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New Tank Journal- help aling the way is appreciated! :)

1445 Views 19 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Flint
Okay. Starting a journal of the progress of my new tank and how long it takes to cycle. Basic info on my tank is: 29 gallon tank, 2 filters, fluval 206 canister filter and fluval aquaclear 70 hob power filter, artificial plants, glofish black gravel, hydor koralia circulation pump, and fluval vueTech 200 watt heater. I let a cup of tap water sit for over 24 hrs and these are my initial parameters: gh 161.1, kh 125.3, ph 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. All tests were done with api test kits. Not strips.
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Forgot to mention. 2 pieces of mopani driftwood recently added which I hope will keep my ph from fluctuating too much as my ph tends to move around a bit.
So today I set up my tank and added ammonia purchased from ace hardware store. This is what your looking for Ace Hardware Stores | Browse for Hardware, Home Improvement, and Tools.
Does not have to be the 6 pack. You can buy it by the quart. Cost my 3 dollars.

I got my ammonia up to about 4 ppm, turned off all lights, cranked up heater to 86 degrees, got a bubbler and circulation pump going for aeration.
Okay so day 1: gh 179, kh 125.3, ph 8.0, ammonia 4.0, and eveeything else 0.
well i checked my water parameters and got one heck of a surprise. My ph is still 8.0, ammonia dropped to 1.0, nitrite is either 5 or off the charts, and my nitrates are at 40!!! i know its suppose to take a while for these numbers to start moving so i was wonder how it was possible i was moving along this fast. everything that was in the tank from my old tank had sat out and dried for a couple days so i thought any good bacteria on it would be dead by now. then i remembered i never emptied the water from my hob until the last minute and filled it back up within a couple mins. so the bacteria in the filter stayed alive! my question now is where do i go from here?? should i do a water change?? should i redose the ammonia back up to 4 ppm? what do i do??
Okay I redosed the ammonia and when I checked it today it was at 1ppm or under. So the ammonia is getting broken down pretty quick. The nitrite is also being turned into nitrate just not as fast a rate as the ammonia tho. Because my nitrites are 5.0 ppm but my nitrate are 80 ppm. So definitely moving along. Do I need to do a water change or should I just keep letting them build??
Well my tank is breaking down 4 ppm of ammonia in 24 hrs now. My nitrites are still lagging tho. They are over 5 ppm. But are turning into nitrate since currently my nitrate is at 40 ppm. Now its just the waiting game until my nitrite eating bacteria catch up. Will probably do a water change later on today to drop the nitrite and nitrate. One question tho. Is it normal for my ph to move around a lot? I have read that when a tank is cycling your ph can move a lot. There not huge swings. But one day it will as low as 7.4 and slowly climb to 8.2 or start high and drop. But it doesn't consistently rise or fall. Some days it rises some days it falls.
No my tank isn't planted. And doesn't have any live animals in it yet either. I do eventually want to switch to a planted tank tho. Just not now. Only thing in tank is gravel and a couple decor pieces. Thinking maybe one of those is leeching something causing my ph to move. Thanks for suggestions tho. Will look into that lava rock for sure.
Okay. So my ammonia doses are getting broken down in 24 hrs now. But my nitrites seem to be turning over really slowly and my nitrates were high also so I decided to do a water change. I did about a 90% water change. And the little ammonia I had went down to 0 but my nitrites were still 5 or higher and my nitrates were still at least 40 ppm after a 90 to 95 percent change. I didn't dump the water in my filter tho since I was scared I would kill the good bacteria. Should I do another water change and clean filters this time?
Hey guys. Thanks fir the comments. I think I'm finally getting a hang of this. Yes I have no live stock yet but I did a water change because my nitrites and nitrates were off the chart. I kept dosing ammonia in fear my ammonia eating bacteria would die if I didn't and overloaded my nitrites and nitrates. It took 2 ninety percent water changes but I got my nitrites and nitrates down. So ammonia was at 0, nitrites was under 1 and nitrates were at 5 ppm. So I dosed 1 ppm of ammonia last night and now its gone. But my nitrites are at 5 again. How is it possible that 1 ppm of ammonia turned into so much nitrite?? Also so I'm assuming I shouldnt dose anymore ammonia until this nitrite is broken down. How long can you go with the ammonia at 0 without starving and losing the bacteria that breaks down ammonia?
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