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Is my tank cycled? Fish flake method with mature sponges

Irksome

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Hi everyone. This might be a daft question and reading tutorials isn’t answering it. Is there a way of testing my fish less cycle is working properly and is ready for stock. I know that if you use ammonia you keep adding small amounts and until you know it is working, but I’ve used fish flakes instead. Should I keep adding fish flake after my reading are all 0? Or does the good test result mean I’m actually ready for stock? None of the tutorials seem to cover this aspect of the scenario. I want to get it absolutely right first time. I fast tracked my cycle using mature sponges.
 

essjay

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A tank is fishless cycled when it can process 3 ppm ammonia to nitrate within 24 hours. But it is difficult with fish food to know exactly how much ammonia is going into the tank. If the food is only producing say 1 ppm ammonia at a time, the tank won't be cycled for a fully stocked tank.
The safest thing for you to do is stock the tank slowly as for fish-in cycling. Buy the first species you want and check every day for ammonia and nitrite. If they stay at zero, get the second species a week later and check for ammonia and nitrite every day.... and so on. If at any time you get a reading above zero, stop adding fish and do water changes until they do stay at zero, then continue stocking the tank.
 
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Irksome

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Uk
A tank is fishless cycled when it can process 3 ppm ammonia to nitrate within 24 hours. But it is difficult with fish food to know exactly how much ammonia is going into the tank. If the food is only producing say 1 ppm ammonia at a time, the tank won't be cycled for a fully stocked tank.
The safest thing for you to do is stock the tank slowly as for fish-in cycling. Buy the first species you want and check every day for ammonia and nitrite. If they stay at zero, get the second species a week later and check for ammonia and nitrite every day.... and so on. If at any time you get a reading above zero, stop adding fish and do water changes until they do stay at zero, then continue stocking the tank.
Thankyou for the reply. I’ve put some more flakes in and I will test the water throughout the next day or two to see if it rises and falls appropriately.
 
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