Aquarium Forum
 


Menu
  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Buy & Sell
· Calculators
· Equipment reviews
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Link to us
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

_________________
 
      
        Via paypal

  AC news is a part of
      Nature Blog Network

      Reef Aquarium Blog

Privacy & Ad Policy

Articles
  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Mystified by high test kit readings


    0 Not allowed!
    So I've been working on a fishless cycle for 4-5 weeks now in a 29 gallon aquarium (my first since a 20+ year break from the hobby), and am seeing some strangeness.

    The main issue is that I'm not sure I trust my nitrite and nitrate readings. Here's what I've seen:

    1. I started the cycle with our local tap water treated with Prime. Out of the tap, our water reads 1-2ppm of ammonia, ~7.4pH.
    2. I added ammonium chloride to get my levels up to about 4ppm ammonia.
    3. I added "Cycle" from Nutrafin / Hagen to get things going, according to the instructions.
    4. I waited. I didn't test very frequently in the beginning, and didn't keep records. But I went 4-5 weeks, and my ammonia was at 0, my nitrites somewhere far north of 5ppm (the API test kit turns purple almost immediately), and Nitrates somewhere between 80ppm and 160ppm. I only had added ammonia once.

    What I don't get is how my nitrite and nitrate levels got so high with such a modest introduction of ammonia. I had two theories:
    1. Prime screws with the API readings. There's a lot of discussion about this online, but other than some very vague statements from Seachem tech support, very little that's definitive.
    2. The "Cycle" product includes ammonia or nitrite in it.

    I decided to do an experiment to figure out what's going on. I did a 90%+ water change (down to the level of the sand), again treating with Prime, but this time, no extra ammonia, no "Cycle".

    After 12 hours, my ammonia had dropped to 1ppm. Nitrite was reading 1ppm. Nitrate about 5ppm.
    After 24 hours (this morning), my ammonia has dropped to about .5ppm. Nitrite is north of 5ppm (although not turning purple quite as fast as before). Nitrate is somewhere between 40 and 80ppm.

    Remember, this is JUST my tap water.

    Does anyone else think these numbers are wonky? Feels like nitrate shouldn't be reading that high. I'm following the API instructions to the letter, and it's a new test kit.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What had you done during the 4-5 weeks during your cycle?

    How long was your ammonia level at 0ppm during this time ?
    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="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    What had you done during the 4-5 weeks during your cycle?

    How long was your ammonia level at 0ppm during this time ?
    I hadn't really done anything after adding the initial ammonia. My ammonia was at zero for 3-4 weeks, I'd say (I didn't keep good track). I didn't want to add more because my nitrites were reading so high. I didn't test nitrate because that test is slightly more involved.

    My main question is less about my cycle and more about whether my test readings can be believed; is it possible that 2ppm of chloramine from my tap ended up turning into 40-80ppm of Nitrate?

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    When you allowed your ammonia to stay at 0ppm for that length of time, you stalled your cycle

    There is a link below in my sig that explains the steps to a fishless cycle to help aviod that from happening
    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="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    When you allowed your ammonia to stay at 0ppm for that length of time, you stalled your cycle

    There is a link below in my sig that explains the steps to a fishless cycle to help aviod that from happening
    Well, I'm trying to actually understand what I'm seeing- I'm less a "follow the recipe" kind of guy, more a "understand why the recipe works" one. I may be over-analyzing, but that's just who I am! :-)

    See, this is actually my second cycle... I stopped the first one thanks to the substrate issue we were discussing in that other thread. During the first I thought I had stalled because I put too much ammonia in and was keeping the nitrite-eating bacteria from getting started, and my nitrite levels were completely out of control (I was still above 5ppm after a 90% dilution). When I saw my nitrite spike above 5ppm this time (that's the limit of the API test) I decided to hang back. Maybe that stalled my cycle, but right now I'm trying to figure out if my testing is somehow wrong.

    I know you're trying to help me get through my cycle, but I'm still at "is my test kit reliable". Because if I can't measure what's happening reliably, I'm going to be blind.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    High nitrite levels can stall cycles, but the more likely cause would be not re-dosing ammonia for a few weeks after it dropped to zero. The cycle also need a steady supply of the appropriate amount of ammonia to continue to develop.

    If you want to make sure your test kits are giving you accurate results, double check you are following the test kit instructions to the letter and test your water again. Then take a sample into your LFS to be tested so you can compare the results.

    Prime will have no effect on your test results after 24 hours
    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="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •