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Is my tank cycled?

This is a discussion on Is my tank cycled? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> stress coat or stress coat plus?...

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Old 01-24-2014, 02:06 AM   #11
 
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stress coat or stress coat plus?
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:51 AM   #12
 
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if you have chloramines in your water,the dechlor is seperating the ammonia out from this and then turns it into ammonium.api test can not differentiate between reg ammo and ammonium.have lfs test kh and gh.get actual numbers from them.

Last edited by sandybottom; 01-24-2014 at 03:00 AM..
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:42 AM   #13
 
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At <6.2pH you nitrogen compound is mostly ammonium NH4. At >9.0pH it's mostly ammonia NH3. The API kit tests for total ammonia which includes both NH3 and NH4.

Prime and other ammonia-locking chemicals do not change NH3 to NH4; they just lock it up in a molecule that Seachem calls Prime/ammonia complex*. Harmless, it is food for bacteria and plants. As it decays (over 24 to 48 hours) it releases the ammonia which also feeds the bacteria and plants.

API claims both Stresscoat and Stresscoat Plus bind ammonia. I think they just mixed their AmmoLock into their Stresscoat.

Sometimes in a newly-cycled tank the API kit will read 0.25ppm when nitrite is 0.0ppm and nitrate is increasing. This residual ammonia is of no consequence, especially as you should be dosing a little Prime every day while cycling. As the tank matures over several weeks and becomes "established," the reading turns increasingly yellow, indicating 0.0ppm ammonia.

When using Safestart or other live-bacteria products, sometimes the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria go by so fast you may not even notice.

You already know that some percentage of ammonia compound is ammonia and some is ammonium. That is determined by the pH (actually, it also determines the pH) and, to a lesser extent, by the temperature. Here's a chart that shows this relationship graphically.


CNYKOI - Ammonia calculator


*aminomethanesulphinate
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Last edited by Hallyx; 01-24-2014 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
At <6.2pH you nitrogen compound is mostly ammonium NH4. At >9.0pH it's mostly ammonia NH3. The API kit tests for total ammonia which includes both NH3 and NH4.

Prime and other ammonia-locking chemicals do not change NH3 to NH4; they just lock it up in a molecule that Seachem calls Prime/ammonia complex*. Harmless, it is food for bacteria and plants. As it decays (over 24 to 48 hours) it releases the ammonia which also feeds the bacteria and plants.

API claims both Stresscoat and Stresscoat Plus bind ammonia. I think they just mixed their AmmoLock into their Stresscoat.

Sometimes in a newly-cycled tank the API kit will read 0.25ppm when nitrite is 0.0ppm and nitrate is increasing. This residual ammonia is of no consequence, especially as you should be dosing a little Prime every day while cycling. As the tank matures over several weeks and becomes "established," the reading turns increasingly yellow, indicating 0.0ppm ammonia.

When using Safestart or other live-bacteria products, sometimes the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria go by so fast you may not even notice.

You already know that some percentage of ammonia compound is ammonia and some is ammonium. That is determined by the pH (actually, it also determines the pH) and, to a lesser extent, by the temperature. Here's a chart that shows this relationship graphically.


CNYKOI - Ammonia calculator


*aminomethanesulphinate
That's a very very cool calculator.
I'm right below the ideal which is .019 but I'm at .020-21 T^T

I more or less understood what you were saying, what should I do now then?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #15
 
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I read back and don't see a number for your pH. Anything over 7.4ppm is ideal for a cycle.

A 50% wc whenever total ammonia (ammonia/ammonium your test kit reads) rises >0.25ppm... or once a week, whichever comes first.

For all intents and purposes your tank is cycled. Within 4-6 weeks the tank will mature, bacteria will spread around and get its balance. Your tank will then be established; your nitrogen cycle will be robust.

Last edited by Hallyx; 01-26-2014 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:17 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I read back and don't see a number for your pH. Anything over 7.4ppm is ideal for a cycle.

A 50% wc whenever total ammonia (ammonia/ammonium your test kit reads) rises >0.25ppm... or once a week, whichever comes first.

For all intents and purposes your tank is cycled. Within 4-6 weeks the tank will mature, bacteria will spread around and get its balance. Your tank will then be established; your nitrogen cycle will be robust.
My pH is at 8.2. I've been doing about 20% ex every other day. And you are saying my tank is cycled?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:00 AM   #17
 
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If nitrate is increasing between changes, that's the most reliable way if telling if the tank is cycled. As I said, residual ammonia will decrease over time. Keep taking regular readings and respond appropriately.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #18
 
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If nitrate is increasing between changes, that's the most reliable way if telling if the tank is cycled. As I said, residual ammonia will decrease over time. Keep taking regular readings and respond appropriately.
I feel like it's not going away at all though. After all, it's been at .25 ppm for a week or more. And I don't want to leave it there and risk harming my fish.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #19
 
about using conditioners, ... and other products to give bacterial boosts to the nitrogen cycle

they're bacteria treated to survive for extended periods of time in a sealed container, ... hopefully, and not what will survive for an extended period of time in our tanks, ... great for getting things started as the bacteria in our tanks starts going we're giving it that boost to get things moving along, ... almost

the bacteria in a bottle also competes with the bacteria we want to get going in our tanks.

so while we want the beneficial bacteria in our tanks to convert ammonia & nitrite, the bacteria in a bottle wants this same stuff too, ... making it harder for the bacteria we want in our tanks to get established.

in moderation sure, giving just enough so things don't get toxic to our fish
but in excess we are making our tank dependent on us adding more to prevent our fish from dying as an ammonia spike is on the rise when the stuff in a bottle no longer lasts in the tank and nothing gets processed on the cycle ... ammonia builds and we have a tank that has been showing great success for weeks.

terrible catch-22 system.

if your seeing ammonia in your tank, ... so long as it's not too high, let it be, it's good, be warry to make sure it doesn't climb too high.

2 weeks ... that's not a lot of time, ... takes longer then that for us to starve to death (that's morbid, i'm sorry) but the point is that 2 weeks really is not a lot of time.

0.25, higher than you want, sure,
safe, no
acceptable, maybe
dangerous, no

give it time, keep on top of it, less stress
test daily, just make sure things don't get out of hand
take whatever actions you need to keep things tolerable to your fish
pushing those limits to encourage the bacteria to reproduce and do their stuff till they complete your nitrogen cycle

just keep on top of maintenance till you have zeros for ammonia and nitrites, and a stable pH
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:50 PM   #20
 
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about using conditioners, ... and other products to give bacterial boosts to the nitrogen cycle

they're bacteria treated to survive for extended periods of time in a sealed container, ... hopefully, and not what will survive for an extended period of time in our tanks, ... great for getting things started as the bacteria in our tanks starts going we're giving it that boost to get things moving along, ... almost

the bacteria in a bottle also competes with the bacteria we want to get going in our tanks.

so while we want the beneficial bacteria in our tanks to convert ammonia & nitrite, the bacteria in a bottle wants this same stuff too, ... making it harder for the bacteria we want in our tanks to get established.

in moderation sure, giving just enough so things don't get toxic to our fish
but in excess we are making our tank dependent on us adding more to prevent our fish from dying as an ammonia spike is on the rise when the stuff in a bottle no longer lasts in the tank and nothing gets processed on the cycle ... ammonia builds and we have a tank that has been showing great success for weeks.

terrible catch-22 system.

if your seeing ammonia in your tank, ... so long as it's not too high, let it be, it's good, be warry to make sure it doesn't climb too high.

2 weeks ... that's not a lot of time, ... takes longer then that for us to starve to death (that's morbid, i'm sorry) but the point is that 2 weeks really is not a lot of time.

0.25, higher than you want, sure,
safe, no
acceptable, maybe
dangerous, no

give it time, keep on top of it, less stress
test daily, just make sure things don't get out of hand
take whatever actions you need to keep things tolerable to your fish
pushing those limits to encourage the bacteria to reproduce and do their stuff till they complete your nitrogen cycle

just keep on top of maintenance till you have zeros for ammonia and nitrites, and a stable pH
Uh, I don't really know what you're talking about..That's not really how it works.. The bacteria you put in doesn't just disappear. They reproduce and start the nitrogen cycle normally, and are able to survive because they are still getting a food source. And what do you mean they compete with the bacteria in the tank already?? #1 There would be no bacteria in the tank because the tank in brand new. #2 the bacteria that would come from the air and land in the tank, and the bacteria that would come from the bottle are the same? So it wouldn't make sense for them to compete..

I also not "okay" for a little ammonia to be in a tank for long periods of time. Even short periods can cause long term damage to fish, so I want to get it out of there as soon as possible.
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