30 gal still having trouble with cycle
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » 30 gal still having trouble with cycle

30 gal still having trouble with cycle

This is a discussion on 30 gal still having trouble with cycle within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello again Well im still having the same trouble with my cycle cycling with fish I have been stuck with nitrites reading off the ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Panda Corydoras
Panda Corydoras
Tinfoil Barb
Tinfoil Barb
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
30 gal still having trouble with cycle
Old 10-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
 
30 gal still having trouble with cycle

Hello again

Well im still having the same trouble with my cycle

cycling with fish

I have been stuck with nitrites reading off the chart every day. been doing 30-40% pwc's every day for nearly a month now since my ammonia reading went to 0 and stayed there.

took fresh readings when doing my pwc this morning. here is my readings and my equipment/fish list:

Tank conditions
=========================
Temp 76-78 f
ammonia 0
nitrites >5ppm (limit of the api kit)
nitrates 20ppm after pwc
ph 7.4


Equipment
=======================
30 gallon 36x12x16 glass
2 inches pea gravel
1 piece hardwood driftwood
1 penguin 150 biowheel filter with 2 cartridges
1 tetra whisper 40 w 1 cartridge
1 marineland 150w heater

Fish
==========================
4xgiant danios sizes 2"-3"
1 common pleco 2.5 inches

Plants
==========================
1 java fern

Chemicals
==========================
StartRight decholorinator (added to water change buckets then to aquarium by syphon)

I tested the water before and after the pwc...no change. tested tap water 7.8 ph a/n/n all 0
tested nitrates after treating my tap water with start right....a/n/n still al 0 (thinking the start right was causing a problem)

I have had no fish death at all but I cant seem to get the cycle past the nitrite spike though nitrates are being produced.

I do suspect my fern isnt doing well through. the "babies" on the tips of the fern leaves are getting tinges of brown. just noticed that today so when I get home ill trim that. dont want to remove it because my pleco is doing a good job of keeping it clean without damaging it.

Feeding schedule is 1 small pinch of betta mix flakes morning and night and 1/3 algea wafer 1 time daily for the pleco at night. Im not finding food on the bottom after feeding them so dont think im over feeding. The plec is doing well has a good weight and not being any more of a poop machine than he should be.

when I did my pwc today I did lightly wrinse (no scrubbing just shook of the detrius) and reloaded the filters. no scraping just a quick dunk to shake off the poo in the dirty water.

if anyone has any other ideas im all ears.............HELP :)
Jerryed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
 
Byron's Avatar
 
With nitrite reading 5 I would not expect the fish to be alive, or at least show signs of extreme discomfort (hanging at the surface is usual). Is their behaviour normal? Even with daily pwc a nitrite level that high should have some effect on the fish.

I would assume a faulty test kit if you weren't getting zero readings for the tap water (presumably with the same kit). Also, the reading of nitrate at 20ppm is fine, and would suggest the tank should be at the third 9last) stage in the nitrification cycle.

Nitrite has been known to leech from artificial decor items; is the wood real or artificial? But even so, this still doesn't explain the high level with no apparent adverse effect on the fish.

Take a sample of tank water to your fish store and ask them to test it for nitrite.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
With nitrite reading 5 I would not expect the fish to be alive, or at least show signs of extreme discomfort (hanging at the surface is usual). Is their behaviour normal? Even with daily pwc a nitrite level that high should have some effect on the fish.

I would assume a faulty test kit if you weren't getting zero readings for the tap water (presumably with the same kit). Also, the reading of nitrate at 20ppm is fine, and would suggest the tank should be at the third 9last) stage in the nitrification cycle.

Nitrite has been known to leech from artificial decor items; is the wood real or artificial? But even so, this still doesn't explain the high level with no apparent adverse effect on the fish.

Take a sample of tank water to your fish store and ask them to test it for nitrite.

Byron.

well I am sure the test kit isnt faulty as I have backed it up with another test kit...same results.

the drift wook is real (some sort of white oak.) well boiled and looks well sunbleached. when i did my presoak on it no color change to the water so im thinking tanins are nil.

Fish are behaving normally, danios are fiesty as usual (play alot of hide and seek), pleco is very active in the evening ever before i kill the lights. heh he has nearly doubles in size from when i got him almost a month ago :). I do clean my test vials regulary with HOT dechlorinated water.

If it doesnt drop soon im gonna kick of the temp of the tank to 80, and install 2 sponge prefilters to the hobs and see if my lfs will give me some used filter media. I asked before and he was willing to give me some used ceramic rings I can put in the whisper. My local lfs is family owned and immaculatley clean so I trust them. (never seen a dead or dying fish in their tanks)

I guess next stem might to be to remove the fern completely and so with something a little more agressive like christmas moss
Jerryed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerryed View Post
well I am sure the test kit isnt faulty as I have backed it up with another test kit...same results.

the drift wook is real (some sort of white oak.) well boiled and looks well sunbleached. when i did my presoak on it no color change to the water so im thinking tanins are nil.

Fish are behaving normally, danios are fiesty as usual (play alot of hide and seek), pleco is very active in the evening ever before i kill the lights. heh he has nearly doubles in size from when i got him almost a month ago :). I do clean my test vials regulary with HOT dechlorinated water.

If it doesnt drop soon im gonna kick of the temp of the tank to 80, and install 2 sponge prefilters to the hobs and see if my lfs will give me some used filter media. I asked before and he was willing to give me some used ceramic rings I can put in the whisper. My local lfs is family owned and immaculatley clean so I trust them. (never seen a dead or dying fish in their tanks)

I guess next stem might to be to remove the fern completely and so with something a little more agressive like christmas moss
I would not raise the tank temperature. First, the fish are active swimmers (danios) and such fish usually come from cooler not warmer waters because they require more oxygen being active and the warmer the water the less oxygen...which means warmer water will add stress to the fish. Second, water temp does not as far as I know affect nitrite. Temp (as with pH) can affect the bacteria, but your temp (and pH) is within the normal range and would not be the cause of nitrite.

Plants do not produce nitrite, quite the opposite, they use ammonium which they can convert from ammonia and probably nitrite. More plants would be a good thing.

There must be bacteria in the tank now; nitrates only occur when nitrospira bacteria convert nitrite into nitrate. And the bacteria will reproduce to handle the available nitrite and remain at that level unless something occurs to kill them off.

While I've never heard of it, it may be possible for the nitrite to be coming from the wood. It wouldn't hurt to remove it, do a pwc, wait a few days and monitor the nitrite during this time. At the same time, put the wood in a bucket of fresh water and monitor the nitrite in that water.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would not raise the tank temperature. First, the fish are active swimmers (danios) and such fish usually come from cooler not warmer waters because they require more oxygen being active and the warmer the water the less oxygen...which means warmer water will add stress to the fish. Second, water temp does not as far as I know affect nitrite. Temp (as with pH) can affect the bacteria, but your temp (and pH) is within the normal range and would not be the cause of nitrite.

Plants do not produce nitrite, quite the opposite, they use ammonium which they can convert from ammonia and probably nitrite. More plants would be a good thing.

There must be bacteria in the tank now; nitrates only occur when nitrospira bacteria convert nitrite into nitrate. And the bacteria will reproduce to handle the available nitrite and remain at that level unless something occurs to kill them off.

While I've never heard of it, it may be possible for the nitrite to be coming from the wood. It wouldn't hurt to remove it, do a pwc, wait a few days and monitor the nitrite during this time. At the same time, put the wood in a bucket of fresh water and monitor the nitrite in that water.

Byron.

well point for the temp raise was to encourage bacteria growth, as was teh idea with adding sponge prefilters. I do have a large sponge that would work for diy filters.

I have one other idea...

The "cave" my pleco sleeps in is a type of corner decoration, but ive noticed there are white spots developing on the top, white like calcium white not like bacteria white. Im thinking the pleco might be scouring the top layer off this decoration. It will be coming out on thursday when im getting some slate and terracotta pots to make more "hidey-holes" and a more natural terain.
Jerryed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerryed View Post
well point for the temp raise was to encourage bacteria growth, as was teh idea with adding sponge prefilters. I do have a large sponge that would work for diy filters.

I have one other idea...

The "cave" my pleco sleeps in is a type of corner decoration, but ive noticed there are white spots developing on the top, white like calcium white not like bacteria white. Im thinking the pleco might be scouring the top layer off this decoration. It will be coming out on thursday when im getting some slate and terracotta pots to make more "hidey-holes" and a more natural terain.
I still wouldn't raise the temp; the effect on the bacteria will be minimal if anything, and considering the effect on the fish certainly not worth it. If there really is nitrite at 5 it is affecting the fish and time will tell how much damage has occurred; nitrite enters the blood via the gills and has several effects. oxygen in the blood is reduced which can lead to suffocation, liver damage, gill damage and blood cell damage, and makes the immune system less effective which can lead to the fish contracting diseases and parasites it would normally fend off. All of this might manifest itself long-term.

Try removing that cave and do the bucket of water test I suggested for the wood. The reason I mentioned this was that I read elsewhere of high nitrite levels being traced to a wrecked ship decoration, so maybe this is another. B.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
 
MoneyMitch's Avatar
 
just a more of a suggestion here, take your test solution and shake like CRAZY for 2-3 miniutes then test.
MoneyMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 01:00 PM   #8
 
Update:

Tried the "shake it like crazy" method, no change in the results. I pulled out the wood and let it soak overnight in a sealed container of water, tested it this morning. No nitrites being produced from that.

Doing another 60% change today, we'll see what that does! :)
Jerryed is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
having trouble need help bromanlex Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 5 04-11-2009 12:27 AM
Trouble with my pH.... It'sJames Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 6 11-18-2007 10:21 AM
I think im in trouble Dicklinky Tropical Fish Diseases 16 11-06-2007 02:47 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 AM.