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BarbH 06-04-2011 12:30 PM

Cycling issues am I on the right track?
This morning I went to do my tests to check my water parameters before I did my water change. As soon as I added the regent from the second bottle of the nitrite test the water started to change color showing high on nitrites. Right away I started a water change, changing out about 30% of the water. When I added the new water I added AmQuel Plus which is a ammonia detoxifier and conditioner. On the bottle it says that it detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, chlorine, and chloramines. It says that it does not interfere with biological filtration or nitrifying bacteria. Once finished with the water change I continued to complete the rest of the test on the water samples that I had taken before doing the wc. The readings I got are as follows, Ammonia 3, Nitrite 1.6, Nitrate 40, Ph 7.5. Temp on the tank has been holding at about 80, we have hit a bit of a heat wave in Michigan and my apartment gets fairly warm during the day. What I am wondering is if I should do another wc this evening. The fish seem to be acting normal, no signs of stress that I have seen. But I am still very new to this so it is possible I might have missed something. What type of signs should I be looking for with stress? The information for my 50 gal tank is up to date. I would appreciate any suggestions, I am planning on testing my water parameters again tommorrow to see how everything is standing. Thanks :-)

Also two weeks ago I added tetra safe start (entire bottle that is to treat up to 75 gallons) to help with the cycling process, this is a new tank so I am sure alot of this is related to cycling issues

sik80 06-04-2011 01:50 PM

If those readings are correct I'd do a large water change; 50-70%. Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish even in very small quantities. I'd test the water again just to be sure. I assume you're using a liquid test kit?

Also, how many fish do you have, what species, and how long has the tank been running?

FYI: Ammonia Poisoning Symptoms:

Fish gasp for breath at the water surface
Purple or red gills
Fish is lethargic
Loss of appetite
Fish lays at the bottom of the tank
Red streaking on the fins or body

redchigh 06-04-2011 03:06 PM

You're on the right track. I'd keep up the water changes, since nitrite is toxic. The ammonia isn't an issue, since your treatment turns it into ammonium.

BarbH 06-04-2011 08:04 PM

Thanks, will do another change tonight. Have not seen any signs of ammonia poisioning, everyone is acting fine, swimming around, no signs of gasping, and every single one of them are pigs, my largest angel as soon as it sees me come by the tank is at the front glass in the area where I put the food in at, wagging at me begging for food and acting as if it hasn't been feed for days. The platys are the same way. I have my fish listed in the info for my aquarium but here it is as follows, 3 angel fish, all juvies, 6 platys, 6 black widow tetras, 7 corys and 2 rubber lipped plecos. Really wishing that my plant order would arrive, since I am sure that it would help some what. But till then will keep doing water changes and checking my parameters. I am using a liquid test kit, it is tetra test laborette, other than my nitrate test which is api.

BarbH 06-04-2011 08:20 PM

Tank has been running for 2 weeks now starting 5/22 added tetra safe start at that time readings at 0, tested 5/24 readings ammonia 1.5, nitrite 0, nitrate 5. Tested 5/27 ammonia 3 nitrite 0 nitrate 5. Tested 5/30 ammonia 3 nitrite 0 nitrate 10. Tested 6/4 ammonia 3 nitrite 1.6 nitrate 40.

I have been putting all my results into the aquarium log for my 50 gal community along with recording what I have been doing. From the research I did on tetra safe start they do say that you will have an ammonia reading while product is working, saying that the bacteria in the bottle uses the ammonia as a food source as it establishes the benificial bacteria. Today was the first day in which I had any nitrite readings. Will continue to do the water changes along with testing to keep an eye on everything. I do have a sponge filter in the tank which I know from my research is good for allowing a place for benificial bacteria to grow.

Thanks again for your responses ;-)

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