day 7 of new 56G - nitrate 20ppm - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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day 7 of new 56G - nitrate 20ppm

Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and newly setting up a 56g tank after a 20 year break. I am on day 7 of a fish cycle with 7 black widow tetras and a fairly well planted tank.

My readings for day 1 to 6 have been 0 for NH4, NO2 and NO3.
Just tested again this morning and I am zero for NH4 and NO2 but showing 20ppm for NO3.

Ph started out pre-fishat 6.8 but holding at 7.0 and GH is about 60 after adding some hardness salts, kH is 0.

Can I have advice about where I might be in the cycle please? I understand that plants can absorb NH4 so that the cycle goes faster? Otherwise I appear to have gone from 0-100 in one night? Isn't the cycle also over when NH4 and NO2 return to zero? What about when they never went up though?

and also, am planning on doing first partial water change tomorrow morning (saturday) but with nitrate at 20ppm should I do it today?

ETA my tests are working as I have also tested on a goldfish bowl where NH4 is rather high.

Last edited by Persephone; 04-25-2013 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Forgot to say
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 07:10 PM
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have you tested the cource water? might have nitrates in them - I do in mine

you have plants in there too right?
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Mitch, yes there are about 5 bunches of 6-8 stemmed plants as well as 3 small crypts in the tank.

Source water is 0 for all Ns.

Seph
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 07:17 PM
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are you adding any fert for your plants? ferts will show as nitrates
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-26-2013, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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No fert yet. Popped out at lunch time and bought specific tests for NO2 and NO3. Readings this afternoon were 1ppm nitrite and 10ppm for nitrate. Just going to keep monitoring daily now. I'll do my first partial water change tomorrow.

Seph
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-26-2013, 04:30 PM
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An initial nitrate spike of 20ppm is normal for planted tanks along with unmeasureable ammonia and possibly a 1 day very small nitrIte spike.

nitrates will drop down in about 3 weeks as the aerobic bacteria build up and start consuming the ammonia instead of the plants. Ph will also rise.

So it looks like you got a good planted "cycle" going.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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Persephone (04-26-2013)
post #7 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update about the levels in my tank.

Yesterday - Day 9
NH4 - 0
NO2 - >1ppm
N03 - 10ppm

Today - Day 10
NH4 - 0
N02 - 0
NO3 - 5ppm

I will keep testing - but does this mean I am close to cycled? How much longer do I need to wait before I can stock the tank?
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 10:04 PM
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sounds like you're getting there.

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-28-2013, 11:30 AM
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Add some (a few) fish now. The plants will take up the ammonia/ammonium.

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 #10 of 10 Old 04-28-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Happy dance!
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