High nitrogen levels?
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High nitrogen levels?

This is a discussion on High nitrogen levels? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have a cycling tank with Ammonia:4 ppm Nitrite: the purple is to redish to match any color on the chart Nitrate: 40 ppm ...

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High nitrogen levels?
Old 08-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #1
WH2O's Avatar
High nitrogen levels?

I have a cycling tank with
Ammonia:4 ppm
Nitrite: the purple is to redish to match any color on the chart
Nitrate: 40 ppm

This seems unusual to me should I worry?

Ive been using the shrimp method although I switched to fish food becasue the activated carbon seems to be losing effectiveness. I started the fish food a few days before i removed the shrimp so there can be an uninterupted flow of ammonia, could this be the cause?
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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it could and also by adding shrimp your adding more waste produce, how long has the tank been set up? has it ran its full Break In Cycle? How many Fish Total are in it, How Big Is the Aquarium, those are all important to know for the question. Try doing a 25% water change it will slow the cycle down but will keep your fish alive and kickin'
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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its a fishless cycling tank that is using the shrimp method but I switched to fish food. therefore it does not have fish in it.

the ammonia has plummeted to 4ppm to .25 ppm overnight, is this from the fish food not producing enough ammonia?
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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you might want to add just 1 small fish if you can. If you have decor also that helps and dont change the filter. when you add a fish the cycle will start and end sooner, but only 1-2 a week.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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but wouldent that kill the fish?
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:05 PM   #6
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no because the cycle doesn't actually fully start till the fish is in the water anyway. so if you add 1 fish a week (two is acceptable but if you just want to cycle it add 1) then the cycle will go through, ive added a total of 6 since my cycle started and none have passed ^^
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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Ammonia level getting to or below .25 would be fine but your nitrite levels would kill a fish in no time probably. I say stay the course, if you want add a little bit more food each time but your right in the middle of a non fish in cycle no point in changing over now with your readings so high. The reason your ammonia dropped could be because the shrimp was an extremely high ammonia source, where the food isn't nearly as high so for the amount of food you are putting in, you already have enough bacteria to handle the ammonia. That doesn't mean your tank wont cycle it just means it will cycle with less over all bacteria but will be fine if you only add a couple fish at a time once the cycle is complete.

And a correction, a cycle begins from the first start of ammonia in the water, whether that be a fish producing the ammonia or some decaying matter (food, shrimp, etc.) producing the ammonia.

But please don't add any fish, it would take at least a week of daily water changes to get your water parameters to the point where you could switch to a fish-in cycle. And I think your starting to get close to finishing the cycle so just stick with it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:29 PM   #8
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I agree, I would not add any fish with water parameters like those. Ammonia is deadly to fish, as is nitrite.

I would stay the course, keep reading your levels on a daily basis.

If you've started a fishless cycle, please keep it that way. If you were to add fish, you would need to do daily water changes(as zof pointed out). I recommend reading up on the cycling articles on the forum by batman.

I agree to continue the method you are using and keep live fish out of the equation. I also agree with a cycle begins the moment ammonia is introduced to the water. A "fishless" cycles achieves just that, a cycle without fish.

The method that Patrick is using will work, but needs almost daily water changes to keep your fish healthy. The method being used by him is known as the "fish-in" method.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:23 PM   #9
I used fish to cycle my aquarium, it took 2 months, do a fishless cycle instead, much faster and safer. I did daily water changes for the first month, then 3 changes a week for the second month, it was horrible! I jumped into the hobby too quickly, SHAME ON ME!

If you can find pure ammonia at a hardware store with no additives, that is a very easy way to complete a fishless cycle!
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