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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im setting up my first cichlid tank, shooting for mbuna ( either a saulosi species tank or a lab/ demasoni)

I have been fishless cycling for about 2 weeks, and the tank will sucessfully reduce 2.0ppm ammonia to 0 in 12 hours. My measurements as of tonight are 0/ 1 NO2/ 80 NO3. nitrates are high as i havent changed any water since i began cycling.
Kh-5 GH-6 Ph-7.6 High range PH-8.3

Do any of these parameters other than the no2 and no3 look too far off for mbuna? I had just dosed ammonia back up to 2.5 before i took the NO2 reading, so that could be a false high. I am also leaving a bowl of tap water out for 24 hrs because i dont know the true ph of my tap water, doing so because i dont want to have to do tons of buffering for each water change.

Provided the NO2 is a false high and is back to 0 in the morning, is my tank ready for fish after getting the NO3 back under 30ppm?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Go with the reading on the high range pH test.

Wait for nitrite to be zero for several days.

Get nitrate to 10ppm before adding fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
Go with the reading on the high range pH test.

Wait for nitrite to be zero for several days.

Get nitrate to 10ppm before adding fish.
Ok, are my hardness readings too low? any easy way to get them up and keep them stable during water changes?
 

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8.3 is good for African Rift Lake Cichlids. KH might work...I would just monitor pH to be sure it is stable. What was the pH after leaving it out of the table for 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DJRansome said:
8.3 is good for African Rift Lake Cichlids. KH might work...I would just monitor pH to be sure it is stable. What was the pH after leaving it out of the table for 24 hours.
tap ph was 8.0 after 24 hrs
 

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Two weeks, I doubt you are ready for fish. I just finished a fishless cycle and it took about 8 weeks. The ammonia took about 2 weeks to drop to zero and the Nitrite spike took about 6 weeks to finally drop to zero. I was losing my patience towards the end. I tested my Nitrates prior to the Nitrite cycle to zero out and the Nitrates were off the chart. I did two or three 80 percent water changes to get them down to a readable level. After that, the nitrites dropped off almost instantly. If I was to do it again, I'd probably keep a closer eye on the Nitrates and do periodical water changes. I don't know if that would of shorten the cycle any, but eight weeks seemed pretty long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Moabismything said:
Two weeks, I doubt you are ready for fish. I just finished a fishless cycle and it took about 8 weeks. The ammonia took about 2 weeks to drop to zero and the Nitrite spike took about 6 weeks to finally drop to zero. I was losing my patience towards the end. I tested my Nitrates prior to the Nitrite cycle to zero out and the Nitrates were off the chart. I did two or three 80 percent water changes to get them down to a readable level. After that, the nitrites dropped off almost instantly. If I was to do it again, I'd probably keep a closer eye on the Nitrates and do periodical water changes. I don't know if that would of shorten the cycle any, but eight weeks seemed pretty long.
yeah i did 2 water changes 24 hours apart and i think i killed my cycle, i just did a water test and ammonia was off the charts. It was my first time trying prime in the tank and adding tap water with the python, i dont think ill be trying that again, back to adding treated water only.
 

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Neither of those things (water changes and prime first, tap water second) would kill or even harm your cycle. More likely you were not 100% cycled in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DJRansome said:
Neither of those things (water changes and prime first, tap water second) would kill or even harm your cycle. More likely you were not 100% cycled in the first place.
I started reading up on false results when using api or similar test kits with prime, so i will retest after 48 hours
 

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Juicetin said:
DJRansome said:
Neither of those things (water changes and prime first, tap water second) would kill or even harm your cycle. More likely you were not 100% cycled in the first place.
I started reading up on false results when using api or similar test kits with prime, so i will retest after 48 hours
I too had cycling problems. I went at least two to three months before mine was ready for fish. I thought I did everything right but apparently not. I bought a new test kit thinking it was wrong. Don't get discouraged, stay the course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I re-tested everything after 48 hours and all was back to normal, so i think it was a false reading due to the prime holding everything from the tap water as well as anything that hadnt yet been processed in the tank. i will continue to monitor for a few more weeks though to ensure everything stays stable. thanks for the help everyone, im new to the forum and cichlids in general and this place has been great.
 

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Prime makes a false reading of 0.25 for future reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just figured I'd update the thread after almost 4 months.


Everyones doing well, as you can see there's a little bit of fin nipping still happening, but nobody is hiding and the fins heal within a day, so i dont think there is too much cause for concern. Some of them are coloring up really vividly and overall i am super happy with the tank. Sorry for the poor picture quality, Its almost impossible to get a picture while theyre sitting still, as it happens so rarely.
 
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