High ammonia during cycle - add more?

jayfl234
  • #1
I am cycling my tank fishless and I put bio-spira in and my ammonia is 8 pm and my nitrite is just above .50 ppm will I still need to add ammonia to feed the bacteria I have not added anything in the tank for about 5 days ammonia that is?
 
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Gargoyle
  • #2
The way I understand Bio Spira is supposed to work is you add it then you add your fish.. Anything beyond that eludes me.. ;D Sorry I can't help more..
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Sorry I have these weird questions I like doing things the hardway I guess. I just hate to put anykind of fish in their when the ammonia and nitrite is that high.

I guess I will get some feeder fish for my tank and see what happens I have been reading that you have to put fish with the bacteria for the tank to cycle and not ammoina. So I guess I will try that and see what happens. Any other suggestions if anyone has any would be nice.
 
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griffin
  • #4
from what I can tell, you shouldn't need to add ammonia once you add bio-spira (if it's working), but 8 ppm of ammonia is probably higher than you want to put fish in. i'd do a water change to get the ammonia down, then add fish. others with more experience will probably also chime in
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
That is the thing I am trying something new and I added it and my ammonia is between 6 or 7 ppm and nitrite is almost 2.0 ppm. So I hate to add any kind of fish to the cycle. I have made up my mind and I will wait and see what happens without fish and go from there. because it seems to me that if my ammonia and nitrite are both going up then it is working I'm my opinion.
 
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griffin
  • #6
nitrate/nitrite should be going up, but ammonia should be going down
 
Luniyn
  • #7
Are you still adding ammonia? If so then cut the amount you are adding down by half. The ammonia levels will start to tapper off over time and the nitrite level will start to peak. Since you've started this way, then finish this way and just ride out the cycle before adding fish. To add fish to these conditions with these levels would be like dropping them into acid unless you added treatment chemicals or did a lot of water changes. Either of which will end up slowing down your cycle, so hence my suggestion to just ride it out. If you started with a good batch of bio-spira then it should finish up shortly. Good Luck!
 
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jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Update on my cycle:
Ammonia is 2.0 or 3.0
Nitrite is 2.0
Nitrate is 5.0
Guess everything is going as planned
 
griffin
  • #9
looks like your cycle is getting close to finished
 
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vin
  • #10
You're almost there......When the ammonia and nitrites read 0, do a water change and then add your fish....Add a small quantity of fish so as not to shock the system. Wait a couple of weeks and add more. Repeat until you've reached your desired capacity. Be careful not to overstock.
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Now when I change my water I was not going to do a gravel vac just change water only. Then I was going to add my black mollies I have in my 10 gallon and then in a couple of weeks add my swordtails from my 10. I also noticed on my magnetic glass cleaner that their is some Marroon looking stuff on it I assume that it is algae.
 
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Luniyn
  • #12
I also noticed on my magnetic glass cleaner that their is some Marroon looking stuff on it I assume that it is algae.
Is there a metal blade in the cleaner? If so and the "Maroon stuff" wipes off then it's algae or something along those lines, if it doesn't then it could be rust.

As to the tank, if you've only been adding pure ammonia and not adding any food or something along those lines then there isn't really a need to vacuum the tank. So just the water change should be fine. Just be sure to test the water quality to see how much of a water change you will need to do. It's a good chance your nitrate level will be very, very high and you might need a 70% water change to correct that (i.e. it should be in the 10-20ppm range and closer to 10 if you can).
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Think I will add my two male swordtails first or maybe not I have had my mollies for a long time and they deserve first dibs at the tank. Hmm eventhough my swordtails are bigger. Oh well just have to wait and see
 
vin
  • #14
The brown stuff could be diatoms, which are a form of algae....It's completely normal. If you wanted to and if you have the room, you could add a couple of otos. They'll eat that stuff up...If not, it will eventually disappear.
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
what about a small pleco would they eat it off?
 
vin
  • #16
what about a small pleco would they eat it off?

I'm sure they would, but even the dwarf plecos get to be 5"-6" if I'm not mistaken and they tend to produce a lot of waste. Because of their body mass they tend to put additional strain on the bioload of the tank. I'm sure others here can give better input than I can.
 
griffin
  • #17
what about a small pleco would they eat it off?

i'd recommend otos for that. they're much smaller so you can have more other fish in the tank. they also don't get as large, so less waste produced.

also, since you (I think) cycled fishless, you should be able to put in a full load of fish once you get the cycle finished (no nitrites or ammonia) and do a water change to get the nitrates down.
 
tan.b
  • #18
what about a small pleco would they eat it off?

I'm sure they would, but even the dwarf plecos get to be 5"-6" if I'm not mistaken and they tend to produce a lot of waste. Because of their body mass they tend to put additional strain on the bioload of the tank. I'm sure others here can give better input than I can.

that's absolutely right! they get about 5-6" and do poo continuallly!! but that's because they are busy consuming every spot of algae in the tank!! tan

what about a small pleco would they eat it off?

i'd recommend otos for that. they're much smaller so you can have more other fish in the tank. they also don't get as large, so less waste produced.

also, since you (I think) cycled fishless, you should be able to put in a full load of fish once you get the cycle finished (no nitrites or ammonia) and do a water change to get the nitrates down.
otos are best if you're limited on space. however even when the tank is cycled don't add too many fish at once or it'll be more than the bacteria can handle. add them a few at a time so the extra ammonia can be processed by the bacteria and so the bacteria can "catch up" on teh extra ammonia. hope this makes sense!
tan
 
griffin
  • #19
what about a small pleco would they eat it off?

i'd recommend otos for that. they're much smaller so you can have more other fish in the tank. they also don't get as large, so less waste produced.

also, since you (I think) cycled fishless, you should be able to put in a full load of fish once you get the cycle finished (no nitrites or ammonia) and do a water change to get the nitrates down.
otos are best if you're limited on space. however even when the tank is cycled don't add too many fish at once or it'll be more than the bacteria can handle. add them a few at a time so the extra ammonia can be processed by the bacteria and so the bacteria can "catch up" on teh extra ammonia. hope this makes sense!
tan

that's the thing though - if you cycled fishless (and with ammonia) the amount of ammonia produced by the fish will be less than you were putting in. that's why you can start with a full load immediately. will it be harmful to go slowly? no - but it's also not necessary
 
tan.b
  • #20
I see! that makes sense. can't seem to get ammonia over here so I forget that option sometimes!! we don't have biospira either!! the uk is pants for fishkeepers!!
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I cheked my water today and these are the readings:

Ammonia: between .25 and 0 ppm
Nitrite: 3.0 ppm
Nitrate: 7.0 ppm
Then I guess once the ammonia is gone the nitrite will spike and then drop off really quick?
 
Luniyn
  • #22
I cheked my water today and these are the readings:

Ammonia: between .25 and 0 ppm
Nitrite: 3.0 ppm
Nitrate: 7.0 ppm
Then I guess once the ammonia is gone the nitrite will spike and then drop off really quick?
Yep you are just about fully into the 2nd phase (which is normally much shorter then the ammonia phase). Shouldn't be too much longer now with luck.
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I am ready for it to be cycled you put all the money into setting it up wish it would be faster but it is still is fun looking up what different kind of fish you want to put in your tank. So much fun. Well worth the wait
 
tan.b
  • #24
nearly there now! keep up the good work.... your patience will pay off....
 
armadillo
  • #25
I see! that makes sense. can't seem to get ammonia over here so I forget that option sometimes!! we don't have biospira either!! the uk is pants for fishkeepers!!

Try The Netherlands for no products. Absolute disgrace.

Can you get Prime over in the UK?
 
tan.b
  • #26
I see! that makes sense. can't seem to get ammonia over here so I forget that option sometimes!! we don't have biospira either!! the uk is pants for fishkeepers!!

Try The Netherlands for no products. Absolute disgrace.

Can you get Prime over in the UK?
dont think so. can get ammolock though. you'll have to go on holiday somewhere and take a suitcase back of aquarium supplies! USA/canada seem to have everything!! king british and nutrafin are the main suppliers stocked over here.
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Well I offically have no ammonia in my tank.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 2.0 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
Hopefully those nitrites will drop here shortly and I can stick my fihes in then thanks again for all the help.
 
sgould
  • #28
Congratulations on good progress! Keep going!
 
griffin
  • #29
congrats
 
Gargoyle
  • #30
Looks like you have it under control!! Yeah for you!! ;D
 
armadillo
  • #31
Lucky you. I am completely baffled: I have Ammonia/um at 0.5; Nitrites between 1 and 2; and Nitrates at 25.

I have very little historical data on this as I've just started using the proper test kits (i.e. not paper strips).

Am guessing as I am getting nitrates that my ammonia is on the way down, and my nitrite spike is yet to come, but am not even sure I understand the cycle enough to be able to make those assertion. Am I on the right track?
 
Gargoyle
  • #32
Your doing fine... Test once every 2 days or so to see what is going on. Do water changes to keep the fish happy and so on...

When your Ammonia drop to zero your nitrites will more than likely get very high.. Don't panic... In a few days they will drop off as well. Then you will have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and a nitrate reading. Nitrates are cool as long as you keep them in check. Some suggest anything under 40 is safe. Others prefer to keep them below 20. Personally I like to monitor the levels and find where the tank likes to balance itself and keep them around that level. Smaller tanks will get higher Nitrate readings quicker than larger tanks will so if you have a small tank test for high Nitrates 2 times a week until you get a "feel" for your tank and know when to perform the water changes.

Your doing fine... Just don't stress out and give into adding tons of chemicals into your tank to "control" your levels... ;D
 
armadillo
  • #33
HI Gargoyle, thanks for the reassurance. I tested again today and nitrites were really high (2), nitrates were 50, and ammonia had dropped to 0. Hurray. Let's hope nitrites continue to peak nicely, and soon I'll have a cycled tank.

I've steered clear of temptation with the chemicals. All fry seem to have survived the ammonia peak. Hurray! Now let the boys and gals brace themselves for the nitrite spike with regular changes, and I'll sleep tight again!
 
tan.b
  • #34
horay! you're both nearly there! keep it up and you can stock your tanks up soon and never have to cycle again! the first cycle is always the hardest!....we all remember our first time....
 
armadillo
  • #35
Wow, and this evening (after a post-testing water change this morning, thus), ammonia is still 0, nitrite is 0.5 and nitrate is 50. Nearly there.
 
tan.b
  • #36
Wow, and this evening (after a post-testing water change this morning, thus), ammonia is still 0, nitrite is 0.5 and nitrate is 50. Nearly there.
so close...... you can see the finishing line!
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
With my cycle if I do a water change now will it still prolong my cycle even longer?
My tank readings are:
Ammonia=0
Nitrite= 3.0
Nitrate=5.0

I also have a question should I be putting ammonia in my tank I have put bio-spira in about 2 weeks ago or can I just do a water change and add my fish and just do my water changes till cycle is complete?
 
sgould
  • #38
With my cycle if I do a water change now will it still prolong my cycle even longer?
My tank readings are:
Ammonia=0
Nitrite= 3.0
Nitrate=5.0

Yes. If you have fish in this tank you should go ahead and do the water change though, even though it will slow your cycle a bit. Otherwise there is a very real chance the fish will not survive.

I also have a question should I be putting ammonia in my tank I have put bio-spira in about 2 weeks ago or can I just do a water change and add my fish and just do my water changes till cycle is complete?

I don't have a lot of personal experience with Bio-Spira, but I believe it is intended that fish be added within a day or so of adding it. The Bio-Spira is adding the bacteria your tank needs, but if there is no ammonia in there for it to feed on, it will begin to die. Therefore, I would think the answer is yes...add either fish or ammonia. HOWEVER, please wait for someone else to confirm that as, again, I have very little experience with Bio-Spira.
 
jayfl234
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
I wonder if I put fish in if my ammonia level will rise again?
 
Luniyn
  • #40
Jay you are still cycling without fish right now correct? If so then you don't do any water changes at all until ammonia and nitrite are at 0. You should have never stopped adding ammonia to the tank at any time. You are using pure ammonia right? If so keep adding the same amount of drops you have been every days until you get a reading of 0 for both ammonia and nitrite. Once you get that reading, test your nitrate. If you are around 20ppm then you can just do a 50% water change and you will be ready to add fish. If you are higher (say 40ppm+) then do a 70% water change and then you will be ready to add fish. Don't fill your tank to max right away, however, since you've been using pure ammonia, your tank will already be used to a heavy load of fish. So you could probably get away with adding about 20 inch (adult size) of fish and then fish it off about 2 weeks after that. You shouldn't go through any more ammonia mini-cycles since you've already been pushing the tank to a high limit with the pure ammonia (that's a good thing ).

If you had stopped putting the ammonia into the tank, then start up again right away. If its been more then a few days though without ammonia being added and you've been getting a 0 reading because of it, then there is a good chance a good portion of the good bacteria have died off and you will basically be starting again from step one. So as I said, if you have stopped adding the ammonia every 24 hours, then start up again and let's hope it's not too late. Good Luck!
 

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