Ammonia after cycling? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-19-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Ammonia after cycling?

So I put in fish flakes into my tank, watched the ammonia go up, nitrite, then nitrate. I gravel vacuumed all of my gravel throughly trying to get the remains of the fish flakes. I replaced my filter cartridges in my aquatech 30-60 and 10-15 filter (they were filthy, the directions said to replace these every 3 weeks, but not to replace the other ones ever, which is where I think the bacteria is). A day later I put in 5 Electric Yellows. I know 5 might be a little much. So now my ammonia is at .25, nitrite 0, and nitrate 5 (left over from the treated flakes). Should I just give it a while to hopefully fix itself? It is a 50 gallon btw.
Thank you,
-Ian

50 gallon Malawi Mbuna tank
-5 Electric Yellows
-6 Mainganos
10 gallon fry / QT
-9 Elongatus kanchedza fry
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-19-2010, 03:59 PM
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Five fish probably added a fair bit of ammonia compared to the flakes previously, and the bacteria need time to catch up. Keep the ammonia below .25 with partial water changes of 50%, as needed even if daily. Same if nitrite should appear.

Another thing to be aware of, is ammonia in the source (tap) water. You should test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate just to know if any are present. If they are, they can be handled at water changes through a water conditioner that detoxifies whichever is present. Several conditioners will handle ammonia, to my knowledge only Prime also handles nitrite and nitrate.

Also, be aware that these conditioners detoxify ammonia by changing it to the harmless ammonium. A test kit will read ammonia and ammonium the same, as ammonia.

Nitrosomonas bacteria requires about 9 hours to multiply (by binary division, where one bacterium divides into two bacteria) in optimum conditions (meaning, basic pH above 7, and tropical temperatures around 78F). Nitrospira requires longer, around 20 hours, to multiply. Five (presumably smallish) fish in a 50g should not pose too great a problem.

Byron.

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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 #3 of 4 Old 12-19-2010, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll get on to those water changes

50 gallon Malawi Mbuna tank
-5 Electric Yellows
-6 Mainganos
10 gallon fry / QT
-9 Elongatus kanchedza fry
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-20-2010, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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and also, there is 0 ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in my tap water.

50 gallon Malawi Mbuna tank
-5 Electric Yellows
-6 Mainganos
10 gallon fry / QT
-9 Elongatus kanchedza fry
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