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Another tank cycling question
Sorry if this has been discussed before (which I am sure it has), but I overheard a conversation at a lfs where the store had a customer cycling a tank (not sure on size or stocking) with fish. The customer evidentally had high ammonia and nitrite levels. The store was recommending a partial water change. Would this be the proper step to take? Would this prolong the cycle? Would it be better to allow the cycle to finish quickly or to do water changes throughout to minimize the damage to the fish? I have only done fishless cycles so I wasn't sure.
Also, along the same topic...when I was in the hobby years ago I was always told (and read) that ammonia and nitrites were harmless to fish in a tank that had neutral to slightly acid water conditions. (I actually double checked in one of my old aquarium books). It stated that lower PH some how neutralized the dangers from ammonia. Is that correct? Has advancements in fishkeeping changed that way of thinking? I know ammonia and nitrites are more damaging in saltwater enviroments due to the higher PH so it kinda made sense.
I have only done fish in cycles, I keep the ammonia down below 1 ppm and nitrite to .5 ppm with water changes and have never had issues, I know its not the best way to cycle but it has worked for me and I actually havent started a new tank in years. It may prolong the cycle a bit but its much better for the fish to keep ammonia and nitrites down.
Not sure about the low PH thing, I can tellyou though the hobby has come a long way, I remember back in the 70's we hardly ever heaqrd of cycling and bacterias.
I have done some research online and there are entire sites dedicated to the nitrogen cycle that say "water changes during the cycle don't prolong the cycle since you are only changing a small amound of the water....it actually prolongs the cycle NOT to do water changes due to the excess ammonia displacing available oxygen in the water which the bacteria needs to grow" The next site will claim just the opposite lol.....I don't know what to believe.
I have no proof either way myself I would do water changes to keep levels down
Ammonia and nitrites are very toxic and at higher levels actually inhibit the development of the beneficial bacteria we're attempting to culture. Partial water changes when there are high values or spikes in either ammonia or nitrite are required and do not prolong the cycle.
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