fishless cycle problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-16-2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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fishless cycle problem

We been doing a fishless cycle for about 3-4 weeks now. We kept the ammonia around 5 for two weeks until the nitrites appeared and shot up 5.

keep adding ammonia to keep it up at that level until a few days ago it became harder to keep at that level. Nitrates appeared too and climbed up.

The last couple of days the ammonia and nitrites have remained around .25-.50 when we check it. When we add ammonia it rises alittle then drops back down, but doesn't disappear completely. I checked the nitrates and they've been staying around 5-10.

Haven't gone up. However I noticed that ph has gone from 8 to 7.5 within the last week and has now dropped down to about 6.8.

I read that doing a water change could help to get the ph back up, but I'm not sure were doing everything correctly.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:30 AM
It sounds to me like your ammonia peaked which is why you have nitrites. Good bacteria has developed and is using up the ammonia. Since that happened it will become hard to keep the ammonia level up and you don't really need to anymore anyway. You should be able to stop adding ammonia now. If I were you I would just let the tank sit until everything goes down to 0 then perform a water change. Let it sit for a few more days and monitor the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph just to make sure nothing changes quickly again. If it doesn't do another water change and you could add a couple fish.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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It sounds to me like your ammonia peaked which is why you have nitrites. Good bacteria has developed and is using up the ammonia. Since that happened it will become hard to keep the ammonia level up and you don't really need to anymore anyway. You should be able to stop adding ammonia now. If I were you I would just let the tank sit until everything goes down to 0 then perform a water change. Let it sit for a few more days and monitor the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph just to make sure nothing changes quickly again. If it doesn't do another water change and you could add a couple fish.
Thanks for advice! I didn't add anymore yesterday, I wanted to wait and see if nitrites and ammonia went down to 0. Ill check later after work.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I did about a 25 percent water change after nitrites and ammonia were about at zero (less than .25ppm) and interestingly the nitrites spiked up to around 1-2 a few hours after the water change.

Ammonia levels went up slightly... about .25 - .50.

Nitrates stayed around 10-20.

Ph went from 6.6 to 7.6. That I expected since that's about where the tap water is at. We added a couple plants a few days ago and driftwood about a week ago, so I expect the Ph will go down.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 09:47 AM
That's good sounds like it's nearing the end of the cycle. I'd keep testing every few days and just watch how it goes. What fish are looking to add to the tank?
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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That's good sounds like it's nearing the end of the cycle. I'd keep testing every few days and just watch how it goes. What fish are looking to add to the tank?
We're thinking of starting with tiger barbs and add a bn pelco a little later.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 03:16 PM
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I would add some fish now. Without a continual addition of ammonia, the nitrifying bacteria that is there will shut down and then start to die off. They must be "fed" and as you have live plants (which consume a great deal of ammonia/ammonium anyway) I would add a few fish.

You mentioned Tiger Barb, they will manage. Many fish will not manage with them however, you may know this but I like to mention it just in case. A tank of Tiger Barbs is a lovely site.

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 #8 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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My wife checked it this morning, she said the ammonia was about .25 nirites were about .50 and nirates were at about 5
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 03:39 PM
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My wife checked it this morning, she said the ammonia was about .25 nirites were about .50 and nirates were at about 5
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That's still high for nitrites. You mentioned plants, how many and what type? And what size is the tank so I can calculate?

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 16 Old 04-18-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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One small crypt and a good size java fern (about 10 inches tall) tank is a 26 gallon
Edit: those readings were taken about 6 hours ago as of this posting
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Last edited by jcgallaher; 04-18-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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