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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi i am from england and have just goy my first africans,i have had various advice outside of this forum about stocking in the early stages.i let my new tank run for 3 days then test the water all was fine no nitrite,put 4 fish in waited another 4 days put in 3 more then another 4 days and 3 more.all is fine fish are happy but according to most people i spoke to i should have waited maybe 3 weeks to stock more than 4 fish,can the type of water in my area be the reason its fine or have i had bad info,its hard water in my area about 8 to 8.5.any ideas on that.
 

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Hi and welcome to CF.

Gongrats with africans.
About the water it doesn`t matter when it comes to nitrite. Nitrit is made by fishwaste and food so u might get a peak when 3 weeks has passed. Then u wanna do frequent water changes daily until it`s gone.
Test the water and u will be fine.

Linka
 

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The pH of your water sounds perfect for Africans!

A different point of view from Linka's, for what it's worth. (Nitrate is different, but Nitrite was mentioned, so my post is focused on Nitrite.)

Two facts about fishkeeping: Nitrite is harmful to fish, and a new tank has to go through a cycle when Nitrite is present before a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria can grow to eliminate it.

One way to avoid exposing fish to harmful Nitrite is to "cycle" the tank without fish, but adding ammonia instead to "feed" the beneficial bacteria.

Since you already have your fish, definitely test your tank daily for Ammonia and Nitrite (both can kill or cause permanent damage to fish). Use water changes to keep levels down as low as possible until the test kit reads 0 ppm for each toxin.

There are articles in the library on this site which describe the cycle and water chemistry. Read them so you know what to expect. Best of luck with your tank!
 

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Just letting the tank run for 3 days without fish didn't do a thing to start it cycling unless you added ammonia.
Now that you have fish in it, it will start cycling so test for ammonia (that should be the first thing to get high) then nitrItes (like DJ said both ammonia and nitrites are dangerous) then the nitrites should go down and you should start getting nitrAte readings. When you start getting nitrates the cycle is about done.

Do water changes to keep the nitrites under control until you start getting nitrates. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for your comments the nitrite and ammonia levels are both 0 i do add cycle when introducing fish and when i started the tank,hopefully it will be ok
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
now starting to get nitrite,testing showed 0.50 so i done a third water change and now is 0.25 so not too bad so far i will test tommorow and if up again do 25% perhaps what do you think is it safe to change water daily
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
now starting to get nitrite,testing showed 0.50 so i done a third water change and now is 0.25 so not too bad so far i will test tommorow and if up again do 25% perhaps what do you think is it safe to change water daily
 

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If 25% is helping I'd stay with that. I wouldn't be afraid to change 50% though. Sounds like it's coming along :thumb:
 

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i am also a fairly new cichlid owner and to cycle my tank i used gold fish. they are fairly hard to kill. also i was able to stay on top of my water changes and water tests until i got it to where i want. then i removed the gold fish and put in 4 africans. largest was about an inch. i'm using a small tank right now. will need a much larger one in i'm guessing 2 months. depending on how agro the male gets
 

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i am new too and did a fishless cycle! best thing i ever did IMO, however i did still get a small ammonia spike and my test kit was faulty so lost a few but learnt my lesson and have 2 ammonia testers now!

Keep your eyes on ammonia as this will increase rapidly and before nitrite
 
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