Somewhat Odd Parameter Readings?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SuperK, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    So, I replaced my filter since my old one wasn't working, the tank hadn't been cycled but it has fish. (Really long story, not my choice, if you would like an explanation I'm happy to give one.) So of course I'm stuck having to do a fish-in cycle. Tank is overstocked slightly, 6 phantom tetras (which I'm hoping to rehome very soon), 2 cories (I'm aware they need schools of 6 but I cannot in this tank and will be rehoming them) and a betta. The tank is a 12gal cube. Anyway, I've done two tests since the filter was replaced

    Yesterday: 0/0/0
    Today: 0/0/0
    I replaced the filter about two days ago, I haven't done a water change since I replaced it. I just find it odd that with this bioload, the levels are so... Low. I know that cories have quite high bioloads, then I believe it's tetras, with bettas having quite a low bioload. Could it be that there's ammonia present in the water but it isn't enough to show on the readings? I put the nitrate and ammonia side by side since both 0 readings are a yellow colour, and they look pretty similar.

    Anyone have an explanation for this? Clearly the tank isn't cycled. Either I'm colourblind or there's really nothing in the tank at all. I haven't even seen a bacterial bloom or anything. It's odd. I've cycled tanks but usually I do have ammonia present, especially since my water has chloramine which produces ammonia when removed. (My conditioner removes chlorine and chloramine)
    Is this normal?
  2. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    When were the fish added? What's the pH and temp? Are you using a bacteria supplement?

  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    Although I don't have an explanation (yet), the color does look very slightly green, .25-.50. I do say slightly. You may have some good bacteria existing in the water that is slightly curbing it for you.

  4. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    Fish were added about a month ago with a diff uncycled filter. Temp is 22-23 degrees c (not sure what that is in F) I haven't checked pH but as far as I know that's not really important?? If you want to know last time I checked it was about 7.2. If it really is important I can check it again. I don't use bacteria supplements, I probably would if I could buy any haha.

    Yeah I'd say possibly somewhere in between 0 and .25, I've seen .50 before and this def isn't .50. My camera may have made the colours a little off because they look a little different to irl.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2017
  5. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    pH is actually important in cycling since bacteria populates at a much higher rate when the pH is higher. You'd want it at least 7.0 and not dip any lower than that. Can you test out of the tap and tank?

    That temp is really too low for the betta. I'd increase it to about 80F.
  6. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I second this. If your pH is too low or too high your tank will never cycle. So the pH is very important.

    I had my pH crash a few weeks back and ended up losing my cycle all together. I had been having a pH 6.8-7.2 consistently for 3 months before that and it crashed due to having a low mineral content (kH/gh). Dropped to below 6. Got it all situated now though. Things are back on track lol

    I also agree about tank temp. 22C = 72F Bettas need to be kept at around 27C (80F) or at the very lowest you could do 25C (78F) but only if absolutely necessary.
  7. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    I can do that
    I'll try and increase the temp but I have read they can go kinda low
    It might even be 25, I can't remember
    I just know that when it was about 80F the other fish became really lethargic, I had no problems before
    The betta eats fine and swims fine, he hasn't had any sickness at all
    I've read that they can live in about 76F minimum before
  8. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    While bacteria (Nitrosomonas and nitrobacter) do prefer certain pH and temperature saying that your tank wont cycle if your pH has a certain level is not logical.
    AllieSten, I think you lost your cycle because you shocked everything, not because of the pH itself.
    Nitrosomonas prefers an optimum pH of 6.0-9.0 and a temperature range of 20 to 30°C.
    Nitrobacter are widely distributed in both aquatic and land environments. Nitrifying bacteria have an optimum growth between 25-30 °C, and cannot survive past the upper limit of 49 °C or the lower limit of 0 °C, limiting their distribution even though they encompass a variety of habitats. Nitrobacter have an optimum pH between 7.3 and 7.5, and will die in temperatures exceeding 120 °F (49 °C) or below 32 °F (0 °C).According to Grundmann, Nitrobacter seem to grow optimally at 38 °C and at a pH of 7.9, but Holt states that Nitrobacter grow optimally at 28 °C and grows within a pH range of 5.8 -8.5 and has a pH optima between 7.6 and 7.8.
    All the info can be found in Wikipedia.

    In my opinion the optimum temp for Bettas is 25 Celsius. And even tho I do not have a test kit myself it looks like your ammonia can be .25 ppm and not 0, it does not look bright as 0 looks.
  9. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah tank is about 25, just checked

    Anyway, both tank and tap are 7.6. However I've never heard people say this before, even with newbies who have similar pH. Of course maybe it may make a difference but I've honestly never heard that. Like I've cycled tanks before with the same pH and never had a problem, even though my canister ended up losing it's cycle because my dad decided to turn it off
  10. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    You may never ever have issues, but without testing you can't be sure. That is the point of testing. Just to double check that you aren't having pH problems.

    Mine is directly related to my tap water hardness or softness in my case.

    @BeanFish my cycle was lost because of the shock yes, related to the pH dropping from 6.8 to below 6 in 24 hours. So the pH did affect my cycle, indirectly. But there are tons of newbies that are trying to cycle their tanks and have a pH of 6 and can't figure out why after 4-6 weeks, they still aren't cycled. So it is an important factor, and can be easily remedied when you know the cause of the problem. (All I had to do was add crushed coral to my filter)
  11. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    Ive always had a steady pH of 7.6, it was 7.6 in the last tank and 7.6 in this one

    I'm not sure what else could be affecting it, it's just odd that it's complete 0 with the stocking I have and my tank
  12. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    The research is there. Your bacteria died becuase of shock not because your pH was 6. There are a lot of variables in a fishlore thread to take that as a proof that bacteria will not grow in a pH of 6.
    Will it be helpful if your pH is in the mid 7s? Yes. Is it necessary? Nope.
    I dont even have a test kit tho so I cant care much about pH LOL. But bacteria should be able to grow in a pH of 6.
  13. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    Some good reading:


  14. DanjamesdixonWell Known MemberMember

    This may sound trivial;

    but did you bang the Nitrate 2# bottle hard? Like, really hard? It's not uncommon for the Catalyst to settle at the bottom of the bottle, rendering it useless.
  15. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    Bottle #2 apparently contains a suspension so the most important thing is probably to squeeze the drops out of it immediately after shaking it so it doesn't have time to settle.
  16. SuperKWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah I do, I shake all my bottles before using them anyway, habit I guess haha
    I'm still getting like really really trace readings of ammonia and like, 0 everything

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