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Confused about cycling and ammonia levels

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Confused about cycling and ammonia levels
Old 12-20-2009, 09:21 PM   #61
 
Question Now I'm really confused

I'm beginning to wonder if when the Nitrites suddenly "disappeared", if that part of the cycle may have been over.

Yesterday and today, I'm getting 0 for Ammonia, zero for Nitrites and about 5.0 for Nitrates!?

How long do Nitrites usually show up?

Obviously, I'll keep testing for everything, every day, to see if anything changes.

It has been about a month since I first started my tank, so maybe it is done cycling??

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Old 12-20-2009, 09:44 PM   #62
 
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Sounds like to me that your bacteria are completing the full cycle. Ammonia breaks down to nitrites and nitrites down to nitrates. Now that ammonia and nitrites are 0 and nitrates are a 5.0 it seems like a full cycle. As for the 5.0 reading of nitrates I can't tell you if it's time for water change or not. That part I still have to read up on for safe levels.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:40 AM   #63
 
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I would monitor (test), the water each day for ammonia and nitrites for a week. If after a week ,ammonia and nitrites still test zero each day, then you should be safe to add fish slowly ,a few at a time with week in between new additions. Too many fish at once will result in spikes in ammonia and nitrites . Sounds like the tank is maturing nicely.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:04 AM   #64
 
I'm still alive! (and so are my fish).

I waited for Nitrites and Ammonia to test at zero for a week, then I added an Oto and two dwarf frogs.

Now I am getting Ammonia readings around .25 (was higher, but did water change), Nitrite at 0 and Nitrate around 30.

Should I just continue with the usual "treatment" for ammonia levels?

Also, what is an acceptable Nitrate level?

I am still using Prime during water changes. I also bought a couple of Waterlily Bulbs and stuck them in the substrate. They are "guaranteed" to grow within 30 days.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave my tank stocked as it is, and not add any other fish. I'm already thinking about upgrading to a bigger tank (which I will cycle before I add any fish!)

I should also note that I brought home a couple of snails and now have a dozen or so, as expected. They are doing a VERY good job of cleaning up the brown algae, which is now about 50% gone. Do snails cause any problems with water quality? I know once I have a tankful, I'll need to get rid of some of them...

Thanks again for all of your help!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:11 AM   #65
 
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Hi there, you didn't mention your tank size? I'm guessing it's something small. I'd be doing a major water change if my nitrates were at 30. Your bacteria may need to catch up with your bioload. Just keep checking the water and doing water changes as needed.

What do you mean by "treatment" for ammonia levels? Your test kit could be detecting ammonium, the treated form of ammonia if you used a water conditioner to detoxify ammonia from your tap water (for example, my tap water tests at about 1ppm for ammonia so i get a slight ammonia reading after my water changes but I know it's from the tap water and it's treated ammonia, ie. harmless to fish).

Don't think snails impact the water quality. In the rare case that it feels like they are multiplying too fast, I just pluck them out of the tank. Snails will lay eggs but some will only hatch in brackish water. For instance my nerite snails lay eggs everywhere but they never hatch, but the snails that migrated in on my plants from the lfs lay eggs and actually do multiply. Not very rapidly, though, and my loaches probably eat the fresh babies.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:22 AM   #66
 
It's a 10-gallon. By "treatment", I meant what had been discussed earlier in the thread. 1077 and Byron have been guiding me along (and setting me straight).

I now have the following in my tank:

1 male betta
1 Oto
2 ADFs
3 White Cloud Minnows

I've read that White Cloud Minnows actually shouldn't be kept in a heated tank, not a cold-water tank, but a room temperature tank. I've also read that they should be kept in groups of 8 or more. So, I am thinking about getting a 20 gallon eventually, leaving the Minnows (and adding about 5 more) in the 10 gallon, and moving everyone else to the 20. Then I'll probably just get more ADFs. I love the little guys. ;)
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:26 AM   #67
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxt0n View Post
It's a 10-gallon. By "treatment", I meant what had been discussed earlier in the thread. 1077 and Byron have been guiding me along (and setting me straight).
My bad, i didn't realize there were seven pages in this thread! Sorry to but in Sounds like things are getting handled!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:31 AM   #68
 
You're not butting in. Your advice is very welcome. :)
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:30 AM   #69
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxt0n View Post
It's a 10-gallon. By "treatment", I meant what had been discussed earlier in the thread. 1077 and Byron have been guiding me along (and setting me straight).

I now have the following in my tank:

1 male betta
1 Oto
2 ADFs
3 White Cloud Minnows

I've read that White Cloud Minnows actually shouldn't be kept in a heated tank, not a cold-water tank, but a room temperature tank. I've also read that they should be kept in groups of 8 or more. So, I am thinking about getting a 20 gallon eventually, leaving the Minnows (and adding about 5 more) in the 10 gallon, and moving everyone else to the 20. Then I'll probably just get more ADFs. I love the little guys. ;)
I love my ADF's too! I've shared my home with cats who had less personality and showed less affection than the frogs. I've heard and read a different places that it may not be a good idea to keep snails with them. We learned the hard way that they can and will get gravel caught in their mouths. They don't have tongues, and have a hard time disgorging hard objects which can get wedged underneath their jawbones. This can lead to injury/death (we nearly lost our female ADF this way), and so most recommend either sand or larger pebbles/stones for substrate. I'd think snail shells could be a hazard this way (or cause blockages if they're swallowed). Don't think it would matter with bigger snails, but if they start making little baby snails I'd be careful.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:04 AM   #70
 
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[quote=paxt0n;300495]I'm still alive! (and so are my fish).

I waited for Nitrites and Ammonia to test at zero for a week, then I added an Oto and two dwarf frogs.

Now I am getting Ammonia readings around .25 (was higher, but did water change), Nitrite at 0 and Nitrate around 30.

Should I just continue with the usual "treatment" for ammonia levels?

Also, what is an acceptable Nitrate level?

I am still using Prime during water changes. I also bought a couple of Waterlily Bulbs and stuck them in the substrate. They are "guaranteed" to grow within 30 days.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave my tank stocked as it is, and not add any other fish. I'm already thinking about upgrading to a bigger tank (which I will cycle before I add any fish!)

I should also note that I brought home a couple of snails and now have a dozen or so, as expected. They are doing a VERY good job of cleaning up the brown algae, which is now about 50% gone. Do snails cause any problems with water quality? I know once I have a tankful, I'll need to get rid of some of them...

Thanks again for all of your help![/quote

Treatment for ammonia levels is water change with conditioner(prime). Sounds as though the bacteria which develops in porportion to bioload(fish),, is trying to catch up with recent addition of fish or frog.
Nitrates of 30ppm aren't anything to be concerned about but 20ppm would be better. Feeding fish smaller amounts or every other day will also help with ammonia and nitrates.
There is little room for error in five and ten gallon tanks with respect to overfeeding or over stocking both of which are easy to do. Were it me,,my next tank would be the largest tank I could afford. Trust me, you will kick yourself for not trying to get the larger tank. The larger the tank,, the more stable the enviornment due to the dilution capabilities of the larger volume of water. also provides more room for fish!
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