High levels and snails

Mkm817

Member
Hello! I have been cycling a new 10 gallon for over a month now. I wasn’t seeing any difference other then the ammonia getting up to 1.5 and the nitrite being 0.25 and staying there for like 2 weeks. I was doing research and came across tetra safe start plus and added some of that in. The next morning my ammonia was 1.0, nitrite was 2.0, and nitrate 5.0. It has been that way for two days now. I ordered some snails online last week and they are supposed to get here on Wednesday. All of that being said I have two questions. First, why did the tetra safe start plus cause all my levels to rise at the same time? I know all about the nitrogen cycle so I know how the others need to drop in order for one to rise. My second question is is it even safe to put the snails in now? I know my levels are high and so I don’t think it is. Also, what should I do to make the levels drop faster? I don’t have any lives plants in the tank and don’t have access to any cycled media.
 

mattgirl

Member
The only way to get the numbers down fast is getting them down with water changes. We can do all kinda of things, add all kind of things and the tank will cycle in 6 or so weeks. We can add an ammonia source, do nothing else and the tank will cycle in 6 weeks or so.

I would get the ammonia/nitrite down to negligible levels before putting the snails in there. Once they are just keep an eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed to keep the numbers down.
 
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Mkm817

Member
mattgirl said:
The only way to get the numbers down fast is getting them down with water changes. We can do all kinda of things, add all kind of things and the tank will cycle in 6 or so weeks. We can add an ammonia source, do nothing else and the tank will cycle in 6 weeks or so.

I would get the ammonia/nitrite down to negligible levels before putting the snails in there. Once they are just keep an eye on the numbers and do water changes as needed to keep the numbers down.
Okay! I just did a water change and my levels are now 0.75 ammonia, 0.25 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. My snails are arriving Wednesday or Thursday, and if I keep these levels would they be able to go into the tank?
 

mattgirl

Member
Mkm817 said:
Okay! I just did a water change and my levels are now 0.75 ammonia, 0.25 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. My snails are arriving Wednesday or Thursday, and if I keep these levels would they be able to go into the tank?
I would do at least one more water change before the snails arrive. You want to get that ammonia as low as possible. Water changes should get it down to no more than .25 I would try to get and keep it down to that level or even lower if possible. Your snails are going to be stressed from traveling. We don't want to stress them even more by putting them in water with a high level of ammonia in it. I consider .75 a high level.

Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? It is always good to know the parameters of the water we are using for our water changes. Those numbers are our base line. Some folks have ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in their tap water. If we know that up front then we know where the numbers we are seeing in our tank are coming from.
 
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Mkm817

Member
mattgirl said:
I would do at least one more water change before the snails arrive. You want to get that ammonia as low as possible. Water changes should get it down to no more than .25 I would try to get and keep it down to that level or even lower if possible. Your snails are going to be stressed from traveling. We don't want to stress them even more by putting them in water with a high level of ammonia in it. I consider .75 a high level.

Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? It is always good to know the parameters of the water we are using for our water changes. Those numbers are our base line. Some folks have ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in their tap water. If we know that up front then we know where the numbers we are seeing in our tank are coming from.
I haven’t actually tested my tap. I will do that tonight. I’ll also try to get the levels down more before the snails get here and worst case scenario I put the snails in an already cycled tank until this one is ready. Thanks for the help!
 

mattgirl

Member
Mkm817 said:
I haven’t actually tested my tap. I will do that tonight. I’ll also try to get the levels down more before the snails get here and worst case scenario I put the snails in an already cycled tank until this one is ready. Thanks for the help!
You can do that or you could move some bacteria from a cycled tank over to this one to help it out. I didn't think to ask if you have other tanks that are already cycled. Once you have an established tank there is no need to ever have to go through another long drawn out fishless cycle.

You can add bottled bacteria and hope it helps or you can move bacteria that has been grown in your water to the new tank. In some cases the new tank will be instantly cycled. It still takes time to get established but you will already have both ammonia and nitrites eating bacteria. That is all we are doing when cycling a tank. We are growing ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria.

If you can, move some filter media from your other tank(s) over to this one and it should get right to work at cleaning out the ammonia. Anything you can move over from your established tank will help but media works best.
 
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Mkm817

Member
mattgirl said:
You can do that or you could move some bacteria from a cycled tank over to this one to help it out. I didn't think to ask if you have other tanks that are already cycled. Once you have an established tank there is no need to ever have to go through another long drawn out fishless cycle.

You can add bottled bacteria and hope it helps or you can move bacteria that has been grown in your water to the new tank. In some cases the new tank will be instantly cycled. It still takes time to get established but you will already have both ammonia and nitrites eating bacteria. That is all we are doing when cycling a tank. We are growing ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria.

If you can, move some filter media from your other tank(s) over to this one and it should get right to work at cleaning out the ammonia. Anything you can move over from your established tank will help but media works best.
Yeah, unfortunately my filter is pretty tight and only has one type of media in it so I can’t really switch it out. I tried adding some sponges from my established tank to the new one but didn’t see much of a change after a few weeks.
 

mattgirl

Member
Mkm817 said:
Yeah, unfortunately my filter is pretty tight and only has one type of media in it so I can’t really switch it out. I tried adding some sponges from my established tank to the new one but didn’t see much of a change after a few weeks.
If your established tank is very lightly stocked there won't be as much bacteria on media or decor. If that is the case all you could do is seed the new tank. It would still take time for it to multiply. The only way to rush a cycle is by adding enough bacteria from another tank.

As long as you keep up with your water changes your new snails should be alright in this tank. If you are concerned about doing that your thoughts on putting them in your cycled tank until this tank is ready may be the best thing to do
 

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