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Old 07-15-2011, 05:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 5x5
Very interesting read. I know many of the tank cycling experts like Eco suggest water changes at .25ppm ammonia. Maybe it's important to factor in ph and temp for future recommendations. The question is: does a tank cycle faster with lower temp and higher ammonia or higher temp and lower ammonia?
I'd normally leave this alone...but since I was mentioned by name I feel I have to respond. The .25 threshold is recommended because it is the lowest level on the API Master kit which most members are suggested to use. In general...ammonia is bad as jeta said in the write up. The factors and information listed here I 100% agree with, but there are many new members have no knowledge of the process...and in many cases if they had to account for pH, temp as well as the other factors during a fish in cycle...I feel it would commonly be information overload. I more than welcome people to use this chart, in fact I have already linked it several times..and you are more than welcome to come along behind me and inform the new members about how pH and temp fits into the equation.

The recommendation of .25 is a safeguard to ensure fish survive the ordeal without complications and will not signifigantly alter the time frame for a cycle. BTW, the guide and write up about fish-in cycling was not created by me...and was put together by one of AA's senior and most respected members. I would also state most seasoned fish keepers would also recommend to a newbie they should follow the guide commonly linked.

Read over this guide and you should understand why it is the normal practice to advise what I and most other experienced members do.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:55 PM   #12
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Eco - I was just pondering out loud. I agree with the argument you've outlined for keeping .25ppm as the standard threshold, even if it's only a part of the equation for the actual toxicity. It serves little purpose for newbies to be trying to adjust there temp and ph to keep fish alive with higher ammonia. That could even cause more bad behavior like ph down...etc
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x5 View Post
Eco - I was just pondering out loud. I agree with the argument you've outlined for keeping .25ppm as the standard threshold, even if it's only a part of the equation for the actual toxicity. It serves little purpose for newbies to be trying to adjust there temp and ph to keep fish alive with higher ammonia. That could even cause more bad behavior like ph down...etc
I also agree with a standard of .25ppm. Forget about .. it depends on the temperature and pH ... blah, blah, blah. To newcomers it get very confusing. Pick a minimum danger level number and anything from that and above is not safe for fish... period Let those with Doctorate / PHD's and such argue the minutiae.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
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I agree as well after giving it some thought.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:31 PM   #15
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I also agree and hope Jeta has time to put together the same type of info as it relates to nitrItes. My understanding is that no2 basically reacts in the opposite direction to NH3 and is the matching piece to the puzzle.

Don't get me wrong...I 100% support this guide and I would personally use it myself if I was doing a fish in cycle...and I also on several occasions have linked it to members who have developed a good understanding of the process...but when you take all this information into account as well as the same info as it relates to no2...I'd hedge my bets and stick with the "lower the better" recommendation. Of course, that does not pertain to all members, there are plenty of knowledgeable and capable people here for whom this guide would be invaluable information. I know personally when I started out in the hobby, if someone tried to explain cycling to me and also handed me charts as ammo and no2 relate to pH and temp...my head would have exploded. That's not saying others aren't capable...just my personal opinion and experience.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:08 PM   #16
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I also agree with a standard of .25ppm. Forget about .. it depends on the temperature and pH ... blah, blah, blah. To newcomers it get very confusing. Pick a minimum danger level number and anything from that and above is not safe for fish... period Let those with Doctorate / PHD's and such argue the minutiae.
Well the standard is wrong. If you can read the chart, then you'll see why.

Newcomers can't be confused by all the hoopla around fishless cycling, why not have more stuff out there for them to learn if they are willing to, rather than just pretend like theres some magical #s and have absolutely no evidence to prove it.

Just because someone is new doesn't mean they can't grasp it, and if they don't want to, that's fine with me. I just know with this chart I can tell someone that X amount of ammonia is harmful to the fish, and then I can prove why, rather than just say 'oh because I said so'.

Call it minutiae if you want, but I don't think it takes higher learning to read a simple chart, and it's extremely important, especially for those that already have ammonia coming out of their tap above the magical .25ppm 'minimum' that everyone throws around.


I expected to get some flack for posting this, since it's contrary to a lot of 'teachings' going around, and that's fine, but at least have an actual argument against it's validity, because that's all that matters.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I also agree and hope Jeta has time to put together the same type of info as it relates to nitrItes. My understanding is that no2 basically reacts in the opposite direction to NH3 and is the matching piece to the puzzle.
It's not going to happen with nitrites, the documentation is too few and far between unfortunately, so most of it would be total speculation. It doesn't appear to be on a sliding scale, like exact opposites, so I've tried to leave that alone.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong...I 100% support this guide and I would personally use it myself if I was doing a fish in cycle...and I also on several occasions have linked it to members who have developed a good understanding of the process...but when you take all this information into account as well as the same info as it relates to no2...I'd hedge my bets and stick with the "lower the better" recommendation. Of course, that does not pertain to all members, there are plenty of knowledgeable and capable people here for whom this guide would be invaluable information. I know personally when I started out in the hobby, if someone tried to explain cycling to me and also handed me charts as ammo and no2 relate to pH and temp...my head would have exploded. That's not saying others aren't capable...just my personal opinion and experience.

This guide isn't for someone who is brand new into this, it obviously takes some understanding of what ammonia and the nitrogen cycle is before you can start understanding the intricacies of it. It's still important though, like I mentioned in the last post, you know as well as I do that many have ammoniated water, so the 'do water changes till you get it to .25' thing doesn't work, and in those cases we often say 'well keep it as low as possible'.

I'm totally on board with the 'low as possible' thing, but have seen many threads where someone is freaking because their water source doesn't allow them to get down to that standardized.25ppm threshold. I've even seen people switch over to bottled water or r/o just to get there.

The other thing is I sometimes see recommendations to do daily multiple PWCs, which is also unnecessary in most situations. Too many water changes can be detrimental when cycling, the biofilm in the tank gets dislodged/dries out in certain portions, and also the water itself takes time to stabilize. Granted, beneficial bacteria don't colonize in the column itself, but they do use the water as a means of getting around, so messing with it the least amount feasible would make sense.

Yes, when initially combatting a toxin issue, multiple PWCs may be necessary to get an extreme amount of toxins out of the water, but otherwise, it's not.

If someone is reading 1.0ppm ammonia in their tank, and they do a 50% wc, they don't need to another 50% right after to get it down to .25. Chances are that the .50 reading is well into the safe area, and also Prime or other detoxifier is being used so the water is safe for a 24+ hour period anyway.

I appreciate the input.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:47 PM   #18
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Well the standard is wrong. If you can read the chart, then you'll see why.
Hey jetajockey ... who cares if you get flack ... continue to stay firm with your ideas. Ideally ... I'd say your are correct. If you can read the charts... which I think are superbly done ... one should be able to properly decipher the info. What I'm finding is not everyone cares to either read or wants to read charts ... which is sad. It's a pattern that I'm afraid is becoming more common ... IMO. Too many people want the direct info right now up front ... no if, ands or buts. I see it with many of my students. At the beginning of the year, they ask a question and roll their eyes if I say "it depends on". And forget about expecting them to refer to charts ... it's like

It isn't till later in the year when they've had most of the curriculum in under their belt do they then refer to charts and grasp the why it "depends on" etc.

IMO ... a minimum ammo number is for no other reason than to give those people who just want a fish tank a number to go by. Those who want an Aquarium, meaning they know it's more than just fish will understand the intricacies, will research more and refer to charts like yours.

It's too bad you are not finding useful data for Nitrites / Nitrates. Maybe you can be the one to start the quality research on it. Keep up the good work!
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:08 AM   #19
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Thanks for the response.

I may look into the nitrate thing, there is probably a lot of resources on it, but I really don't want to subject fish to nitrite poisoning for the sake of a writeup.

I agree that <.25 is a good target, I even recommend it fairly often.

My issue was with those that demanded a <.25 level otherwise the fish were going to suffer poisoning/death.

For the sake of accuracy, it needs to be brought to light. One reason is because newbies look to others for advice, and when they get this kind of advice from those that they deem 'in the know', they take it and run with it, and next thing you know, they are in another thread telling someone else that their fish are going to die if they aren't keeping the ammonia below .25 .

I'm sure I could find some threads to evidence this but it's probably easy enough to find.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:26 AM   #20
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This is pretty interesting.. And it is funny how mislead information gets spread quickly. I know I'll have this chart around at all times.

I'm sure there are other factors even, still, but this is a great guideline to follow instead of thinking automatically that; "cause my 'ammo' is above .25 now my fish are going to die" type thing. Hopefully this chart gets into more peoples hands sooner than later.
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