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jcgallaher 04-16-2011 11:49 AM

fishless cycle problem
 
We been doing a fishless cycle for about 3-4 weeks now. We kept the ammonia around 5 for two weeks until the nitrites appeared and shot up 5.

keep adding ammonia to keep it up at that level until a few days ago it became harder to keep at that level. Nitrates appeared too and climbed up.

The last couple of days the ammonia and nitrites have remained around .25-.50 when we check it. When we add ammonia it rises alittle then drops back down, but doesn't disappear completely. I checked the nitrates and they've been staying around 5-10.

Haven't gone up. However I noticed that ph has gone from 8 to 7.5 within the last week and has now dropped down to about 6.8.

I read that doing a water change could help to get the ph back up, but I'm not sure were doing everything correctly.
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SomeDudeAtHome 04-17-2011 07:30 AM

It sounds to me like your ammonia peaked which is why you have nitrites. Good bacteria has developed and is using up the ammonia. Since that happened it will become hard to keep the ammonia level up and you don't really need to anymore anyway. You should be able to stop adding ammonia now. If I were you I would just let the tank sit until everything goes down to 0 then perform a water change. Let it sit for a few more days and monitor the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph just to make sure nothing changes quickly again. If it doesn't do another water change and you could add a couple fish.

jcgallaher 04-17-2011 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SomeDudeAtHome (Post 650589)
It sounds to me like your ammonia peaked which is why you have nitrites. Good bacteria has developed and is using up the ammonia. Since that happened it will become hard to keep the ammonia level up and you don't really need to anymore anyway. You should be able to stop adding ammonia now. If I were you I would just let the tank sit until everything goes down to 0 then perform a water change. Let it sit for a few more days and monitor the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph just to make sure nothing changes quickly again. If it doesn't do another water change and you could add a couple fish.

Thanks for advice! I didn't add anymore yesterday, I wanted to wait and see if nitrites and ammonia went down to 0. Ill check later after work.
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jcgallaher 04-17-2011 10:00 PM

I did about a 25 percent water change after nitrites and ammonia were about at zero (less than .25ppm) and interestingly the nitrites spiked up to around 1-2 a few hours after the water change.

Ammonia levels went up slightly... about .25 - .50.

Nitrates stayed around 10-20.

Ph went from 6.6 to 7.6. That I expected since that's about where the tap water is at. We added a couple plants a few days ago and driftwood about a week ago, so I expect the Ph will go down.

SomeDudeAtHome 04-18-2011 09:47 AM

That's good sounds like it's nearing the end of the cycle. I'd keep testing every few days and just watch how it goes. What fish are looking to add to the tank?

jcgallaher 04-18-2011 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SomeDudeAtHome (Post 651759)
That's good sounds like it's nearing the end of the cycle. I'd keep testing every few days and just watch how it goes. What fish are looking to add to the tank?

We're thinking of starting with tiger barbs and add a bn pelco a little later.
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Byron 04-18-2011 03:16 PM

I would add some fish now. Without a continual addition of ammonia, the nitrifying bacteria that is there will shut down and then start to die off. They must be "fed" and as you have live plants (which consume a great deal of ammonia/ammonium anyway) I would add a few fish.

You mentioned Tiger Barb, they will manage. Many fish will not manage with them however, you may know this but I like to mention it just in case. A tank of Tiger Barbs is a lovely site.

Byron.

jcgallaher 04-18-2011 03:25 PM

My wife checked it this morning, she said the ammonia was about .25 nirites were about .50 and nirates were at about 5
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Byron 04-18-2011 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcgallaher (Post 651997)
My wife checked it this morning, she said the ammonia was about .25 nirites were about .50 and nirates were at about 5
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That's still high for nitrites. You mentioned plants, how many and what type? And what size is the tank so I can calculate?

jcgallaher 04-18-2011 03:46 PM

One small crypt and a good size java fern (about 10 inches tall) tank is a 26 gallon
Edit: those readings were taken about 6 hours ago as of this posting
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