Indoor tub cycling, am I doing it right?


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Today starts week 4 of the 65 gls (approx. 55gls filled now ) cycling tub, how long before I see Nitrate?
I know all cycling are different, some short some way longer, but maybe there is a way to know at least if I'm doing this right?

Tub size 65gls (55gls filled)
Fish load: two 5 - 6" koi
Feeding: 1 koi stick x fish once or twice a day (depending on previous ammonia reading)
No gravel (could be a problem)
Water temp 75F
Filter : Fluval U4 submersible
Aerator : Tetra whisper 75 - 100
Product used : Fluval Cycle (first 4 days), 50 oz Ceramic Zolite, Prime (dosed during water changes) 1 water hyacinth under grow lights
Water changes: about 80% every other day or two, depending on daily ammonia reading.


Test results so far (I'm only testing for Ammonia and Nitrite at this point):

Ammonia 0 - .25, been at 0 for 3 days straight now that's why I wondered
Nitrite 0

Should I keep going this way or do I need to make changes to enter the Nitrate stage of the cycle? Can a cycle be truly complete without ever see Nitrate?
The Ammonia has never gone over the .25 mark so I'm thinking the feeding is ok (?) The idea is to grow these two fish as much as possible, before putting them in the pond this Spring, so cutting down on feeding would defeat the purpose of the indoor tub

Thanks!
 
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I'm a little confused Gemma.
You're asking about nitrate level but not testing for it?
Nitrifying bacteria need to colonize a surface with nutrients to reach a population sufficient to process the fish waste, so perhaps the hyacinth is doing the job, it depends on how healthy the hyacinth is. Koi do eat hyacinth roots though.
Without a matured biological filter, I would not try and push feeding the fish to grow them bigger.
The ceramic zeolite is probably also adsorbing the ammonia...for now.
 
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I'm a little confused Gemma.
You're asking about nitrate level but not testing for it?
Hi @MitchM was hopping you'd stop by :)
I wasn't asking about Nitrate, I was asking about Nitrite
I thought the Ammonia rises, then once it starts to go back down the Nitrite is expected to show up on the test...am I wrong?

Ammonia has been 0 since I posted this but still no Nitrite showing on test
Fish are doing great, I'm still testing every 24 for both Ammonia and Nitrite, doing 50% water changes using Prime every few days, not sure what else to do
 
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...
I thought the Ammonia rises, then once it starts to go back down the Nitrite is expected to show up on the test...am I wrong?

...
You're not wrong but the the zeolite is working against the bacteria that are trying to process the ammonia.
 
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So should I remove it?
 
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It sounds like you added the fish at the same time you started up the indoor tub, so it's more important your fish stay healthy instead of trying to grow them as fast as possible.
Without a mature bio-filter in the indoor tub, they are at risk of ammonia poisoning, so I would keep doing what you are doing and try to move them outdoors to a cycled pond as soon as you are able.
In other words, leave the zeolite in there.
Test for any differences between the water you are using for water changes verses what is in the indoor tub.
Every time you do a water change, you change the water chemistry which could stress the fish.
 
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Hi Gemma. In my experience you might never see the nitrite. Sometimes the transition is that fast. You didn’t have any seeded media laying around? Anyway, you’re doing fine. Just watch your ph and test for nitrates. You should be seeing them soon enough. I keep my comets in a 175 with no gravel and that does create a smaller buffer situation but dilution is your friend right now. Keep up W/C but imo 80% is a bit heavy with that small of a bioload.
 

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