Ammonia Reading

Kiks

Member
To me it looks like it's at 1 or at least closer to 1 than 0.50.
Are you cycling this tank? Do you have any fish in it?
 
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jazmin

Member
yes I am cycling the tank. I added tetra safestart about 2 weeks ago. once the two weeks were up I did a water change. my readings were 0-.25 the first week since that’s what's in my tap. within the last week it rose to .50, so I did a water change. I am cycling with fish. they still seem to be very happy and normal. I added three tetra glofish
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
yes I am cycling the tank. I added tetra safestart about 2 weeks ago. once the two weeks were up I did a water change. my readings were 0-.25 the first week since that’s what's in my tap. within the last week it rose to .50, so I did a water change. I am cycling with fish. they still seem to be very happy and normal. I added three tetra glofish
What size is the tank?
If it's possible I'd take out the fish (the them back to the LFS, put them in another tank, etc.) and do this with pure ammonia. Seems like the safestart hasn't done much for your cycle, since the .25 ppm ammonia comes from your tap and your fish must be producing the rest... This means that your filter still can't handle a very low bioload.
Where are your nitrites at?
 

Morpheus1967

Member
With ammonia in your tap water, I would maybe think about picking up some Prime. It detoxifies small amounts of ammonia and nitrites for 24-48 hours until your biological filter can deal with it. Assuming, that the tank is cycled.

Edit I see you are cycling the tank. Would still get the Prime.
 
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jazmin

Member
it’s a 29 gallon. I have a aquatop pf 40-uv as my filter. nitrites have always been 0, i’m assuming from the safestart

this is what’s in my filter. is there anything I can add to it to maybe help it work better?
 

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Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
it’s a 29 gallon. I have a aquatop pf 40-uv as my filter. nitrites have always been 0, i’m assuming from the safestart
I wouldn't assume that, considering that the bacteria that converts nitrite to nitrate reproduce more slowly. If you have ammonia, but no nitrite (and also somewhat no nitrate), I'd say you're right in the beginning of the cycle. If you were lets say in the middle, you'd see some ammonia, more nitrite than ammonia and perhaps some nitrates if they had started to form.

To me it seems like your tank hasn't really cycled at all from the safestart, unfortunately.
 

Morpheus1967

Member
jazmin said:
this is what’s in my filter. is there anything I can add to it to maybe help it work better?
More of what is in there already. That's the stuff you want, but just look at all that lovely empty space that could be filled with matrix and growing bacteria!
 
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jazmin

Member
Kiks said:
I wouldn't assume that, considering that the bacteria that converts nitrite to nitrate reproduce more slowly. If you have ammonia, but no nitrite (and also somewhat no nitrate), I'd say you're right in the beginning of the cycle. If you were lets say in the middle, you'd see some ammonia, more nitrite than ammonia and perhaps some nitrates if they had started to form.

To me it seems like your tank hasn't really cycled at all from the safestart, unfortunately.
can I add another bottle of the safestart and see if that helps? if I read everything about the cycle right, once the ammonia rises it should drop right? so I should see it dropping and the nitrite or nitrate rising right?

Morpheus1967 said:
More of what is in there already. That's the stuff you want, but just look at all that lovely empty space that could be filled with matrix and growing bacteria!
that makes sense. i’ll see if my mom can get more of the beneficial bacteria. that was only what our local fish store gave us and being beginners we didn’t know better and thought that was the only thing our filter needed
 

Morpheus1967

Member
jazmin said:
that makes sense. i’ll see if my mom can get more of the beneficial bacteria. that was only what our local fish store gave us and being beginners we didn’t know better and thought that was the only thing our filter needed
I like Seachem Matrix. You can buy small bottles at Petco for like $8.
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
can I add another bottle of the safestart and see if that helps? if I read everything about the cycle right, once the ammonia rises it should drop right? so I should see it dropping and the nitrite or nitrate rising right?
The cycle goes like this ammonia > nitrite > nitrate. If your ammonia drops, it's most likely cause the bacteria has been converted to nitrites. If your nitrites drop, you'll most likely see increased amount of nitrate. This is also why when you have no nitrates and you don't have a large amount of plants or something else that consumes it (and you haven't done like a 90% water change), it's safe to say you probably have no cycle. Adding that you also have no nitrites and it seems like you've never done a test and seen any, I'm assuming that nitrites nor nitrates have ever been there.

I don't know if you can add another bottle of safestart. I am not sure exactly what's in it and if it can be harmful to add more of it. If you had no fish in there, I'd say go ahead.
 

ETNsilverstar

Member
It can't hurt to try the safestart again. Did you use safestart or safestart plus?
 

leftswerve

Member
jazmin said:
that makes sense. i’ll see if my mom can get more of the beneficial bacteria. that was only what our local fish store gave us and being beginners we didn’t know better and thought that was the only thing our filter needed
get prime. Do pwc 50% when ammonia hits 1ppm (now).
 
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jazmin

Member
Morpheus1967 said:
I like Seachem Matrix. You can buy small bottles at Petco for like $8.
I just dump the amount I need into the filter right? no where else?

ETNsilverstar said:
It can't hurt to try the safestart again. Did you use safestart or safestart plus?
just regular safestart
 

ETNsilverstar

Member
jazmin said:
just regular safestart
If you want to try it again, I'd get safestart plus then. I've used both and had much better luck with the safestart plus than the regular safestart.
 
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jazmin

Member
Kiks said:
The cycle goes like this ammonia > nitrite > nitrate. If your ammonia drops, it's most likely cause the bacteria has been converted to nitrites. If your nitrites drop, you'll most likely see increased amount of nitrate. This is also why when you have no nitrates and you don't have a large amount of plants or something else that consumes it (and you haven't done like a 90% water change), it's safe to say you probably have no cycle. Adding that you also have no nitrites and it seems like you've never done a test and seen any, I'm assuming that nitrites nor nitrates have ever been there.

I don't know if you can add another bottle of safestart. I am not sure exactly what's in it and if it can be harmful to add more of it. If you had no fish in there, I'd say go ahead.
so basically i’m just now starting the process since the safestart didn’t work right? and yes you are right, i’ve never seen nitrites but it looks like to me that the nitrates are at least 3-4ppm. i’ve seen the orange tint in the nitrates for the past week.

leftswerve said:
get prime. Do pwc 50% when ammonia hits 1ppm (now).
it just seems weird to me that since I did a water change yesterday that it would make the levels rise instead of fall. is that just part of the process?
 

leftswerve

Member
20% is not much of a water change at all, maybe even not enough to notice a color change. Rising ammonia is part of the overall cycling process, especially with ammonia in your tap.
 
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jazmin

Member
oh okay. I just followed what others said on here about doing a water change after adding the safestart. most said to do 20-30. i’ll try to do 50 and see what happens.
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
so basically i’m just now starting the process since the safestart didn’t work right? and yes you are right, i’ve never seen nitrites but it looks like to me that the nitrates are at least 3-4ppm. i’ve seen the orange tint in the nitrates for the past week.

it just seems weird to me that since I did a water change yesterday that it would make the levels rise instead of fall. is that just part of the process?
If your tank had been through a complete cycle you'd see so many more nitrates than 3 - 4 ppm. 3 - 4 ppm nitrates is like nothing. I'd say yes, you're right at the beginning of the cycling process and to me it definitely doesn't seem like safestart has done anything.
 
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jazmin

Member
Kiks said:
If your tank had been through a complete cycle you'd see so many more nitrates than 3 - 4 ppm. 3 - 4 ppm nitrates is like nothing. I'd say yes, you're right at the beginning of the cycling process and to me it definitely doesn't seem like safestart has done anything.
oh okay. well darn that sucks. I thought the safestart would at least make it somewhat easier
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
oh okay. well darn that sucks. I thought the safestart would at least make it somewhat easier
Yeah, it's unfortunate. This (amongst a bunch of other reasons) is why I always advice to cycle without fish. You never know what's going to happen and suddenly you're all stressed out cause you have fish in a tank with unhealthy water. Try the safestart plus if someone else has had better experiences with it. Also (but I assume you did) make sure to use the product correctly.
 
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jazmin

Member
yea going into this I knew somewhat about the nitrogen cycle. so I thought doing a fish in cycle with the safestart would be okay since I read that it at least keeps them safe during it. I think i’m going to try a bottle of the safestart plus and if that doesn’t work then i’ll have to figure something out. I know I used it right. was it maybe because I just dumped it into the water and not the filter too? I dumped the whole bottle in.
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
yea going into this I knew somewhat about the nitrogen cycle. so I thought doing a fish in cycle with the safestart would be okay since I read that it at least keeps them safe during it. I think i’m going to try a bottle of the safestart plus and if that doesn’t work then i’ll have to figure something out. I know I used it right. was it maybe because I just dumped it into the water and not the filter too? I dumped the whole bottle in.
As far as I know you're supposed to use the entire bottle and just add it to the water column. Sounds to me like you've done it right. Might've been a bad/too old batch?
 
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jazmin

Member
I checked the date before adding and it was well into the future not sure on the exact date but I know that. could’ve just been a bad batch I guess
 

Kiks

Member
jazmin said:
I checked the date before adding and it was well into the future not sure on the exact date but I know that. could’ve just been a bad batch I guess
Could also be that it has been exposed to temperatures that has an effect on the product during shipping or storing.
 

leftswerve

Member
jazmin said:
oh okay. well darn that sucks. I thought the safestart would at least make it somewhat easier
At this point there are 2 procedures being mixed up in this thread.
At this point: You have fish in your system, so you are doing a fish in cycle. Do not let the ammonia go over 1ppm, period.
It will not hurt to use safestart PLUS, however you need to keep your fish health in mind (water changes to keep it below 1ppm). That part is kind of my opinion, but not a bad one.
 

ETNsilverstar

Member
What are you using to dechlorinate your water? If you're not using prime, you can do a large water change right before adding the safestart plus so you will have the lowest readings possible. If you're using prime, you'll need to wait at least 24 hours after a water change before adding the safestart, so I'd recommend a large water change, wait 24 hours, then dose the safestart.

The one thing I noticed using the regular safestart was that it made my nitrates CRAZY high when everything was done. The fact that yours are so low definitely tells me something didn't work right with the bottle you used. You did great with the instructions, but it was probably a bad bottle unfortunately.
 

Donthemon

Member
Do a 50 percent or more water change and add Seachem Stability or even another bootle of TSS.
 
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