Mini Cycle Started

Flora

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Hi all, long time since I've posted in here, though I still lurk a fair bit!!
So I've got a bit of an issue, after some help and advise please.
Basically, I upgraded my tank from a 75l to a fluval 200, changed over on Friday.
I was running 2 internals on the old tank, some cheapo thing I had customised with bio rings and an eheim biopower 160.
Fluval u4 came with new tank so I took the rings out of cheapo, plus some bioballs from the eheim and stuck in the u4. I also have the eheim running alongside in new tank (with a spray bar on for silent surface agitation, but that aside).
All plants and decor from old tank were moved across, plus some new plants and I also used the majority of the old tank water in the change over. Substrate was also moved across (new down first and old on top). I thought this would all be enough to cause me no major headaches on the water quality front but I was incorrect!!!
Both yesterday and today I am getting nitrite readings of up to between .5ppm and 1ppm, water changes keeping this down to .25-.5. Ammonia is fine on 0ppm every time I test. Nitrate is about 15ppm- I get 5-10 out of the tap here though but this must mean I'm getting some nitrite conversion?
I'm using prime when water changing, is this enough to keep the fish safe?
Anything else I should be doing or any clue how I caused a mini cycle to occur?!
I'm properly gutted and worried about losing fish.
 

finnipper59

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Well...with the larger volume of water in the larger tank, it will take longer for water in the tank to pass through the filtration system...but this will equalize soon. At least you do have a biological system growing already. Keep a watch on the ammonia and nitrites. Do water changes if the nitrates get really bad. But if you've done water changes and ammonia and/or nitrites are spiking, you can give the tank an extra dose of Prime or get some AmQuel...not AmQuel Plus. Neither are going to drop your test readings, but the ammonia and nitrites will be neutralized enough to protect the fish until the mini cycling has had a chance to catch up.
Flora said:
Hi all, long time since I've posted in here, though I still lurk a fair bit!!
So I've got a bit of an issue, after some help and advise please.
Basically, I upgraded my tank from a 75l to a fluval 200, changed over on Friday.
I was running 2 internals on the old tank, some cheapo thing I had customised with bio rings and an eheim biopower 160.
Fluval u4 came with new tank so I took the rings out of cheapo, plus some bioballs from the eheim and stuck in the u4. I also have the eheim running alongside in new tank (with a spray bar on for silent surface agitation, but that aside).
All plants and decor from old tank were moved across, plus some new plants and I also used the majority of the old tank water in the change over. Substrate was also moved across (new down first and old on top). I thought this would all be enough to cause me no major headaches on the water quality front but I was incorrect!!!
Both yesterday and today I am getting nitrite readings of up to between .5ppm and 1ppm, water changes keeping this down to .25-.5. Ammonia is fine on 0ppm every time I test. Nitrate is about 15ppm- I get 5-10 out of the tap here though but this must mean I'm getting some nitrite conversion?
I'm using prime when water changing, is this enough to keep the fish safe?
Anything else I should be doing or any clue how I caused a mini cycle to occur?!
I'm properly gutted and worried about losing fish.
 
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Flora

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OK thanks, how much prime can I dose safely? I added more than needed when I water changed this morning (doubled my drops per bucket) can I dose the whole tank at it's capacity rate on top of that?
 

finnipper59

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Flora said:
OK thanks, how much prime can I dose safely? I added more than needed when I water changed this morning (doubled my drops per bucket) can I dose the whole tank at it's capacity rate on top of that?
Yes...if you've already double dosed and you did a water change, give the filtration system a couple of hours to equalize the water chemistry. Then check your water perameters...especially ammonia, nitrites, and pH. If the ammonia and nitrites have begun to rise, just add 1 more full dose of Prime to the tank. Since you do have bacterial activity happening, that should insure fish safety until tomorrow. Make sure you check and write down water perameters before, and about 3 hours after water changes. This will give you an idea of how fast your biological system is improving from day to day. You want to pay most attention to the water perameters BEFORE the water changes.
 
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Flora

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Cheers, ammonia still fine (I've had none at all on any test) but nitrite on the rise so I'll redose with prime and test again in the morning. Are the bacteria that convert to nitrogen less hardy than the ammonia to nitrite converters? Or slower in their multiplication perhaps?
 

TexasGuppy

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You can safely do a 5X dose of prime, but only needed if levels are getting up above 1ppm. Did you move over all the media from old filters? Is it possible you let them dry out any during the move?
It's possible moving over the substrate kicked up some old debris/fish poop and is converting to ammonia now? If the nitrates are climbing, your getting nitrite conversion. nitrite bacteria takes longer to grow so it just needs to catch up... I have lots of plants in my tank and my nitrates don't really go up, so you may be getting even more conversion that your levels indicate. This may be a very short mini-cycle!

You may have lost some bacteria that was on the walls of the canister as well, and any pads/filters you swapped out...
 

finnipper59

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Flora said:
Cheers, ammonia still fine (I've had none at all on any test) but nitrite on the rise so I'll redose with prime and test again in the morning. Are the bacteria that convert to nitrogen less hardy than the ammonia to nitrite converters? Or slower in their multiplication perhaps?
It has become a popular belief that the Nitrobacter that converts nitrites into nitrates is slower growing, but that's a misguided belief. Nitrobacter just has to wait until Nitrosomas make nitrites to feed them. So the ammonia changing bacteria simply get a head start. They continue to produce nitrites while the nitrite eating bacteria are just getting started, so people think they grow slower. They grow just as fast as the ammonia eating bacteria...they just get a much later start. So you wind up with high nitrites until the Nitrobacter catch up. Then you see the nitrates begin to climb. Once nitrates climb andd nitrites begin to drop, then the tank is cycled.
 

TexasGuppy

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I'll need find it, and verify it, but I've read it takes 7 days for nitrasoma to double and 13 days for the Nitrobacter to double under ideal conditions. I suspect that people experience difference because their ideal pH range is different and people land on different combinations of those scales
 

finnipper59

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TexasGuppy said:
I'll need find it, and verify it, but I've read it takes 7 days for nitrasoma to double and 13 days for the Nitrobacter to double under ideal conditions. I suspect that people experience difference because their ideal pH range is different and people land on different combinations of those scales
Again, that has to do with the food available to the Nitrobacter. I'm a retired Chemist and have grown Nitrobacter in a laboratory with potassium nitrates and they grew just as fast as Nitrosomas using ammonia. I was doing an experiment for Ridex. They were looking to find aerobic bacteria that could work in conjunction with their anaerobic formulas for septic tanks and hired me for the project so I grew a lot of bacteria strains in my lab. I also tried other aerobic bacteria including acidophilus and other probiotics in tanks with Mollygups to see if they would be effective in helping to break down waste in tanks safely...nothing better found than Nitrosomas and Nitrobacter.
 
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