Day 5 of Cycle, water testing
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Day 5 of Cycle, water testing

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Day 5 of Cycle, water testing
Old 09-23-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
 
Day 5 of Cycle, water testing

I have posted previous to starting this cycle, however my setup is as follows as here is the scenario:

20 Gallon High
Fluval c3 HOB
Fluval 100w heater
Marineland LED
20lbs Eco-Complete
20lbs CaribSea Black Tahiti sand
1x Banana Plant
2x Water Sprite
8 Stalks of Wisteria
and about 20 sections of micro sword narrow leaf.

(my light timer went out on me.. and unfortunately i dont know if it will be here in time by the time i leave, so this may result in dead plants upon return... unless i can leave the lights on or turn them off for 22 days...)

The situation about a month ago was i bought my whole set up, and wanted to start my fishless cycle, however this coming sunday, i leave for about 22 days and couldnt be around.. I thought why not go ahead and try to cycle this baby while i'm gone?

So after posting to see if this was possible, and what method would work best, I decided to cycle using some raw fish meat(salmon) in a micro bag. I was advised to start about a week or two weeks before i left, so i would be gone during mid cycle and return near the end of the cycle, so at this schedule..I will be returning at day 1 of week 5.

I didnt test for the first 2 days, and friday i took a weekend get away, i just returned, not to a bad smell.. but a microbag covered in white fungus!

So i went to testing, my ammonia was 1.0ppm, nitrite 5.0ppm or more.. (very purple) and nitrates were about 5-10ppm.

I read that high nitrite and ammonia levels can kill good bacteria... so i decided i'd do a water change, 3 gallons, not a huge one.

Afterwords i tested again...

Ammonia .50-1.0 Nitrite 5.0 Nitrate was hard to tell.. 5.0-10 still.


My question is, I'm already getting readings for all 3, however i do understand nitrates can be a false positive when nitrites are present... I chose the fish meat method so when i leave for 3 weeks, i still get a continuous amount of ammonia to feed my bacteria while im away, so they dont just die off. However, now that i'm seeing high nitrite readings, i am concerned there is a flaw..

1. Do i need to do more water changes tonight/tomorrow to get nitrite down to a better level... such as 2-3ppm as opposed to 5 or higher?

2. While i am gone, is it a good possibility that my bacteria will die due to high ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels without a water change for 3 weeks?

I dont want this all to be wasted and i have a week to figure out a plan of action or solution... I am adding DIY CO2 to my tank hopefully tomorrow, which i will "refill" before i leave, if that affects anything.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
 
Someone has to have advice, at least on if I need to perform water changes!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
 
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Were it me,,I would not do anything but leave the bag of fish in the tank.
You know the ammonia source is there, so the nitrites,nitrates will follow.
Without light,,I doubt the plant's will survive ,so I might remove them (opinion's vary).
Won't hurt to perform water change before you leave ,and then test when you return for ammonia and nitrites,nitrAtes.
If when you return, the ammonia or nitrites read anything but zero,,then remove the bag of fish,,perform 60 to 70 % water change and test water again after a couple hours of water change.
Actually good idea to remove the bag of fish as soon as you return.
I have a feeling when you return,that the ammonia and nitrites will be zero or very close and nitrates will be quite high which large water change will lower.
So long as you have not used a half of salmon fillet,,I would let the tank do what it will while your gone .
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
 
It's literally a silver off the end of a filet. Maybe 1 1/2 inch length by 1/4 width. I contemplated adding more.. So just wait it out and when I have 0 am and trite do a large change without the fish? If I remove the ammonia source and do another test how will I know if indeed it's cycled? Don't I need to do a large change an leave the ammonia source in there to see if it all reads zero again? Kind f confused at the end of the cycle...

I understand 0,0, nitrate reading is what I want however, once I get those readings, and do a water change to lower nitrate, how do I test it to make sure it is cycled, or is this a clear indicator? I've cycled before and never had nitrite so high in just 4 days, kinda speeding a long, my 29 took 4 days for ammonia and 7+ for nitrite, when I had only nitrate I changed water and added fish and it seemed my tank started a mini cycle right away with just two fish as I got .25 ammonia readings for 2 days post adding fish, so I want to make sure this one is indeed complete


As far as the plants I am removing the micro swords tonight, I don't like them anyway, I live inflorida and the only lfs other than petsmart is in Pensacola and hour away and they didn't have dwarf sag, or any other nice foreground so ill order some when I get back, but I left the light on 4 days straight this weekend when I was gone and the java fern banana plant and sprite and wisteria showed growth, would leaving the light on be detrimental like leaving it off? It is just an led not rated for plants... As my other is backordered
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdb2013 View Post
It's literally a silver off the end of a filet. Maybe 1 1/2 inch length by 1/4 width. I contemplated adding more.. So just wait it out and when I have 0 am and trite do a large change without the fish? If I remove the ammonia source and do another test how will I know if indeed it's cycled? Don't I need to do a large change an leave the ammonia source in there to see if it all reads zero again? Kind f confused at the end of the cycle...

I understand 0,0, nitrate reading is what I want however, once I get those readings, and do a water change to lower nitrate, how do I test it to make sure it is cycled, or is this a clear indicator? I've cycled before and never had nitrite so high in just 4 days, kinda speeding a long, my 29 took 4 days for ammonia and 7+ for nitrite, when I had only nitrate I changed water and added fish and it seemed my tank started a mini cycle right away with just two fish as I got .25 ammonia readings for 2 days post adding fish, so I want to make sure this one is indeed complete


As far as the plants I am removing the micro swords tonight, I don't like them anyway, I live inflorida and the only lfs other than petsmart is in Pensacola and hour away and they didn't have dwarf sag, or any other nice foreground so ill order some when I get back, but I left the light on 4 days straight this weekend when I was gone and the java fern banana plant and sprite and wisteria showed growth, would leaving the light on be detrimental like leaving it off? It is just an led not rated for plants... As my other is backordered
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Yes,,zero for ammonia and nitrites with prolly high nitrates will be the result of leaving the tank to do what it will until your return.
As mentioned,,you know the food for bacteria is there, and the nitrites and nitrates will follow.
Leaving light's on 24/7 while ammonia is present is recipe for algae growth.
You mention a 29 gal tank, is this tank still running? If so you could borrow filter media from this tank and reduce cycling time considerably .
Would not need to leave the food source(bag of fish) for the tank but wait until you return and simply borrow media from filter on existing tank.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:35 PM   #6
 
Is this chunk of fish enough "food" to last 3 1/2 more weeks? If I can just leave it I won't change the water anymore, the high nitrite just alarmed me because I read high nitrite can kill pod bacteria. So no water changes.

I guess I'll try to get a timer if the lfs has one or petsmart. I don't want to start all over with my plants as I want to come home make sure it's stable and drop in a puffer! And I know they like plants.

The 29 gallon is in NC at my girlfriends I left it there and when I visit every other week or so I see them. However borrowing media wouldn't be a good choice due to the fact I won't be there again until thanksgiving!
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:47 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Rdb2013 View Post
Is this chunk of fish enough "food" to last 3 1/2 more weeks? If I can just leave it I won't change the water anymore, the high nitrite just alarmed me because I read high nitrite can kill pod bacteria. So no water changes.

I guess I'll try to get a timer if the lfs has one or petsmart. I don't want to start all over with my plants as I want to come home make sure it's stable and drop in a puffer! And I know they like plants.

The 29 gallon is in NC at my girlfriends I left it there and when I visit every other week or so I see them. However borrowing media wouldn't be a good choice due to the fact I won't be there again until thanksgiving!
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Might add about same amount of fish meat as first time.
Can buy digital timer for light's at Walmart,lowes,hardware store, for around eight bucks.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
 
Awesome! I still have a decent amount of fish in there I can still see it but ill add about half as much just Incase. Thanks for the info
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