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Tracy Bird 09-29-2011 02:03 PM

Chemistry Measurment During Cycle
Cycling my FW tank for exactly two weeks today.

My question: is there a need to measure and record all aspects of the water chemistry every day? I'm getting the same readings for PH, Amm, Nitrate, Nitrite everyday so far.

I'm using the API Master kit, but I was wondering if there was 1-2 water parameters that I should consistently measure and once changes occur in those paramaeters move on to the additional measurements.

Hope that makes sense!


KendraMc 09-29-2011 02:06 PM

you shouldn't have to worry about pH, that shouldn't change. with the others, if you don't want to do all of them, you can probably just do ammonia until that reads 0, then nitrites until 0, then check your nitrates. when ammonia and nitrites both read 0 your tank should be cycled. nitrates won't go away on their own, water changes and plants are the only real ways of maintaining them.

brownmane 09-30-2011 03:13 PM

While cycling, you want to know what ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. The ammonia will spike and then go down; then nitrites will spike and go down. You should then get a nitrate reading. This is a cycle. The nitrate reading shows you that there are beneficial bacteria growing in your tank to handle the waste that is produced by your fish. After the cycling period, the tank is safe to add fish. The cycle takes 6-8 weeks.

Myself, my tank is established and I usually only check nitrate levels to determine when water changes are needed, but do 25-50% water changes weekly. My tank is planted and the plants take care of the ammonia/nitrite levels for the most part.

BarbH 09-30-2011 03:17 PM

Are you doing fish in cycle or are you doing a fishless cycle? If you are doing a fishless cycle I would not worry about testing every day.

Tracy Bird 09-30-2011 04:29 PM

BarbH - fishless cycle..... Ammonia only okay?

BarbH 09-30-2011 04:56 PM

With a fishless cycle I would not be as concerned testing all the parameters each day. You could if you wanted to, but I don't think that it is absolutely necessary. Should be fine testing just the ammonina until starts to drop and then testing the nitrites. Once your ammonia and nitrite levels have reached 0 and there is a nitrate reading I would then test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates before you do your weekly water change, would also test ph.

Do you have live plants in this tank, or are you planning on putting plants in?

Tracy Bird 09-30-2011 05:07 PM

Yes, I have several plants.

As you have suggested I will montor ammonia only until it drops and then measure the other parameters.

I didn't want to keep using my testing chemicals just to keep finding the same results in all area's....

A penny saved on chemicals is a penny toward plants or fish!

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