55 Gallon Tank Confused (Is it cycled)

dhmark

Member
I put up a 55 gallon about a month ago, but the readings are strange. Could someone please look at the readings and tell me if the tank is cycled? Your assistance is greatly appreciated!


DateTimeTemp# FishpHAmmoniaNitriteNitrateChanges
5/12/201422:006408100Setup
5/13/201419:007507.80.25055 tbs AmQuel
5/13/201419:007547.80.2505Added 4 tetra
5/14/201419:007547.80.2500n/a
5/15/201419:00764-0.500n/a
5/16/201420:00754-0.5010n/a
5/17/201420:00774-0.25020n/a
5/18/201420:00754-0.5020n/a
5/19/201420:00784-100Added 2nd filter
5/20/201419:30754-0.2500n/a
5/21/201419:004-0.50.2520n/a
5/22/201420:3075480.25080n/a
5/23/201420:00784-0.25080n/a
5/24/201419:00754-0.25020n/a
5/25/201420:30754-0.25080n/a
5/26/201422:00824-0.25040n/a
5/27/201420:45824-0.5040n/a
5/28/201420:45824-0.5080Added 2 gallons
5/29/201420:30824-0.25080n/a
5/30/201421:0082480.25080n/a
5/31/201420:00784-0.25080n/a
6/1/201422:00824-0.25080n/a
6/2/201422:45824-1080Added 2 gallons
6/3/201420:15784-0.25080n/a
6/4/201422:30754-0.25040Changed 20 gallons
 

hopeful fish

Member
Is there any ammonia in your tap water? I see that you had a nitrite spike, but it was very short. You didn't do a water change after it, so something (bacteria) took it out which is a good thing. The constant ammonia readings do confuse me, though. But, as you seem to add water every few days, it could be from the tap, and that initial reading of 1PPM of ammonia also makes me think that the tap water might be the culprit.
 

HOWsMom

Member
No, that is not cycled.

You are still having consistent ammonia readings, and you haven;t seen your nitrites go up yet.
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy the site.
 
  • Thread Starter

dhmark

Member
It would not surprise me if the tap water is the culprit. However when water is added/changed I always treat it before putting it in the tank with AmQuel Ammonia Remover. I am noticing a slight hint of algae on the pickup tub for the small filter though. I'm wondering if I should relocate the fish, kill the tank and start over again using a fishless cycle.
 

ricmcc

Member
I will agree that you may need to do this, but first test, and please post, the readings on your source water.
Your readings of tank water are rather bizarre; for example, how do you get, at times, high nitrate readings in the absence of nitrite, and a one time 0.25 nitrite reading certainly does not represent a spike, more an anomaly that would not account for your nitrate readings..
Please don't read this as being critical of you at all; you have kept excellent records, And you may well be right about starting again with a fishless cycle, which is, actually,quite easier to do, as it is easier to quantify drops of ammonia than it is fish poop. Easier still if you can get some seeded filter media from your LFS, which is usually quite easy, as they wish to be your LFS.
Why I ask you to not read this as a criticism of you is that asking you to delay and post your source water is because I haven't a clue as to why your readings are such, so I will apologize to you; my curiosity is getting in the way of sound advise, and that should not happen.
I would suggest, though, that you take the most sterile container that you can find and have your water given a second opinion, be it a friend with sound tanks or your LFS.
Best of luck to you, rick

Btw, keeping records in the manner that you do makes me quite certain that you are meant for this hobby, best to ya
 
  • Thread Starter

dhmark

Member
Rick,
Thus, the culprit! However, how to resolve the issue without having to by an RO system? Any suggestions would be helpful!

Tap water (No treatment):
1.0 ppm Ammonia
0 ppm Nitrite
80 ppm Nitrate
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
In a cycled tank, you should be able to process the 1ppm ammonia in your tap water in 24 hours. And the Amquel+ will detox that ammonia for 24 hours keeping your fish safe from exposure.
 

poeticinjustices

Member
I agree with jdhef for the ammonia, that's the easy part. The trickier part is those off-the-chart nitrates. Even cutting with RO/DI water by 50% would only drop those nitrates to 40ppm. Are you certain you did the test correctly and your test kit is not expired? What are you using to test?

If the results are accurate, then you've got a bit of a problem on your hands. I would first suggest you consider planting your tank, if it isn't already, with really good nitrate-eaters. But that's certainly not going to remove high nitrates and with an 80ppm reading, you're likely to add more nitrates than you remove during WCs.

I've always thought about the concept of pre-filtering tap that has high nitrates in it. I figure you could run a tub with the water for your water changes and add a filter stuffed only with media that removes nitrates. Stuff like nitrazorb. Then use the prefiltered water for your WCs. I don't actually know that this will work or if it's even practical, it's just something that I thought about. Maybe some members can comment on if it would actually work, esp if you don't want to use RO/DI water.
 
  • Thread Starter

dhmark

Member
Thank you everyone for the feedback thus far!

Doing some research though, I will be calling the water department as the readings for my home and the neighbors are at 80 ppm of Nitrate! EPA limits are 10 ppm!

With the Nitrate readings being irrelevant at this time, it does not explain the Ammonia & Nitrite failing to cycle.
 

ricmcc

Member
dhmark said:
Rick,
Thus, the culprit! However, how to resolve the issue without having to by an RO system? Any suggestions would be helpful!

Tap water (No treatment):
1.0 ppm Ammonia
0 ppm Nitrite
80 ppm Nitrate
I see below that you are aware of the EPA limits, just as I am aware of the Canadian limits. Speaking only of the Canadian limits, they allow for approx. 1:10,000 deaths of infants. Seems like a small number, unless you happen to be a parent, and it is far higher than many medical protocols, such as FDA approved vaccines, call for.. I wonder who sets these limits that allow for such consequence. I digress, and should avoid any political statements.
I strongly believe that you should cost out RO or RO/DI units, principally because they are far more reliable than filtering sponges, which, having a short useful life, also become unreliable quite quickly; also, if you have not seen the prices of very good quality RO units recently, their drop in cost is rather remarkable ( I bought a 100 GPD RO/DI yielding 0 conductivity for well less than $150 Canadian, shipping included).
I would not normally recommend an RO unit to anyone unless to serve a specific purpose, but I'll make an exception, as your source water appears toxic--sorry, should not smile at that, think of it a smile of encouragement in your fight with City Hall. Best to you, rick

Btw, plants will pick up nitrate, although they will preferentially pick up ammonia, but the number of plants needed per fish bioload makes it a help, rather than a cure (assuming that you don't have a Dutch or Walstad tank, and you don't..
 
  • Thread Starter

dhmark

Member
I am planning on adding plants once the cycle has completed. The lack of an Ammonia rise is troublesome to me though. I would have expected the reading to start climbing by now. I took readings again tonight and received the following:
0.25 Ammonia
0 Nitrite
80 Nitrate
78 degrees (F)
 
  • Thread Starter

dhmark

Member
An RO unit is a possibility, but not in the near future. If I go that route, it would be a whole house unit.
 

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