Question Confused???

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A Sneaky Fatman

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Just did an "every other day" check on my three tanks and got the same reading from all of them.

Ammonia-0
nitrates-~10ppm
nitrites-0
ph~7.5

Normally this would be great, but the third test strip was from an uncycled tank that I filled with tap water last night and put a new filter on to start cycling.

On the nitrogen cycling page it says that as soon as you can read nitrates you should be at the end of the cycle. How is it that I am getting ideal readings???
 
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Meenu

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You should consider getting a liquid test kit such as the API master kit. Liquid tests are much more accurate and reliable. Although the upfront cost of the kit is more than the strips, you get hundreds of tests out of it, and in the end, the liquid tests are more cost effective.

I bought mine online (Amazon), and even with shipping, it cost $12 less than at any local store. I know that the sponsors in the links at the top of the page sell the API kit too.
 

Prince Powder

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I agree with Meenu, invest in a liquid test kit. Results from strip tests are known to be highly inaccurate so you can never be sure if your tanks are properly cycled or not. If by some chance your tests are accurate, it is possible, and not all that uncommon, that your tap water contains nitrate.

Walmart sells the API kit online for about half of what places like Petsmart and Petco sell it for. The picture doesn't show the API label on the product, but if you read the reviews you will see that it IS the API kit. With Walmart's site to store possibilities, you might be able to get the kit with no shipping costs, providing you have a local Walmart that offers site to store pick up.
 
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jetajockey

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i rinse mine in tap water and let them air dry. Or, if I have to retest with them (clumsy me dropping tubes so I only have 2), then I just rinse them in tank water. I have a cup of tank water from each tank that I'm testing so there's plenty to test and plenty to use to rinse the tube (and cap) out.
 

Prince Powder

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Your 10 sounds fine, however I would be concerned with the ammonia reading on the 55 gallon. I would say that either the tank hasn't fully cycled yet or is going through a mini cycle. With an Oscar and a Common Pleco I would think that sooner or later you would need to either separate the fish into different tanks or upgrade to something much larger. Both species are very messy fish which can grow quite large, particularly the Pleco which can easily get two feet long. Since your Oscar is still tiny you might be able to push it for a few months, but with the Pleco already at 11 inches and still nowhere near done growing I would think that even if it were just him, your tank would greatly benefit from extra filtration. I would add another filter to help keep the water clean as well as provide extra space for the colonization of your beneficial bacteria. It would also be wise to use a more efficient filter than the cartridge type. You'll want something which will allow for customized media such as an Aqua Clear or a canister filter. The filtration you have now, while possibly sufficient for your tank size, may not be sufficient for your stock. For now I would say do partial water changes daily with either Prime or Amquel Plus (to keep the ammonia detoxed). The water changes don't have to be massive, just enough to keep your ammonia from going up any higher until it finally zeros out.
 

Prince Powder

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As long as the water flow doesn't blow the fish around, the more the merrier! I doubt anything short of a full blown whirlpool will budge an 11 inch pleco though. The oscar should be fine as I doubt a filter designed for a 20 gallon tank would have a high enough gph to blow him around. If he does have issues at first you can always adjust the outflow, it will still allow for the extra media space, you can always raise the flow as he grows.
 
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A Sneaky Fatman

A Sneaky Fatman

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Status report: 20 gal now has the old 40-60 Cartridge filter from the 55 on it.
Tested the water tonight

Ammonia-0
Nitrates-0
Nitrites-0
PH-~7.6

From the above statements i can assume that adding live plants to an aquarium will reduce nitrates. I have two plants in the tank. I have been reading around and have discovered if I moved my filter over it could cycle the tank almost instantly is that true?
 

kayeleven

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When you move the filter, you are also moving the BB. As long as you leave it there your tank should be cycled, however if you remove it then your cycle goes away. I've heard running 2 filters (one new one old) together for 2-4 weeks is enough time to seed the new filter.
Plants do help with nitrates, but in my experience (minimal though it is) it isn't enough to make a big difference in your required maintenance. I still think they are worth while though, because of how much the fish like them and how much better they look.

Scott
 
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