My Chemistry Readings - Your thoghts plz - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 16 Old 10-05-2011, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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My Chemistry Readings - Your thoghts plz

Would like your comments on my water chemistry during my fishless cycle.

29 Gallon Freshwater with 5 plants (Anubias, Moneywort, Watersprite).

I started the cycle on September 15, 2011 but did not take readings until Sept 20th.

I'm using the API freshwater liquid test kit and have had no problem determing my ammonia and nitrate levels and feel the numbers are accurate. However I have had a very difficult time guaging my nitrite levels, the purple comparasion's on the test strip are so close to me it's almost impossible to tell the difference in the color of 2.0 vs 5.0...

I'm also not understanding the ph reading: when I do a normal ph test I'm at 7.6... When I test for the High PH I'm at 7.4 - I don't understand that...

So anyway, I would appreciate your anaylsis of my numbers and your thoughts on where I stand in the cycle process and any suggestions on what I need to do - I'm still very patient....

Thanks!


Sept 20 - 7.8 -

SEPTPHAMMONIANITRITESNITRATESTEMP207.80.50.00.078 F21




22
0.580 F237.80.50.00.078 F247.81.00.00.078 F257.84.00.00.078 F267.84.00.00.079 F277.84.00.00.076 F28




29
4.0

76 F30
4.0

77 FOct127.83.02.02.077 F31.02.05.078 F47.40.252.02.077 F57.40.252.02.077 F

Last edited by Tracy Bird; 10-05-2011 at 07:49 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-05-2011, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Embedding numbers did not work - see my aquarium log!
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-05-2011, 09:31 PM
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PH.. 7.4 or 7.6 isn't gonna make a huge difference. Call it 7.5 and move on. Continue to check it though as this can change as your tank estabslishes itself. You need to do a check of your tap water as well for everything btw.

As to your Nitrite readings.. if it's not clear, it's not good. Dont add fish until it is. It helps to have a good light above you and hold the vial right against the white box on the paper.

I'm not understanding your Nitrate reading of 2? It goes up in 5's doesn't it?
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-06-2011, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
I'm not understanding your Nitrate reading of 2? It goes up in 5's doesn't it?
I have only seen the Nitrate in the 5.0's on one occasion.

Thank you for taking the time to review my parameters and provide your thoughts.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-06-2011, 07:55 AM
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I'm also not understanding the ph reading: when I do a normal ph test I'm at 7.6... When I test for the High PH I'm at 7.4 - I don't understand that...
i have a similar problem, i think it comes from being at the ends of each range. i agree with layaden, call it 7.5 and move on. that small of a difference is pretty much irrelevant. as long as it reads the same each time it should be fine. fluctuations in pH are a much bigger problem.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-06-2011, 11:52 AM
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Stick to one pH test kit. Find out the pH of your tap water from the water supply folks and use the kit that corresponds. This will ensure better accuracy.

On the cycling, as you have live plants, I would not bother with fishless cycling. The plants will handle ammonia from a few fish from day one. I don't know what ammonia source you are using, but I would do major water changes to remove it and then add a few fish. As long as the plants are growing, esp something as fast as Water Sprite, you will have no problems with cycling. And you will not see ammonia or nitrite (in tests) due to the plants assimilating the ammonia.

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 #7 of 16 Old 10-06-2011, 08:30 PM
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Byron, is there a formula for how many plants to add for this method?

I ask because, even though I had plants in my 55g and seeded it, I did have a small nitrite spike (5ppm) a few days in. I never saw any ammonia. At the time, I had 9 Vallisneria americana, 1 Vallisneria spiralis, and about a 6"x12" patch of Pistia stratiotes. I added 7 Bloodfin tetras, about 1/2" to 1" each. It wasn't a problem, just two water changes and I was seeing nitrates in 5 days. The nitrates have always at or under 5 ppm. Easy peasy.

BUT... Since I'm starting up another tank soonish, I wanted to know how I could avoid any spike at all, which would be better for me and better for the fishies. I understand that the type of plant is a factor, but any advice for (me and) the original poster about how many plants per gallon/per fish?
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-07-2011, 09:45 AM
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Oops, meant to say that the nitrite spike was 0.5 ppm! Decimal points are important!
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-07-2011, 12:25 PM
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I would not worry about it. Other threads have mentioned this, it may be that the test is slightly inaccurate [aquarium test kits are not scientific accuracy level of course]. I don't even bother testing for ammonia and nitrite, haven't for years, and I have set up many new tanks. As long as there are lots of plants and some are fast growing (those you mention are), and few fish; esp with some seeding.

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 10-10-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
On the cycling, as you have live plants, I would not bother with fishless cycling. The plants will handle ammonia from a few fish from day one. I don't know what ammonia source you are using, but I would do major water changes to remove it and then add a few fish. As long as the plants are growing, esp something as fast as Water Sprite, you will have no problems with cycling. And you will not see ammonia or nitrite (in tests) due to the plants assimilating the ammonia.

Byron.

I'm very confused by this information, but I very much trust the source...

Aren't my trites and trates too strong to add fish?

Or are you suggesting a water change to remove the trites/trates?

It was my understanding you should not conduct water changes on fishless cycles and wait until Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are at 0.0 before adding fish. By doing so it's an indication that the bacteria system is fully in place and is established.

No real changes to my parameters but I'm patient as I understand the trites/trates can take longer to drop than the ammonia.

Thank you - TB
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