Newbie Tank- 30L- Questions About Early Stages of Cycling - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-12-2012, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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You mean liquid test for nitrates/nitrites? Will have to have a look round next trip away, seems the places here onyl have liquid tests that are really really huge and expensive ($200 one in a big carry case- I am not a scientist!)) lol but maybe I can find a simple liquid test for the nitrates/nitrites...

The issue I have is I do not know how much ammonia is coming in (since I am using the fish meat method). I have tried calling everywhere for pure ammonia but no one has it. I have never even seen cloudy ammonia here, so I am not sure it is something shops here stock. I've tried hardware store (including ACE), the pharmacy and all kinds of cleaning/supermarkets. No joy. Must be a middle east thing! My last option is to call a hospital here and ask if their pharmacy has it. Otherwise, there is no way to measure the ammonia since it is coming from fish food and the meat piece in the tank.

Maybe I should have just gone for cycling with fish, but I thought this was the kinder way lol. Certainly not the easiest in this region, as I am finding out haha
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-12-2012, 03:02 PM
Originally Posted by FlyingFish47 View Post
Okay, the test kit I have indicates the nitrites are in the medium range though?
I tested the tap water (before adding dechlorinator etc) and out of the tap the pH is 6.8, everything else is the same.
Should I be using bottled then? It tests at 6.6 and all else the same. This desal water is really confusing me!
Edit: Just tested the tank water.
pH is 6.8, the nitrites are still at 25. waiting on the ammonia test.
Does this mean the ammonia already spiked i nthe first few days and then dropped and what I am seeing is the nitrite spike???
Just so we're on the same page, nitrites are very toxic even at low levels - not sure what "medium range" means. When your tank is fully cycled, ammonia and nitrites will be so low you will not measure any - none - zero! You will be able to measure nitrates and will do weekly water changes to keep nitrates as low as possible and at the very least less than 20ppm.
So the fact that you have nitrites means nitrosomans bacteria have developed to convert the ammonia, but you don't have [enough] nitrobacter bacteria to convert the nitrite to nitrate. The water change will help lower nitrites which should help nitrobacter to develop.


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post #13 of 31 Old 09-12-2012, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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That makes sense. I just tested the water and the readings are lower now, about 25 and 2 rather than 50 and 10.

Ammonia stil lthe same at around 0.5...
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post #14 of 31 Old 09-12-2012, 05:58 PM
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Can you mail order kits? Is UPS coming there?
There are quite a few fish stores that deliver supplies. I mean, you are not ordering fish or plants...
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post #15 of 31 Old 09-13-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Will look into mail order. Since it's liquids, I'm not sure if they allow it here since customs are abit funny about it. However I have a work trip coming up so can always look there!

Today's testing showed:

Ammonia: 0.05
Nitrites: 10 or less (hard to read it was between 10 and 0)
Nitrates: 0.5

So possible it has already cycled? I reallly need to get ahold of some ammonia to test this. Have two more palces to try today, wish me luck :)
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post #16 of 31 Old 09-13-2012, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Still no joy with the ammonia. Seems like they are not allowed to sell it here in pure form... someone told me to try a hospital!!

Tonight (well, after midnight) readings are:

Ammonia: 0.05
Nitrite: 10
Nitrates: 2

Oh I just noticed the test for the No2/No3 is in mg/l.... the ammonia (liquid) test is in ppm...
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post #17 of 31 Old 09-14-2012, 09:15 AM
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It doesn't matter if it's mg or ppm. It should be zero for ammonia and nitrites.
How exactly are you using "fish meat" to cycle your tank? Do you add it daily?
Did you notice any clouding or algae? Any smells?
Can you get any old filter media? Maybe the fish store from where you are going to get your fish? I know it's risky but your new fish will come from the same source anyway.
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post #18 of 31 Old 09-14-2012, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Just spoke to a fish store here (the one that is meant to sell healthy fish)

He said they pretty much run the tanks for 8-10 days, add fish and monitor them with water changes as needed and they are generally fine. He seems to think its ok to add fish now.... but I'm confused because as you said, it should be at zero.

The fish meat was some small locally bought fish (sardine size) that I put in netting in the tank. It was starting to smell but ok with water changes but day before yesterday I removed it as the water was getting too cloudy and did a water change (50-60%). The readings are still the same even though I added a pinch of fish food last night.

As of 30mins ago it still measured less than 0.05 for the ammonia, between 0-10 and 0 and 2 (colours are hard to read)

I am going to visit the fish palce tonight since they are open. They said they would test my water for me. I'm also planning to pick up a better test kit since maybe something is going on there and that is why I'm not getting readings? My ammonia test has been pretty much the same the whole time. (It's JBL liquid reagent)

I will ask them about filter media. Thing is, when I visited their other branch all the fish seemed good, no floates/listers or 'droopy' looking ones, if that makes sense. They maintain the huge aquarium at the Atlantis hotel so they *should* know what they are talking about... :/

Last edited by FlyingFish47; 09-14-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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post #19 of 31 Old 09-14-2012, 10:42 AM
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If not filter media, at least a cup of gravel from a healthy tank.
Do a major water change (don't worry about good bacteria, this is in your filter and gravel, very little in the water) and add one or two hardy fish like danio zebra or barbs. Do not add more until your readings are good. Wait a week at least. Stock slowly. A small tank is harder to steer and more unstable than a larger one.
And I don't know why but I don't always trust fish store staff. They are there to sell you stuff. Find one that seems to know what he's talking without pushing you to buy.
Good luck
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-14-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm not sure sure about this one. He kept contradicting himself but in the end, without me prompting, told me to come back for fish when my readings are low. He did say to try the filter starter, so I got the JBL one, but I have read such differing opinions on them I am not going to put it in until I find out more. If I already have bacteria, I wonder if it can hurt them by adding commercial ones...? The fish store guy said they use it when they do water changes to top up what they already have... which is different to what the people in the other branch said.

I got a tip from someone local about another fish place whose owner is meant to know a lot about the water here and so forth. The store I went to tonight couldn't help with water testing since they are using the same kits as me!!

Back to watching and waiting I guess! :)

At least I know now they don't have any green neons but they do have a few nice dwarf rasboras.

Last edited by FlyingFish47; 09-14-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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