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I need help cycling my 10G tank!

This is a discussion on I need help cycling my 10G tank! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> No no no, you're tank more likly then not IS cycled. But because you have AMMONIA in your tap, which the Amquel detoxifies into ...

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I need help cycling my 10G tank!
Old 01-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #11
 
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No no no, you're tank more likly then not IS cycled. But because you have AMMONIA in your tap, which the Amquel detoxifies into Ammonium, you WILL always get a reading (unfortunately the liquid tests can not separate ammonia & ammonium).

I'd pers not do the whole tub hassle. I'd fill buckets the night prior to when you wanna do your w/c incl the Amquel conditioner, let it sit, use next day. As I said this will detoxify the ammonia into ammonium which is far less toxic to fish.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:26 PM   #12
 
So even if I don't have any nitrate readings, it's cycled? And, again, if it IS then why aren't the bacteria lowering the ammonia after a day? And why if I don't change the water the ammoina seems to go up?
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #13
 
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So you've read your NO's every single day since you set this up and NEVER seen a NO reading at all? And do you or do you not have live plants in there (as they'll absorb NOs to a certain extent).

The beneficial bacteria are not going to be able to magically "eat up" the ammonia that comes from your tap water.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:22 PM   #14
 
Well, when I bought my first test kit it was the strips. I did read nitrates then, ammonia-yes, nitrites-never. But it was a week after I set it up and those were the results. When I switched to liquid tests I started testing all three but never got a nitrite reading, so after a week-week1/2 I stopped testing nitrates figuring if I didn't have nitrites yet there coudln't be nitrates then.

No, no plants at all. Should I get some real plants?

I guess that I misunderstood the purpose of the ben. bact. then. I thought they converted ammonia to nitrites so I figured if there was any ammonia in the tank that that's what would happen. I could do the bucket-the-night-before method to change the water and see where that takes me.

Thanks for being patient--especially when I'm not! :)
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:58 PM   #15
 
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I'm honestly sure your tank is cycled

Yes adding live plants is beneficial on some many levels, natural to the fish, helping you out maintaining a good water quality (plants act like lil bio filters if you will) and on top makes your tank look pretty
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:30 PM   #16
 
Thanks, Angel, for all your help! And everyone else, too! :)

I just wanted to let you know that I did a 99% water change. I couldn't get over the green water. I put the fish in a bowl with orignal tank water and the filter. I siphoned the water out without disturbing the gravel. Then I put in the same temp water, added AmQuel+ and AquaSafe, started the filter back up and let it cycle for 15 minutes. Then I added the filter back in and netted the fish in. They went back to what they had been doing before (betta-swimming back and forth on the back wall and the cory started eating a pellet from earlier right away). I have to say it looks CLEARER but the water still has a yellow tinge to it. Our tub water looks the sameI guess I won't ever have pristine water! :(
I then tested the water to see what the original readings were:
ammonia-.25-.5 (couldn't tell)
nit-0
nitrates-2ppm? I estimated as it looked slightly darker than the first color but not as dark as the second which is5.
Maybe tommorrow we can get more cories?
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:46 PM   #17
 
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Sounds to me like your tank is still in the process of cycling. That's a pretty low nitrate reading and the presence of ammonia before doing the water change (from a source that contains ammonia, right?) suggests that there still aren't enough bacteria in the tank to process the ammonia that's being added to it by your fish.

Yes, beneficial bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. The problem is that in a cycled tank, your fish are going to steadily supply small amounts of ammonia to the tank, which your bacteria can quickly process. If you do a 50% water change with water that's 1ppm ammonia, you're upping the ammonia concentration to 0.5ppm instantly. That's a lot more ammonia at once than your fish would give off on their own and is going to be more than your bacteria can process in a reasonable amount of time, meaning that until it is processed, your fish are going to be living in mildly toxic water every time you do a water change. This is the reason you need a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. More than likely the detoxified ammonia will still show up on your test kit, but it is still able to be processed by your bacteria so you should be safe.

Long story short: I think you should wait until you've got a solid nitrate reading and an ammonia level that consistently shows up on test results as zero, excepting maybe 12 hours (perhaps less) after each water change during which time you'll have ammonia present (though detoxified via water conditioner) that's been added from your tap. I realize this is confusing but honestly, having a high ammonia reading from the tap complicates the cycling process to a degree.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:37 AM   #18
 
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[quote=iamntbatman;313716]Sounds to me like your tank is still in the process of cycling. That's a pretty low nitrate reading and the presence of ammonia before doing the water change (from a source that contains ammonia, right?) suggests that there still aren't enough bacteria in the tank to process the ammonia that's being added to it by your fish.

Yes, beneficial bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. The problem is that in a cycled tank, your fish are going to steadily supply small amounts of ammonia to the tank, which your bacteria can quickly process. If you do a 50% water change with water that's 1ppm ammonia, you're upping the ammonia concentration to 0.5ppm instantly. That's a lot more ammonia at once than your fish would give off on their own and is going to be more than your bacteria can process in a reasonable amount of time, meaning that until it is processed, your fish are going to be living in mildly toxic water every time you do a water change. This is the reason you need a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. More than likely the detoxified ammonia will still show up on your test kit, but it is still able to be processed by your bacteria so you should be safe.

Long story short: I think you should wait until you've got a solid nitrate reading and an ammonia level that consistently shows up on test results as zero, excepting maybe 12 hours (perhaps less) after each water change during which time you'll have ammonia present (though detoxified via water conditioner) that's been added from your tap. I realize this is confusing but honestly, having a high ammonia reading from the tap complicates the cycling process to a degree.[/quo


I agree.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:38 AM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzarr View Post
Well, when I bought my first test kit it was the strips. I did read nitrates then, ammonia-yes, nitrites-never. But it was a week after I set it up and those were the results. When I switched to liquid tests I started testing all three but never got a nitrite reading, so after a week-week1/2 I stopped testing nitrates figuring if I didn't have nitrites yet there coudln't be nitrates then.

No, no plants at all. Should I get some real plants?

I guess that I misunderstood the purpose of the ben. bact. then. I thought they converted ammonia to nitrites so I figured if there was any ammonia in the tank that that's what would happen. I could do the bucket-the-night-before method to change the water and see where that takes me.

Thanks for being patient--especially when I'm not! :)
Do try this. Five gal bucket treated with AMQUEL+ may still show ammonia but the ammonia measured ,will be less toxic ammonium. If after using this water in the aquarium you still record ammonia levels increasing,, you can be sure that the bacteria present is not able to process the waste from fish food and or poop quite yet.
Is also reason For tub suggestion. Filter on tub will only have to process the ammonia from the tap without added ammonia produced by fish and fish waste.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:17 AM   #20
 
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I might also were it me, So long as I was using the AMQUEL+ consider as mentioned,, that ammonia I am measuring could be false positive reading. By that I mean the ammonia measured could very well be harmless ammonium which is end result of effects of dechlorinators such as AMQUEL + and PRIME
as I mentioned earlier. I would put more stock in the nitrite test than ammonia for if ammonia levels are increasing after twelve hours,then so too should nitrite levels increase. Fish will alert you to elevated ammonia an nitrites by flashing,swimming erratically,laying on the bottom of the tank, and or gasping at the surface. If nitrite levels are remaining at zero after twelve hours,and fish are not exhibiting above mentioned behaivor, then I would be comfortable that the ammonia is being processed.
would also consider that many filters rated for these smaller tanks don't have large surface area for bacteria to colonize upon. I would add a small sponge filter to the tank in addition to filter now in operation. While sponge filters may not provide as much mechanical filtration as floss or cartridges,they do provide large surface area for bacteria to colonize on.
I have re-read this thread several times and believe your tank is very nearly (cycled) and as mentioned.,, I am not certain that ammonia test results are what I would rely on unless,,,, the ammonia levels continue to rise after twelve hours along with bump in nitrites as well.
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