Cycle Done But... Water Change Before Adding Fish

Jaymielea
  • #1
So I was told its fairly normal that you ph will drop during cycling so will it go back up with first major water change before fish enter the tank? Plan on getting my fish this weekend so I have been just adding ammonia to the water to keep bb fed. Have not done any water change and I have been cycling for a month or so. Thanks for the help
 
AquaticJ
  • #2
You’re free and safe to do water changes.
 
mattgirl
  • #3
So I was told its fairly normal that you ph will drop during cycling so will it go back up with first major water change before fish enter the tank? Plan on getting my fish this weekend so I have been just adding ammonia to the water to keep bb fed. Have not done any water change and I have been cycling for a month or so. Thanks for the help
If you've not done any water changes during the cycling process you should do one before you add fish. How do you test your water? If you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates you are cycled and ready for fish. Normally at the end of the cycle the nitrates will be fairly high and they need to be lowered with water changes before getting fish.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
If you've not done any water changes during the cycling process you should do one before you add fish. How do you test your water? If you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates you are cycled and ready for fish. Normally at the end of the cycle the nitrates will be fairly high and they need to be lowered with water changes before getting fish.
Well for tge past 5 days my tests have read

ammonia 0 to.25 very hard to tell the difference
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrates 5ppm

I am using apI master kit. Today my ph is 6.2 and my ammonia is 1ppm but I may have added to much last night and maybe that's why I still show ammonia or is it my ph being to low? I have been adding 4ppm ammonia every time its gone down to 0 or .25 but I did add a few extra drops in by accident.
 
mattgirl
  • #5
Have you tested the PH of your tap water? 6.2 can cause problems for the cycle and could very well be why you are still seeing ammonia when it should be gone. If your tap water is higher a water change at this point would be a good idea.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Have you tested the PH of your tap water? 6.2 can cause problems for the cycle and could very well be why you are still seeing ammonia when it should be gone. If your tap water is higher a water change at this point would be a good idea.
I use bottled spring water with a ph of around 7.4 so when I do my water chamge that will raise my ph back up? It was steady at 7.4 but just this week it dropped basically right after my cycle was done and I kept adding ammonia daily to feed bb. 5 days of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and 5 nitrats.
 
Peko
  • #7
Fishless cycle I'm assuming. Were you adding any fish food to it or just the ammonia?
 
Kathryn Crook
  • #8
You planning on using bottled water for all your water changes?
That's gonna get expensive and annoying real quick. Almost impossible to maintain. Better to work with your tap water.
 
Peko
  • #9
I use tap water, and then either Safe or Prime
 
Kathryn Crook
  • #10
I use bottled spring water with a ph of around 7.4 so when I do my water chamge that will raise my ph back up? It was steady at 7.4 but just this week it dropped basically right after my cycle was done and I kept adding ammonia daily to feed bb. 5 days of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and 5 nitrats.
Are you gonna use spring water for all your water changes? That's expensive and almost impossible to maintain. Better to work with your tap water.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Fishless cycle I'm assuming. Were you adding any fish food to it or just the ammonia?
Yes I was adding ammonia around 4ppm

Are you gonna use spring water for all your water changes? That's expensive and almost impossible to maintain. Better to work with your tap water.
Yes spring water for everything. My water comes from a well and we have a very interesting water system that actually uses bleach and water softener salt. We Do not drink it so I can't put my fish in it. We had it tested and it has very large amounts of iron,magnesium and other things. I see it as no worse then buying Dog food plus I only have a 20gal tank if I go bigger in future I will then invest in a ro filter. I just don't want my cycle to restart or something that's why this ph is really bothering me. I'm goimg to do a 30% water change Saturday night and add 2ppm ammonia in check Sunday to see if its gone them buy fish. At least that is what I'm hoping for. What do you think
 
Kathryn Crook
  • #12
Yes spring water for everything. My water comes from a well and we have a very interesting water system that actually uses bleach and water softener salt. We Do not drink it so I can't put my fish in it. We had it tested and it has very large amounts of iron,magnesium and other things. I see it as no worse then buying Dog food plus I only have a 20gal tank if I go bigger in future I will then invest in a ro filter. I just don't want my cycle to restart or something that's why this ph is really bothering me. I'm goimg to do a 30% water change Saturday night and add 2ppm ammonia in check Sunday to see if its gone them buy fish. At least that is what I'm hoping for. What do you think
Hmm...my husband works at a spring water plant...we get it free and I have only a 10 gallon tank and filling with spring water, just in the plastic alone is unmaintainable unless you have a local store you can fill 5 gall jugs with.
But hey! If you can do it, more power to ya!
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Oic, I thought you meant the bottled kind....nm.
Yes I am using bottled spring water for the tank the well water we can't use. Sorry I must have mixed something up .Lol The spring water has a ph of 7.4
 
mattgirl
  • #14
Yes spring water for everything. My water comes from a well and we have a very interesting water system that actually uses bleach and water softener salt. We Do not drink it so I can't put my fish in it. We had it tested and it has very large amounts of iron,magnesium and other things. I see it as no worse then buying Dog food plus I only have a 20gal tank if I go bigger in future I will then invest in a ro filter. I just don't want my cycle to restart or something that's why this ph is really bothering me. I'm goimg to do a 30% water change Saturday night and add 2ppm ammonia in check Sunday to see if its gone them buy fish. At least that is what I'm hoping for. What do you think
I would be sure to get the PH in the tank up the same 7.4 you have in your spring water before you get your fish by doing either one very large water change or several smaller ones. It should stabilize now that the cycle is complete and once raised up it should stay there..
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I would be sure to get the PH in the tank up the same 7.4 you have in your spring water before you get your fish by doing either one very large water change or several smaller ones. It should stabilize now that the cycle is complete and once raised up it should stay there..
How big is big? And thank you for the help
 
Rancore
  • #16
50%-70% should boost the ph a fair bit, just make sure you add ammonia after the water change if your cycle is still sensitive
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
50%-70% should boost the ph a fair bit, just make sure you add ammonia after the water change if your cycle is still sensitive
Ok should I add the 4ppm or 2ppm ammonia? And how long do you think till I can add fish? Thanks
 
mattgirl
  • #18
How big is big? And thank you for the help
You are very welcome. Big to me is 60 to 70% --- smaller to me is 30% or so.

I would be dosing the ammonia up to 2. I don't think 4 is necessary at this point.

Once you get the PH up to the same level as your spring water and the tank will process 2 ppm ammonia within 24 hours you can consider the tank cycled and can start adding your fish.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
You are very welcome. Big to me is 60 to 70% --- smaller to me is 30% or so.

I would be dosing the ammonia up to 2. I don't think 4 is necessary at this point.

Once you get the PH up to the same level as your spring water and the tank will process 2 ppm ammonia within 24 hours you can consider the tank cycled and can start adding your fish.
Ok pefect I will do my water change tonight(hopefully) and add 2ppm ammonia right afterward and check Saturday afternoon. Thanks again for your help and I may post again for your help about the test results.
 
mattgirl
  • #20
Ok pefect I will do my water change tonight(hopefully) and add 2ppm ammonia right afterward and check Saturday afternoon. Thanks again for your help and I may post again for your help about the test results.
Ask away and I will try to help Please do keep us updated.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Ok pefect I will do my water change tonight(hopefully) and add 2ppm ammonia right afterward and check Saturday afternoon. Thanks again for your help and I may post again for your help about the test results.


Ask away and I will try to help Please do keep us updated.
Ok I need your help now. So I did a a water change of 50% and now I'm showing nitrite. My ph is back up but now this.


20180922_103727.jpg

PLUS when I did my water change I did a very stupid thing and left my heater on and half of it was out of water. I heard something like sizzling so I unpluged right away but I don't know if damage was already done. When I added water back in tank again I heard sizzling but I didnt see anything break and the light comes on still. The thermometer says it 78d but I'm still scared.

Do you think I screwed my cycle up?
Do you think my heater is gone?

NOT VERY HAPPY
 
Skavatar
  • #22
does the bottled water contain chlorine?

test the water again tomorrow, if the nitrites haven't gone down, you probably have a minI cycle.

is it a glass heater? check for cracks. water might have gotten inside.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
does the bottled water contain chlorine?

test the water again tomorrow, if the nitrites haven't gone down, you probably have a minI cycle.

is it a glass heater? check for cracks. water might have gotten inside.

I use tetra water conditioner for the spring water just incase. Yes its a glass heater it came with the top fin kit and looks like it has bubbles inside now but no cracks on outside that I can see. So if this is a minI cycle how long till I can add fish? I'm getting a bit discouraged every time I think I'm done and can add fish something goes wrong
 
Kjani
  • #24
...might want to get a new heater? Only cuz I don’t think there should be Bubbles inside. Hang in there it’s so frustrating- I’m waiting too....feels like forever
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
...might want to get a new heater? Only cuz I don’t think there should be Bubbles inside. Hang in there it’s so frustrating- I’m waiting too....feels like forever
Ya I will try and get one today. I just don't understand why my nitrite is up and ammonia hasn't moved in 12hrs
 
mattgirl
  • #26
Ok I need your help now. So I did a a water change of 50% and now I'm showing nitrite. My ph is back up but now this.

View attachment 481928
Do you think I screwed my cycle up?
This is telling my that your cycle isn't complete. It looks to me like the really low PH caused the bacteria (the cycle) to set there waiting (went dormant) until conditions were better before continuing to grow. By getting the PH up where it needs to be the bacteria has started growing again. Our first clue should have been the low nitrates. Once the cycle is complete the nitrates should be much higher than what you were seeing 'specially since you hadn't been doing any water changes.

You need to keep a close eye on it and try to keep it above 7. It is said that the PH can drop because of the cycling process but is it possible that you have something else in your tank that is causing it. I am also wondering about the water you are using. It is possible that it is very soft water and that is why the PH is getting so low. .If you have or can get the test for kh/gh you can get a general idea of the hardness of the spring water.

My tap water is really soft so I have to use crushed coral and seashells in my tanks to keep the PH above 7.One or the other may work but I decided to use both and it is working for me.

PLUS when I did my water change I did a very stupid thing and left my heater on and half of it was out of water. I heard something like sizzling so I unpluged right away but I don't know if damage was already done. When I added water back in tank again I heard sizzling but I didnt see anything break and the light comes on still. The thermometer says it 78d but I'm still scared.

Do you think my heater is gone?

NOT VERY HAPPY
Things like this do happen so please don't be too hard on yourself. I would have to replace the heater. I wouldn't trust one that has moisture inside it. Fortunately heaters aren't very expensive.
 
Kjani
  • #27
Well.... the good thing is your nitrite is up... the bad thing is also your nitrite is up...

Ok I’m no expert but I would turn up the temp to at least 78 prolly 80 to get that bacteria moving! Secondly I think you said you just did a water change - that’s good. Thirdly you gotta get your ph 7.0 or above- if not there yet I would do quickie water change I think there are products than can adjust also BUT not sure about using those with cycling... this cycling thing seems to an art lol.... that being said it works better at 7.0 ph and above. Hence you seem to have stalled. That’s ok gotta kick it back into gear - raise ph, raise temp.... add a little bit of Tetra safe start, make sure you have lots of oxygen going there and it should fireup again . Just my two cents...
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
This is telling my that your cycle isn't complete. It looks to me like the really low PH caused the bacteria (the cycle) to set there waiting (went dormant) until conditions were better before continuing to grow. By getting the PH up where it needs to be the bacteria has started growing again. Our first clue should have been the low nitrates. Once the cycle is complete the nitrates should be much higher than what you were seeing 'specially since you hadn't been doing any water changes.

You need to keep a close eye on it and try to keep it above 7. It is said that the PH can drop because of the cycling process but is it possible that you have something else in your tank that is causing it. I am also wondering about the water you are using. It is possible that it is very soft water and that is why the PH is getting so low. .If you have or can get the test for kh/gh you can get a general idea of the hardness of the spring water.

My tap water is really soft so I have to use crushed coral and seashells in my tanks to keep the PH above 7.One or the other may work but I decided to use both and it is working for me.


Things like this do happen so please don't be too hard on yourself. I would have to replace the heater. I wouldn't trust one that has moisture inside it. Fortunately heaters aren't very expensive.
Ok so it was stalled but why did the ammonia go down from 4ppm to 0 in 24 hours every day till about 2 days ago? Just want to understand. I will maybe call the number on the hug and see if they can tell me the gh and kh I don't have a test for them. If not I will have to buy one.
 
mattgirl
  • #29
Ok so it was stalled but why did the ammonia go down from 4ppm to 0 in 24 hours every day till about 2 days ago? Just want to understand. I will maybe call the number on the hug and see if they can tell me the gh and kh I don't have a test for them. If not I will have to buy one.
That is a very good question and I have to admit I just don't know. The company should know so asking them is a good idea.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Well.... the good thing is your nitrite is up... the bad thing is also your nitrite is up...

Ok I’m no expert but I would turn up the temp to at least 78 prolly 80 to get that bacteria moving! Secondly I think you said you just did a water change - that’s good. Thirdly you gotta get your ph 7.0 or above- if not there yet I would do quickie water change I think there are products than can adjust also BUT not sure about using those with cycling... this cycling thing seems to an art lol.... that being said it works better at 7.0 ph and above. Hence you seem to have stalled. That’s ok gotta kick it back into gear - raise ph, raise temp.... add a little bit of Tetra safe start, make sure you have lots of oxygen going there and it should fireup again . Just my two cents...
Have filter goimg and bubbler also have my temp at 80 if it's actually working the water does feel a bit warmer today after that stupid mistake I did.

Have filter goimg and bubbler also have my temp at 80 if it's actually working the water does feel a bit warmer today after that stupid mistake I did.
Well I will see if I can get that info and get back to you again. Thank you guys
 
Kjani
  • #31
Ok so it was stalled but why did the ammonia go down from 4ppm to 0 in 24 hours every day till about 2 days ago? Just want to understand. I will maybe call the number on the hug and see if they can tell me the gh and kh I don't have a test for them. If not I will have to buy one.
Did anything change two days ago? Such as: did ph drop even a little? Temp drop a couple degrees?

Ok I have the book about starting up an aquarium and it states it is VERY HARD on the nitrite producing bacteria to keep dosing at 4ppm. So after two times of that supposed to go down by half. So no big deal nitrites having a hard time. IMHO that darn test cannot tell you if your nitrites are 4-5ppm or 8 or 10ppm. I actually had to test using only an 1/8 amount of aquarium water the rest was tap water to land in the mid-range of nitrites - it was then I knew I hadda do like 80% water change - I also watched my liquid rock go from the high ph test to below 7 ! So that water changed kicked it Back up again. I forgot are you using bottled water distilled? Perhaps mix it up with a little mineral water to stabilize ph? I’m guessing with the mineral water idea....ALSO may want to try dosing at 1ppm to begin then step it up and coax it up each time... if nitrates get real high I would water change to bring em down a bit... I feel like I’m makin’ moonshine here LOL
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Did anything change two days ago? Such as: did ph drop even a little? Temp drop a couple degrees?

Ok I have the book about starting up an aquarium and it states it is VERY HARD on the nitrite producing bacteria to keep dosing at 4ppm. So after two times of that supposed to go down by half. So no big deal nitrites having a hard time. IMHO that darn test cannot tell you if your nitrites are 4-5ppm or 8 or 10ppm. I actually had to test using only an 1/8 amount of aquarium water the rest was tap water to land in the mid-range of nitrites - it was then I knew I hadda do like 80% water change - I also watched my liquid rock go from the high ph test to below 7 ! So that water changed kicked it into high feat. I forgot are you using bottled water distilled? Perhaps mix it up with a little mineral water to stabilize ph? I’m guessing with the mineral water idea....ALSO may want to try dosing at 1ppm to begin then step it up and coax it up each time... if nitrates get real high I would water change to bring em down a bit... I feel like I’m makin’ moonshine here LOL
Yes My ph dropped from 7.4 to 6.4 didnt do a single water change during the cycle as people said to just leave it unless things got out of control. I use 5gal spring water and have tested the ph at 7.4 it was left out 24hr befor test.
 
Kjani
  • #33
Yes My ph dropped from 7.4 to 6.4 didnt do a single water change during the cycle as people said to just leave it unless things got out of control. I use 5gal spring water and have tested the ph at 7.4 it was left out 24hr befor test.
Ok so the big drop of ph was the stall I think... I think your spring water is fine!
 
Skavatar
  • #34
I have read that BB don't do too well in acidic water.

the nitrite BB tends to take a little longer, on my tanks the nitrite phase always took 3 weeks.
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
I have read that BB don't do too well in acidic water.

the nitrite BB tends to take a little longer, on my tanks the nitrite phase always took 3 weeks.
Well for a few days before the ph drop my tests turned out

Ph 7.4
Ammonia 0 to 0.250ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrat 5ppm

Stayed like that for 4 days or so then the ph dropped and ammonia wouldn't go down so Did 50% water chamge and now this has happened. It has only been 12hrs tho after adding ammonia that I did this test so I will test again tonight around 10pm that will be 24hrs and see what I'm at.
 
Kjani
  • #36
Well for a few days before the ph drop my tests turned out

Ph 7.4
Ammonia 0 to 0.250ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrat 5ppm

Stayed like that for 4 days or so then the ph dropped and ammonia wouldn't go down so Did 50% water chamge and now this has happened. It has only been 12hrs tho after adding ammonia that I did this test so I will test again tonight around 10pm that will be 24hrs and see what I'm at.
Please let us know ... I think you’re right on the edge and almost there just need one big push and you’re there!

One more thing don’t use fertilizers or co2 booster during this... it stalled me... things started moving swimmingly after I stopped that, did the big water change like 80% - got my ph up to at least 7.0. If you can get to 7.0 you’re ok! Got my temp up and I did add just a capful of tetra safe start just in case I needed a nitrite to nitrate bacterial boost - I started at 1ppm ammonia, then went to 2ppm ammonia the next day, day after that I noticed nitrates were really high so I only water-changed about 30% or less and went for the 4ppm ammonia - I did not do 216 drops I did 201-202 drops but it got me up to 4ppm minimally- I took measurements at 45 mins in and got the high ammonia reading. Took measurements at 12 hrs in... ok 11 hrs in cuz I was tired to spot check and then tested just at 1/2 hr past 24 hours- I was researching corys
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Ok so tested my water tonight and it is pretty well the same so I guess my cycle is still ongoing. No fish for me this weekend
 
Kjani
  • #38
So... whatdya do??? What things did you do to counter the ph and nitrites???
 
Jaymielea
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
So... whatdya do??? What things did you do to counter the ph and nitrites???
Just going to ride it out I think. My ph is good now since I did the water change so I'll make sure I keep an eye on it.

That is a very good question and I have to admit I just don't know. The company should know so asking them is a good idea.

What do you think my next steps should be? Wait it out?
 
mattgirl
  • #40
What do you think my next steps should be? Wait it out?
Waiting might be the best option at this point. I know the waiting is difficult but in the long run I feel sure your fish will thank you.

This is just one more reason why I have always done fish in cycling, well that and I didn't know there was any other way to do it or that any other way was necessary. With it you set up a tank. Fill it with fresh dechlorinated water and add fish. Before I joined this forum the only test kit I had was one for PH. I was always on top of the water changes though because I realized the fish needed fresh clean dechlorinated water.

While doing a fish in cycle it progresses along a pretty well set line of things that happen. Just because fish in cycling is being frowned upon by some doesn't mean it isn't still a viable way of doing it. I had already had water pets for over 35 years before I ever even heard of fishless cycling a tank and I heard it first right here on this forum.

This is actually what I would do If I found myself in your shoes. I would do a 90% water change to get this tank back to fresh clean water and go ahead and add some hearty fish and allow nature to follow its course. Clean fresh water is the main thing the fish need.

Since you are using spring water (I am assuming it contains all the minerals necessary for both us and our fish in drinking water) a dechlorinator isn't necessary but it is good to have Prime to help neutralize the low amounts of ammonia that will be present in a tank cycling with fish in it.

All of this to say, yes just be patient for a while longer or backup, regroup and go ahead and get some fish to finish this cycle
 

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