cycling mistake - fixable? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-27-2009, 05:15 PM
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Anything under 4ppm should work.
I always try to hit 3ppm, thinking maybe the tank will be able to hold a bigger load when the fish are added. Not sure if my theory is actually correct.
I do know the last tank I set up, a 55gal, I added 10 fish at the same time, after the fishless cycle, have not got a reading for ammonia or nitrites yet.
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-14-2009, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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today when I checked the water in the still cycling aquariums (I hadn't checked in a while) it showed the following, after I added ammonia last night:

tank 1 (heated)
amm. less than 0.5
nitrite 5
nitrate 5

tank 2 (still unheated....)
amm. less than 8
nitrite 0.5
nitrate more than 5

Does that sound normal?
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-14-2009, 09:41 AM
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I'd keep an eye on tank one, the ammonia portion of the cycle looks to be getting close to over. You'll want to keep adding ammonia though to sustain the bacteria until the cycle is finished. Just keep on doing what you're doing, adding a bit of ammonia to keep everyone fat and happy until your ammonia and nitrite readings are zero.

In tank number two I'd do a 50% water change to get the ammonia down to 4ppm. That high ammonia concentration is likely slowing the cycle a bit. A lower concentration will help keep things moving. Just keep monitoring the water.

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post #14 of 20 Old 04-24-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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here I am with a new reading. I added amm. only to tank 1 yesterday:

tank 1 (heated)
amm. 1
nitrite 0
nitrate 40

tank 2 (still unheated. today marineland told me again the new heater should arrive in 5-7 business days...)
amm. 2
nitrite 0.5
nitrate less than 5

Is it normal, that the amm. is 1 and the nitrite 0? Is tank 1 almost ready? I am still adding amm. until I add the fish, right?

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post #15 of 20 Old 04-24-2009, 07:55 PM
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Is this the test results 12 hrs after the introduction of new ammonia?
Have you been adding ammonia to the tanks daily?
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-24-2009, 08:42 PM
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usually if the tank is nearly cycled, ammonia will drop to zero before the nitrites.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-25-2009, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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The problem is, that I don't remember exactly, if it was 12 hrs in between adding amm. and reading, but I would guess it was at least 12 hours. I'll check tomorrow again and let you know what the reading says then, because now I know, what time I added amm.

I also thought it was weird, that the nitrites read 0 and the amm. not.

So far I added amm. almost every day to tank 1, sometimes I forgot and I checked the water randomly. I haven't added any amm. to tank 2 in about 2 weeks. I'm almost sure I missed the point when it was cycled, because I also forgot to add amm. sometimes, and I think, that's why the amm. was so high "all of the sudden" again...

Last edited by Antje; 04-25-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-26-2009, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, after adding 4 drops amm. to tank one 17 hrs. ago I get the following reading:

amm. 2
nitrite 0.5

Tank 2 without adding amm.:

amm. 2
nitrite less than 0.5

So, they are the same now. Did I add too much amm? I usually add 4-5 drops, sometimes 3.
How should I proceed???

Last edited by Antje; 04-26-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-26-2009, 03:18 PM
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I don't know, looks like tank #2 is at a stand still right now. The ammonia must have been too high, and killed whatever cycle you had going. I would test that tank daily, if you see ammonia lower any, go back to adding ammonia daily.

When you are adding the 3 or 4 drops of ammonia to tank #1, do you know what level that is bringing the ammonia up to? It would help to know how much ammonia lowered in that 17 hr time period. Do keep adding ammonia daily to that tank, the ammonia is needed to feed the cycle. Although the tank is not cycled yet, if the ammonia droped to 2ppm from 4ppm, it is well on its way to being a cycled tank.
You could add the ammonia, wait maybe an hour for the water to circulate, test your ammonia level, test ammonia again 12 hrs later.
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-09-2009, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Oh man, I'm so frustrated. The tanks were still doing weird things and I have to admit, that I didn't do the testing often enough and now we are going on vacation. Although it's my fault, I still need to whine a bit for 2 months of cycling for nothing I can't believe that the tanks were almost there, but time was running out I thought, even if they were ready right before we left, the water would still have to be tested frequently for a while to see, what happens, when the fish are in the tank instead of adding ammonia. Right?

So the girls have to stay in their bowls (about 1.5 gal each) until we are back. And then I will start the whole process all over again.

Now, fortunately I have somebody who will feed the fish twice a week and who will do about 50% water changes twice a week as well. How many pellets should he feed them to keep the ammonia as low as possible but also not to starve them? Usually I feed 2 pellets in the morning, two in the evening with about 2 fasten days per week. Would 4 pellets at each feeding be ok or will that make them too full, because they will eat them all at once? We will be gone for 3 weeks.

BTW, the tanks are still running (I just couldn't turn them off) and I still add ammonia, when I think about it. Should I keep them running until we are back and ask the fish sitter to add ammonia, when he is feeding the fish? Or do I have to start all over anyways?
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