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Old 05-10-2012, 01:17 AM   #1
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Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate Spikes

My ammonia levels were staying about 0.25ppm, nitrites 0ppm, nitrates 0ppm for 2 weeks straight. I tested my water and here are my new readings.

Ammonia- 3.0ppm
Nitrite- 1.0ppm
Nitrate- 10ppm
Now do I need to do a water change or just allow the cycle to do its thing? I'm not really sure if im waiting for the Nitrite to eat away the ammonia then the nitrate to get rid of the nitrite, then a water change to get rid of the nitrate?
I've been letting this tank cycle for a month now and with 30pounds of live sand 25 pounds of live rock. I also seeded it with a friend of mines sand that has had his tank established for many years now. Just wasn't expecting it to take as long but I understand every tank is different. I am using a skimmer and a filter.

Tank- 29g biocube
Filter- BioBalls, Reg filter, and skimmer
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #2
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Let it do it's thing. Do a big water change once you are 0 on ammonia and nitrite to bring down the nitrates.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #3
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Yeah let it go it will settle down can take up to 8 weeks but usually faster seachem stability is a great product to build up bacteria colonies
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Ok well this morning I checked my levels.

Ammonia- 1.5-2.0ppm
Nitrite- 2.0ppm
Nitrate-20ppm

Do I need to keep my ammonia levels up or just allow it to drop to 0 on it's own now that it's spiked? This whole water cycle can get pretty confusing cause everyone does it different and every tank reacts different as well. Just want to make sure I'm doing this right.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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IMO you've had ammonia up to 3 and you tank bought ammonia and nitrites down, once read zero you should be right to add couple small hardier fish, but do that slowly once added couple fish wait until the tank does a tiny cycle and returns to zero again then add more fish and so on don't load tank to quick, but as you say everyone is different, your ammonia and nitrite will raise slightly after adding fish each time, there is no getting around this, but once your tank has done its first major cycle the bacteria will be in place to cope and reproduce as the fish load grows, patience and regular monitoring as your adding is the key, this is how I've set up tanks successfully but I guess there maybe people with other opinions that also may been sucessful with other ways. Hope this helps
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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I appreciate it Scully. Yeah I guess I'm just going to see if it hits zero by sunday which I'm thinking it will since there's already been a drop off in the levels or atleast I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Was probably going to do a 10% water change once the ammonia hits 0 just to bring my nitrates down some and then add two clownfish to start it off. Going to stay away from damsels if I can. I'll keep you guys updated.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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Yeah clowns are pretty tough, they are actually a member of the damsel family lol, great fish good luck with them yeah keep us posted on how ya go if ya need anything just message me I may not know the answer but I'm new on this forum and there seems to be a wealth of info on here from different people.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Also 10% water change after the initial cycle would be a good thing just make sure it's all zero first because if it's not it actually dilutes the ammonia and nitrites and can actually slow the cycle process down.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scully1 View Post
IMO you've had ammonia up to 3 and you tank bought ammonia and nitrites down, once read zero you should be right to add couple small hardier fish, but do that slowly once added couple fish wait until the tank does a tiny cycle and returns to zero again then add more fish and so on don't load tank to quick, but as you say everyone is different, your ammonia and nitrite will raise slightly after adding fish each time, there is no getting around this, but once your tank has done its first major cycle the bacteria will be in place to cope and reproduce as the fish load grows, patience and regular monitoring as your adding is the key, this is how I've set up tanks successfully but I guess there maybe people with other opinions that also may been sucessful with other ways. Hope this helps
I have to dissagree. Fish dont stop pooping once you have the tank cycled. They will be a constant source of ammonia. You need to keep dosing ammonia until it goes to 0ppm in 24 hours. Then you change the ammonia source to fish that you put in. You have to emulate the tank being stocked when you cycle. The beneficial bacteria feeds on the ammonia, without it you will stall the cycle.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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+1 spoonman

I agree, you need to be able to have your tank eat up the ammonia within 24 hours, just like if you had fish. You want 0 ammonia at all times and the biological filter is the way to have it done. just wait it out, you should almost be done.

Once you do have the ammonia being eaten up in 24 hours or less then you do a LARGE water change, enough to get the nitrate levels down. Once you do that then you can start to add livestock. Go slowly at first though, you system is used to a set amount of ammonia so if you go crazy with fish then you will overwhelm the bio system and you will get ammonia/nitrite spikes that can affect your fish.
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