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Old 04-19-2003, 08:12 PM   #1
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Acceptable ammonia levels

I recently became interested in tropical fish and have a few questions about the cycling process. I have a 34 gallon tank with an eclipse top. Temp= 78-80 The fish were added 8 days ago (12 small platys/4 small mollys/1 betta).They all seem to be doing quite well. I have tested the water everyday. My ph is stable at 7.6. The first three days my ammonia and nitrites were at zero.On the 4th through 8th day I started to detect a small amount of ammonia. The test vial has a hint of yellow color but not as yellow as the .5-1.0 reading on the test card. I would call it a .3. Nitrite readings are still at zero. Should I be alarmed at these readings. Am I doing anything wrong? Did I add too many fish to start? Should I do a partial water change to try to bring down the ammonia? I feed them twice a day. With this many fish should I cut them down to once a day? Thanks in advance for any advice given.
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
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1st, I would cut down on the feeding. You will not starve them at this phase. Your tank is new and the cycling is just starting. The Ammonia you see, will continue to rise then nitrite will kick in. The ammonia will start falling then the nitrate will kick in. Once the Nitrate start working, converting the other two to a safe bacteria, your biological bed is starting to work. Dont add anymore fish until this process is completed. It takes anywhere from 3 weeks to 6-8 weeks for the whole cycling to process.

2nd, what type of test kit do you have?

As for water changes, Do a 20 percent water change as the ammonia rate start getting to high.
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I have a freshwater master test kit by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. When would you consider the ammonia levels high enough to do a 20% water change?
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:01 PM   #4
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Just for your reference here is an article about the Nitrogen cycle (aka what happens when you cycle your tank).

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=21
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:49 PM   #5
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OK...here's my two cents. Since you have fish in the tank already, I'd try to keep the ammonia levels at 1.0 or less. You have to have some to cycle the tank. Nitrite @ .5 or less. It may take longer to cycle this way but you will reduce the chances of losing any fish.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:00 PM   #6
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Youve all been a great help to me and keep up the good work helping newbies like me.
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Old 04-26-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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My tank is now on its 16th day and I have done a 20% water change on the 10 day a 30% change on the 12 day and a 30% change on the 16th day. I do the water changes when my ammonia levels exceed .5. My PH was at 7.6 before all of these water changes but after every change it seems to jump up to 7.8 or higher. The water I'm putting in is slightly less than 7.6. I am adding chlorine remover to new water which says its PH buffered.Will this additive effect my PH? My nitrites are still at zero.
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Old 04-27-2003, 01:06 AM   #8
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I think I might have figured it out. When I set up my tank I added Bullseye 7.0. Everytime I do a water change I'm diluting the ratio of the 7.0 therefore my PH is going up. Does this seem correct?
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:35 AM   #9
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My tank is now on its 19th day. On the 17th day my water became cloudy. Is this the bacteria bloom I've been waiting for. My ammonia has been between 0 -.5 and if it gets over .5 I do a 25% water change. It looks like a film on the glass. Should I clean the glass or leave it alone? The artificial plants inside feel like they have a slime on them. Is this normal or desirable during cycling? My nitrites haven't increased to the color just past zero (purple) but it looks like its starting to go from blue(zero)towards purple.
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