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cathy_n
07-26-2008, 02:26 AM
My tank is a bit of a difficult one for the following reason: my tap water contains ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

Untreated tap water tests as:
pH 7.4
Ammonia 0.5ppm
Nitrite 0.5ppm
Nitrate 1.0ppm

How can I tell when my tank cycles if I'm adding ammonia and nitrite with every water change? Should I look for a spike in nitrate? Will nitrate ever spike considering I have java ferns in the tank? So many questions...

The tank is now 1.5 months old.

Thank you to any kind soul who has some ideas.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
07-26-2008, 02:30 AM
What kind of test kit are you using? Is it drops or is it test strips?

cathy_n
07-26-2008, 03:06 AM
What kind of test kit are you using? Is it drops or is it test strips?

Ammonia is API test kit, 2 kinds of drops into a test tube.

Nitrite and Nitrate is a Seachem test kit, also drops, but a bit hard to read the results (they're all different shades of pink, from light to dark). I probably should have paid the extra for the API kits.

digital3
07-26-2008, 03:55 AM
Generally you are cycled when Ammonia AND Nitrites read zero. A good bacterial colony should take care of the ammonia. You may want to do an experiment to see if you are cycled. Do your water change in the evening (maybe pre-treat with Ammo Lock which will keep the Ammonia intact but make it less toxic for the fish). Then test in the morning. If you are cycled, your bacterial colony should take care of your ammonia overnight. And your Ammonia and Nitrites should both read zero. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that one, as I've never dealt with water that has ammonia off the tap.

However, if you have ammonia out of the tap you may need to consider using RO water or pre-treating your water with something like Ammo-lock until it is established.

cathy_n
07-26-2008, 11:51 PM
Generally you are cycled when Ammonia AND Nitrites read zero. A good bacterial colony should take care of the ammonia. You may want to do an experiment to see if you are cycled. Do your water change in the evening (maybe pre-treat with Ammo Lock which will keep the Ammonia intact but make it less toxic for the fish). Then test in the morning. If you are cycled, your bacterial colony should take care of your ammonia overnight.

This is a great suggestion, thank you! :19:

Lady Hobbs
07-27-2008, 02:45 AM
Very good suggestion.