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Thread: Strange Test Results?!
02-19-2013, 01:46 PM #1
Strange Test Results?!
I've been cycling my tank without fish for a while now with 4ppm of ammonia in the tank. Five days ago i tested the water with my API freshwater master test kit and got results of 2ppm ammonia, 5ppm nitrite (did not test nitrate). I did not add any more ammonia and tested the water 2 days later and got 0ppm ammonia, 5+ppm nitrite (test colour was darker than 5ppm but thats all my test kit goes to), and 20ppm nitrate. I got very excited because i thought somehow id gone almost straight from no nitrite or nitrate to both in a few days. I dosed ammonia back to 2ppm and left it for a few days before testing again, but when i did i got 0.25ppm ammonia, 5+ppm nitrite and only ~5ppm nitrate. I am very confused because i have no idea where the nitrate went as i have done no water changes in the time since nitrite and nitrate appeared. For that matter i have no idea where it appeared from in the first place as my nitrite level stayed high and had only been present for 2 days before nitrate appeared. Does anyone know what has happened? is this normal?
Thanks very much
Last edited by pckroeger; 02-19-2013 at 01:51 PM.
02-19-2013, 01:51 PM #2
02-19-2013, 01:52 PM #3
make sure you really shake that test bottle (on all of the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) and then do the 5 second shake with the vials.
common weird readings are simple things like that.
I do it all the time, mess up the testing somehow.
02-19-2013, 02:36 PM #4Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
I wouldn't necessarily worry about the nitrates dropping - your main concern is the ammonia dropping to 0 and your nitrites dropping to 0 - I assume your nitrates will eventually start going up again.
02-20-2013, 08:50 AM #5
The tank has no live plants, only artificial ones, but i havent been shaking the test solutions before i added them to the test tubes, thanks for al the help! :)
02-20-2013, 09:23 PM #6
You have to be especially sure to shake nitrate #2 especially well as it tends to crystallize out of solution.
02-20-2013, 09:57 PM #7
Follow the testing instructions to the letter. They tell you exactly how long to shake each bottle.
Your arm should feel like it's about to fall off after the nitrate test.
02-20-2013, 10:00 PM #8
Your ammonia was too high (starting at 4 ppm ammonia) and this can stall the nitrite cycling bacteria - which you appear to be seeing - the 5 ppm nitrites. Better to hold an ammonia level of 1 - 2 ppm. This better allows the nitrite consumming bacteria to better grow.
Last edited by Cermet; 02-20-2013 at 10:03 PM.Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.
For Fishless cycling:http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640