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- - Cycling confusion (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/cycling-confusion-131591/)
Hello everyone, just subscribed. I have been having setbacks cycling brand new 55 gal. freshwater. I have been going for 7 weeks now, week 5, had a PH crash and wiped out any nitrifying bac. I had. Resolved that already (was a KH deficiency). As of now PH 7.8 GH300 KH70-80, all seems to be stable now:-) About a week ago I added another bottle of Tetra SafeStart, ammonia was 3ppm, nitrite 3ppm, nitrate 5-10ppm. After 24 hours nitrites dropped to 0ppm, nitrates up to just shy of 40ppm, but ammonia was still 3ppm. 3 days after adding bacteria I did 1/3 w.c., ammonia dropped to about .25-.5ppm, trites still 0ppm, trates 5-10ppm(already in my tapwater):cry: 2 days later ammonia back up to 3ppm, trites still 0ppm, trates back to almost 40ppm. So theres nitrobacter converting the nitrites, but I dont know about the nitrosomonas converting the ammonia? Did the w.c. mess with the bacteria? ALWAYS use Novaqua+ and Amquel+ to tap water. First time cycling new tank(always had used,established tanks) Just not sure how things should be going from here. ANY and ALL advice or info would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!! Current tank stats: 55 gal. 8 tiger barbs, 3 zebra danios. Temp. 76-78 F PH 7.8 KH70-80ppm other parameters as stated.
Welcome to TFK Scott!!
What do you think caused the PH crash? I'm not understanding that part. Can you tell us more about it?
I'm confused that your numbers are all over the place. You should see things in a normal progression. Take things slow, do water changes if you see the Ammonia or NitrItes spike.
Keep us posted.
Hello there! Thank you sooo much for your quick response, my PH crash was probably a result of (embarrassingly) using neutral regulator at initial setup, I live in Arizona, our water is very hard, PH in my area is around 8.2-8.4(GREAT for African Cichlids) wanted to get closer to the neutral range(not my best idea) to accomidate a semi-aggressive community, rather than "cutting" my tapwater with distilled, and acclimating fish to PH instead.(which is how I solved that mess I created) As far as my other parameters being all over the place, I am confused. I always thought the progression HAD to be ammonia to nitrite, than to nitrate. Do you think my use of amquel+(ammonia detox.) is interfering somehow? My mistake adding fish so early also, I know. I just cannot get why my nitrites dropped, but not my ammonia? NOT overfeeding, No chloramines or chlorine. Is this normal? At what ammonia range should the nitrosomonas develope? Will water changes rob that bacteria the energy needed to develope? Have plenty of bio-media(canister and HOB) and bubble wand, great aeration,circulation, and oxygen exchange, just seem to be doing something wrong? Lack of patience perhaps, but seems like something just not right. Thank you very much for any insight or ideas!
Hello Scott and welcome to TFK. A couple of questions that may help. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, sounds like you have for nitrates. Also when you added the tetra safe start did you test your parameters before adding, if so do you remember what those were? I have in the past used tetra safe start in several aquariums. When doing so I did see ammonia followed by nitrites and nitrates in my tanks. I waited about a week before starting to do water changes and if I remember correctly off the top of my head had finished cycling in about 3 weeks. If you want to see the type of results that I had gotten, you can view them under the info for my convict tank and also my 50 gallon community tank. You can find these tanks under the aquarium tab under my user name. From my tank pages you should be able to view the information that I put in for my parameters and also view the maintenance that I did, when I added safe start, when I started doing water changes and such. Each tank is going to be different, but maybe the information that I recorded will help. Also are you using test strips or a liquid regent to test your water? Depending on the type of fish you are planning on keeping in this tank you might want to consider adding live plants. Floating plants especially can help.
Welcome to TFK!
A couple of things...
If your pH crashed using Neutral Regulator, I think your fish would die before the beneficial bacteria as they are very resilient. I'm also questioning your test results as a 1/3 water change would not lower nitrates to 5-10ppm from 40ppm when you have 5-10ppm in your tap water - just doesn't make sense.
Sounds like you need to monitor, stay on top of water changes and be patient.
you mentioned your using a detoxifing chem for ammonia, well the way most of those work is they will convert ammonia to ammoniuM which the bacteria will not use as a "food source"so you will not have any of the ammonia reduceing bactieria because they have no food. there are three types of bacteria that make up the benifitcal bacteria. you have your ammonia removal bacteria along with your nitrate and nitrite removing bacteria each its own diffrent orginisem diffrent from eachother which expalins why you get the redings and removals or nitrates. you have the nitrifing bac just none that makes the ammonia go away. stop adding the ammonia detoxifier, do large water changes when you see ammmonia at .25-.50 or higher. chemicals in my experience have always screwed things up or delayewd them, jsut a overall headache. at this point it woulndt hurt anything to even take ur filter media under some warm tap water and rinse it out.
so i advise
75% water change
Rinse filter media out with warm water and your hand
Stop using ammonia detoxifing/reducer chemicals or any "instant/bacteria in a bottle chemicals)
Water change 50% when you see .25-.50+ ammonia
Be patient and resist all temptation to adding a quick fix for ammonia or instant cycle nothing GOOD in a aquarium happens FAST, the only fast things that happen in a aquarium are generally bad things.
This is very bad advice!
First, de-chlorinators do create ammonia, but this IS processed by beneficial bacteria assuming the BB is present. If you do a 50% or 75% water change with municipal water that is chlorinated (either chlorine or clorimine) WITHOUT a de-chlorinator, you will certainly KILL YOUR FISH. AND rinsing filter media in warm water (from the tap) will also kill any BB. :frustrated:
For de-chlorination/detoxification, especially in new setups, I like Seachem Prime.
I [still] feel regular water changes and patience is your answer.
As for this comment: AGREE TOTALLY!!
nothing GOOD in a aquarium happens FAST, the only fast things that happen in a aquarium are generally bad things.
i forget that not everyone is on a well >.< good catch jackie
The products that Scott are using are not ones that I have seen before (not that I've really been around the block aquarium wise), so I did just a bit of reading on the manufacturer site. These DO NOT work the same as Prime which normally releases ammonia into the water from the chloramine and detoxes it for up to two days.
"AmQuel is completely unlike declorinators which claim to "remove" chloramines. These products only break the chlorine-ammonia bond of chloramines by simple dechlorination, leaving the ammonia in the water. The resulting ammonia must be removed by adsorption on granular or powdered zeolites (clinoptilolites)"
So now we know what it doesn't do...
The active ingredient is sodium hydroxymethanesulfonate, HOCH2SO3Na.
Add NH3 and it becomes aminomethanesulfonate, H2NCH2SO3 and H2O
Apparently the aminomethanesulfonate is acted upon by the biological filtration BUT is stable and does not release the ammonia back into the water after weeks with no bio filtration.
I don't know if this will appear on a regular ammonia test or not.
No mention of iminium salts this time.
This seems to just do too many things that may not be necessary in the tank.
I'd suggest using only the AmQuel product as, if it does what it says, it is the better as a dechlorinator and ammonia treatment. It doesn't detox nitrites or nitrates like Prime does though.
On the testing an results. Something seems amiss. Given the original numbers, cutting the tank water as described should yield about 30ppm nitrate concentration. Something will have to be done about the nitrate in the source water as I think AD mentioned.
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