Help with Water Numbers
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Help with Water Numbers

Help with Water Numbers

This is a discussion on Help with Water Numbers within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Ok finally broke down and bought a reputable test kit. Those test strips are too dang hard to get an accurate reading. 29gal tank ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Diamond Tetra
Diamond Tetra
Angelicus Loach
Angelicus Loach
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Help with Water Numbers
Old 08-03-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
 
Help with Water Numbers

Ok finally broke down and bought a reputable test kit. Those test strips are too dang hard to get an accurate reading.

29gal tank that is 17 days running. Added 5 bloodfin tetras and an angel fish on day 3. Angelfish died from stress when I was moving the tank from one part of the room to the other. Then one tetra died do to who knows what. Fast forward to day 12, I added 3 baby blue dwarf gouramis and a small variety pleco. Everyone has been getting along great and no fish are showing any signs of stress or being sick.

Test results from this evening:

Temp. 78F
pH 7.5
Ammonia .25ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0


Not sure what these numbers totally mean.....I realize we want Ammonia and Nitrite to read zero in the end. Does this mean some ammonia is breaking down already or it just hasn't built up to a unhealthy level? I'll wait 2 days and test the ammonia level again.

ETA: Oh other questions...during the first cycling period, should I leave my light on a majority of the day? Do I need to do a water change right now? Should I not rinse off my Aqueon filter until we have an established cycle?

Last edited by dhutch; 08-03-2011 at 09:39 PM..
dhutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
 
BarbH's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutch View Post
Ok finally broke down and bought a reputable test kit. Those test strips are too dang hard to get an accurate reading.

29gal tank that is 17 days running. Added 5 bloodfin tetras and an angel fish on day 3. Angelfish died from stress when I was moving the tank from one part of the room to the other. Then one tetra died do to who knows what. Fast forward to day 12, I added 3 baby blue dwarf gouramis and a small variety pleco. Everyone has been getting along great and no fish are showing any signs of stress or being sick.

Test results from this evening:

Temp. 78F
pH 7.5
Ammonia .25ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0


Not sure what these numbers totally mean.....I realize we want Ammonia and Nitrite to read zero in the end. Does this mean some ammonia is breaking down already or it just hasn't built up to a unhealthy level? I'll wait 2 days and test the ammonia level again.

ETA: Oh other questions...during the first cycling period, should I leave my light on a majority of the day? Do I need to do a water change right now? Should I not rinse off my Aqueon filter until we have an established cycle?
What the numbers you have mean is that your tank is still cycling. During the cycling process you will see a rise in ammonia which will drop and then a rise in nitrites which will drop with a reading of nitrates. During the cycling process I would suggest testing your water daily to help you determine when to do water changes. At ammonia at .25 ppm I would do a 30% water change. Also if you have enough live plants in the tank they will help in using up the ammonia and nitrites produced by the fish. I would leave the filter alone unless it is filled with enough gunk that is keeping it from working properly. If you do rinse off the filter make sure to do so in water from the tank, you want to make sure that you do not use tap water. For light schedule I would run the lights for the amount of time that you are planning on running them for long term. If you have live plants in the tank they will determine how long you have your lights on for. The big thing is that you want to set up a cycle of day and night for the fish in the tank, and want to keep that consistent so that you do not stress the fish with constant changing. This is when a timer is helpful that you can set for the lights to run for a certain time each day. If you have not read this article on the cycling process, I would suggest that you do so, it will help you to understand more of the process that is going on in your tank http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/
BarbH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Barb has set you on the right course with your issues. Ammonia and nitrite are both highly toxic to fish at very small levels, so monitor daily and do a water change as needed. A conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite is also a good investment at the beginning; Prime (made by Seachem) and Ultimate [can't remember the manufacturer] are two that do.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
 
Okay update.....I retested my ammonia last night to make sure I was reading the card right and it was actually 1.0ppm, REALLY high obviously. I did a water change of 8gallons last night and went to bed. I retested today after I got home from work and it was still around .75-1ppm so I did a 33% water change (10gallons out of a 29gal tank) and let the new water circulate for about an hour and a half. Retested after that and it was reading .25ppm. MUCH lower than where it started yesterday, but still high. I suppose tomorrow I'll do another 10gal change so I don't freak the fish out too much.

Currently I have no live plants in the tank. Do you think adding 2 live plants would help kick start the consumption of ammonia to be turned into nitrites? Currently I only have 2" of medium sized rock as substrate. I was thinking of adding another 2" of some sort of substrate that is healthy for plants below the rock. Comments?!
dhutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 10:22 PM   #5
 
BarbH's Avatar
 
Another thing that would be good if you have not done so already is to check your tap water for ammonia and nitrites. Some people do have this present in their tap water. If you do find that you have either in your tap water you can use a water conditioner like prime from seachem which will convert the ammonia and nitrites into a form that is not harmful to your fish.
BarbH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Yes, check your tap water, though as ammonia is decreasing with each water change it is likely from the tank cycling. But still wise to know.

Yes, add plants. They will quicken the cycle and if you have enough prevent any problems.

As for the substrate, 2-3 inches is normally good depth, but the size of the gravel is important. If it is too large, not only will plant roots have trouble, but the biology will too. Waste from the fish needs to be able to settle in the substrate so bacteria can break it down. If the substrate is too large a particle size, too much chunky food can get trapped and it is difficult for bacteria to break this down. With smaller grain gravel, the waste gets broken down more on the surface--fish eating it, snails etc. So the bacteria can more easily handle it.

If you are going to add smaller gravel under what you have, it would be prudent to consider replacing the substrate completely. Depending what it is, this can be better. The substrate is the most difficult part of setting up a new tank, because once set up the substrate is the most difficult to change, so make sure you have what you want--and what will work best--before you go further.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
 
Nubster's Avatar
 
If you have friends with tanks or a local fish store, see if you can get a scoop or two of their gravel from an established tank. That will add the bacteria you need. You added fish way to soon IMO unless there is more to the story. Unless you have enough plants and/or seed material in the tank, I don't think you should add fish until the cycle is over, not before it even started.
Nubster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
 
Byron's Avatar
 
I am not a fan of using gravel from someone else's tank, and especially a store's. All sorts of unwanted pathogens can be introduced.

With live plants you will not have a cylce, just don't add too many fish.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #9
 
Nubster's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I am not a fan of using gravel from someone else's tank, and especially a store's. All sorts of unwanted pathogens can be introduced.
That's true but at the same time...it's not good to expose fish to ammonia levels of 1ppm. The seed gravel would take care of that quickly. I don't how fast plants will take care of the ammonia or how many plants are needed. I was just thinking along the lines of a quick fix even though it comes with some risk.
Nubster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
That's true but at the same time...it's not good to expose fish to ammonia levels of 1ppm. The seed gravel would take care of that quickly. I don't how fast plants will take care of the ammonia or how many plants are needed. I was just thinking along the lines of a quick fix even though it comes with some risk.
I completely agree on the ammonia level harm. Daily 50% water changes are better to deal with this, along with live plants. "Seeding" a tank by any method is still time-comsuming, the bacteria need time to multiply. If interested, you can read more in my article on bacteria:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

The benefit of plants cannot be understated. Provided there are enough to handle the fish.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Barbs in odd numbers saint fu Cyprinids and Atherinids 8 08-03-2011 05:01 PM
l numbers jb92 Catfish 2 10-13-2007 02:33 AM
Water Changes, By The Numbers fish_4_all Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 4 09-23-2007 11:09 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:26 PM.