Cycling Question

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Errol

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Hi, I am a newbie to the forum but I have been reading many of the sites articles for some time. I have been given a very neglected 3ft (180) ltr fish tank, with cansiter filter. The fish from this tank (all goldfish) I believe died from neglect and various disease. I understand many chemicals were placed into this tank to solve the problems with obvious dire consequences.

I kept and cleaned the substrate from this tank as well as some orginal orniments. I have also cleaned the filter medium, sponges and biological medium (noodles and bio balls) There appeared to be no slime or biology happening the filter to speak of and my theory is that whatever chemicals were previously used killed this.

I have spent a great deal of time cleaning and bring the tank back to life. I have been cycling the tank fishless for about 3 weeks using fish food to start the process. A week into the cycle I started taking readings.

My query..... After about week 2 I noted a small rise in Amonia from 0.25ppm to 1 and then drop back to 0.25 shortly after 24/ 48hrs I saw a sudden rise in nitrites from .05 mg/l to 5 and then drop by the end of the week to 0. The amonia levels have remained at 0.25. PH has remained around 7 with very little adjustment made since the orginal set up. I did a partial water change of about 1/3 and nitrites and amonia have stayed the same. 0.25 and 0. Has the tank cycled? Why has the amonia levels not dropped to 0? Am I just being impatient?

Im sure in a move of impatients I bought 2 blue Gourami and a sucking cat fish. I thought this might help the process. All appear fine.

Any thoughts would be great. Thanks
 

shollia

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Sounds like your tank is still cycling.. and since you now have fish in there, you're going to have to do water changes every day or every other day (not sure how often. I'm sure someone will tell ya better than I can, but I do one every day)... so your fish won't end up dead b/c of the cycling.

I thought I had read everything about cycling, but that impatience got the better of us and we went out and got 4 danios to cycle our tank for us... if I had actually been paying attention I would've learned that cycling the tank fishless would've been quicker. Now we have to wait longer to get more fish heh

Anywho! GL with the tank! I'm sure the other folk here will be able to tell you all about cleaning those things properly, or if you should just scrap them and all about cycling better than I ever could
 

Izabela

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Hello,

We had the same problem with our tank. All readings indicated the expected ammonia spike, then nitrite spike then 0 nitrites and nitrates starting to rise, but a small amout of ammonia always remained. Finally, on a hunch I tested my tap water and got the same reading from that. Thinking that my tap has ammonia in it, I tested a bottle of spring water from the store...got same result. Finally got a different ammonia test kit from store and finally got the right reading....0. Don't know why, but the quick dip test was reading ammonia where there was none. The test I now use actually has the two chemicals you add to the test tube...it works well.

Izabela
 
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Errol

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Thanks for your thoughts,

I will try the tap water theory. Interestingly though I have a small 40L goldfish tank (which acts like a tropical tank without a heater) with an under gravel filter and have tried the amonia test with this water and it reads 0 but this tank is about 2 years old. However thinking along those lines I use filtered tap water to fill and replace the water changes in that small tank, obviously couldn't do that with the big tank. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers Errol
 
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Errol

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Hey Izabela,

Checked the amonia in my tap water and its the same reading as in my fish tank. Nitrites still 0. I am going to try using my filtered tap water for a few partial water changes and see if this alters the readings over the next couple of weeks.

Cheers

Errol
 
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Errol

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Scratch my last post....filtered water tests positive to the same amonia reading as my tap water and the tank. Bizzare! I will now buy a different test kit and see if its any different. Is this a correct reading or an inaccurate kit? Anyone else had this problem? The kit I am using is a dry tablet test kit.

Cheers Errol
 

Gunnie

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Welcome to FishLore! It's great to have you with us!

First off, see if you can find an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit locally for around $15.00. If not, you can get them online for around that price on the PetSmart website, or Big Al's. This test is very accurate, economical, and probably the most recommended test kit on the forums.

Once you get your master test kit, please post your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings on the forum. It might also be a good idea to post your ph at this time, since you have been using filtered tap water. Also test your water straight out of the tap the same way to see if there is any difference. Also test and post the readings from your big tank. I'm interested in what the ph difference is in both tanks. Filtered water will tend to have a lower ph, and using filtered water is another issue we will get to later. Just know that you don't want to change your ph more than .2 in your tank at any time or it stresses the fish and could kill them.

So let's take this one step at a time. Please post your readings once you get your master test kit, and we will slowly get your tank in balance and healthy.
 
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Errol

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Thanks Gunnie for your reply. I will get a better kit and do as you say. I can tell you that PH in both tanks small and large read neutral, 7 I think without the chart next to me. Both Tap and Filtered water have the same amonia readings 0.25 (same as my large tank). My filtered water straight has a ph thats more akaline. When I do a water change I make the correction to the water before it goes into the tank. I add the usual water ager to this at the same time. Tap water straight has a more acidic ph

I have used the filtered water in my small tank since I bought it 2 years ago and I have only had one fish loss so to speak of, and I now believe from all I have been reading this was probably more to do with cycling process more than anything else.

Will post back soon

Cheers Errol
 
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Errol

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Hi all,

Just to complete this story I hope....bought a new amonia test kit yesterday. Tests on my tank, tap water and filltered water read 0. Yeah. Nitrites contiue to read 0. I'm now inclined to say my take has cycled. What now interests me is having an inaccurate test kit. Is this a common problem?

Thanks for all your advice

Cheers Errol
 
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