To Wc During Cycle Or To Not Wc...

Artifical Sanity
  • #1
Hello! I'm excited to begin on this website forum and I am hoping to get some answers about my new cycling aquarium because I am finding very conflicting information online...

I have a 5 gallon portrait that I started cycling on 3/16/18 - I am doing a FISHLESS cycle!
Here are the parameters (tested with API freshwater master kit) today:
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrite: +5ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
pH: 7.2
GH and KH (on 3/24/18): 89.5 ppm

My question is should I be doing water changes?! I keep reading different things EVERYWHERE (including here..) and my LFS has told me I should not BUT the scientific side of me says I should be!

A little background... I threw some snails in to get the ball rolling and within 4 days my ammonia hit 8ppm, 6 days in I started to see a slight rise in nitrite (0.25ppm) and its been climbing ever since, on the 7th day I started to see nitrAte (~5ppm or a little lower). I have also had the tank planted since day one. I've also been dosing with Stability daily.

The past 2 days I have been doing about 25-40% water changes since my nitrites hit 5ppm or higher. I'd bring my nitrItes down to about 2ppm since I've read that high nitrites can stall the cycle (however I've also read that it's not in fact the nitrites but the pH crashing from acid production). My previous pH readings were always 7.4 on the high pH and 7.6 on the pH tests so it seems that I am getting a slight drop in pH but this doesn't seem enough to effect my cycle (PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong).

I know my cycle is on the right track because my ammonia is dropping, my nitrites are rising and its being converted to nitrates (more quickly every day) - but should I continue doing the water changes or just leave it to its own devices? My tank needs to be pristine since this will be a home for a single dwarf puffer and I just want to make sure I'm not harming my bacteria one way or the other.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

I forgot to mention that I seeded a bio sponge in my established 10 gallon aquarium for a week and just put it into the new filter 3 days ago (3/23/18)
 
Alex6455
  • #2
I think, not positive, that you should do water changes to remove the nitrates in the water. I don't think this would effect the cycle though, because the bacteria is converting the ammonia and nitrites. Can anyone else help? Would like to see pics!
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

MVIMG_20180326_163458.jpg
MVIMG_20180326_163442.jpg
MVIMG_20180326_163431.jpg

Please excuse my sad micro sword, it was NOT happy with the stock light that came with the aquarium (SURPRISE LOL) and I don't think it was a good choice with my initial ammonia readings being at +8ppm (oops....) hoping it will bounce back, or I might try something new for the foreground
 
Zach B.
  • #4
I don't want to give bad information but I was at 0 nitrates for 4 days with 5+ nitrites I did a 70% water change and then the next day I saw nitrates. I think changing it too much could be a problem but it seemed to help my cycle but please don't take this as fact I am just sharing 1 isolated experience.
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
That's sort of what I was thinking, my nitrates and nitrites are both still climbing after the 2 days of water changes, and my ammonia is going down so I was going to let it rest for today and see what my parameters are tomorrow. I don't want to jump the gun but I also want to be helping (and not hurting!) my bacteria
 
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #6
Nitrites that high can stall the cycle... ideally keep them less then 4... at 4 do a wc... (drop them bet 1-2)
Can also change ammonia dosing to every other day to help the nitrite not climb so high.
 
Goldiemom
  • #7
Dr. TI'm says to do water changes during a fishless cycle.
 
CraniumRex
  • #8
I have no cycling advice to give you just wow, gorgeous tank! That driftwood is great - lovely scale and depth to the tank. I keep wondering if you had to put it in with a shoe horn.

Hope to see it with new resident soon!
 
Alex6455
  • #9
Beautiful tank!
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Nitrites that high can stall the cycle... ideally keep them less then 4... at 4 do a wc... (drop them bet 1-2)
Can also change ammonia dosing to every other day to help the nitrite not climb so high.

The thing is I haven't been dosing ammonia at all, it remained so high I've seen no reason to, until I started to do WC it was staying at 8ppm. Even with the partial water changes (dropping it down to ~2ppm) the nitrites rise again within 12 hours or less to 5ppm, and this is without ANY ammonia dosing

Dr. TI'm says not to do water changes during a fishless cycle.

And that's the conflicting thing - some people say no WC, some people say WC only when nitrites get to a certain point, and some say it has nothing to do with nitrites at all but only hurts your cycle when the pH crashes or if there is not enough oxygen content.

I have no cycling advice to give you just wow, gorgeous tank! That driftwood is great - lovely scale and depth to the tank. I keep wondering if you had to put it in with a shoe horn.

Hope to see it with new resident soon!

Thank you so much!! Decorating is probably my favorite part about setting up new tanks! It definitely took some major squeezing, luckily no shoe horn was involved! It would only fit one way so I'm happy with how well it ended up looking - Lucky guess on my part because I bought the tank and the drift wood at the same time! LOL
 
CraniumRex
  • #11
The thing is I haven't been dosing ammonia at all, it remained so high I've seen no reason to, until I started to do WC it was staying at 8ppm. Even with the partial water changes (dropping it down to ~2ppm) the nitrites rise again within 12 hours or less to 5ppm, and this is without ANY ammonia dosing
What substrate are you using? I’ve read that some soils can cause ammonia spikes.
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
What substrate are you using? I’ve read that some soils can cause ammonia spikes.

Seachem black flourite
 
CraniumRex
  • #13
Well that shouldn’t cause spikes. I have flourite in one of my tanks and never saw spikes like that.

I’ll hush now - I’m no cycling expert!
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Well that shouldn’t cause spikes. I have flourite in one of my tanks and never saw spikes like that.

I’ll hush now - I’m no cycling expert!

Haha! Well at least that's good to know! Thank you for the input! Have you used flourite in a planted tank with success? The LFS told me it was a good substrate for live plants - I trusted their judgement on that one but they truly had no idea what they were talking about when it came to lighting!
 
Goldiemom
  • #15
And that's the conflicting thing - some people say no WC, some people say WC only when nitrites get to a certain point, and some say it has nothing to do with nitrites at all but only hurts your cycle when the pH crashes or if there is not enough oxygen content.
Well, ok. Dr. Tim’s kinda like the guru of fishless cycling but whatever. I go by his instructions and they always work.
 
CraniumRex
  • #16
Haha! Well at least that's good to know! Thank you for the input! Have you used flourite in a planted tank with success? The LFS told me it was a good substrate for live plants - I trusted their judgement on that one but they truly had no idea what they were talking about when it came to lighting!

Personally I hate the flourite - well *hate* is a strong word. I have 8 planted tanks now, 3 with gravel, 1 with flourite, and 4 with sand. I have not noticed a significant enough difference with the flourite to justify its extra cost. I'm not growing anything fancy and it's probably just my brown thumb, lol. I find dosing the water column for most of my plants (stem, rhizome, floating, moss) plus root tabs for my root feeders works well even with inert substrate like sand.

I would say flourite is nicer to plant in, but it clouds the water for weeks and weeks and weeks. Finally, after 7 months or so, I can gravel vac and replant things without a giant cloud of flourite dust everywhere.

I guess if I were really into it I'd go dirted, but even those have to be supplemented after a few years, or torn down and replace the dirt.

I think your flourite looks fabulous and a worthy investment. Do not fear that blinking at it will cloud your water forever!
 
Artifical Sanity
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Well, ok. Dr. Tim’s kinda like the guru of fishless cycling but whatever. I go by his instructions and they always work.

A Quick Guide to Fishless Cycling | DrTim's Aquatics
From his website I will quote:
"Do not let the pH drop below 7. If it does, do a partial water change to bring the pH back up."
"IMPORTANT – Do not let the ammonia OR nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm."
"If either ammonia or nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm, do water changes to lower the concentration."

Thank you for pointing me towards this great resource - please in the future try to better inform yourself on a topic before making a recommendation because in this case your recommendation directly contradicted the source that you were trying to use.

Personally I hate the flourite - well *hate* is a strong word. I have 8 planted tanks now, 3 with gravel, 1 with flourite, and 4 with sand. I have not noticed a significant enough difference with the flourite to justify its extra cost. I'm not growing anything fancy and it's probably just my brown thumb, lol. I find dosing the water column for most of my plants (stem, rhizome, floating, moss) plus root tabs for my root feeders works well even with inert substrate like sand.

I would say flourite is nicer to plant in, but it clouds the water for weeks and weeks and weeks. Finally, after 7 months or so, I can gravel vac and replant things without a giant cloud of flourite dust everywhere.

I guess if I were really into it I'd go dirted, but even those have to be supplemented after a few years, or torn down and replace the dirt.

I think your flourite looks fabulous and a worthy investment. Do not fear that blinking at it will cloud your water forever!

It's funny because the only reason I ended up with it was because I went to the LFS and said I wanted sand and they said well the only sand like substrate we have is black flourite (of course black is the exact color I was going for) so I said well then I'll take it!

Luckily I only needed a single bag for my small tank so it was not overly expensive but I will definitely keep that in mind when I go to set up a larger tank! I have definitely noticed the cloudiness that you speak of, every time one of my bacopa up roots (which is often) I notice that cloud of dust when I replant - SO glad to hear that it will eventually stop doing that!

I'm assuming that with an inert sand you do not need to replace it? That was one of the benefits I found with the flourite is that it claims it never needs replaced.

I have gravel in my 10 gallon which works great with the anubias and java fern that I have growing on drift wood LOL, I just always found it to be SUCH A PAIN to plant any rooted plants in gravel which is why I was going for sand with this new set up since I wanted it to be heavily planted.
 
Goldiemom
  • #18
A Quick Guide to Fishless Cycling | DrTim's Aquatics
From his website I will quote:
"Do not let the pH drop below 7. If it does, do a partial water change to bring the pH back up."
"IMPORTANT – Do not let the ammonia OR nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm."
"If either ammonia or nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm, do water changes to lower the concentration."

Thank you for pointing me towards this great resource - please in the future try to better inform yourself on a topic before making a recommendation because in this case your recommendation directly contradicted the source that you were trying you to point out.
My apologies. I love Dr. TI'm and he is my go to reference guide. I do have printed instructions that say NOT TO DO W/c’s from him. I guess it’s older instructions but yes, I would go by what he says. I resent your accusations though when I was trying to assist you.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
19
Views
601
Connorho
  • Question
Replies
14
Views
556
CoconutShrimp
Replies
35
Views
2K
lilirose
Top Bottom