Fish tank cycle - I don't want to do the same mistake again :( - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 08:44 PM
Actually, high nitrAtes CAN be a major issue. There is still being a lot of research to figure out exactly how nitrates effect fish in the aquaria, as in the wild, nitrates dont exist, and if so very low.

What research that has been done, has shown that extremely high nitrates is a major cause in stunted growth and other deformaties in fish in aquaria.

At the moment it is thought that Nitrate levels thought to be safe in general are any levels under 50ppm, however, 25 ppm and under is recommended, as we still arent sure of the ill effects of nitrates on aquaria fish.

As far as plants in a cycle, its up to you, I have heard a bunch of people who use the more common and beginner plants in their cycle with no issues. Having a large consentration of plants actually makes your cycle less dramatic (you still need a source of ammonia, such as raw shrimp), however, a heavily planted tank can speed up the cycle, and in some cases, if planted heavily enough (including some stem plants) near like 80%, then you could probably even add a few hardy fish and not have many issues at all with cycling. There are other threads and posts here on TFK that go in detail of this that are from more experienced in the industry regarding heavy planting, cycles, and fish.

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Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
My ammonia is 0 today, but my nitrates were 80. I took out 15 gal and my nitrates were at 40. So tomorrow I plan on doing another WC and hoping to get that down, so I can put fish in. I think even 40 is too high. My other fish seem to begin to stress when nitrates hit 40 in my other tank.

Do you agree I should get that down before adding fish?

Gwen
I think you should test your nitrItes

The nitrAtes are up to you. I test once in a blue moon. No way 40ppm stresses fish except the most sensitive ones. Ammonia and nitrite do not spike at the same time, so if you watch only your ammonia spike you are risking adding fish during a nitrite spike. That is the problem here. You seem to think nitrites and ammonia will be the same but they won't. Simply getting nitrates does not mean a cycle is finished. The normal way to tell if a tank is fully cycled is it processes 4ppm of Ammonia to 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrites in 24 hours. Anything less and your not able to fully stock. From what you have said it does not sound like your tank is anywhere near cycled.

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post #13 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 09:09 PM
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ive ahd my tank set up for about a month (maybe a little longer) and about 2 weeks ago i lost 4 fish in 2 days, so i took a sample of my water to have tested, my ph was good but my ammonia was REALLY bad so they told me to come home do a water change and add 3 cap fulls a day of prime ao i did and a week later i took a sample back in and the ammonia was getting better and i was to comtinue doin what i was well a week later i did the same thing, my ammonia was better (not at 0 though) but my ph dropped to 6.0. well i put hp up in it. well i just cant get the ammonia to go away and now my water is cloudy. ive only been feeding them once a day, a little at a time. i was gonna clean the rocks but the pet shop told me not to. what should i do from here? i have platties, swordtails, molly, betta, barbs and a few other kinds in my tank. i havent had anymore die on me though.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids View Post
Actually, high nitrAtes CAN be a major issue. There is still being a lot of research to figure out exactly how nitrates effect fish in the aquaria, as in the wild, nitrates dont exist, and if so very low.
Not saying I know the nitrates in our fishes native waters, I just don't really think nitrates are absent in the wild. I know they are present in my local streams, I know the amazon is not my local stream. Still both are gonna get a lot of run off. Plants tend to be scarce in rivers too.

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post #15 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shad99ow View Post
ive ahd my tank set up for about a month (maybe a little longer) and about 2 weeks ago i lost 4 fish in 2 days, so i took a sample of my water to have tested, my ph was good but my ammonia was REALLY bad so they told me to come home do a water change and add 3 cap fulls a day of prime ao i did and a week later i took a sample back in and the ammonia was getting better and i was to comtinue doin what i was well a week later i did the same thing, my ammonia was better (not at 0 though) but my ph dropped to 6.0. well i put hp up in it. well i just cant get the ammonia to go away and now my water is cloudy. ive only been feeding them once a day, a little at a time. i was gonna clean the rocks but the pet shop told me not to. what should i do from here? i have platties, swordtails, molly, betta, barbs and a few other kinds in my tank. i havent had anymore die on me though.
welcome to TFK. Your tank is in the middle of a fish-in cycle. You should really buy a API master test kit. Test ammonia and nitrite two times a day. Ammonia should be kept below 0.5ppm Nitrite below 0.25ppm. Its likely that you should be doing daily water changes.

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post #16 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 09:48 PM
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I'll be the first to say the cycling process if confusing. Experience is key. I've never tested for nitrites, and have never lost one fish. I always pay attention to keeping ammonia at 0 and nitrates as low as possible.

I do think my tank has cycled because I was doing "fishless" cycle and continued to feed the tank "fish food" (after I pulled the raw shrimp out) when my ammonia was very high, and waited till my ammonia got to 0 and did a WC and I'm still working on getting nitrates down before I add fish. I feel confident that once I get my nitrates down to 20-40max, the fish will be fine. I'll let you know if I'm wrong

Saw some fish today I do want, and hopefully will be getting them this weekend. They will go in what is soon to be my QT tank, and my dwarf rainbows will go in the new tank.

Gwen

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post #17 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 10:27 PM
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i have a test kit for ammonia and ph. I was told not to change the water. will this hurt anything and how much should i change?
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post

I'll be the first to say the cycling process if confusing. Experience is key. I've never tested for nitrites, and have never lost one fish. I always pay attention to keeping ammonia at 0 and nitrates as low as possible.

I do think my tank has cycled because I was doing "fishless" cycle and continued to feed the tank "fish food" (after I pulled the raw shrimp out) when my ammonia was very high, and waited till my ammonia got to 0 and did a WC and I'm still working on getting nitrates down before I add fish. I feel confident that once I get my nitrates down to 20-40max, the fish will be fine. I'll let you know if I'm wrong

Saw some fish today I do want, and hopefully will be getting them this weekend. They will go in what is soon to be my QT tank, and my dwarf rainbows will go in the new tank.

Gwen
All I can say is good luck, because IMO you will need it. A fishless cycle generally takes a month to complete not 8 days. Not loosing any fish ever is luck for one thing. Nitrite is the most harmful part of the cycling process to fish. It would make more sense to me if you tested only ammonia and nitrite then ignored nitrates =/. I can tell you I haven't tested a single thing is 2 months, but it means nothing. If nitrite is present fish stand a poor chance. Even if they live through it initially the consequences will catch up eventually. I'm just saying I see a disaster coming. Below is a graph of a tank cycle. There is rarely a deviation from these basic lines. I don't know what you intend to stock the tank with, but your starting point for ammonia was way too low and from the sound of it you only added it once. Tank needs to process 4ppm in 24 hours to be cycled. That is a fishless cycle....


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post #19 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 10:53 PM
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i have a test kit for ammonia and ph. I was told not to change the water. will this hurt anything and how much should i change?
You need liquid test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH ideally. The API is the most widely used test kit and comes with all of these. I suggest making a your own thread for your tank and post current readings of pH and ammonia. Also include the pH of your tap water. Then we can suggest on a water change.

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