Water testing results (liquid test)

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joeycasperanita

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Hello all!
So after my baby died yesterday I decided that I clearly cannot give up on my 2 black mollies who are well and fine. I do have aquarium salt in the tank with them and here are the results after my 25% water change this morning:
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pH = 7.6 (higher than usual...but not as high as it's been)
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 0ppm (is this too low? what is the ideal range?)

I wish I hadn't lost Princess Plinko Poptart, but I am happy with these results....I think? How long should I keep doing my daily water changes for? (This is the first time since Friday my ammonia has been 0. Since then it's been 1-->0.25)
 

sasha

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Hi im just a beginner aswell but i would say the tank hasnt started to cycle yet, butterfly, chickadee, isabella can tell you more on that,

i lokkied at your lasts posts and as far as i have been told by fish keepers that if you get nitrates at a certain level when cycling and not much of ammonia ,or nitrite, you may be overfeeding and the process cant keep up as it has to start off slowly,
Again check with the expierenced ppl on here as oi might be talking rubbish lol lol
 
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joeycasperanita

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Uhm, but I had nitrite and nitrate and ammonia readings last week and it's been running for a month. I've done a lot of water changes to get my ammonia and nitrate gone. Would this have caused my nitrate to disappear as well?? Is this bad?
Anita
 

sasha

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If you get ammonia and nitrite when tank has been going for a month, its not done yet as the only one you should be getting is nitrate.
when its completed the cycle

nitrate is the good one you want from the tests not the others but only nitrate low levels if POSSIBLE but nitrate isnt a big,big problem if it goes a bit higher than normal as water changes fixes it out

If your doing water changes to kill off the ammonia and nitrites there is a POSSIBILTY that your killing off too much and the cycle cant get to the last stage of the cycle as it needs "nitrites" so that "nitrates" can develope and its is them which kill off the nitrite in a natural stage of the cycle
 
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joeycasperanita

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Last week I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5-10ppm nitrAte. but then my ammonia went up so i did more water changes and now everything is gone. should i just test tonight or tomorrow and see where i'm at?
(the fact that i had nitrAte clearly shows i did have the cycle going. i'm just wondering if i killed the cycle with my water changes. or if i just removed the nitrate and the good bacteria are still there to make it)
 

Isabella

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If you've been running your tank for about a month and your ammonia and nitrite = 0 now, that means your tank is cycled, which is a great thing Since it is already cycled, you don't need to perform large and frequent water changes anymore, because there are no toxic compounds present in the water. From now on, you should be performing regular weekly water changes of about 15 - 30%, and vacuuming the gravel with each water change. This way, together with the water change, you remove uneaten fish food and fish wastes from the bottom. If they're not removed, they start to decay and worsen the water quality. So this is why it's best to perform regular weekly water changes. Keep testing for ammonia and nitrite every once in a while, and I'd recommend to test for nitrate weekly. Nitrate is not as dangerous as ammonia and nitrite, but if it is too high it can become dangerous as well. I'd keep nitrate below 20 (wouldn't go above 20), and if you can, keep it as low as possible, 0 would be the best of course. As I've said, from now on, you'll be removing the accumulating nitrate with your weekly water changes.
 

sasha

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Hi
if all your reading are at zero and persuming the tank has been through a cycle i would suggest leave the tank alone for at least two days and then do a water test, by then FINGERS CROSSED the only reading you get is NITRATE,
If you get ammonia ,or nitrite your tank is still trying to cycle or its something thats triggering ammonia

Isabella, her ammonia readings were 0.25 up until last friday do you get ammonia readings if it was on the last stage of the cycle??
i thought on the average percentage of cycles it was a 1,,2,,3,, stages
 
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joeycasperanita

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Thanks Isabella! I am hoping it is just finishing cycling and maybe the intro of a new fish disturbed the balance or I didn't check levels carefully enough? Not sure what happened there but I will check again tomorrow for ammonia to make sure it's zero and then take a look at the various levels later this week. I don't plan on introducing any new fish so hopefully everything remains constant and level. My fish are really active and happy so that is a good sign, I must have just removed any nitrate then when I did my water change this morning. I hadn't checked nitrate levels since last week when they were 5-10. Maybe that is why. Thanks for all your help
 
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Thanks for the advice, Sasha! I Will check water in a few days and hopefully all is good!
 

Isabella

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Sasha, yes, the cycle has three stages. First, ammonia builds up, and as certain set of bacteria develops, it converts ammonia into nitrite, which is the second stage. And lastly, as another set of bacteria develops, they convert nitrite into nitrate, which is the third stage. Nitrate doesn't get converted into anything else, so we perform regular water changes (after the cycle is done) to be removing the accumulating nitrate. Because if nitrate gets too high, it can be dangerous too.

Ammonia is not the last stage of the cycle, nitrate is. Ammonia is first, nitrite second, and nitrate third. BUT you certainly can have ammonia and nitrite present at the same time - as ammonia decreases, nitrite increases. And you can have nitrite and nitrate at the same time - as nitrite decreases, nitrate increases. What you CANNOT have, I suppose, is ammonia and nitrate at the same time.
 
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Silly question but...why not?
If you are making new ammonia at the same time that you are converting nitrite to nitrate, wouldn't you get both ammonia and nitratE? I was under the impresion that this is a dynamic process. All we are doing with our water tests is getting a snapshot of what's going on. So theoretically you can get nitrate and ammonia and maybe in 12 hrs you will only get nitrate. that make sense?
 

Isabella

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You cannot have ammonia and nitrAte at the same time DURING THE CYCLE. This because in a new tank the cycle goes in the order of (1) ammonia, (2) nitrIte, and (3) nitrate. This is because as ammonia builds up, a certain set of nitrobacteria develops to consume this ammonia. Without ammonia present in the water, this bacteria set would never develop. And if ammonia never showed up, there would also be NO nitrite and nitrate because they follow ammonia. And this - again - is because as nitrite builds up (as a result of being converted by the bacteria from ammonia into nitrite), another set of bacteria develops to consume this nitrite and to convert it into nitrate. This is the way it goes and for a more detailed on answer WHY it goes in such order and not in some different order, you'd have to ask a chemist. As for a tank that has been cycled and running for a few months, I don't know if you'd get ammonia and nitrAte at the same time, but I've never had such a situation. Perhaps it can happen - don't know. As I've said, I am not a chemist, lol.
 

sasha

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pheewwww isnt the subject of cycling getting a bit exciting these days lol,
i didnt think the tank had been through a cycle as you say you had ammonia after a month of cycling, as ammonia has to peak , then nitrite has to reach a peak then the follow on is the relatively harmless nitrate.

I was told by a man of 35 yrs expierence in fishkeeping, that too many water changes or too much volume taken out at one time frequently, in effect stops the cycle from reaching the processing peaks.

if its wrong dont scream at me thats what i was told lol lol
Now wheres ma beer and lots of it, Isabella get the table ready ill bring the beers lol
 

Isabella

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Sasha, even if a tank is cycled, there CAN be sudden ammonia and/or nitrite spikes. They can be the result of adding new fish (if too many are added at once), or of not doing enough water changes. Nitrate will be climbing up if not enough water changes are done (or no water changes are being performed at all), but if you just let the nitrate increase forever, there will be a limit at some point. The limit is when the concentration of nitrate is so high that the numbers bacteria that are in the tank are not enough to deal with such a large load of nitrate. At that point, ammonia and/or nitrite can rise again - AND maybe this would be the only scenario where you could actually have ammonia and nitrAte at the same time? Not sure ... but who knows? As I've said before, I've never had ammonia and nitrAte at the same time in any of my tanks.

A sudden ammonia and/or nitrite spike in a cycled tank can also occur if you rinse your filter and/or filter media in a chlorinated tap water. Chlorine in the water will kill off the bacteria in your filter, and thus you'll have to cycle your tank anew. Yet another scenario would be changing a large volume of water and thoroughly cleaning (or changing) the filter media - both at the same time (such a situation would cause a mini-cycle, rather than a whole new cycle). And lastly, removing a lot of surface areas for the bacteria from the tank (such as gravel or a lot of decor pieces) could also cause a mini-cycle because a lot of nitrobacteria are located on various surfaces such as gravel and decor in particular. But despite all of this, remember that it is the FILTER (with its media, of course) where most of the beneficial bacteria are located.

So yes, it is a long and complicated - if one might say - topic, lol. Thanks for the beer though, CHEERS, lol
 
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