. Testing every day since and its Identical results each day. 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate, 18k hardness, 8.5 ph. Brown algea growing on background and such since I have had lights on.

So I am assuming its cycled just not sure how. Wanted more opinions before I order my tangs from Daves Rare ( stapps, calvus, and a gobie).

Heres a couple pics for reference of the filtration system I build into the tank. Sorry for the angle, Its in a corner by the wall.


A front shot for reference.
 

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How could it EVER cycle unless you were adding ammonia to get the cycle going... I'm not 100% sure but I'd say you're not safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats what I was thinking. I am confused. But why would I not be showing any ammonia after 5 days with fish?

I know our local water has extra stuff in it but what I cant seem to find out. We live in medium farming town. Basicly in the sticks of Miss. Our water is light brown and will leave a brown film on everything after awhile. Cypress trees all over in the water table they say...

I Actually did start a fishless cycle 4 or 5 months ago that went on for a week. But I had to repair the background and added the homemade cave. So I drained the tank and let it cure for a month or so after that. Then drained, refilled and been set up running for a few months now with no fish or added ammonia. Thats what has me stumped
 

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if nitrates are zero, you aren't cycled. First, what kind of test are you using? Second, what are you conditioning the water with? Assume it isn't cycled, and my guess is far from. Also, cycling with tetras only cycles to the bioload of tetras, adding new fish will cause another cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All my test kits are API (aquarium pharmaceuticals inc.) I dont USUALLY condition my water. When I first fill it up from empty I use Wardleys essential chlor out. After that I let it set and air out for a week or so before its added to the tank. Since I only add 1/2 gal or less every 3 or 4 days. Starting with 8 tetras and planning to remove them to other tank when I add my 8 smaller cichlids. Bioload should be close hopefully. At least that was the plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 7 and still have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 8.5 ph.

6 tetras left. 1 1/2" or so each. lost 2 to the overflow before I fixed that means of escape. The fish look healthy, are eating well, and very lively. So Im still confused why Im not showing any readings yet.
 
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