My Chemistry Readings - Your thoghts plz - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracy Bird View Post
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
There are two rather different methods of "cycling" a new tank. First with plants.

Live plants need nitrogen, and aquatic plants prefer ammonium as their source of nitrogen. Fish and bacteria [different bacteria from the nitrifying bacteria] produce ammonia, and live plants grab it fast. In acidic water the ammonia changes to ammonium automatically, and in basic water plants have the ability to change ammonia to ammonium. They use a lot of it. In a new setup with sufficient plants and some reasonably fast-growing plants [fast growth means more ammonia is needed and assimilated] and just a few fish, the plants will easily assimilate the ammonia from the fish (and later the bacteria too). As there is no secondary phase here, i.e., no nitrite is being produced when the ammonia/ammonium is taken up by the plants, there is basically no "cycle" issue.

Now, some ammonia will still get taken up by nitrosomonas bacteria, but it will be very little by comparison. And our test kits will normally not detect ammonia or nitrite in a well-planted tank. Thus, there is no harm to the fish. That's how it works normally. I have set up dozen of new tanks, always with live plants, and never had cycling issues and I add fish on day one.

Now to your case: As you have been adding ammonia to the tank, I would do water changes to get rid of it. Once it is zero, I would add a few small fish. The plants will assimilate the ammonia/ammonium from the fish.

Without live plants, one must deal with rising ammonia and then nitrites, both of which are toxic to fish (and plants for that matter). You can read more on this in my article on bacteria:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

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 #12 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Just for clarification, the only ammonia I have added was that created by adding fish food.....

Several days after adding the food I had an ammonia spike, then nitrites and nitrates.

The ammonia dropped very fast, understanding your information probably as a result of the plants and some bacteria form.

I am adding fish food daily, but the ammonia has not increased and remained at .25, my nitrites and nitrates have also remained the same since the ammonia spike.

I have added a number of plants through the process and have been amazed at their growth which I hope continues.

Thanks for the speedy reply....
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post #13 of 16 Old 10-11-2011, 07:57 AM
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nitrates won't become 0 unless you have a good number of plants. trates are the end product.

**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 #14 of 16 Old 10-11-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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nitrates won't become 0 unless you have a good number of plants. trates are the end product.

So in theory as the cycle completes, Nitrates will go up and Nitrites will go down - correct?

I have heavy Nitrites but rather low Nitrates (see my aqaurium log for the measurements) so I use the readings to surmise that the process of cycling is still not complete - correct?

Sorry. doing my best to understand the cycle which I think is fascinating......
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post #15 of 16 Old 10-11-2011, 08:56 AM
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So in theory as the cycle completes, Nitrates will go up and Nitrites will go down - correct?

I have heavy Nitrites but rather low Nitrates (see my aqaurium log for the measurements) so I use the readings to surmise that the process of cycling is still not complete - correct?

Sorry. doing my best to understand the cycle which I think is fascinating......
it sounds like you get it. ammonia becomes nitrites, nitrites become nitrates, nitrates are removed by plants and water changes.

if you have no ammonia but high nitrites, your cycle is still setting up. the fact that you have some nitrates means that the nitrites should be going down soon. once you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and some nitrates, your tank is cycled (these readings should remain more or less constant for a day or so with ammonia being added, either by a few fish or straight, to be sure).

**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 #16 of 16 Old 10-12-2011, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Okay - I did a 50% water change this morning to reduce my off the charts Nitrites and tested the parameters a few moments ago.

No change in Ammonia at .25

No change in Nitrite at 5.0+

Nitrates have doubled was 5.0 is now 10.0 (maybe more tough to tell the difference in 10 & 20)

I guess I'll sit tight and see if the nitrates continue to rise which will hopefully lower the nitrites.
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