Should I be doing water changes? And with this PH reading!

  1. PD305 Initiate Member

    Hello! So, I've been doing my first fishless cycle. So far, so good. I'm finishing my second week and I think I'm getting there. Today my readings were Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0,25 and Nitrates 0,50 (yesterday's Nitrites leves were 0.50 and Nitrates 0,25)). I've been cycling with Stability and fish food. Today I finally received the pure ammonia that I ordered online, and as I had 0 ppm for two consecutive days, I added some drops to my 10 G fish tank. Now, I have the following questions : A) Should I do some water change at this point? And B) I'm confused about the PH reading (see pic attached ). Is that 7.6 or I'm getting it wrong?? Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Do the high range pH test to be sure.

    Right now, no. Water changes aren't needed unless ammonia or nitrites are around or above 4 ppm. This can actually kill bacteria at these levels.

    You'll have to do a large water change or back to back changes to get nitrates low before adding fish. You'll get quite a bit of nitrates after you're cycled all the way.

    By no ammonia reading, do you mean there's been fish food in the tank without a reading on the test kit?

  3. PD305 Initiate Member

    Thanks for your answer. Well, I've got a 0.25 ammonia reading 2 days ago. But 0 before and after that. And started to show more nitrites.
  4. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Have you been feeding food the whole time?

  5. PD305 Initiate Member

    The first 6 days I did a pinch of fish food once a day. On the 7th day, I added half shrimp but I removed it 3 days later because it started to smell . So I did more fish food until today, that finally got my Dr Tim's ammonia, and as was at 0.00 value, I added 1 drop per gallon...
  6. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, so after adding 1 drop per gallon what is your ammonia reading now after the 1 drop per gallon?

    I agree to do the high range ph test.
  7. hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

    These levels can't kill bacteria.

    If your KH is very low, you need to do a water change. It probably isn't very low, but if your water is soft it would be a good idea to check. Low KH can stall a cycle. Yours doesn't seem to be stalling so you're probably ok...

  8. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    High ammonia levels may not kill off bacteria but levels like that can and will inhibit the growth of nitrosonomas and nitrobacter/nitrospira as many studies have shown, thus the cycle appears to stall, slowing to a crawl which can be very frustrating for the person who is trying to cycle. It is best to not bathe the growing bacteria in these levels of ammonia and nitrites.

    I agree on the KH though.
  9. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    I could've sworn I read that high enough levels can actually cause a die off. Either way, there is an effect on the bacteria, so I apologize if I'm incorrect
  10. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    I totally agree there is an effect on the bacteria. Most of the scholarly articles I have looked at say its "inhibited" and don't specify death of the bacteria per se but whether it dies or does not do its job and does not multiply it has the same effect of the cycle not finishing. :)

    Its possible you are thinking of TSS+ failing if ammonia hits 2.0? That often comes up here also as Tetras has listed that number as time to start over. They don't specify it has died, just that it has failed for whatever reason. Kind of makes you think they have died........

  11. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Well, if it does inhibit growth, the bacteria does fall prey to micro predation as they aren't high on the food chain. This is probably the reason for some conclusions I've read. The cycle stalls and takes a while to recover, essentially generating the crash.

    But I'm not a micro biologist and have a much better time with less speculative sciences

    Edit: I've read about TSS+, that's just one source I've seen, but there's more. I'm all across the net for various reasons
  12. PD305 Initiate Member

    Hello! So, here are my measurements today: ammonia about 0.10 , nitrites 2.0, nitrates 10ppm. And as you suggested I took the high range pH and got this (see pic) which I guess is 7.4? My instincts tell me to add more ammonia today...I am wrong?

    Attached Files:

  13. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Dose to 2 ppm ammonia.

    It looks like 7.4 indeed. It's nice to be totally sure
  14. PD305 Initiate Member

    When you say "Dose to 2ppm ammonia" you mean to add one drop per gallon again? Sorry if it's a stupid question .... I'm still kinda newbie on this.
  15. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    It's all good.

    It depends on the ammonia solution. Do the 1 drop per gallon then wait a few to check your ammonia. Add more ammonia until you hit that mark.
  16. PD305 Initiate Member

    Got it! Thank you so much for all your guidance!
  17. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    That's quite flattering, thank you. I don't see it as guidance, lol. Just giving out information
  18. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    With nitrites at 2.0, re-dosing to 2.0 should be fine, just make sure to wait again for ammonia to drop to 0. :)

    Edit: Also, when it drops to 0, don't immediately dose it until we know what the nitrites are at. Depending on where they're at, might have you wait an additional 24 hours.
  19. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Yup. Her nitrates are going to be climbing here soon. I'd reckon the nitrites will stay put for a bit and the nitrates will rise as the ammonia falls.
  20. PD305 Initiate Member

    I'm back! So, today the readings are: ammonia 0.00, nitrites 1.0 and nitrates 5.0. So now I guess I'm going to try and hit that 2ppm ammonia level. Once I hit it...what's next? How far you'd say my tank is from being finally cycled? Thanks!