Water change during cycling

Ladyglo

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Hi, yet another cycling question - On Jan 1st I started a fishless cycle on a 10 gallon tank, to use as a quarantine tank ( I want to replace some Nerites and a few fish that have been lost over time). I'm using Dr Tim's and added some sponges from a cycled filter to kick start the process. This is the first time that I haven't used TSS and thus, I'm dealing with NitrITes for the first time ever. My tank is currently converting 1.75 ppm of Ammonia every 24-36 hours. I'm adding ammonia as needed, to bring it back to 2ppm. My NitrITes are currently between 2 and 5 ppm ( was 5 last night and has come down slightly this morning) and my NitrAtes are between 80 and 160 (only ranges on the API testing card). My question is: should I do a water change to bring down the NitrAtes? I keep reading conflicting information! If I didn't have the nitrItes I would definitely do a PWC, I'm just unsure what to do now that there are NitrItes thrown into the equation. Any advice?? I'm changing my 45 gallon today so, it would be easy to do this tank too, but I don't want to mess up the cycle if I need the high nitrItes. Thanks for any words of wisdom you can offer:)
LG
 
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Ladyglo

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Friday they were 60. I worked late Sat and didn't check anything so last night when I got home I had a reading of 80+ . I double checked this morning, with the same results
 

Morpheus1967

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Personally I would let it go a few more days at least. If you are still reading 80, and not 160 for several days, I would just leave it. It sounds like you are doing everything spot on.
 

mattgirl

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I agree with Morpheus1967 As long as your ammonia is still going down then the cycle is still moving forward. I am kinda surprised that you are seeing nitrites this high after using seeded media but it is very possible that the bio-load (the amount of ammonia you are adding) is much higher than the bio-load in the tank you took the media from. Is your 45 gallon tank lightly stocked?

BTW: Although not totally necessary you may want to consider going ahead and changing out half the water in the 10 gallon. If you started it Jan 1st then this water has been in there for over 3 weeks. The cycling process has been known to deplete the mineral in our tap water so I would think they are pretty well used up in this tank. I can't really prove it but I do think lack of minerals can lead to a PH crash that can lead to a cycle stall. All of this can be prevented with simple water changes. No harm will be done to the growing cycle if water conditioner is used and the new water is temp matched.
 
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Ladyglo

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mattgirl said:
Is your 45 gallon tank lightly stocked?
It currently has 7 Tetras, 4 danios and 3 guppies. I lost several fish right after I purchased them and then a few in the last few months from unrelated causes. I wasn't in any huge hurry so, I took the sponges from the smaller "backup" filter and thought I would save the $20+, I would have spent on TSS, to get some more plants that I can kill:hilarious:. The tank was processing a small amount of ammonia and I had a tiny bit of nitrates (>5 ppm) for about a week and then last week I started getting nitrItes and the nitrAtes started climbing. Then last night, I got colors I'd never seen before. I thought maybe I tested wrong ( I was really tired) so, I retested this morning, with almost identical results.
 

mattgirl

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Ladyglo said:
It currently has 7 Tetras, 4 danios and 3 guppies. I lost several fish right after I purchased them and then a few in the last few months from unrelated causes. I wasn't in any huge hurry so, I took the sponges from the smaller "backup" filter and thought I would save the $20+, I would have spent on TSS, to get some more plants that I can kill:hilarious:. The tank was processing a small amount of ammonia and I had a tiny bit of nitrates (>5 ppm) for about a week and then last week I started getting nitrItes and the nitrAtes started climbing. Then last night, I got colors I'd never seen before. I thought maybe I tested wrong ( I was really tired) so, I retested this morning, with almost identical results.
It sounds to me like you are right on track now. I don't think the number of fish you have in the 45 are producing as much ammonia daily as what you are adding so that explains the rise in nitrites. I would go ahead and do a partial water change in the 10 gallon to replace the minerals that are most likely used up after this amount of time but other than that I feel sure it is just a matter of adding patience to the tank. :D BTW: Good choice on saving the $20.00. Seeded media is always going to work as well or better than something in a bottle.

I totally understand what you mean about adding plants that you could kill :D I killed my share of them before I finally started having some success.
 
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Ladyglo

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I did a 50% water change which brought my ammonia down to almost 0, nitrItes to about 2 and nitrAtes to a little less than 80. I dosed the ammonia back up to 2ppm. I think I'll just monitor and see what it does for the next few days. Thank you so much for your advice, I really do appreciate it!!
Fish keeping is so much easier than plant keeping:rolleyes:. Funny part is I actually do well with my garden and flowers outside- in the tank not so much. I'll just keep trying until they put me on a Wanted Poster for planticide and stop selling to me.:hilarious:
 

mattgirl

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Ladyglo said:
I did a 50% water change which brought my ammonia down to almost 0, nitrItes to about 2 and nitrAtes to a little less than 80. I dosed the ammonia back up to 2ppm. I think I'll just monitor and see what it does for the next few days. Thank you so much for your advice, I really do appreciate it!!
Fish keeping is so much easier than plant keeping:rolleyes:. Funny part is I actually do well with my garden and flowers outside- in the tank not so much. I'll just keep trying until they put me on a Wanted Poster for planticide and stop selling to me.:hilarious:
Good job. Now it is just a waiting game. :) I have been known to have a green thumb when it comes to house plants and plants in general outside but when it came to plants in my tanks I discovered a whole new set of problems. I was adding the recommended ferts but still not much luck. I considered getting some shrimp and while folks were helping me decide if I could keep them safe it dawned on me that my very soft water might be why no plants would survive in my tanks.

I bought a TDS meter and found out my water was almost devoid of minerals. It was almost as emply as other folks RO water. I started having a lot more success once I started raising the mineral levels in my water with Equilibrium.
 

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