Tank Cycling Help!!!

Johnny Gardea
  • #1
Hello everyone I have had my tank for 4 weeks now and have stopped using the top fin bacteria supplement for about a week now and have tested my water with the test strips and the nitrates have gone up. I read that top fin bacteria supplement requires you to keep using it since it does not let the tank cycle naturally. How would I go about using the tetra safe start to since I was using top fin bacteria supplement. I have 3 black khulI loaches 2 molly 2 african dwarf frogs 3 platy and 3 cory catfish in the tank.
 
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Nada Mucho
  • #2
Nitrates are supposed to go up when the tank is cycled and filtering properly. If your ammonia is 0 and your nitrites are 0 while your nitrates are going up then you should be cycled. You need to do water changes to bring nitrates down.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Nitrates are supposed to go up when the tank is cycled and filtering properly. If your ammonia is 0 and your nitrites are 0 while your nitrates are going up then you should be cycled. You need to do water changes to bring nitrates down.
They would be at 0 since using the top fin bacteria supplement now that I have stopped they have gone up are my fish at risk?
 
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Nanologist
  • #4
Hello everyone I have had my tank for 4 weeks now and have stopped using the top fin bacteria supplement for about a week now and have tested my water with the test strips and the nitrates have gone up. I read that top fin bacteria supplement requires you to keep using it since it does not let the tank cycle naturally. How would I go about using the tetra safe start to since I was using top fin bacteria supplement. I have 3 black khulI loaches 2 molly 2 african dwarf frogs 3 platy and 3 cory catfish in the tank.

What are your ammonia and nitrite levels?

I would just follow the instructions on the bottle of TSS+ after making sure my ammonia and nitrites aren't out of control.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
What are your ammonia and nitrite levels?

I would just follow the instructions on the bottle of TSS+ after making sure my ammonia and nitrites aren't out of control.

IMG_1713 (1).JPG
 
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Nanologist
  • #6
Looks like that test strip doesn't test for ammonia. I'm guessing that it's pretty low since you have around 3ppm nitrites but I'm purely guessing.

Nitrite is really toxic to fish, so I would recommend doing a 50% water change with dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as your tank. Then I would retest your water after an hour and I the nitrites are still over 1ppm then I would do another 50% water change. Once your nitrites are closer to .25-.5ppm then I would add the TSS+ according to the instructions.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Looks like that test strip doesn't test for ammonia. I'm guessing that it's pretty low since you have around 3ppm nitrites but I'm purely guessing.

Nitrite is really toxic to fish, so I would recommend doing a 50% water change with dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as your tank. Then I would retest your water after an hour and I the nitrites are still over 1ppm then I would do another 50% water change. Once your nitrites are closer to .25-.5ppm then I would add the TSS+ according to the instructions.
I plan on buying TSS+ today and doing a 50% water change, as well as a good test kit, I heard something about waiting 24 hours after a 50% water change with added dechlorinator before using TSS+?
 
Nanologist
  • #8
I plan on buying TSS+ today and doing a 50% water change, as well as a good test kit, I heard something about waiting 24 hours after a 50% water change with added dechlorinator before using TSS+?

What dechlorination product are you using?

Generally, you should wait 24 hours to make sure there will be ammonia available for the TSS+. Some dechlorination products are safe to use with it though.

The problem with waiting at this point though is that by tomorrow the nitrites may spike again requiring you to do another water change and adding more water treatment, so I would just do a water change, wait a few hours, and follow the instructions on the bottle.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
What dechlorination product are you using?

Generally, you should wait 24 hours to make sure there will be ammonia available for the TSS+. Some dechlorination products are safe to use with it though.

The problem with waiting at this point though is that by tomorrow the nitrites may spike again requiring you to do another water change and adding more water treatment, so I would just do a water change, wait a few hours, and follow the instructions on the bottle.
I use the API one, would that one be fine?
 
Nanologist
  • #10
I use the API one, would that one be fine?

Yes, it doesn't affect the ammonia.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Yes, it doesn't affect the ammonia.
Just did the 50% water change and now I will wait to test! Thank you! you have been very helpful!
 
Nanologist
  • #12
Just did the 50% water change and now I will wait to test! Thank you! you have been very helpful!

No problem. Thought I'd also share this with you as a guide for your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels:

4a41bf572e9fbfd92772d15d54259f7a.jpg
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
No problem. Thought I'd also share this with you as a guide for your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels:
View attachment 313095
These are the readings I got after a 50% water change I will have to get up early tomorrow and do more. what should I be aiming for?
 

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Nanologist
  • #14
These are the readings I got after a 50% water change I will have to get up early tomorrow and do more. what should I be aiming for?

Follow the chart in the I posted! That's what it's for.

You want less than .5ppm nitrite.

It's hard to tell from the lighting in that photo but you're in the "caution" or "danger" zone.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Follow the chart in the I posted! That's what it's for.

You want less than .5ppm nitrite.

It's hard to tell from the lighting in that photo but you're in the "caution" or "danger" zone.
I did a 50% water change yesterday and did a 25% today and the nitrite readings are still the same! what should I do? should I add some of the tetra safe start?
 
Nanologist
  • #16
Try a dilution test. Fill the vial only about 1/4th of the way with tank water and then fill the rest up with bottled or tap water(as long as the tap water is 0ppm nitrite). Then post your results.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Sorry for the delay work and what not. I did the test and it came out blue which means it was at 0 nitrite. But I use the API test kit so I don't know if the results would be accurate
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Try a dilution test. Fill the vial only about 1/4th of the way with tank water and then fill the rest up with bottled or tap water(as long as the tap water is 0ppm nitrite). Then post your results.
Also
Try a dilution test. Fill the vial only about 1/4th of the way with tank water and then fill the rest up with bottled or tap water(as long as the tap water is 0ppm nitrite). Then post your results.
Sorry for the delay work and what not. I did the test and it came out blue which means it was at 0 nitrite. But I use the API test kit so I don't know if the results would be accurate. Also I still have high nitrites
 
Nanologist
  • #19
Also

Sorry for the delay work and what not. I did the test and it came out blue which means it was at 0 nitrite. But I use the API test kit so I don't know if the results would be accurate. Also I still have high nitrites

Did you do the dilution test?

Are you confusing the terms? You first said nitrite was 0 then you said "I still have high nitrites"?

Either way, do the dilution test so you can know how high your nitrates are. Nitrates over 40ppm can affect fish negatively.
 
Johnny Gardea
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Did you do the dilution test?

Are you confusing the terms? You first said nitrite was 0 then you said "I still have high nitrites"?

Either way, do the dilution test so you can know how high your nitrates are. Nitrates over 40ppm can affect fish negatively.
There is nitrite and nitrate which one affects fish the most? and is the dilution test just the nitrate test?
 

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