Nitrogen cycle?? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrogen cycle??

i have had my tank going for a few years now and only just recently found out about the nitrogen cycle so i did the tests and got
0 ammonia
7.2 ph
0 nitrite and
0 nitrate

do you know if this is good or bad??
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 04:37 AM
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I'd say that was really good BUT I'm not sure about the NitrAte part, I always thought it should idealy read less than 20ppm as during the cycle the ammonia goes to nitrate goes to nitrAte so you should have a reading from this. What did you test the water with? Strips are notoriously rubbish and innaccurate, liquid API are very good tests but you need to shake the bottles for at least 2 minutes before use and for 1 minute after mixing to get an accurate result on the nitrAte reading.

Don't suddenly do anything drastic to the water, leave it exactly as it is because it's probably a false reading on the NitrAte, one of the "Big Fishes" will come along and explain in more deatail hopefully.

Sorry I couldn't give a more exact answer but I'm sure everything is good with your tank as it's been set up for ages so should be 100% fully cycled xx
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pufferfish22 View Post
...one of the "Big Fishes" will come along and explain in more deatail hopefully.
Sorry, just small fry (get it?).

If your tank has been running for years with the toxicity at those levels, you are doing pretty good with fish maintanence. As pufferfish22 said, nitrates should be ideally below 20ppm, and ammonia and nitrite should not be present.

You don't have to know about the cycle to finish the cycle, but it sure is an important thing to know what is going on with your fish. Like Pufferfish22 said, API liquid test kits are the best. They are quite abit cheaper than dip tests, and they are certainly beyond a shadow of doubt more accurate. I recomend you get the ammonia and nitrate API liquid test kit if you don't have them already.

As far as the pH, 7.2 works for most freshwater fish, although fish like African Cichlids prefer a higher pH. What kind of fish do you have?

And don't be afraid to ask questions here! We are a good community, and will try to answer any questions we know the answer to. Ask all the questions you want to, it can only help your fish!

Hope this helps!

small fry,

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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i used a 'geo liquid' test kit i got that tests the things i listed
the nitrate was 0ppm (mg/l)
i have a 120litre tank but only with 2 clown loaches a bristle nose cat fish a couple barla sharks a couple of rainbow sharks some cardinal and widow tetras and some guppys and mollys
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlssgrouppa View Post
i used a 'geo liquid' test kit i got that tests the things i listed
the nitrate was 0ppm (mg/l)
i have a 120litre tank but only with 2 clown loaches a bristle nose cat fish a couple barla sharks a couple of rainbow sharks some cardinal and widow tetras and some guppys and mollys
I am not familiar with the brand of test kit.

Unfortunately there are afew problems with your stocking. Clown Loaches are social fish, and require a groups of at least 6, which you cannot fit in your aquarium. Rainbow sharks prefer to live as the only rainbow shark in the tank. In other words, it is not advised to keep more than 1 rainbow shark in a tank. Cardinals and Black Widow Tetras need a groups of at least 6, especially with semi-aggressive fish in the tank, such as the rainbow sharks and bala sharks. Unfortunately, Balas are also a school fish that need at least 5-6, and they need 6 foot length of swimming space. This is not possible to provide in a 120L tank. eventually, as the balas get bigger, they may start eating your cardinals.

I am sorry, I know this is alot to take in. You may want to make some desicions and re-considerations about your stocking. Feel free to discus your plans on the forum.

small fry,

FireOasis - 3g
Zachary the Halfmoon Plakat

CichlidHaven - 55g (under construction!)
0.0.7 Black Widow Tetra
1.0.1 Convict Cichlid
0.1.0 Firemouth Cichlid

HermitBase - 10g
Zephus & Monoculus the Purple Pinchers (Coenobita clypeatus)

BreedingProjects
x1 Convict Cichlid Pair (actively breeding)
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-20-2011, 01:58 PM
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First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

If this is 120 litres (31 gallons), you have a fish stocking issue looming as smallfry mentioned. We have fish profiles here with information on minimum tank sizes for the species, minimum numbers for each species (some like the clown loach are shoaling fish that really must be in a group of 5 or more), and compatibility issues. For instance, you have some aggressive fish (bala shark, rainbow shark) and given its attainable size of 14-16 inches and requiring a group in a very large tank, this is trouble waiting to happen. You can click on the shaded name in posts to see that fish's profile. Please have a read.

There may not be visible signs of trouble yet, but that can be due to the young age of the fish or they may be stressed by their present environment which can affect a fish's normal behaviours.

Nitrate at zero with the fish mentioned in a (to them) very small space does not seem likely, so I would question that. Are there live plants? These will help both in water quality (to as limited extent) and by providing much needed security to those species. Major weekly water changes will also help, but this is short-term, the problem is still there.

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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