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Old 05-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
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Are these numbers normal?

New tank setup
72 Gallon
80 lbs live sand
bottled bacteria
15 lbs Dry Rock so far, no live rock seeding.
2 clown fish

11 days into initial cycle
Do these numbers look OK for a new tank?

AMMONIA .10
PH. 8.0
NITRITES. .25
NITRATES. 0

Thanks for any input, just want to ensure I'm on the right track
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:35 PM   #2
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no ammonia should be 0. it seems you didnt cycle at all.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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Are these numbers normal?

It looks like you need to take back the clowns and do a Fishless cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are extremely toxic to fish/coral. Most bottled bacteria is junk. Provide an ammonia source via a table shrimp or adding fish food to keep the cycle going. Either way, get those fish out of there.


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Old 05-21-2015, 02:46 PM   #4
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Its only been 11 days. I would suggest you give it a month or two. But your fish may die.

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Old 05-21-2015, 04:15 PM   #5
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If your using bottld bacteria, you might want to add a bit more, its should be getting your ammonia down better than what your reading.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:41 PM   #6
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If you have ammonia its not a safe place for fish at all!! You typically do the bottled bacteria BEFORE adding fish. I am currently using bacteria to cycle a tank right now. You do the cycle and when ammonia and nitrites are zero is when you add the fish.
Nitrites are probably even worse for fish than ammonia. You will need to do a bunch of water changes to get those levels down if you decide to not return the fish. ASk your lfs if he can hold the fish for a couple weeks. Offer him a few bucks even for food and whatnot, you really will have much better results if the fish are not in the tank while cycling.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:56 PM   #7
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Either way, more bacteria or even some prime to make the ammonia non-toxic would be well suited in this case as to not poison the fish...as much.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:58 AM   #8
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For an 11 day old tank, those numbers are great. It looks like you are mid way through the cycle, with having higher nitrite than ammonia. You should start to see both ammonia, and nitrite drop and nitrate go up.

Since you are doing a fish in cycle, and ammonia is toxic to fish, you will need to do water changes to get those levels down until your levels read normal. In a FOWLR setup, your rock and media have more beneficial bacteria than your water. You need to do a 20-25% water change every few days to keep the levels down. You need to monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels daily to make sure there isnt a spike, which if there is a 50% water change would be necessary to do to get those levels down. Significant water changes bring down high levels.

But again, your tank is 11 days old. You can add more bottled bacteria to help out. I have used bio spira for years and I have had great results with it. With larger and more frequent water changes during the initial cycle, your fish should be fine. I personally prefer fish out cycles, but fish in can be done, with close monitoring and water changes, and I have not lost a fish due to cycling to date.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Krely View Post
For an 11 day old tank, those numbers are great. It looks like you are mid way through the cycle, with having higher nitrite than ammonia. You should start to see both ammonia, and nitrite drop and nitrate go up.

Since you are doing a fish in cycle, and ammonia is toxic to fish, you will need to do water changes to get those levels down until your levels read normal. In a FOWLR setup, your rock and media have more beneficial bacteria than your water. You need to do a 20-25% water change every few days to keep the levels down. You need to monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels daily to make sure there isnt a spike, which if there is a 50% water change would be necessary to do to get those levels down. Significant water changes bring down high levels.

But again, your tank is 11 days old. You can add more bottled bacteria to help out. I have used bio spira for years and I have had great results with it. With larger and more frequent water changes during the initial cycle, your fish should be fine. I personally prefer fish out cycles, but fish in can be done, with close monitoring and water changes, and I have not lost a fish due to cycling to date.
pretty much agree with all of the above.
Nitrite is far more toxic than ammonia and should be addressed immediately via water changes and use some Seachem Prime to de-toxify the nitrite.
Use prime at 5 times normal dosage.

Luckily clownfish are rather hardy, but keep tabs on water parameters daily.
The problem with doing a fish-in cycle is that it can prolong it by weeks because you can't allow the ammonia/nitrite to rise to significant levels to really force the bacteria to reproduce quickly.

You also have the issue of seeding it with bacteria, not a bad thing but whenever doing that you need to be doubly diligent about water quality as both ammonia and nitrite will rise at the same time, whereas without adding bacteria, they tend to peak one after the other.
Basically it speeds up the populating of bacteria, but produces some nasty water parameters in the process.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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another thought is to understand how these chemicals effect fish.
ammonia is essentially caustic and if high enough it literally causes chemical burns to tissue
some fish are more susceptible to it than others are


Nitrite interferes with the fish hemoglobin's ability to absorb/carry oxygen, so the fish suffocate.


With that knowledge in hand one of the first indicators of elevated ammonia is scratching and flashing as the ammonia is irritating the gill tissue, redness and inflammation of the gills is the next step if the water isn't corrected. If it gets to the point of gasping and ragged fins, then the level of ammonia is very high and irreparable damage has most likely been done.
It is a slow and painful death for the fish in a high ammonia environment.


Elevated nitrite symptoms start off with muddy, dark colors, lethargy and general malaise. If nitrite continues to rise next you will see the fish gasping as their blood can not carry oxygen as well. After that it is death. Nitrite poisoning can progress rather rapidly and doesn't really take much to kill.


again, some fish seem to tolerate this better than others, but still not to be taken lightly.




this is based on my observations, research and stuff over the years...
your mileage may vary.
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