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How Did My Tank Become Uncycled?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ghurty, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. ghurty Valued Member Member

    How did my tank become uncycled? I had a tank thats numbers were okay. The nitrates were even at 10ppm. Today I came to do a water test, and the nitrates were down to zero, ph was down to zero (instead of 7.2 from the tap) and ammonia was really high.

    I can understand the ammonia spiked for some reason, but why would the nitrates go down?

  2. fjh Well Known Member Member

    Hi there!
    Are you sure you did the tests correctly? A ph of zero has to be wrong... you would be having all sorts or equipment malfunctions with that ph.
    nitrates could go down from plants or algae, and ammonia can go up if you overfeed or add extra fish etc. but since there is no way your ph is zero, my guess is all your tests are wrong and you should retest.
  3. ghurty Valued Member Member

    Sorry, re the ph I meant on the bottom on the chart which is 6.
    I tested everything twice and got the same numbers. I just did a 90% water change. Added Prime and will wait two more days and add fresh start.
    The only potential thing that happened was overfeeding as I see some fish food still left in the tank. But would higher ammonia cause Nitrates to drop?

    Thank you
  4. Rtessy Fishlore VIP Member

    What test kit are you using?
    Have you done a water change?
    Did you mean either 7.0 or 6.0?
  5. spicegirls5ever Valued Member Member

    Your pH fell too far and it killed off or starved out your bacteria is my educated guess. Educated because this same thing happened to me on two tanks because I neglected the water change, thinking my tanks were healthy having checked everything except ph. When I did check ph it was like yours, below the lowest reading possible.
  6. Snailerator Valued Member Member

    Here's what I did for my cycle and it worked in 3 weeks.

    1. Set up my tank
    2. Bought a feeder goldfish from Petco
    3. Added tss

    I did one water change of 20% after 2 weeks.