new at this cycle ?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by chrisw1639, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    yes I have read about the nitrogen cycle on this site, still don't totaly under stand the numbers yet ! The store I bought the tank at has left me with many ? and yes they told me to use the quick strips, after reading the forums here I unstand I need a API MASTER TESTER and I well get one soon. heres what the strips told me

    nitrate 20
    nitrite 0
    hardness 25
    alkalinty off the color charts
    ph 8.4 or higher because the color was pink and I have no pink on char
    did ammonia 3.0
    test tap water and it was 3.0
    I do not live in the city so my water comes from a well , so ? is is my tank still cycling I have been doing this for 5 week the lady at the store keeps telling to put more guppies in and not clean or do water changes till it cycles,
    So i'm asking is this right and just wate it out ???
  2. pinksprklmonkeyValued MemberMember

    That ammonia level seems really high. Do you already have guppies in there? What size is your tank?

    I'm new at this too, but with ammonia levels that high I would not put any fish in there at all. And if there are fish in there now, I think daily water changes are in order. And I would not listen to that lady, she doesn't seem to know what shes talking about.

  3. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!
    I'd be wary of the test results since you're using strips.

    What's the pH of your tap water?
    If it's the same from tap to tank, as pinksprklmonkey advised, you should start daily water changes.
    If you use a water conditioner such as Prime, it'll detox the ammonia for 24 hours between water changes.
    Your ammonia level is extremely toxic, it wouldn't be a good idea to add anymore fish until the tank cycles.
    Improper water conditions weakens the fish's immune system leaving them open to disease and illness.

    It would help if you would fill in your aquarium info. It's found under My Settings at the top left.

  4. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    I have a 75 g tank my info is listed, and I went and test my tap water and the ph level is the same as tank. it turns pink and the only color close too it on the color chart is red and thats 8.4, so my next ? is if I do daily water changes it seams to me that i'm putting same problem water back into it.No I have not used any water conditioner at all the lady at pet store told me to leave it a lone , so i did that's why Im here asking for help!! yes there's one guppie still hanging on I don't know how,9 have died in the last 4 weeks. so how do i keep the ammonia levels down if my tap water is as high as it is and ph ???

  5. crazyhorse60153New MemberMember

    I suggest you use water conditioner... It balances the water and neutralizes the water. I have a few guppies and a platy in my freshwater tank.. I use conditioner for my water. Also, there is salt for freshwater fish that you can buy-- I recommend it as it helps prevent the breakout of diseases in your tank. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
  6. pinksprklmonkeyValued MemberMember

    Doing the water changes is needed to keep that guppy alive and the cycle going. Use some prime, and do water changes. I think doing these things consistently will help your cycle.
  7. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    hi chris, welcome to fishlore!
    I respectfully disagree with adding salt to the aquarium, as a lot of fish don't appreciate it - it irritates them. It also reduces its effectiveness when you need to spot treat for illnesses as the fish become accustomed to it and build up a natural defense.

    Your fish are dying because you have toxic levels of ammonia, and are not removing the chlorine and chloramines from the tap water before adding it to your tank. Using a good water conditioner such as Prime or Amquel+ will detoxify ammonia and nitrites in your tank for 24hrs as well as remove the chlorine and chloramines from your tap water.
    Keep in mind that chlorine and chloramines kill beneficial bacteria instantly, so your cycle will not have started yet.

    Conduct 50% water changes every day, adding one of the water conditioners mentioned above until you get readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 10-20 nitrates for a few days in a row. This will give your remaining guppy the best chance at survival possible. Keep in mind this may take another 4-6 weeks.

    Good luck!
  8. callichmaWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I'm wondering why you have ammonia in your tap water, and I'm thinking that your test strips are not giving you accurate results. If there really is that amount of ammonia in your water, that would be a problem for you as well as your fish.

    Good luck with your tank.
  9. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    My tap water isn't city water it's well water so I hope theres no chlorine in it. As far as ammonia in the water , makes me kind of wonder too. I have only lived in the house for a few years now , and if I hadn't started the fish tank I would of never found out. Might have to put a whole house Water purifier , for now I well go get some water conditioner tomorrow. but now is the water change daily and is 25 or 50 %and the anwer to the ? I too though it might be the strips but I took the water to two pet stores and it came out the same, but they both used strips. but keep he info coming I can sure use it , i'm taking every word being said!!! and I will stay in touch .

  10. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    The reason I suggested Prime is not because of pH or chlorine (since you are on a well) but because it will detox the ammonia for 24 hours between water changes.

    With an ammonia reading od 3.0, I'd do 50% to cut it in half. As long as the pH is the same from tap to tank, there shouldn't be a pH issue.
    If you feel more comfortable, you can do a 25% change tonight.
    Tomorrow, do a 25% in the morning and 25% in the evening.
  11. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    ok thanks, will add Prime as soon as the pet store opens an will changes

    thanks p.s. will keep in touch
  12. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore Chris.

    I hope you enjoy the site.
  13. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    ok did 25 % last night and when I woke up, add water conditioner and will repeate again tonight. aquarist48 enjoy this site as soon as this is over LOL .Didn't know there was this much fun hehe to taken care of fish , but I will learn with the help of all the member on this site. If I would of listen to the petstore I don't know what would of happened ??
  14. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    hello every one , I think I got some good news. went to get api master test but they where out, So I picked up the api ammonia nh3/nh4 test kit. and tested tank water .the reading was o.50 ppm and also did tap water test and it read 0ppm. So I orderd the master test, so I can read the rest of the stuff. so do I keep up the daily 50 % till tank cycles or do I do 25% .:;rocker
  15. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    ok got API master test today hear are the numbers
    ph above 7.6 high rate ph 8.4 ppm
    nitrites 0 ppm
    nitrates 10 ppm
    ammonia .50 ppm

    tapwater ph above 7.6 high rate ph was 8,0 so Lucy if you could help me with numbers it would help still doing 25% morring and at night , do I NEED TO GET PH LOWER or leave it a lone??:;juggle
  16. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    Your pH will jump around a fair bit while you are cycling. Your main concern at this point is your ammonia levels.

    Can you check your tap water for nitrAtes? Showing 10 nitrates with ammonia still present is a good indication that you either have nitrates in your tap water or the bacteria that converts nitrites to nitrates are kicking in. However, you are showing ammonia still, so that means your first stage bacteria is not quite strong enough yet.
    It is a good improvement on previous readings though!

    Make sure you bang the nitrate test bottle #2 REALLY hard before testing, to break up the crystals in the bottle so they mix properly.

    From here - leave the pH alone until the cycle finishes.
    Test your tap water for nitrates
    Continue 25-50% water changes using Prime until readings are 0,0,10
    Keep smiling!
  17. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    Did tap water the nitrates where 20 ppm and nirites 0 ppm still useing prime and doing water changes , also checked ammiona on tank and its know at .25 ppm will keep doing what was told ! 0, 0, 10 is ammonia , nitrite, nitrate right. just making sure what to look for. And thanks a lot !!!:;toast
  18. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in that order.
    If your nitrates are that high from the tap, you should watch for steadily increasing nitrates above 10ppm to confirm your cycle is complete. After of course your ammonia and nitrites are 0!

    Sounds like you are well on your way - it didn't take me long once my ammonia dropped. Check out my blog for my cycling experience - Cycling status.

    Glad we could help!
  19. chrisw1639Valued MemberMember

    i think my tank is finaly finishing its cycle the numbers yesterday where:;hf
    ammonia- ,25
    nitrite- 0
    nitrate 40-80

    and today

    ammonia 0
    nitrite 0
    nitrate 40-80
    high rate ph 8.2

    the reason I put 40 - 80 is how do you tell the difference between the two reds or the oranges there so close? still doing changes and prime , is that the only way to get nitrate to go down, there real high right now and my water turn a litttle cloudy nothing major . if you look through the front you might even say it clear but end to end you can see it. or do I just keep doing changes and prime till they drop? Or do I need to start cleaning my filter it's been 7 weeks maybe carbon needs changed? THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP :;group
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  20. bubblynutterWell Known MemberMember

    Congrats Chris!
    I would wait for a couple of days though, just to make sure you get consistent readings.
    Doesn't seem like you have had a nitrite spike, so just check to make sure you get 0,0,5-20 for the next couple of days.

    With a nitrate level that high I would do a solid water change: 50 - 70% to bring them down to 20 or under.
    I don't believe carbon is necessary, but if you do choose to use it (point of debate on this forum) then change it in a couple of days and then change it every 3 weeks.
    Keep in mind that if you do change it, it may contain some beneficial bacteria and removal of it could cause a mini-cycle. Just something to be aware of.

    Glad to see you're basically cycled!

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