When Doing The Nitrogen Cycle...

TagTeam
  • #1
I lost my cycle in one of my tanks.
My readings for the past 5 days have been:
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 5.0
Nitrate 40
I've been doing 1-2 50% PWCs per day.
I'm going to purchase TSS+ ASAP but it will be a little bit as I need to wait for a paycheck.
In the meantime, is it more beneficial to do larger PWCs? Like 90% per day?
 
AntsRule
  • #2
Do you have fish in the tank? If you do then water changes will keep them safer.
 
mattgirl
  • #3
I really can't imagine where those nitrates are coming from. They should actually be almost nothing with you doing 2 50% water changes daily.

Since you started a new thread instead of continuing the original it is difficult to go back and refresh my memory as to how all of this started or what questions have already been asked and answered.

Do you have nitrates in your source water?

If you are doing 2 50% water changes daily that is already an approximately 100% 75% water change. I can't see a bigger water change helping. We need to get to the bottom of what is causing the high numbers.

Thank you for the correction TexasDomer
 
Fashooga
  • #4
Sounds like you have more than one tank, why not just pull some extra media that you have in the other tank and use it to supplement the new tank?
 
TexasDomer
  • #5
2 50% water changes are not the same as doing a 100% change, it's more like doing a 75% water change.

Can you list tank size and stocking?
 
Jenoli42
  • #6
yeah... sorry I know it's a pain when there's so much info on one thread but cuz this is a new one now I can't remember why you think you lost your cycle mate?
 
TagTeam
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Do you have fish in the tank? If you do then water changes will keep them safer.
Yes, fish are in the tank (it's 4 months old, fish have been in it for 3 1/2 months, lost my cycle when changing substrate)

I really can't imagine where those nitrates are coming from. They should actually be almost nothing with you doing 2 50% water changes daily.

Since you started a new thread instead of continuing the original it is difficult to go back and refresh my memory as to how all of this started or what questions have already been asked and answered.

Do you have nitrates in your source water?

If you are doing 2 50% water changes daily that is already an approximately 100% 75% water change. I can't see a bigger water change helping. We need to get to the bottom of what is causing the high numbers.

Thank you for the correction TexasDomer
Thank you, no nitrates, ammonia or nitrites in the tap water.
Ok, thank you for that advice. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing until I get paid and then I'll add TSS+
Thanks again for all your help!

2 50% water changes are not the same as doing a 100% change, it's more like doing a 75% water change.

Can you list tank size and stocking?
20g tall
Two AquaClear 30s
BDBS substrate
6 JuliI Cory
3 Platy
2 Honey G
1 Amano shrimp
1 Ghost shrimp
Java Moss, Java Fern, Green Cabomba, Water Sprite, Wisteria, Anubias

yeah... sorry I know it's a pain when there's so much info on one thread but cuz this is a new one now I can't remember why you think you lost your cycle mate?
From over cleaning the filter media.
Either that or the BDBS caused the numbers to jump.
It happened right after switching from gravel to BDBS.
Here's the step by step process I used to put it in:
  1. Rinse BDBS (put a little in a bucket at a time and rinsed with hose four times with each load)

  2. Unplug filter, light and heater

  3. Drain and dispose of water from tank

  4. Leave one 5 gallon bucket full of drained tank water

  5. Put fish & plants in bucket (about 1/2 way through draining process)

  6. Put a filter onto bucket and plug in

  7. Leave a couple inches of water in tank, then scoop out all gravel

  8. Add BDBS

  9. Add root tabs

  10. Carefully add a few inches of water

  11. Add plants, driftwood and rocks

  12. Fill tank slowly

  13. Allow the sand to settle

  14. Add Prime

  15. Put filter, light & heater back onto tank and turn on

  16. Leave secondary filter on bucket

  17. Wait 24 hours

  18. Add Tetra Safe Start +

  19. Put 2nd filter onto tank

  20. Add fish
 
Jenoli42
  • #9
From over cleaning the filter media.
Either that or the BDBS caused the numbers to jump.
It happened right after switching from gravel to BDBS.
Here's the step by step process I used to put it in:
  1. Rinse BDBS (put a little in a bucket at a time and rinsed with hose four times with each load)

  2. Unplug filter, light and heater

  3. Drain and dispose of water from tank

  4. Leave one 5 gallon bucket full of drained tank water

  5. Put fish & plants in bucket (about 1/2 way through draining process)

  6. Put a filter onto bucket and plug in

  7. Leave a couple inches of water in tank, then scoop out all gravel

  8. Add BDBS

  9. Add root tabs

  10. Carefully add a few inches of water

  11. Add plants, driftwood and rocks

  12. Fill tank slowly

  13. Allow the sand to settle

  14. Add Prime

  15. Put filter, light & heater back onto tank and turn on

  16. Leave secondary filter on bucket

  17. Wait 24 hours

  18. Add Tetra Safe Start +

  19. Put 2nd filter onto tank

  20. Add fish

thank you for that. I don't know about BDSB, so any insights about that need to come from someone else on here. do I recall you saying in another post that you cleaned your filter media "vigorously"? I think the mistake was cleaning that AND doing the substrate change at the same time...but I doubt that you've lost all your cycle if you have nitrates (unless that's from the substrate change). you may just be going through a minI cycle which may come right in a week or two. the problem is the nitrites imo. your ammonia eating bacteria should catch up and keep your level at 0 very soon if it's only .25. what's odd is the nitrites staying up around 5 despite your significant and frequent wc's...

you said you plugged a filter into the bucket you kept your fish in during the change. does that filter have cycled media? if so, can you use the media or filter itself in the problematic tank? can you take a bit (10-20%) of media from your other cycled tank and put it into your problematic tank to help boost the bacteria?
 
TagTeam
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
thank you for that. I don't know about BDSB, so any insights about that need to come from someone else on here. do I recall you saying in another post that you cleaned your filter media "vigorously"? I think the mistake was cleaning that AND doing the substrate change at the same time...but I doubt that you've lost all your cycle if you have nitrates (unless that's from the substrate change). you may just be going through a minI cycle which may come right in a week or two. the problem is the nitrites imo. your ammonia eating bacteria should catch up and keep your level at 0 very soon if it's only .25. what's odd is the nitrites staying up around 5 despite your significant and frequent wc's...

you said you plugged a filter into the bucket you kept your fish in during the change. does that filter have cycled media? if so, can you use the media or filter itself in the problematic tank? can you take a bit (10-20%) of media from your other cycled tank and put it into your problematic tank to help boost the bacteria?
I think you're right. I cleaned the media too vigorously and did the substrate change at the same time.
Yes, I will bring some media home from tank #2 (at my office) tomorrow.
Thank you!
 
TagTeam
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I got home from work today and 2 platies were dead and my amano was near death.
This isn't surprising as my readings continue to be horrible regardless of my PWCs.
On the bright side my TSS+ arrived in the mail.
I shook it for 5 minutes and poured the whole thing in.
Fingers crossed!
 
mattgirl
  • #11
I got home from work today and 2 platies were dead and my amano was near death.
This isn't surprising as my readings continue to be horrible regardless of my PWCs.
On the bright side my TSS+ arrived in the mail.
I shook it for 5 minutes and poured the whole thing in.
Fingers crossed!
I am so sorry to hear that you lost more fish. that is never easy

I have my fingers crossed for you too.
 
TagTeam
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Good-ish news...
48 hours after TSS+ my results read
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 40

I'm relieved to have the Nitrites under control again.
Any suggestions on lowering the Nitrates?
I suppose the numbers could be lower in a few days??
I'm hesitant to start doing PWCs again as I read this article stating I should wait a couple weeks before doing a PWC.
 
Hunter1
  • #13
Yes, fish are in the tank (it's 4 months old, fish have been in it for 3 1/2 months, lost my cycle when changing substrate)


Thank you, no nitrates, ammonia or nitrites in the tap water.
Ok, thank you for that advice. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing until I get paid and then I'll add TSS+
Thanks again for all your help!


20g tall
Two AquaClear 30s
BDBS substrate
6 JuliI Cory
3 Platy
2 Honey G
1 Amano shrimp
1 Ghost shrimp
Java Moss, Java Fern, Green Cabomba, Water Sprite, Wisteria, Anubias


From over cleaning the filter media.
Either that or the BDBS caused the numbers to jump.
It happened right after switching from gravel to BDBS.
Here's the step by step process I used to put it in:
  1. Rinse BDBS (put a little in a bucket at a time and rinsed with hose four times with each load)

  2. Unplug filter, light and heater

  3. Drain and dispose of water from tank

  4. Leave one 5 gallon bucket full of drained tank water

  5. Put fish & plants in bucket (about 1/2 way through draining process)

  6. Put a filter onto bucket and plug in

  7. Leave a couple inches of water in tank, then scoop out all gravel

  8. Add BDBS

  9. Add root tabs

  10. Carefully add a few inches of water

  11. Add plants, driftwood and rocks

  12. Fill tank slowly

  13. Allow the sand to settle

  14. Add Prime

  15. Put filter, light & heater back onto tank and turn on

  16. Leave secondary filter on bucket

  17. Wait 24 hours

  18. Add Tetra Safe Start +

  19. Put 2nd filter onto tank

  20. Add fish

When I wash my BDBS, I use Prime. I wash a bowl full, 4 times like you. I dump the bowl into a bucket and drop a little Prime in, repeat. No way of telling but you may have imported more chlorine than your system could handle, killing your B.B.

Just a guess.
 
Hunter1
  • #14
Good-ish news...
48 hours after TSS+ my results read
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 40

I'm relieved to have the Nitrites under control again.
Any suggestions on lowering the Nitrates?
I suppose the numbers could be lower in a few days??
I'm hesitant to start doing PWCs again as I read this article stating I should wait a couple weeks before doing a PWC.

40 is on the high side of good. I would test daily and if they get to 80, do 50% changes at least 2 days in a row.

Seems your B.B. are processing ammonia and nitrites.

Others will get on here and say you should never go above 40. I am regularly gone for 3-9 days at a time so when I return, nitrates are over 40.

I got home tonight and tested my tanks. 3 of 6 were near/at/just over 40ppm nitrates. I will do 50% changes in those 3 tanks TOMORROW night.
 
TexasDomer
  • #15
Water changes are the best way to lower nitrates (and ammonia and nitrites), but if you used TSS+, you don't want to do water changes for 2 weeks.
 
TagTeam
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Water changes are the best way to lower nitrates (and ammonia and nitrites), but if you used TSS+, you don't want to do water changes for 2 weeks.
I won't be doing another PWC for about another week (which will total 2 weeks since I put in TSS+), but I'm going to need to top off the water soon (it's evaporating fast). When I do that is it safe to add a little Prime or should I just add water? In other words, will adding Prime disrupt the TSS+ that's in the tank right now?
 
TexasDomer
  • #17
Don't add chlorinated water without dechlorinating it. You can get around that issue by filling a bucket with water, adding Prime, then waiting 24-48 hours before using it to top off the tank.
 

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