I'm puzzled

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by chrt396, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Not new to this...well aware of the cycle...but this 55g African tank has me puzzled. Filled r' up with Prime'd water...added Tetra Safe start..added 8 fish. You would THINK that I would be noticing some ammonia after 1 week. NOTHING! Every reading I take shows zeros across the board. No Nitrates,,,Nitrites or Ammonia. Do these fish pee or poop? I'm getting ready to help them with a specimen!!!!

    Every tank I have of any size..has shown ammonia is less than 1 week. This one...NOPE! I did add 5 1/2 tablespoons of aquarium salt to the tank upon recommendation from the local fish expert. I hear that salt is a very controversial subject within the African Cichlid owners...but he was pretty strong in his recommendation..so I did. Would salt affect the readings?


    Am I just being impatient? I dont want to starve off the Tetra Safe Start without any ammonia. How long can that stuff last without a host??
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  2. Aqua HeroWell Known MemberMember

    you have zero nitrates in an african chiclid tank? im pretty sure you haven't cycled your tank properly
  3. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    No kidding!! It cannot even start the cycle without ammonia. I'm saying that there are no traces of ANYTHING!! WHERE IS THE AMMONIA?

    As you said..this is an African Cichlid tank and they eat sloppily...I would assume that they pee and poop...so WHERE IS THE AMMONIA? My bacteria needs some food!!!!!!!!
  4. RogueValued MemberMember

    How long was it between the time you added the Safe Start and when you added the fish?
  5. Aqua HeroWell Known MemberMember

    Wait if its zero ammonia then that's completely normal. It means your bacteria is eating to ammonia fast enough so that there are no traces in the water. This is the same with nitrites. However, with nitrates it's pretty hard and rare to have zero. And in an African cichlid there must be nitrates.

    Are you testing the water properly
  6. KarenLMWell Known MemberMember

    With TSS you add it and let it do its thing for 2 weeks - no testing.

    Are you feeding the fish daily? If so, and the fish are acting normal I would just let it be for the 14 days, then test.
  7. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    It is 1 week old!! I don't really expect much in nitrates. I do expect ammonia...which turns to nitrite...THEN nitrates.

    Added the TSS the next day. Introduced 5 specimens and 1 8oz bottle the next day.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2015
  8. Aqua HeroWell Known MemberMember

    I'm confused, if you cycled your tank you shouldnt have any ammonia or nitrites. That's the whole point of cycling the tank. Did you cycle it for a week or has it been a week since you cycled it
  9. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I'm waiting...somewhat impatiently. I have been feeding regularly..although lightly. They are messy eaters and let a lot drop to the bottom. They may scavenge after I walk away...but you would think with the wasted food...that would be a catapult to the ammonia stage. It's been a week,,,and I now have 11 fish in the tank! NO AMMONIA!!!! Wat up wit dat?? I mean...that tube is as yellow as it can be. The Nitrates...same. Nitrites..as blue as the sky!

    Fish are acting normal and ornery. I replaced about 50 pounds of rock in the tank today...since I didn't like the color scheme of the rock...stirred up a lot and irritated a few fish. They were actively seeking out new hiding places and swimming in and out of the openings that I left for them. I'll keep testing...but heck....my 90 gallon and both my 29's started showing signs of the cycle within 4 days. You would think with these crazy guys in the tank, that it would show up on day 2.

    I'm overstocked for a cycle..but again...I am impatient...and doing so has made a heck of a lot more peace in the tank.

    OH..by the way...these Africans have some size to them as well. They are NOT juveniles. They have their color and are between 3 and 4 inches lip to tip.

    My friend....the tank is NOT cycled!! Repeat...it is NOT cycled. There are no traces of anything at this point. The whole topic here is WHY I am not showing any ammonia. I am aware of the cycle..but I have never seen a tank not establish ammonia after 1 week with ANY type of fish..especially Africans. I can handle the cycling of the tank...the question I have is WHY there is no ammonia. If you have a answer to that..please let me know.
    @Jsigmo @Anders247
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2015
  10. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Well I think the guess is that the bacteria are eating the ammonia. But it sounds like the stuff you added might be messing with the tests if it says to wait two weeks before checking your water parameters. So I would wait until it's been 14 days and then check it.
    Basically, the test is either showing up incorrect from the TSS or ???

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  11. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    The Good Lord did NOT bless me with patience. Sigh!!! I guess I could actually sit there, watch them and enjoy them..instead of worrying about it.
  12. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I know what you mean. Just enjoy your tank.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  13. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    One would think that you would be seeing either ammonia, nitrites or nitrate. So I'll ask the obvious question first, Are you sure your test kit has not expired? Also if using the API kit are you really shaking the snot out of bottle #2?

    Other than that, just go with it and keep an eye on things.
  14. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I have two API test kits. Both are good til 2019 and 2020. I do the rumba with bottle number two and practice my drum solos with it.

    Guess...I should be practicing patience. My ammonia test liquid is gonna get some usage this next week!

    It's just amazing how 6 cherry barbs and 4 gold barbs can show ammonia in a 29g in 5 days...and 11 African beasts cant produce enough to do it in a week! I even double checked my Fluval 406 to make sure I didn't put any carbon in it. NOPE...did not! I get involved in projects in the wee hours so..who knows!
  15. KarenLMWell Known MemberMember

    Patience is a virtue. I suggest you hide your test kit for another week then pull it out, unless your fish start showing signs of stress or illness.

    TSS tells you to not test for a reason - you'll panic!

    Sit back and relax. Let the TSS work its magic.
  16. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Another reason I like to advocate Stability, the readings aren't as crazy and the spikes aren't as spikey. But that's just my opinion.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  17. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I guess I didn't read the "no testing" part. That would have saved me some key strokes and a few gray hairs!
  18. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Just an update. Yesterday...I noticed a change in testing. I took two days off from stressing..and yesterday I noticed the ammonia went to .25 ppm..so I added another bottle of TSS...and today, the readings are .25ppm ammonia, .25ppm nitrates...and 5.0ppm Nitrate. We are now on the ride!! Protect and preserve mode!!
  19. csawyer98New MemberMember

    The prime may have been the culprit. When I use prime the ammonia and nitrites drop to nothing because they are converted into a slightly different chemical structure that is less toxic and some test kits don't pick up on the safer substances

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  20. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    You are right to a degree..however..I only added Prime when the tank was originally filled up then waited two days before I added bacteria. THEN I added fish...and more fish. Have not primed the tank at all during cycle nor have I changed water. The cycle is progressing. .25 Ammonia...0 nitrites and 5ppm of nitrates. All is going well...so far. It should be completed this week or next.

    I actually added another bottle of TSS when the ammonia started to show to make sure that bacteria was present. I wasnt sure if within the entire 1 1/2 week wait with no ammonia had starved off hte bacteria. Since I wasnt sure..and it wasnt going to hurt to add another bottle of TSS..except my wallet...I added the TSS