alkalinity and ph during tank cycling - question from newbie - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 26 Old 02-24-2011, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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I tested my tap water today and it showed 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, pH was 7.4. So from that I gather my tap water isn't doing anything to affect my tank's parameters, right?

I tested the tank water and the nitrites seemed to be back up to 5 again (though the color distinction between 2 and 5 is fairly minimal). I just did another 50% pwc, adding more Prime to the fresh water.

Would you recommend I just keep up with the daily changes until the nitrites drop? My nitrates were at 5 today. Where do they usually level off at? I think I've read anywhere under 40 is good, but other sources said under 25 is best.
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post #22 of 26 Old 02-24-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph211 View Post
I tested my tap water today and it showed 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, pH was 7.4. So from that I gather my tap water isn't doing anything to affect my tank's parameters, right?

I tested the tank water and the nitrites seemed to be back up to 5 again (though the color distinction between 2 and 5 is fairly minimal). I just did another 50% pwc, adding more Prime to the fresh water.

Would you recommend I just keep up with the daily changes until the nitrites drop? My nitrates were at 5 today. Where do they usually level off at? I think I've read anywhere under 40 is good, but other sources said under 25 is best.
The lower the nitrate, the better.

Looks like your tap is safe then. Need to do more water changes until nitrite is back to zero especially if you have fish around.

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post #23 of 26 Old 02-24-2011, 07:30 PM
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I fully agree with Lupin on both issues.

There is varying opinion on nitrates. You will read some suggesting 40ppm is fine, a few even higher, but most of us on here seem to be in the under 20ppm crowd. Fish in nature are not usually exposed to nitrates in any measureable amount, hence Lupin's comment the lower the better.

This is one of several reasons why fish love water changes; they reduce nitrates (unless of course they are in the tap water). They do much more of course, but I won't jump into that.

Nitrates usually climb at first after the cycle, then taper off lower.

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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #24 of 26 Old 02-24-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much! I'll keep up with the pwc's and keep monitoring my levels. You've all been very helpful!
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-05-2011, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Just updating in case anyone is interested but my tank FINALLY cycled! It's been 8 weeks but I finally have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and am at about 2ppm nitrates. My frogs, cardinals and betta all survived, thank goodness. Thanks again for your help!
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-06-2011, 09:27 AM
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You're welcome. It's good to hear of success.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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