Water changes

swimmingslowly

Active Member
Member
Messages
105
Yesterday I tested my water and my ammonia was around .5 ppm. I did a water change and retested today and it’s at 0. I have 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates as well.

I guess I’m just kind of confused as to whether I’m supposed to keep some level of ammonia in the tank. I have 1 Betta in there so I’ve been testing very frequently. This is my first time cycling a tank and I have been so stressed from it!

If my ammonia is down to 0 will the bb that has already started to grow die off? What should I keep my ammonia levels at while doing a fish-in cycle? I’ve been dosing with prime as well
 
Best Answer - View 's answer

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,643
If you are seeing 0 ammonia then you have ammonia eating bacteria. This is exactly what you want to see. Seeing no ammonia is a very good thing. Your little guy is constantly adding tiny bits of ammonia. The bacteria is cleaning it up. I noticed you read the piece I wrote about doing a fish in cycle. As long as you keep ammonia and nitrites (when they show up) down to negligible levels with water changes your little guy should be fine.

As to adding Prime. If you aren't seeing ammonia there is no need to add prime except enough to treat the water you are replacing during a water change. Prime is a good tool but only needs to be added during a water changes or when you have a spike in ammonia and/or nitrites. If they spike get them down with a water change and again add prime.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
swimmingslowly

swimmingslowly

Active Member
Member
Messages
105
Thank you!! Your article was so easy to digest, you do a great job simplifying this info for us beginners :)
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,643
swimmingslowly said:
Thank you!! Your article was so easy to digest, you do a great job simplifying this info for us beginners :)
Hopefully it will help you understand what is happening and the stress level will go way down. :) One more thing about using Prime. While cycling you want to add enough to treat the full volume of the tank. Once the cycle is complete you only need enough to treat the water you are replacing if you are using buckets to do the water changes. If you use a python type system and add the water directly to the tank add enough for all the water in the tank before starting to refill.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
swimmingslowly

swimmingslowly

Active Member
Member
Messages
105
mattgirl said:
Hopefully it will help you understand what is happening and the stress level will go way down. :) One more thing about using Prime. While cycling you want to add enough to treat the full volume of the tank. Once the cycle is complete you only need enough to treat the water you are replacing if you are using buckets to do the water changes. If you use a python type system and add the water directly to the tank add enough for all the water in the tank before starting to refill.
Thanks I’ve been dosing for the full 5 g!

mattgirl said:
Great question. I should have thought to ask it. :)
I did about 40-50%. I was wondering if that was the cause of the drop in ammonia. I feel like there are so many recommendations on how much to remove for a water change. Should I stick to smaller ones?
 

LiterallyHydro

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,408
swimmingslowly said:
I did about 40-50%. I was wondering if that was the cause of the drop in ammonia. I feel like there are so many recommendations on how much to remove for a water change. Should I stick to smaller ones?
I am a fan of doing weekly 10-20% water changed on a fully cycled aquarium. The amount of water changed during a fish-in cycle depends on the levels. I try to keep ammonia at .25 or lower during a fish in cycle, which can be difficult to do with smaller water changes if the stock level is too much.

I like the frequent small water changes because it doesn't cause as much of a fluctuation in water parameters, which tends to be more harmful than having the parameters being slightly off to begin with.

But the 40-50% would only have cut your ammonia roughly in half, so it's likely your cycle is moving along and the ammonia-processing bacteria is starting to colonize.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,643
swimmingslowly said:
I did about 40-50%. I was wondering if that was the cause of the drop in ammonia. I feel like there are so many recommendations on how much to remove for a water change. Should I stick to smaller ones?
Personally I change out no less than 50% of the water in all of my tanks each week and then once a month I change out a bit more. Your water change would have removed some of the ammonia but I have to think bacteria removed the rest. :) This tells us your cycle is moving forward. Some folks have been known to do 100% water changes so I should have asked how much you changed. Seldom do I ever recommend 100% water changes.
 

LiterallyHydro

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,408
mattgirl said:
Personally I change out no less than 50% of the water in all of my tanks each week and then once a month I change out a bit more. Your water change would have removed some of the ammonia but I have to think bacteria removed the rest. :) This tells us your cycle is moving forward. Some folks have been known to do 100% water changes so I should have asked how much you changed. Seldom do I ever recommend 100% water changes.
Absolutely agree with this. The larger water changes are greatly beneficial to the fish so long as it can be adequately matched to the parameters of the water already in the tank. I would be doing larger water changes in my systems but my water supply's parameters can vary pretty wildly, as the city is always doing different things to the water. I've crashed entire systems because of a sudden drastic change over a 50% water change. :)
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
241
Guests online
3,122
Total visitors
3,363

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom