i might jus be cycled(fishless)
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i might jus be cycled(fishless)

This is a discussion on i might jus be cycled(fishless) within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I did a large wc last nite 90%...to bring my ph back up..I redosed ammonia to 2.0ppm...just tested my water this morning...ammonia...0ppm... nitrite ...0ppm.. ...

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i might jus be cycled(fishless)
Old 09-18-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
 
i might jus be cycled(fishless)

I did a large wc last nite 90%...to bring my ph back up..I redosed ammonia to 2.0ppm...just tested my water this morning...ammonia...0ppm...nitrite...0ppm..nitrate s...80ppm..now is it common to see a change like that after a large wc....i redosed ammonia back to 2.0ppm..now sit back and wait and see it is cycled..hopefully it is..
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
 
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sounds hopeful but i would say the nitrate levels are a little alarming..... try getting some plants in there and then monitor the nitrate as well.... Make sure it is OUT of the sunlight and see what the nitrates do.... at 80ppm it wouldnt be particularly fair to introduce any fish really. Going well though!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
 
You'll need more water changes to get the nitrates down....remember that the ammonia you (or ultimately, fish) add gets converted to nitrites, then converted to nitrates and water changes dilute nitrates...but as long as there's more ammonia, there will soon be more nitrates.

All said and done, you want nitrates <20ppm and preferably the lower the better.

Having 'said' all this, a well planted tank somewhat circumvents the cycle as plants will handle much of the ammonia so nitrites and nitrates are not produced. Many people with planted tanks actually add nitrogeneous elements (plant food) to nourish the plants.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
 
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With a new cycle established id be very careful not to over do the water changes because this willr educe the cycle/beneficial bacterial count in a system that is only just establishing itself..... keep the water changes to 10% and no more and add the plants, the plants will thrive in the environment that is rich in nitrogenous compounds.... and at the same time reduce the nitrates... win all round.... however for now.... dont add fish, just keep monitoring the levels.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Snappyarcher View Post
With a new cycle established id be very careful not to over do the water changes because this willr educe the cycle/beneficial bacterial count in a system that is only just establishing itself..... keep the water changes to 10% and no more and add the plants, the plants will thrive in the environment that is rich in nitrogenous compounds.... and at the same time reduce the nitrates... win all round.... however for now.... dont add fish, just keep monitoring the levels.
No, the beneficial bacteria is not in floating around the water, it attaches and populates 'hard' surfaces of filter media, substrate and decor. If this was a heavily planted tank, we would not be seeing nitrates this high.

Ammonia and nitrites are not only toxic to fish, but at higher levels, toxic to the very bacteria we need to culture. Water changes are very important to address spikes to ensure we don't inhibit beneficial bacteria development.

In this case, the nitrosomoas and nitrobacter bacteria appear to be established, but the (80ppm) nitrate levels are way too high and the only way to get these down right now is with water changes...it may take two or more 50% water changes to get nitrates down low enough to prevent a long term health risk for fish.

Based on the data, once nitrates are brought down and ammonia/nitrite conversion are stable, fish can be safely added.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by twinkey View Post
I did a large wc last nite 90%...to bring my ph back up..I redosed ammonia to 2.0ppm...just tested my water this morning...ammonia...0ppm...nitrite...0ppm..nitrate s...80ppm..now is it common to see a change like that after a large wc....i redosed ammonia back to 2.0ppm..now sit back and wait and see it is cycled..hopefully it is..

Hey Twinkey! Looks like things are going great over there! I'm a beginner, too, but one thing about the cycling process that you've probably noticed is that it's a very up and down kind of thing. First your ammonia spikes - in a fishless cycle, it's you that's adding the ammonia and causing the spike. Next, as the bacteria starts to form, you probably saw your nitrItes spike, and as those bacteria took care of the ammonia and dropped the ammonia levels back down again. . . the third and final phase of the nitrogen cycle as we can see it seems to be where you are right now - the nitrAte spike. As your nitrates took care of the nitrIte, they flourished. At 80 ppm, my guess is that you're at the peak of this third spike, and it will start to fall back now.

One thing to note - YOUR CYCLE IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOU HAVE A STABLE READING FOR NITRATE! It's supposed to be there, though nitrIte and ammonia should rest at 0. It is odd for nitrate to go from 0 - 80 after such a high water change, and I suspect that the test may have been done incorrectly (its easy to do!!!) Make sure you shake the heck out of your #2 nitrate bottle, and test your TAP water to make sure that it isn't showing nitrates. If it isn't, just chalk it up to a mistake, and continue testing as you have been

You aren't quite ready to add fish yet, but you should be close. Keep your ammonia steady at 2.0, and continue monitoring until the nitrate levels drop down and stabilize. The nitrAtes usually seem to stabilize somewhere around 20ppm, but this number varies depending on a number of factors, and with ammonia being dosed at only 2ppm, it may be lower for you. When the Nitrate seems to have found it's spot, do a 50% water change, dose the ammonia back up again, and monitor things to make sure that you are back at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and whatever your 'normal' nitrate level is within a 24 hour time period. Then one last water change, and you're ready to add fish!

I DO recommend adding plants, but not until AFTER your cycle has completed, and you've done the necessary research to ensure that you have the proper lighting and ferts for them to thrive. At this point they'd only be confusing things by taking in the ammonia that you're using for cycling as nutrients, and they could be harmed by the ammonia being added at high levels to the tank.

Again, I'm not nearly an expert, just cycled a few tanks over the last several months! I hope this helps - good luck to you!
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
No, the beneficial bacteria is not in floating around the water, it attaches and populates 'hard' surfaces of filter media, substrate and decor. If this was a heavily planted tank, we would not be seeing nitrates this high.

Ammonia and nitrites are not only toxic to fish, but at higher levels, toxic to the very bacteria we need to culture. Water changes are very important to address spikes to ensure we don't inhibit beneficial bacteria development.

In this case, the nitrosomoas and nitrobacter bacteria appear to be established, but the (80ppm) nitrate levels are way too high and the only way to get these down right now is with water changes...it may take two or more 50% water changes to get nitrates down low enough to prevent a long term health risk for fish.

Based on the data, once nitrates are brought down and ammonia/nitrite conversion are stable, fish can be safely added.
Of course I realise the bacteria are not floating around in the water, however the water changes DO have and effect of reducing the bacterial count in the tank due to disruption. It is far better to do several more 10% water changes than to risk disrupting the bacteria from the hard surfaces and then damaging the already still tenuous biological system.
And yes if the tank was more planted the nitrate problem would be much less, however that's the very reason why I said to plant the tank and keep monitoring the levels.
I also agree about the toxicity of the ammonia and the nitrite to the bacteria we want however as is said in the original post the ammonia and nitrite are not the problem its the nitrate that is.... nitrate while not pathogenic to fish is not a pleasant environmental factor for the fish to have to endure which is why i said don't introduce fish until the nitrate NO3 level is reduced.
On another note and for information its now known that another species of nitrifying bacteria from the phylum nitrospira are also responsible for nitrogen fixation. this was discovered in 1986 by Watson et al.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
 
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Of course I realise the bacteria are not floating around in the water, however the water changes DO have and effect of reducing the bacterial count in the tank due to disruption. It is far better to do several more 10% water changes than to risk disrupting the bacteria from the hard surfaces and then damaging the already still tenuous biological system.
And yes if the tank was more planted the nitrate problem would be much less, however that's the very reason why I said to plant the tank and keep monitoring the levels.
I also agree about the toxicity of the ammonia and the nitrite to the bacteria we want however as is said in the original post the ammonia and nitrite are not the problem its the nitrate that is.... nitrate while not pathogenic to fish is not a pleasant environmental factor for the fish to have to endure which is why i said don't introduce fish until the nitrate NO3 level is reduced.
On another note and for information its now known that another species of nitrifying bacteria from the phylum nitrospira are also responsible for nitrogen fixation. this was discovered in 1986 by Watson et al.
You are suggesting 10 or more 10% water changes to get nitrates from 80ppm down to acceptable levels. A 10% water change does not result in a 10% reduction in nitrates. I feel that one or two 50% water changes just makes more sense as there is no beneficial bacteria disruption with a 50% water change....many here do it every week.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
 
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You are suggesting 10 or more 10% water changes to get nitrates from 80ppm down to acceptable levels. A 10% water change does not result in a 10% reduction in nitrates. I feel that one or two 50% water changes just makes more sense as there is no beneficial bacteria disruption with a 50% water change....many here do it every week.
Of course there is beneficial bacterial disruption with 50% changes, and those who do it regularly are generally doing it with a full established bacterial colony, not a colony that is still building and is evidently still not complete.The disruption to the bacterial filter is one of the reasons we us the bacterial filter solution when we do water changes! No I agree a 10% water change does not necessarily mean a 10% reduction in nitrates but it does mean a gradual reduction over a period of a week while only disrupting a new bacterial culture minimally..... Not necessarily even a week because remember there will be a developing culture of bacteria which will be helping as well.

In situations relating to biotopes i have always found the more gentle and, at times long winded, approach is more productive in the long term.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
 
ok..came home did a water test...ammonia was at 0ppm and my nitrite was at 2.0ppm..i redosed ammonia back to 2.0ppm..was was my nitrite back up...if it was at 0ppm this morning
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