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Need A Way To Lower Nitrates And Finish Cycle

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Need A Way To Lower Nitrates And Finish Cycle
Old 05-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #11
 
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heres a nice easy guide to cycling your tank, although there is one on here too...

In it it mentions cleaning your substrate, of uneaten food as this will cause nitrates to rise....... granted this explanation is with fish in, but still. its fairly sound advice.

this is what I was getting at in my earlier posts. Not that food immediately converts to nitrate.

How to Decrease Nitrates in Your Aquarium | eHow.com
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:08 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhymon78 View Post
I know this, what I was on about is an abundance of uneaten fish food settling into the substrate. once it has produced ammonia, which then turns into nitrite etc. If there is no gravel vacuuming going on that food is just sitting there. I have read somewhere that an abundance of dirt, be it fish waste, food, plant matter etc building up in tanks can cause nitrate to rise.

I dont understand your comment about how fish would change things? Adding fish ensures theres a steady supply of ammonia, which like you say is the corner stone of any nutritional nitrogen cycle....

the guy is worrying about whether to feed his empty tank during lights out or daytime, I am trying to unravel the mystery. I explained what worked for me, this is my advice for him. Do you have an explanation as to why he is showing 5ppm nitrite and 80ppm of nitrate? in an empty tank 32 days into a cycle?

I wouldn't bother wasting my time. the fish I added in week two are all healthy and growing fine. never had any issues with my cycle.
Since they are feeding flakes, it's possible that there are nitrates released into the water if they are of low quality. However, like I said, in order for fish food to cycle a tank it has to produce ammonia. The abundance of stuff you referred to does cause nitrates to rise - in a cycled tank the transition from ammonia to nitrate is seamless provided it does not overwhelm the biological filter.

Many people have great success utilizing plants as a way of mitigating the cycling process. I too, would probably not waste any more time and put a fish in the tank.

I think the cycle has stalled and a water change is needed to get things back on track, if they wanted to finish the fishless cycle.
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rhymon78 (05-20-2012)
Old 05-20-2012, 09:29 PM   #13
 
As uneaten fish food, plant and fish waste decomposes, it produces ammonia that's converted to nitrite by nitrosomonas bacteria. Nitrobacter bacteria then convert the nitrites into nitrates.
In this case, the removal of the bio-max bio-media just may have upset the entire cycling process, explaining why now we have high nitrites with high nitrates (produced before the upset).

Now the problem with high nitrites as at higher levels they are toxic even to nitrobacter bacteria. A couple of 50% water changes may be required to get things back on track. At this stage I would not add fish to this tank until nitrites and nitrates are lower.

AD
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:19 PM   #14
 
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Since nitrates are used as a food preservative, I do wonder if they are released into the water (in addition to the ammonia) by the decaying food and registered by the test kit.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:48 PM   #15
 
I appreciate the responses which are all intended to help me with this problem. I will be reading the thread over again and reading the link, and hopefully I can come to a coherent solution.

I'll admit that it is a little overthe top to try and figure out when the best time is to feed a cycling tank.

I got my water tested at Petco today - seemed well lit. Thought the nitrite might have gone down to 0 and I could put a fish in, but noooo.

Instead of the fish, I bought the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. The first thing I'll do is test the nitrate and see if I get 80 ppm using the Master Test Kit test, not the one I have been using, the fresh/saltwater (using the right card). After that, I plan on getting some Anachris and the other one , and I'm prepared to do 2 50% water changes, which would bring the nitrates down to 20 ppm if I have to.

Thanks again, and I'll be reading.
Steve
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:00 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish View Post
I appreciate the responses which are all intended to help me with this problem. I will be reading the thread over again and reading the link, and hopefully I can come to a coherent solution.

I'll admit that it is a little overthe top to try and figure out when the best time is to feed a cycling tank.

I got my water tested at Petco today - seemed well lit. Thought the nitrite might have gone down to 0 and I could put a fish in, but noooo.

Instead of the fish, I bought the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. The first thing I'll do is test the nitrate and see if I get 80 ppm using the Master Test Kit test, not the one I have been using, the fresh/saltwater (using the right card). After that, I plan on getting some Anachris and the other one , and I'm prepared to do 2 50% water changes, which would bring the nitrates down to 20 ppm if I have to.

Thanks again, and I'll be reading.
Steve
firstly sorry about last night, all our back and forth stuff wasn't helpful. I think a misunderstanding and me not being able to express what I meant correctly. hopefully you can pick out the relevant info.

So what AbbeysDad said is a good point, by taking the filter media out seems a strange thing to do and could of caused the cycle to stall.

If you now have the correct API test kit I would keep testing, to make sure you doing it correctly. I would also check your tap water for all parameters especially nitrates. I get around 40ppm nitrate straight out of my tap! and I know others do also, Abbeysdad suffers from this too.

If you get 0ppm nitrate out of your tap, then by doing a couple 50% water changes will dilute the nitrates right down to almost untraceable amounts. If they don't, there is something seriously wrong... AD is right in not putting fish into water with 5ppm of nitrite and such high nitrates as this would most like if not definitely kill your fish. if you can get those levels to drop significantly by changing the water, I would add the plants and a few fish as suggested before. NOT while the parameters are like they are though.

I didn't mean offence about you feeding your tank with the lights off, I was trying to stress a point to jaysee, its all good we've since had a chat about things

the fear is with all these problems, and the effort your going through will put you off. When in my experience it is totally unnecessary. there are fairly good filter seed products out there now that some promote and others don't rate, but it can't hurt. and the benefit of adding live over fake plants cannot be emphasised enough. this really is the way forward in my opinion.

hope this helps.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:49 PM   #17
 
AD has a good point, but at the time that I took out just the ceramic media (on top), and not all the media, the nitrite was already up to about where it is now. I tested it today, and it was darker than the last square, so it could be 5.0 ppm or higher.

It was a strange thing to do - the guy at Petco told me that the media was sucking up all the bacteria and I should take it out. So I did it without thinking about it. It's back in now and looks like its getting biological. I'll have to make sure I think about what people tell me in the future and see if it makes sense.

Glad to hear that no offence was meant about the tank feeding dilemma. I have been putting a lot of effort into this, especially reading here.

I would be afraid of getting tired of all this, but I think it helps me to learn about things. I am thinking that the bacteria booster is a good idea for this situation, and, like I think you said, it can't hurt. Hopefully I can get fish in there real soon.

Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhymon78 View Post
firstly sorry about last night, all our back and forth stuff wasn't helpful. I think a misunderstanding and me not being able to express what I meant correctly. hopefully you can pick out the relevant info.

So what AbbeysDad said is a good point, by taking the filter media out seems a strange thing to do and could of caused the cycle to stall.

If you now have the correct API test kit I would keep testing, to make sure you doing it correctly. I would also check your tap water for all parameters especially nitrates. I get around 40ppm nitrate straight out of my tap! and I know others do also, Abbeysdad suffers from this too.

If you get 0ppm nitrate out of your tap, then by doing a couple 50% water changes will dilute the nitrates right down to almost untraceable amounts. If they don't, there is something seriously wrong... AD is right in not putting fish into water with 5ppm of nitrite and such high nitrates as this would most like if not definitely kill your fish. if you can get those levels to drop significantly by changing the water, I would add the plants and a few fish as suggested before. NOT while the parameters are like they are though.

I didn't mean offence about you feeding your tank with the lights off, I was trying to stress a point to jaysee, its all good we've since had a chat about things

the fear is with all these problems, and the effort your going through will put you off. When in my experience it is totally unnecessary. there are fairly good filter seed products out there now that some promote and others don't rate, but it can't hurt. and the benefit of adding live over fake plants cannot be emphasised enough. this really is the way forward in my opinion.

hope this helps.

Last edited by equatics; 05-21-2012 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #18
 
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The feeding at night was funny, but things like that are pretty common. There's A LOT of information out there, and people new to the hobby are often bombarded with it. I'm as guilty as the next. What's important is that you care enough to drive yourself crazy :)
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #19
 
> I don't think the amount of sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate that may be used to preserve fish food is significant enough to cause a problem like this - if it was, everyone would have this problem. Ammonia/ammonium -->Nitrites --> Nitrates in the aquarium are typically the N2 process of decomposing waste products.

> Time of day for fishless method with fish food doesn't matter. Fish food decomposes at the same rate regardless of an hour hand on a clock.

> Ceramic bio media creates a [better] platform for beneficial bacteria to colonize. It does this by virtue of having a somewhat rough, porous surface making beneficial bacteria attachment easier and being in the filter, the water circulation brings food by regularly. I have no idea what the fellow at Petco was thinking about 'sucking up all the bacteria'.

> Something has caused a stall and water changes and patience must rule. I would also [still] consider adding a bio-seed from another tank or adding a bottled bacteria product like Seachem Stability, API Quick Start or Tetra SafeStart.

(note: without fish or a bio-seed, it can be much more challenging to colonize a new aquarium with all the necessary beneficial biology. After all, we're starting a nearly sterile system with water treated to kill bacteria. Yes, we treat to neutralize chlorine, but then wait for the bacteria to come from the sky....we might better add some straight away in conditions it can grow.

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Old 05-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #20
 
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Plants, PLants, and more plants. And try to get ahold of some already established filter media. Pushed mine along in about a weeks time.
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