Nitrogen cycle help - Page 2

mattgirl

Member
Kjelli said:
So with my filter im running the tetra whisper for the 30 gallon. I have the activated carbon cartridge, the blue thing that has all the holes in it. A few of the fluval biomax things in the filter and then 3 ceramic rings in the intake thats inside the tank. Ill go buy more decorations tomorrow or this weekend for more area for the bacteria to grow on. I cant do too much because I do want live plants in there I just want to get through the cycle first
I can't swear that more decor will help. Better media in the filter might though. I really can't see the blue thing helping much if at all. Personally I would replace it with a piece of sponge cut to fit where the blue plastic is right now. The sponge will grow and hold more bacteria than that plastic piece will.
 
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Kjelli

Member

mattgirl

Member
Now that it is going down to zero, just run the test once a day. If you do it more often than that you may see 0 ammonia and some nitrites and be tempted to add more ammonia if it is back down to zero. Don't give in to the temptation. Give the nitrite eating bacteria a chance to do some catching up before adding more. Just add ammonia once each 24 hours.
 
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Kjelli

Member
Okay i'll remember that!
The nitrate is at 40ppm and the nitrite is at 2.0ppm. And the ammonia is already down to 1.0 ppm
Im so excited!!
 
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Kjelli

Member
So I dosed it last night and im going to be dosing it again because its back to zero. I cant tell if the nitrites are at 2.0 or 5.0ppm and my nitrates are at 5ppm. Which is weird last time my tap water read 20 ppm. But maybe thats wrong im going to have to retest my tap water for nitrates
 

mattgirl

Member
This cycle is getting very close to done. Nitrites are strange little creatures. One day we think they will never go down and then the next day we see that beautiful sky blue in the test tube. Keep in mind, I have nothing against purple. I just don't want to see it in my test tube for any length of time. It is one of those colors we are thrilled to see when it first shows up and then are just as thrilled to see it gone.

Since it seems your nitrates are now lower I have to wonder if there was a glitch when you originally tested your tap water. Maybe some work had just been done on the water lines and now that they are flushed out the high nitrates are no longer there. I actually run the tests on my tap water from time to time. I want to know the parameters of the water I am using to do my water changes. Mine never changes but change is still possible.
 
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Kjelli

Member
Yea very true. Im going to check the tap tonight when I get off work. And when I run all the other tests so that I know what it starts at and if it increases at all
When I ran the first test unfortunately it was with the sticks so maybe they were wrong
 
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Kjelli

Member
So I checked my levels again my tap water is now 5 ppm of nitrates and the tank is at 10 ppm now. Nitites seem to be around the same color as last check. My ammonia hasn't gone to zero yet. Its sitting at .25~.50 ppm so im going to recheck it before bed and make sure it went to zero so I can redose it. Do I need to do another water change to get the nitrites to start going down?
 

mattgirl

Member
Kjelli said:
So I checked my levels again my tap water is now 5 ppm of nitrates and the tank is at 10 ppm now. Nitites seem to be around the same color as last check. My ammonia hasn't gone to zero yet. Its sitting at .25~.50 ppm so im going to recheck it before bed and make sure it went to zero so I can redose it. Do I need to do another water change to get the nitrites to start going down?
As long as the ammonia is going down a water change shouldn't be necessary. Since you are getting nitrates we know the nitrites are going down. This phase of the process seems to take the longest so just let it do its thing. I will be ready to do the happy dance with you the day you check them and see that beautiful sky blue in the test tube.

In my case it seemed like they weren't doing anything. They didn't seem to be going down at all and then one day they were just gone. I was doing daily water changes at the time. Since I was doing a fish in cycle the water changes were necessary.

Keep an eye on your pH level. Sometimes the cycling process can cause it to drop. If it does a water change should get it back up.
 
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Kjelli

Member
Okay ill check the ph tonight along with everything else
 
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Kjelli

Member
When I checked the ph it was at 8.2
 
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Kjelli

Member
So yesterday night I tested my nitrites and ammonia like normal and got sky blue and bright yellow (0 for both) I knew I had forgotten to add ammonia for a few days. So I was like ill dose it tonight and check tomorrow night I checked the ammonia and nitrites at around 3 to 4 pm and my ammonia was of course at 0ppm but my nitrites were at 1.0 to 2.0 ppm and I just checked the nitrites again close to 24hours not sure if i need to wait another hour for it to be 24hours or not but it's at .25 ppm. So would you say my cycle is done or almost done?
And then how soon till I can add my fish in?
Just got done checking my nitrates and they are at 80ppm or 160ppm
 

mattgirl

Member
This is why I always recommend waiting a full 24 hours before running the tests after adding ammonia. If we run the test before that we will see what you saw.

I would go ahead and change out enough water to get the nitrates down to less than 20. Be sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there. Don't clean anything in the tank. Just remove and replace water. The cycle may be done but it is still delicate and not well established. Once done add your ammonia one more time. If you see 0 ammonia and nitrites 24 hours later then I have to say this cycle is complete and the tank is ready for fish.
 
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Kjelli

Member
Oki I will do that tonight or tomorrow. And when it is ready for fish can I wash the algae off the glass at least?
 

mattgirl

Member
Kjelli said:
Oki I will do that tonight or tomorrow. And when it is ready for fish can I wash the algae off the glass at least?
You should be safe doing that but I wouldn't clean all 4 sides at the same time. Maybe the front first. A few days later the sides and again a few days later the back if you plan on cleaning it. I seldom clean my back glass but I don't have much in the way of algae growing on my glass.
 

Nickguy5467

Member
Kjelli said:
And then should I go buy ammonia and if so what type
Also my filter looks like this is that normal?
I used "Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride

i recommend ditching the cartridges in the future(not right now . get yourself established first. but stuff some sponges in there too so they soak up the bacteria also. and eventually just go all sponges. cartridges suck imo . i learned that with my quietflow 30
 
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Kjelli

Member
Okay I can do that and Nickguy5467 I use the pure ammonia from ace hardware. And I plan on making my own filter media as soon as I have more money do you only use sponges? I added in some biomax pieces to my filter and in my intake I have 3 ceramic rings. And then a sponge pre-filter over the intake
Also mattgirl I was wanting to change substrate so I can have plants in the tank how would I go about that after I have the tank fully cycled
 

Nickguy5467

Member
Kjelli said:
Okay I can do that and Nickguy5467 I use the pure ammonia from ace hardware. And I plan on making my own filter media as soon as I have more money do you only use sponges? I added in some biomax pieces to my filter and in my intake I have 3 ceramic rings. And then a sponge pre-filter over the intake
Also mattgirl I was wanting to change substrate so I can have plants in the tank how would I go about that after I have the tank fully cycled
not just sponges. but that was my focus so my brain only said that. i also have netted zipper things with biomax in them on the top , and i have sponge pre filters on the intake for both of my filters. the other one is a tidal 55(which i like much more). i like having the second smaller filter though for quarantine purposes
 
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Kjelli

Member
So carbon isn't needed?
 

Nickguy5467

Member
Kjelli said:
So carbon isn't needed?
my filter came with a small carbon sponge brick thing that i used at one point so i dont even know if its functions for that anymore, but i dont intentionally use carbon. my tidal 55 doesnt have any carbon . as far as i know carbon is use to clean up your tank water. my tank water is pretty clean as it is. Im no expert though . just me experience

Fish Tank March 2021.jpg
 
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Kjelli

Member
Nickguy5467 said:
my filter came with a small carbon sponge brick thing that i used at one point so i dont even know if its functions for that anymore, but i dont intentionally use carbon. my tidal 55 doesnt have any carbon . as far as i know carbon is use to clean up your tank water. my tank water is pretty clean as it is. Im no expert though . just me experience

Fish Tank March 2021.jpg
Okay that makes sense and what plants are in there?
 

Nickguy5467

Member
Kjelli said:
Okay that makes sense and what plants are in there?
and amazon sword(that i wish planted a little more forward). Anubias nana , a Banana Plant and Dwarf Sagittaria. i forgot what that red plant is called but i dont even know if its alive still and just refusing to fully die. i have no luck with stem plants at all. but i just wanted some color besides green T_T oh andi have java moss on some parts. i dont even really know what to do with that

i do remember reading somewhere at somepoint that carbon isnt really important.
 

mattgirl

Member
Kjelli said:
Also mattgirl I was wanting to change substrate so I can have plants in the tank how would I go about that after I have the tank fully cycled
Plants can actually grow in just about any substrate. Right now I have them growing in both sand in a couple of tanks and gravel in another. You want to be very careful about removing your substrate. By doing so you will be removing a great deal of bacteria. I actually caused a glitch in my well established tank when I removed the gravel and replaced it with sand.

Personally I would not remove and replace substrate until a cycle is at least 6 months old. Even then if you are changing substrate and replacing original decor with live plants at the same time you will be removing way too much bacteria for even a well established tank.

All this to say. Your substrate may be fine for plants. If you plant heavy root feeders add root tabs. If you add plants that feed from the water use liquid ferts.
 
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Kjelli

Member
Okay ill keep that in mind
 

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