Is It Normal To Have Results For All 3 Parameters?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by KevInLA, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Doing a fishless's the details:

    Added water last monday July 24th
    Added a 2oz bottle of Fritz-zyme 700 Turbo on Thursday July 27th

    I had only tested for ammonia since then...for about a week since I added the Fritz...

    Once i noticed a slight drop I tested for NitrItes and NitrAtes.......results were: ammonia @ 1, trItes at probably anywhere from 2-5 (api test was purple), trAtes were about 20 (organge).

    Yesterday 08/03, I dosed ammonia back up to about 2-3.

    Im worried that there are reults for all the at the same time and not sure if its supposed to be that way or not. Can anyone offer some insight?

  2. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Perfectly normal :)

    The NitrIte bacteria take longer to grow, so you will see NitrIte hang around for a while even once you start processing through ammonia quickly. For example I was seeing both for about a week after I started seeing ammonia drop from 1ppm to 0 overnight.

    You can continue to dose without water changes as long as ammonia or NitrIte dont get to high, you may have to lower you NitrIte levels if they get to high as it can stall/slow the cycle.

    I have found just a PINCH of food in there helps too, I read and seems to make sense to me that the little bit of organic matter and vitamins help the bacteria growth.

  3. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    You can have readings of all 3 levels at the same time during a cycle. It means you have both ammonia and nitrite converting bacteria, just not enough to process them both completely. I agree that you don't want to allow the nitrite (ammonia and nitrate also) to stay at high levels. You also want to wait until the ammonia and nitrite drop close to 0 before re-dosing or you're just drowning your bacteria before giving them a chance to process what is already there.

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  4. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply. So since the nitrites are reading about as high as it can measure on the api test, is that too high for the cycle to process, or does it change to another color if it's too high?

    Thanks for the reply. If you see what I replied to Bizarro252...?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2017
  5. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    If you suspect you are at the max or over range you can do a dilution test, start by diluting the sample by 50% with tap water (if you know you have 0 nitrate in your tap that is! if not use distilled water) and see what you get. If it were above 5-6 ish and it were me I would do a 50% water change. Hold off adding any more ammonia until you see that start to drop, the ammonia bacteria will be fine without food while that happens.
  6. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Sweet, I'll do that tomorrow and see where it is. Thanks again for the help!
  7. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Sure thing!
  8. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Assuming I did the dilution test properly (tap has 0 nitrItes...mixed 50% tap & 50% tank water) and the result was around 2, so I presume the actual nitrIte reading would be around 4....the API test is tough since the 2 & 5 on the nitrite look so similar. But, if Im correct Im not in danger of stalling the cycling...?
    The ammonia level has gone down to almost 1, and the nitrAtes increased to almost 40.....
    I did not do a water change since Im thinking my cycle is proceeding normally. Does this sound correct?
  9. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    I'd wait another day to see if the nitrites drop at all. If it doesn't, I would do a 90-100% water change, re-test to make sure your levels are 0 and then re-dose just to 2ppm. Test again in 24 hours. Just remember not to add any more ammonia after that until you see the drop in both ammonia AND nitrite (0-.25ppm)

    What you could also do is drop in a tiny pinch of fish food now to help out the nitrite converting bacteria.
  10. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    I'll do that, thanks.
    I actually did drop in a few flakes of fish food in there a couple days ago...sorry I forgot to mention that.
  11. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Agree with @el337's suggestions sounds like you are on the right track :)
  12. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Thanks guys. I'm wondering though, since the api test kit is hard to read higher amounts of nitrites above 2 (at least to me since colors are so similar), would I be safe to presume it may take longer to get a measurable nitrite reading that's not purple if im seeing the ammonia and nitrates change? I'm just trying to make sure I don't do an unnecessary water change if in fact the nitrites ARE decreasing but just not to where I can get a reading just yet. I've been testing every day for all 3 now. My testing yesterday had my ammonia around 1, nitrites still purple...though my dilution test had it around 4, and nitrates around 40 now. The ammonia took about 4-5 days to get from 3 (when I originally posted this) to 1...
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  13. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    If its not clear on the nitrIte test if its decreasing you can also try the nitrAte reading, that will only go up if nitrItes are going down, may be easier to see? I agree that the kit is hard to read accurately... I also use the Seachem test, it tests only nitrIte and nitrAte, but is quite a bit easier to read. Might try it next time you need one.
  14. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Thanks for replying. Ok, from the last couple days I've noticed the nitrates slowly increase without any real change in the nitrites...that I can see on the api test anyways. I'll test today & do a water change if nothing has changed on the results.
  15. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds good, if you are detecting a rise in NitrAte you are on the right track. NitrIte bacteria always take longer to establish than the ammonia consuming bacteria. I have also read that some of the bacteria will prioritize ammonia over NitrIte so you can see buildup of NitriTe if you keep feeding ammonia and not force it to eat the next stage.

    You can always start with a 50% change and monitor from there. If you do a 90% change add some more ammonia to kick off the process again. Just remember to add some sort of dechlorinator! :)
  16. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Ok, so I tested tank when I got home yesterday - Ammonia around .75-1, both trIes and trAtes were way high, color started changing the moment i added the API test solution...trItes looked well above 5, trAtes were at least 80+. I did about an 80% water change, added de-chlorinator, let the filters run for an hour and re-tested water - ammonia about .5 (theres some in my tap water), trItes about 2 (had to do a dilution test to confirm this since regular result was still hard to read), trAtes were around 10-20. I did not add any ammonia after the water change since there were still traces of it......
  17. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds good, I would check again in a day or so, let ammonia hit zero and get that nitrIte down to 1 or less before adding more ammonia IMO.
  18. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Cool, thanks!
  19. KevInLAValued MemberMember

    Ammonia down to almost 0.... around .25, but nitrites and nitrates still holding steady around 2 & 10-20ish respectively. Is it typical for the nitrites to remain like that? My thinking is yes bc there's no reason to add more ammonia until it finished processing all the existing nitrites in there currently so as to not stall or drown the bacteria....just not sure. Im thinking it may take a few more days for the trites to start dropping.....
  20. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Yes, my last cycle on a 10 gal to store sponge filters in sat at 0 ammonia and 3-4 nitrItes for about a week. Agree on no more ammonia until you see those drop to 1 or less.

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