Help! Untreated Tap.

eljajkeo22

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Long story short - I spent the last month and a half completing a fishless cycle. Dosed at 4ppm ammonia to get ready for a full load of cichlids that I was planning on adding tomorrow.

Last night I did a 30% water change - I just NOW realized I forgot to add prime. Being in municipal Im sure there residual chlorinators in there.

Did I wipe out all my bacteria?!? I
 

scarface

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Probably not. You could always test one more time to be sure. But at 30 percent water change, I highly doubt it'd be a problem. I used to do 50 percent water changes without using a dechlorinator with no issues, and my tap has chlorine too (but no chloramines). Most of the chlorine gases out as you add it into the tank and if there is any left, it'd be so diluted to be negligible. The only reason I started using dechlorinators again is because a change in my water change philosophy, where I now think the more water change, the better. That means I'd do 90 percent or more per water change, where now chlorine would likely have a negative effect.
 
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eljajkeo22

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I just threw 15ml ammonia in. I had been dosing 30ml for my cycling which had been clearing up within 24hr.

Im figuring if by tomorrow morning (maybe 12hr or so) if my reduced dose has reading for ammonia and nitrites as zero, im still cycled?

I just tested shortly after dosing and I’m around 2ppm at the moment
 

Skavatar

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agreed, 30% shouldn't affect the bacteria too much. dose up to 4ppm and see if it'll still convert it within 24 hrs
 
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eljajkeo22

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saw a lot of views on this but only the 2 replies (thank you btw), so I’ll assume there isn’t a lot of experience here.

As stated, I was dosing 30ml ammonia for my cycle - after 24hr my ammonia and nitrite readings were zero.

Last night I dosed 15ml in hopes it would clear up in half the time with half the dose. This morning, about 12hr later, my ammonia was down to about 0.5ppm, but my nirtrite level is at least 2ppm. So unfortunately it looks like my bacteria took a pretty good hit.

I’m going to do a full dose again and see where I’m at tomorrow morning after a full 24hr. But it looks like I won’t be getting fish this weekend unless miraculously I’m at zeros tomorrow morning.

Don’t forget your prime!!!!! Bah
 

Michael.j.gomez

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Hello, please don't be offended because of so few responses. I will a read post for info or to see if I can help. If I feel op is being guided in right direction & I can be of no assistance I will go on to other intrests(I've seen some threads get crazy & confusing). So please don't be offended!!!!! Hope this helps.
 
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eljajkeo22

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Wasn’t offended by lack of replies, just made the comment to guide others if they experience a similar blunder, as it seems like there’s not a lot out there for this type of issue.

This forum is great and there seems to be a lot of very helpful people around!
 

jjohnwm

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At risk of outraging some people...and, no, I am not posting parameters ...I will state that when I last lived in a city and had municipal water (i.e. chlorinated) I would regularly do 25% - 30% water changes straight from the tap without a care, no dechlorinator, and never had a problem. Temperature was checked by finger.

Important to keep in mind that this was back in the days before chloramine was a possibility. I would not do the same today unless I were certain that my tap water had no chloramine...and since the city might start utilizing it at any time without notice, I would never trust it now. In your case, i.e. a cycling tank, I wouldn't worry at all.
 

mattgirl

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I have been following the journey of this tank on another thread. I really hope you are right @jjohnwm and it won't hurt anything but it seems where the cycle was processing 4ppm within 24 hours it isn't now

@eljajkeo22 even has a way to remove high nitrates from his tap water and was reading 0 ammonia 0 nitrites within 24 hours of adding the ammonia up to 4ppm and was keeping his nitrates under control. .
 

CandyCane701

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At risk of outraging some people...and, no, I am not posting parameters ...I will state that when I last lived in a city and had municipal water (i.e. chlorinated) I would regularly do 25% - 30% water changes straight from the tap without a care, no dechlorinator, and never had a problem. Temperature was checked by finger.

Important to keep in mind that this was back in the days before chloramine was a possibility. I would not do the same today unless I were certain that my tap water had no chloramine...and since the city might start utilizing it at any time without notice, I would never trust it now. In your case, i.e. a cycling tank, I wouldn't worry at all.
I would do the same back before I had chloramine in my tap. I would top off what had evaporated out without adding any dechlorinator quite often. That's not possible with the chloramine though. Plain chlorine can evaporate off the water which is why we were able to do that.
 

jjohnwm

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Not only "can" evaporate from the water...but it does it extremely quickly. The tap water in my house when I was growing up as a kid had so much chlorine that you could smell it while the hose ran, so a great deal was escaping merely during the agitation/aeration of filling the tank. It was accepted as common knowledge that merely letting the new water sit for a few hours would allow virtually all the chlorine to de-gas from the water. In this case, common knowledge seems to have been correct...not always the case, not by a long shot.

mattgirl, that sudden lack of ammonia being oxidized into nitrite is disturbing, for sure. But, consider that bacterial populations can double within a day or so. With a brand new tank, without any BB to speak of, it might take a number of days to build up a sufficient population of BB to oxidize that ammonia. Once you have that population, killing off even half of them should mean that you might not have proper oxidization of ammonia immediately after the water change, but it would be back to normal within a day or so. It would seem that the question that can't be answered for sure is just how large a percentage of your BB can be killed with an untreated water change, and that's going to vary so widely based on so many factors that I don't think it's possible to know ahead of time. I would bet that there would be a noticeable difference between a case where the incoming hose is submerged under the surface of the tank vs. an identical situation where the hose is suspended several inches over the tank and the water is agitated or sprayed in, thus increasing the speed at which the chlorine escapes. Hard to know for sure.
 

mattgirl

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I am really hoping we will hear tomorrow or the next day that any bacteria that may have been lost will have caught back up.
 
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eljajkeo22

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Update time!
30ml ammonia (4ppm range) dosed yesterday at 9am. Today at 8am, ammonia tested pretty much zero - maybe 0.25. Wasn’t yellow yellow but definitely not 0.5 either. So I want to say my ammonia bacteria is recovered.

The big BUT - my nitrite colony took a huge hit it seems. The tube is Purple purple purple.

My tap always has a 0.5+ ammonia reading - so I’m going to assume they use chloramine in my area and the 0.5 ammonia is ammonium from the breakdown

I do do my changes with a tube under the water level, which wouldn’t allow chlorine to gas out, but the ammonia reading I tap indicates it’s probably not chlorine.
 

mattgirl

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Update time!
30ml ammonia (4ppm range) dosed yesterday at 9am. Today at 8am, ammonia tested pretty much zero - maybe 0.25. Wasn’t yellow yellow but definitely not 0.5 either. So I want to say my ammonia bacteria is recovered.

The big BUT - my nitrite colony took a huge hit it seems. The tube is Purple purple purple.

My tap always has a 0.5+ ammonia reading - so I’m going to assume they use chloramine in my area and the 0.5 ammonia is ammonium from the breakdown

I do do my changes with a tube under the water level, which wouldn’t allow chlorine to gas out, but the ammonia reading I tap indicates it’s probably not chlorine.
It is some good news. At least this didn't set you all the way back to square one. Hopefully since you still have ammonia processing bacteria the nitrite processing bacteria won't be far behind.

I would give it a few days to see if it will recover on its own. If you are still getting the royal purple after 2 or 3 days water changes may have to be done to help it along.
 

jjohnwm

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Would the tap water treatments in common use not separate out the chlorine and ammonia in chloramine? If so, there will be chlorine present which will need to gas off. It sounds like people are putting the treatment into the tank and then adding untreated water during a change? So I'm not certain that increasing aeration during the water change will make all that much difference in that case? If I'm way off base here please point it out; I don't use any of this stuff and I'm just thinking out loud...

A nitrite spike immediately following a short-lived ammonia spike seems reasonable; the ammonia spikes when a percentage of the bacteria that utilize it are killed off, the level drops quickly as the bacteria quickly re-populate, and then that excess ammonia is converted to a nitrite spike...which by the same logic should be just as short-lived, as those bacteria re-build their numbers.

I am sooo glad to be on a well...

Edited to add: I'm a slow typist...mattgirl beat me to it!
 
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eljajkeo22

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When doing my change during my cycle, I drained X amount of water, spike full aquarium amount of prime (5mL for 50 gal tank), then re add tap water. Seems like it worked well as after my next dose everything seemed normal after 24hr.

If tomorrow night my nitrite is still high, I’ll do a partial water change to get the level down and re-dose ammonia - need to keep that ammonia bacteria fed while waiting to build the nitrite colony back up. I’m not going to update every step, so assume I’ll repeat this process until I’m back to where I was. Will post when something changes.
 
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eljajkeo22

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Ok! So all week my nitrite we’re taking about 36hrs to clear up fully. Kept dosing, maybe 2-3 times this Week. Friday (yesterday) morning did my normal dose at 4ppm around 630am. Today at 8am I was at zero nitrite and a ton of nitrate. Sooooo I think I’m back to cycled!

Doing a couple 30-50% water changes today WITH PRIME to get my nitrates in control. Then it’s looking like the LFS tomorrow morning.

I’m happy that it only set me back a week adding the untreated tap last week. Hopefully this info is useful to others to make my mistake at least a little worthwhile
 

mattgirl

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I am really happy to hear that you are back on track. I know it was a hard lesson to learn and by sharing it hopefully others will read this thread and it will prevent it from happening to them.
 
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