Cycle levels

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Zeeth29, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    So I have a 20 gal tall that's been cycling for little over a month. My current readings are.
    Ammonia 0.50 ppm
    Nitrate 10 ppm
    Nitrite 0 ppm
    Are these acceptable levels for how long its been cycling? And how close is this cycle to being done?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. beauWell Known MemberMember

    So you have both ammonia and nitrate readings? Are you doing a fish-in or fishless cycle? If you are doing fishless, how much ammonia have you been adding? What are your tap water parameters?

    If your tap water has no nitrates but your tank has both nitrates and ammonia, imo that would indicate you don't have enough filtration to handle the amount of ammonia that is being processed. If your tap water does have nitrates in it then it would appear your cycle hasn't started yet, or if you've seen the ammonia levels dropping, it just hasn't progressed into the nitrite stage yet.

  3. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Cycling can take up to 12 weeks. 2-3 weeks with the use of a bacteria supplement. If you could answer the above questions as well as the pH of both tap and tank, we can advise further.

  4. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    OK my tap water is:
    Ammonia 8.0ppm( I know ridiculously high)
    Nitrates 0.ppm
    Nitrites 0.ppm
    Ph 8.2ppm
    It is a fishless cycle thought adding ammonia was optional but with what my levels are I don't think its needed. It has plants if that makes a difference

    The pH of the tank is 7.4 is that normal?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2016
  5. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    The pH is fine but yeah, that ammonia is crazy high!! I guess you'd be fine to cycle with it but I'm wondering if you would probably need to use RO water to do water changes with instead?
  6. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    Through a bunch of trial and error with my other tank I've seen that the ammonia level will drop by half in left to age for a day.
  7. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    You do need an ammonia source (if that was your question) but since your tap has ammonia and in plenty high amounts it is a good source. Did you see a nitrite spike? How often are you replacing the water with new (for ammonia). How much are you adding back in (in ppm), like 1.0 or 2.0ppm ammonia etc.

    Depending on the answers to those questions will be easier to determine if you're at the end of cycling or still in the beginning. You can have some of each bacteria (so increasing nitrates without being fully cycled.

    You'll know your cycled when your ammonia with new water is put up 1.0-2.0 and 24 hours later you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites and only nitrates.

    Your PH drop may or may not be concerning. Do you have a GH/KH test? do you know your GH/KH? If not, maybe have a store test it for you and write down the numbers and post them here.

    Also, you can take a bucket of water and put an airstone in it for a day and re-test your ph in the bucket so we can determine if it drops independently of a cycling tank.
  8. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    Well now I feel dumb. I didn't know you had to replace the water for new ammonia. Kind of obvious now that I think about it. How would I know how much ppm I'm adding? Test the water I'm adding with a ammonia test? I do have a GH/KH test. Should I test the tap water,water, the tank water or both?

    I have done the air stone thing and the pH remained stable at 8.2
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2016
  9. MothercrowWell Known MemberMember

    Well, you need to keep the ammonia up to feed the bacteria, but I think she was saying to replace the water because, in this case, your water *is* the ammonia source. For GH/KH, I would test all of it, tap water, tank, standing. More data is more help.
  10. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Ok, so I understand you started up the tank a month ago with water conditioner and 4ppm ammonia (yes you would use the api ammonia test on your tank) and now you're down to .50 ammonia and 10 nitrates right? And you've never replaced any of the water?

    Thats ok, don't feel dumb! Most likely you already went through a nitrite phase. I would replace enough of the water with water conditioner so that your ammonia is reading at 2.0ppm with the liquid test then test it daily after that for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Lets see how long it takes to drop down to .25 from there.

    You can post results daily if you want and we'll keep our eyes on it.

    I'd test your tap right now for GH/KH and your tank also after the water change. The water change will get your ph back up also. If you haven't changed your water in a month a lot of those carbonates are probably gone by the acidic effects of cycling.
  11. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    OK so here are the readings. My tap is kh 200ppm and gh is 50ppm. The tank is kh200ppm and gh100ppm.

    Didn't see your post cindil! These were done before I did a water change.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2016
  12. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Oh, thats ok. Your KH looks great. What all is in your tank? type of substrate and decorations?
  13. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

  14. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Ah ok. Maybe the fluorite increased your GH.

    Everything looks good, I would just get the ammonia level back up with a water change and then keep track of it over the next couple of days. Measure ammonia, nitrites and nitrates every 24-48 hours and post them so we can figure out where you're at in the cycle.
  15. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    Will do Cindil. Thanks for the help
  16. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

  17. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Looks good. I would just let the ammonia fall back down to 0-.25 and lets see where your nitrites are before doing your next water change.
  18. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Great that your nitrites have fallen.

    I would do a water change before you leave to get your ammonia back up to 1.0 before you go or just put a few pellets of food in a nylon sock to feed the bacteria.
  19. Zeeth29Valued MemberMember

    Sorry for the misinformation. I'm not going anywhere thankfully.
  20. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Oh ok well still good your nitrites have fallen.

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