Day 13 Cycle Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-09-2009, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Day 13 Cycle Question

My readings are 1.0 Ammonia, 1.0 Nitrite and 5.0 Nitrate

I did a water change 25 % yesterday and all levels went up to the above. I am doing a 25% again right now to lower the levels with prime. One of my African Cichlids is just sitting on the gravel almost not moving, thought he was sleeping at first. This can't be good?

I was hoping the Ammonia levels would go to 0 or down but nothing... is there something I am missing here?

I have high everything at the moment.

Any tips or help?
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-09-2009, 10:44 PM
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Those are indeed high readings for ammonia and nitrite. You might want to do 50% water change instead of 25%. What size tank and how many/what fish are in it? Reduce feedings to a small feeding once a day or maybe every other day, don't mess with the filter at this point and don't add any more fish until the cycle is complete.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-09-2009, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeaninel View Post
Those are indeed high readings for ammonia and nitrite. You might want to do 50% water change instead of 25%. What size tank and how many/what fish are in it? Reduce feedings to a small feeding once a day or maybe every other day, don't mess with the filter at this point and don't add any more fish until the cycle is complete.

its a 75 gallon, did around 35%. I have only been feeding lightly once a day. I just don't get why the nitrites are so high but the ammonia still is high.... I thought the nitrites feed off the ammonia?

There are 4 African Cichlids in the tank.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-09-2009, 11:43 PM
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Believe you stated in earlier thread that you measured ammonia at 1ppm from the tap. Double dose of PRIME would detoxify ammonia and you would then be measuring less harmful ammonium. API test measures all forms of ammonia.
If nitrite levels drop after 50 percent water changes then I would use the nitrite test to finish the maturing process. My feeling is that the test kit will always measure ammonium due to presence of ammonia in tap but that PRIME will be rendering the ammonia from tap to harmless ammonium.
Don't believe Nitrite test gives false positive results for nitrites. Is why I might use this test to record how (cycling) is going. I could be wrong But it may be worth trying.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 08:11 AM
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I'd second what 1077 said - Test your tap water see if you have Ammonia already in it, if so use a conditioner (like Prime) that also removed Ammonia. Then any Ammonia reading around 1ppm I'd do a large w/c (minimum 50% if not more).
Also till you have this in check, only feed every 2nd day.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 09:40 AM
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I concur with 1077 that nitrite, not ammonia, should be your guide.

As you have ammonia in the tap water, using Prime as your water conditioner will detoxify it by changing it to harmless ammonium. Tests will still show it, the API as most (but not all) test kits read ammonia and ammonium together as "ammonia" but in ammonium form it is not a problem. Nitrosomonas bacteria use ammonia and ammonium. It is the nitrite that will tell you when the cycle is complete, and a 50% daily water change to keep nitrite below .25 is recommended.

From what you've told us you are always going to see ammonia readings, but the above applies.

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 #7 of 18 Old 12-11-2009, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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update, I came home from work tonight and my tank is getting cloudy - which I hear is not a bad thing during the cycle? My main thing is that one of my yellow labs is just sitting on the bottom gravel barely moving - even when I fed them he just sat there 2 days with NO food the other 3 ate it up quick.

I tested and my ammonia dropped to .5 but my nitrite is still at 1.0 even after daily 35% water changes.

I added some prime and will test in the morning? any other suggestions, these water changes are getting crazy. How long does the nitrite stage usually take to drop till nitrates?
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-11-2009, 09:49 PM
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That sounds to me like the Yellow is stressing out over the high ammonia, if you say its been like that for 2 days now, that's not a good sign to say the least.

You do add the prime as water conditioner when you do w/c right?

Cycling with fish can take anywheres from here to there till you get to 0, so you'll need a lot of patience. Excess feeding also favors your readings to go up, possible you feed too much.

Do you have any live plants in the tank?They'd sure help the cycling and act as a "bio filter" if you will.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-12-2009, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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no live plants, I have been feeding once a day and just switched to every other day - only give a small amount. I just did a 50% water change and adding prime with in double dose due to the ammonia out of the tap.

I am not sure what else I can do. 3 of them seem fine but the one guy does not look good. What about adding salt, heard that helps during the nitrite process?
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-12-2009, 08:00 AM
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So are these readings posted after your large w/c or before - If so what are they now?

If you gotten Yellow in the gang that was a not so healthy fish from the start the nitrate can push him/ her over the edge. Sorta like human's if you have no healthy immune system to begin with you're more likely to catch a cold.

No pls don't add salt, apart from not knowing exactly where this should help you with Ammonia, its also very bad for your fish and they wouldn't appreciate the salt added to their waters!

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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