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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings-

We're relatively new to freshwater fishkeeping. A few months ago we set up a 36 gallon community aquarium. The cycling, due much to our own errors, took about 6 weeks to complete. Happily this tank is now thriving with rasporas, rainbowfish, corys, tetras, and such. It wasn't long before we became obsessed with the idea of a large African rift lake tank, and we had soon purchased a 75 gallon tank for such a habitat. We purchased a sponge filter and kept it running in our little tank for around 3 weeks. After getting our large tank set up with accoutrements, we added the sponge filter along with an old carbon filter from the established tank. After adding our first batch of cichlids (Hap Ahli, Red Peacock, Eureka Red Peacock, OB Peacock, and Maylandi Peacock) we started our daily water tests (amm, nitrite, nitrate). 2 weeks in we had seen zero rise in ammonia, zero nitrites, and at around 17 days we started to see the nitrates rise. Could it be that our tank is cycled?

Many thanks for any input, your forum has been invaluable to us thus far. Here we go!
 

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Did you add anything to the water before the fish went in? Like Seachem Primer or Stability?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We didn't add anything. Our LFS/ cichlid specialists did make us bring in a water sample before they would sell us anything. We're on about day 20 with 13 fish and still nothing but rising nitrates, which we're lowering with partial water changes. We're also running an Penguin 400 with dual biowheels. The 2 extra cartridges contain carbon and ceramic rings. It seems too good to be true :)
 

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Please continue to go to that LFS. Wish they all were that concerned with water quality/doing things correctly before just selling as many fish as they can.
 

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Sponge filters are GREAT at holding bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes- it is an amazing fish store. We go every Saturday regardless of whether we're buying or not. Malawi Aquatics in St. Louis. They even offered to run our sponge filter in their tanks if needed. And I am now a true believer in the biological capabilities of sponge filters!
 

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We do the same thing for our LFS & Petsmart (that has smart people).
Weekly visits, buying or not.
 
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