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Results 1 to 7 of 7

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  1. Default "Lucky 15 year beginner" needs a little advice please

    0 Not allowed!
    Hello - as some of you know, I had a strange issue in the following post here:

    Now I am on my way to working a new freshwater 55 gallon tank. I am four weeks in and my NH4 is down to practically zero but my nitrate test went up from 2.5 to about 5.0 (this number was pretty solid at between 2.5-3.5 over the past three weeks but just suddenly went up). PH is still blue at 7.4 throughout the four weeks of testing. Is it ok to add 2-3 starter fish (tetras) to help work the nitrate number down, or should I just continue to stay fish-less for now and do water changes 2-3 times weekly as I have been doing?

    The only other oddity is that I added real plants (first time ever for me) to the tank about two weeks ago but half died and the other half were all over the place . . . so I got rid of them and went back to plastic a couple days ago. Wondering if this may have caused the nitrates to go up from 2.5 to 5.0?

    Thanks . . .

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    As you are still cycling with fish, and your ammonia just dropped to zero, you need to test for nitrites.

    Nitirites are just as toixc to fish as ammonia. I would suggest picking up a nitrite test kit and reading over the cycling with fish thread here (link below in my sig). That thread can help explain a few more detials
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Cliff - tank has no fish right now and has had none since they died a month ago. So now in addition to a pH test, a NH4 test, and a NO3 test, there is a nitrite test! Wow! How did my tanks survive all these years without me doing ANY of these tests! Ok I will pick up a Nitrite test kit. But I still should NOT add any fish yet correct? Thanks

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Not until you're sure that your tank is cycled. Once you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 5+ Nitrates, you should be good to go. The fact that you have Nitrates is a good sign, as the building of Nitrates is the last step in the Nitrogen cycle. It means you've colonized Nitrosomonas marina (Ammonia oxidizing/eating bacteria) and Nitrospira (Nitrite oxidizing/eating bacteria). Ammonia is a byproduct of decay/waste, while Nitrites are the byproduct of Nitrosomonas eating the Ammonia, where as Nitrates are the byproduct of Nitrospira eating the Nitrites. You just need to be sure that your colonies will support your bio-load. That's why we suggest dosing Ammonia in the amounts that we do. 4ppm Ammonia for a 55gal tank is a good starting point for stocking your tank with a plethora of fish as soon as you're cycled. It'll create fairly large colonies of beneficial bacteria.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    If you didnt know that you needed to test for nitrites, then you need to research the nitrogen cycle. Understanding this cycle will benefit you. Like Cliff says, check his signature and you will find a link to a great article on it.

    The essential things you need to test are:-


    These need to be tested weekly (Daily if you are cycling)


    These need to be tested but not as much as the above. But can be important if you need to decide stocking list or if you have unexplained illness/deaths in the future.

    There are others but mainly for advanced fishkeepers. The best bet for you is to buy a master kit (API) so you have all the essentails plus a bit more.

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Since there are no fish in the tank you should not do any water changes. You may need to top of the tank with dechlorinated water because of evaporation, but no changes are needed until the tank is cycled and you are going to add fish.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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