Water Quality Numbers with API Quick Start

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by mchadzu84, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    We are cycling our new tank using API Quick Start. The quick start has been in there for 14 days. We added more quick start 11 days ago when we added fish. We have 7 almost 2 inch fish in an 110 gallon freshwater aquarium. From reading a lot on cycling, our water parameter levels are no where close to the spikes that are supposed to signify certain stages of the cycle. So basically, we have no idea where in the cycle we are and also if the API quick start diminishes the spikes. This weekend, the nitrites were finally not 0. We have nitrites at 0.50, ammonia at 0.25, and nitrate at 10. I plan on testing our tap water for these water quality measurements as well tonight. However, previously, we always had readings of ammonia between 0 to 0.25 because we can never determine the color on the card, nitrite at 0 and nitrate at 5-10 (again, the card). If anyone has experience cycling with API quick start, please let us know what we should be expecting.

  2. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    Tap water is 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, and 5 nitrate before treatment with water conditioner. Our pH has consistently been 7.8 with a temp of 78.6. As of this morning, we were still reading the exact same for the tank.

  3. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    Seems like you're doing things right here by not over stocking initially. You do not want to see huge spikes while cycling with fish-in and when doing it correctly you won't. Yes, Quick Start and other bacterial additives will minimize the cycling process spikes because you are adding the bacteria to seed your filter that would otherwise have to develop on their own.

    What is your water conditioner? I highly recommend Seachem Prime and to finish up the cycle would follow this formula to keep your fish safe:

    If ammonia plus nitrites is less then 1.0 = dose prime for the full volume of the tank and re-check in 24 hours.
    If ammonia plus nitrites is 1.0 or greater = do a very large water change and dose prime for the full volume of the tank. Re-check in 24 hours.
  4. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    Thank you very much for the help! We did have API tap water conditioner and it's almost gone. I have been told about prime by many, so I bought a bottle for the next time around. after everything settles with the water parameters, then we will slowly add some more juvenile fish. We want them all to grow up together to try to avoid as much aggression as possible. They are also cheaper at that age. :)
  5. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Once you're at 0 ammonia,0 nitrites you could probably add in two to three smaller fish a week to allow the bio-filter to catch up.
  6. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    Ok, we have done in less than a week, a 50% water change with prime, 25% water change with prime, and just added prime last night. The tank still will not read 0's. It's still at 0.25 for ammonia and nitrites. I know you're supposed to have patience, but I really don't have much at this point. We have checked water daily and tried to do everything humanly possible and I cannot get this tank to the levels it needs to be. The fish seem fine. No physical signs of stress, they are eating, and active. However, I don't want to put new fish in with the levels not being 0. Any other advice? Thanks!
  7. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Cycling a tank can tank 4-10 weeks, I know its frustrating but thats just how it works.....and I know its hard to be patient.

    The only thing you can do to speed up the cycle is pick up a bottle of Seachem Stability and pour in a whole small bottle or half of a large bottle. There is also Marineland's biological starter (you pour the whole bottle in). Or Tetra Safe Start Plus, though no water changes are recommended for two weeks with that.

    I would not add more fish until those nitrites are 0 and ammonia 0-.25 (some people have trace readings all the time). You'll just end up having to do tons of water changes because your numbers will just go up.
  8. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    Just went on amazon to get the seachem since obviously the API quick start never did anything it seemed. Hoping to report better results soon! Thanks for all the advice!
  9. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Some people have had success with API though they seem few and far between. None of them are instant and generally take a couple weeks but since your numbers are pretty low hopefully not as much. Are your nitrates increasing hopefully before your water changes?
  10. mchadzu84New MemberMember

    No, the nitrates have been pretty flat lined the entire time. The lowest it has ever been is 10 and the highest it gets is 20. We have previously tested our tap water and the tap water has a reading of 5 itself.
  11. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Actually that sounds good with your sized tank and sticking right now.

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