Nitrogen Cycle Questions

tuggythetugboat
Member
Does anyone know or can make an estimate on how long a tank should be at this period for. My tank has been reading the same for about 4 days now. (0.25 ammonia, between 2 & 5 nitrite, and about 30-40 nitrate). How lomg will it take for thr nitrite to be converted to nitrates? It's It's 7G planted tank btw.
 
jtjgg
Member
average 3 weeks to see nitrite, and another 3 weeks for nitrite to disappear.
 
Flyfisha
Member
You could do a small 20% water change tuggythetugboat in an effort to freshen up the water for the bacteria? The nitrites looks a little high.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
jtjgg said:
average 3 weeks to see nitrite, and another 3 weeks for nitrite to disappear.
Thanks for the info, it did take me about 2.5 to see nitrites so hopefully I'll be able to see 0 nitrates in another 2 or so
Flyfisha said:
You could do a small 20% water change tuggythetugboat in an effort to freshen up the water for the bacteria? The nitrites looks a little high.
Will this lower the nitrite and make the conversion of the nitrite to nitrAte faster/more efficient?
 
Flyfisha
Member
I will write the name mattgirl and her screen will tell her she has been mentioned. I am sure she can explain what the fresh water does to an almost stalled cycle ?Not that at 4 days we can really call your tank stalled. She has more experience in explaining how sometimes a little fresh water gets things moving again.

To answer some of your question.
A 20% water change will lower the nitrites by 20% .

Can I ask what you intend to house in the 7 gallon, because you have only room for a small daily bio load and don’t need to have tons of bacteria converting large amounts of ammonia.

Also just how long has the tank been cycling?
Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? If you could please do that it will help make things clearer.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
Flyfisha said:
I will write the name mattgirl and her screen will tell her she has been mentioned. I am sure she can explain what the fresh water does to an almost stalled cycle ?Not that at 4 days we can really call your tank stalled. She has more experience in explaining how sometimes a little fresh water gets things moving again.

To answer some of your question.
A 20% water change will lower the nitrites by 20% .

Can I ask what you intend to house in the 7 gallon, because you have only room for a small daily bio load and don’t need to have tons of bacteria converting large amounts of ammonia.

Also just how long has the tank been cycling?
Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? If you could please do that it will help make things clearer.
I'm planning on adding about 6 neon tetras and 4 shrimp but not all at once. I've been cycling for about 2.5 weeks now and my water doesn't have any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. I treat the tank with prime before adding water.
 
Flyfisha
Member
Hey thanks for clearing that up. The fact your tap water has no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates is great.
I don’t know what the bottled (snake oil) bacteria is doing to the tests but it would seem you have both lots of bacteria in the tank. Only time will tell if they can multiply like real bacteria into the millions needed. 2.5 weeks is a fast cycle a little to fast to be true maybe?
 
mattgirl
Member
tuggythetugboat said:
Does anyone know or can make an estimate on how long a tank should be at this period for. My tank has been reading the same for about 4 days now. (0.25 ammonia, between 2 & 5 nitrite, and about 30-40 nitrate). How lomg will it take for thr nitrite to be converted to nitrates? It's It's 7G planted tank btw.
You still have a bit of time to go. I have to wonder where the nitrates are coming from this early in the cycle. Have you added any kind of plant fertilizers? Quite often they will spike the nitrates. Did you add bottled bacteria?

Flyfisha is correct about changing out some of the water when a cycle seem stalled. I don't know it that is the case here though. Since your ammonia has been stuck at .25 for a few days you need to get it back up. What is your ammonia source? You need to keep feeding the bacteria to keep it growing.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
mattgirl said:
You still have a bit of time to go. I have to wonder where the nitrates are coming from this early in the cycle. Have you added any kind of plant fertilizers? Quite often they will spike the nitrates. Did you add bottled bacteria?

Flyfisha is correct about changing out some of the water when a cycle seem stalled. I don't know it that is the case here though. Since your ammonia has been stuck at .25 for a few days you need to get it back up. What is your ammonia source? You need to keep feeding the bacteria to keep it growing.
Yes I have used some Seachem Flourish which is probably causing the nitrates. I have not been using any bottled bacteria, I have been relying on the decaying plants to create ammonia. Should I use some Dr Tims Ammonia? If so how much?
 
mattgirl
Member
tuggythetugboat said:
Yes I have used some Seachem Flourish which is probably causing the nitrates. I have not been using any bottled bacteria, I have been relying on the decaying plants to create ammonia. Should I use some Dr Tims Ammonia? If so how much?
The Flourish may be where they are coming from. Since they are so high in this tank I would hold off adding any more for now.

You can add liquid ammonia but I will suggest you use flaked fish food instead. This cycle is moving along pretty good right now so no need to add liquid ammonia. Your planned bio-load is going to be fairly low so we don't have to grow a ton of bacteria but we do need to keep it fed.

To keep the fish food from making a mess in the tank I will recommend you put it in a media bag with very fine netting. Even the foot of a pair of panty hose will work if you have something like that available. Add a couple of teaspoons of it to the bag and hang it where water is running over/through it. Once added just let the cycle finish up.

You may or may not have to add more fish food. We will wait and see how things are going in a week or so after adding the fish food to determine if we need to put fresh food in there.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
Okay thank you will do. And I've looked at many tests and multiple people said that nitrites couldn't come from Seachem Flourish. Not sure about nitrates though. Could have been that the nitrites have appeared and the Flourish had brought nitrates. Do you suggest a small water change to take out some nitrate (does it hurt the plants?) or should I keep going along with the cycle?
 
mattgirl
Member
tuggythetugboat said:
Okay thank you will do. And I've looked at many tests and multiple people said that nitrites couldn't come from Seachem Flourish. Not sure about nitrates though. Could have been that the nitrites have appeared and the Flourish had brought nitrates. Do you suggest a small water change to take out some nitrate (does it hurt the plants?) or should I keep going along with the cycle?
I wouldn't do a water change right now. Add the fish food. If the ammonia rises and doesn't come back down we may need to do a water change then.

Have you tested your pH? Test both tank and tap. We want the tank to be up to at least 7.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
mattgirl said:
I wouldn't do a water change right now. Add the fish food. If the ammonia rises and doesn't come back down we may need to do a water change then.

Have you tested your pH? Test both tank and tap. We want the tank to be up to at least 7.
my ph is just barely at 7
 
mattgirl
Member
tuggythetugboat said:
my ph is just barely at 7
Is that tank pH, tap pH or is it the same in both? As long as it holds at that number the cycle should move forward.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
mattgirl said:
Is that tank pH, tap pH or is it the same in both? As long as it holds at that number the cycle should move forward.
My tap is a little higher, I think it's around 8 but after putting it in the tank it lowers to around 7
 
mattgirl
Member
tuggythetugboat said:
My tap is a little higher, I think it's around 8 but after putting it in the tank it lowers to around 7
How long does it take to drop that low? If it does it fairly fast your water may lack the buffers necessary to hold at the level it comes out of the tap. Put some tap water in a container. Run the pH test on it right away and again on the same water 24 hours later. If it lacks the buffers the number will be lower after sitting there for 24 hours.

You may want to consider getting and running some crushed coral in this tank. It will keep the pH up and stable. It does this by very very slowly dissolving. Unlike some products one can buy CC is basically add it and forget it. It just sits there and does its job. Eventually it may need to be replenished.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
mattgirl said:
How long does it take to drop that low? If it does it fairly fast your water may lack the buffers necessary to hold at the level it comes out of the tap. Put some tap water in a container. Run the pH test on it right away and again on the same water 24 hours later. If it lacks the buffers the number will be lower after sitting there for 24 hours.

You may want to consider getting and running some crushed coral in this tank. It will keep the pH up and stable. It does this by very very slowly dissolving. Unlike some products one can buy CC is basically add it and forget it. It just sits there and does its job. Eventually it may need to be replenished.
I'm not sure how long it takes actually, I'm using Fluval Stratum and it says that it lowers the PH. I'll have to test how long it takes
mattgirl said:
How long does it take to drop that low? If it does it fairly fast your water may lack the buffers necessary to hold at the level it comes out of the tap. Put some tap water in a container. Run the pH test on it right away and again on the same water 24 hours later. If it lacks the buffers the number will be lower after sitting there for 24 hours.

You may want to consider getting and running some crushed coral in this tank. It will keep the pH up and stable. It does this by very very slowly dissolving. Unlike some products one can buy CC is basically add it and forget it. It just sits there and does its job. Eventually it may need to be replenished.
when doing a 40-50% water change my ph goes from almost 7 to 7.4 and I'm not sure how long it takes to go back down. Will this be bad for the fish when I add them. I imagine I'll be doing only 20-25% changes each week so there will be around a .2 change in ph
 
Flyfisha
Member
New Fluval stratum leaches ammonia for a few weeks. Thank goodness,this has been the ammonia source to feed the tank up until now. The stratum has been providing the much needed ammonia to start the cycle.

My understanding mattgirl is that all tap water “gases out “ in the first 24 hours when first placed in a bucket. As gas is used to add chlorine/ chloramine to tap water by many water supply companies and it is normal for the true PH to not be seen until after the water has been out of the pressurised pipes for 24 hours.
 
  • Thread Starter
tuggythetugboat
Member
Flyfisha said:
New Fluval stratum leaches ammonia for a few weeks. Thank goodness,this has been the ammonia source to feed the tank up until now. The stratum has been providing the much needed ammonia to start the cycle.

My understanding mattgirl is that all tap water “gases out “ in the first 24 hours when first placed in a bucket. As gas is used to add chlorine/ chloramine to tap water by many water supply companies and it is normal for the true PH to not be seen until after the water has been out of the pressurised pipes for 24 hours.
Yes I think you are right about the stratum, I've also been purposely leaving in decaying plants so they've been helping get the cycle going aswell. I've heard the same about the pH of water. Some people say to leave it out for 24 hours before adding it to the tank. Do you think it's a problem adding the water right away after declorinating. Will the .2-.4 change of pH cause any negative side effects or death to the livestock I'll be adding (neon tetras and cherry shrimp).
 
mattgirl
Member
Flyfisha said:
My understanding mattgirl is that all tap water “gases out “ in the first 24 hours when first placed in a bucket. As gas is used to add chlorine/ chloramine to tap water by many water supply companies and it is normal for the true PH to not be seen until after the water has been out of the pressurised pipes for 24 hours.
This may be so but the pH level doesn't change for everyone. By knowing if it does we can know if something in the tank is causing it or if it is going to naturally happen. Some folks report theirs actually going up instead of down. It is always good to know the parameters of the water we are using for our water changes and need to know what the pH is going to settle out at.

Back before chloramines started being added to tap water folks could let their water change water sit for 24 hours and the chlorine would dissipate/gas off. Unlike chlorine chloramines don't go away so water conditioner has to be used.
 
Flyfisha
Member
Thanks mattgirl. I am learning all the time
 
mattgirl
Member
Flyfisha said:
Thanks mattgirl. I am learning all the time
You are so very welcome. :)
 

Latest threads

Top Bottom