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Old 08-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #21
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Then it can't be the tests...possibly something decaying from the 7ppm tds reading from the walmart water? I'm running out of ideas :/
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:54 PM   #22
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To be honest I have been out of ideas for some time now, I don't know anything to do, but what I have done. Had I known the nitrates were that high I would have been doing water changes all along.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #23
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I changed approx. 13 - 14 gallons last night, cleaning the sand in the fuge and removed all the rock and cleaned the sand under and behind the rock. I went to the LFS today, took a water sample and the told me, ammonia was good, nitrites were elevated (they did not give numbers but I looked at the nitrite and the scale they were using and it was .2ppm) ph was 8.0. When I told the LFS owner I was doing water changes he told me each water change retarded the cycle by two weeks. I really wish someone would open another shop and carry saltwater fish and supplies. I was going to buy my qt tank and glass tops from him, instead he got me irritated enough to just leave. I realize there is a debate on whether water changes will slow a cycle (I'm in the camp that it doesn't), but really...after 3 months of waiting, seems like its time to shake things up, rather than spout the dogma from 10 years ago.

I came home, tested and got

Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia < .5 but not quite .25ppm
Nitrite < .5 but not quite .25
Ph 8.0
Nitrate 80ppm

My bucket of freshly mixed salt reads
Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia ~ .25ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Ph 8.0

My plans are to continue 50% water changes until the nitrates hit pretty close to 0 and see where we're at. Once the nitrates are lower I am going to use the water from one of the 10g water changes to set up my quarantine and start cycling it, I sure hope that goes better than this one.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:45 PM   #24
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Tonight the numbers appear to be.

Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia ~ .25
Nitrite >.25 but < .5
Nitrate between 40 and 80, I would say closer to 80
Ph 8.0
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:34 PM   #25
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Here's my thoughts.

You cycled you tank for 3+ months, providing an ammonia source (I assume) and no water changes. As it cycled the untested nitrate levels climbed (and climbed and climbed). Somewhere along the way your cycle probably finished but was missed. The nitrate levels probably got so high at 1400+ ppm (based in your 3*50% wc and 180 ppm test after) the nitrifying bacteria started to get poisoned by the nitrate. That had a detrimental effect on the ability to process the ammonia and nitrates resulting on the elevated numbers.
You've now cleaned the tank and done significant wc's to lower the nitrates. Good.
I wouldn't aim for 0 on the nitrate test if you are using API tests. Get it below 40 and let the fuge do the rest. Or 1 more wc if you really want.
Let's the ammonia drop to 0 tho and you should be ready to go.
IMHO.
Good luck
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefrunner69
I changed approx. 13 - 14 gallons last night, cleaning the sand in the fuge and removed all the rock and cleaned the sand under and behind the rock. I went to the LFS today, took a water sample and the told me, ammonia was good, nitrites were elevated (they did not give numbers but I looked at the nitrite and the scale they were using and it was .2ppm) ph was 8.0. When I told the LFS owner I was doing water changes he told me each water change retarded the cycle by two weeks. I really wish someone would open another shop and carry saltwater fish and supplies. I was going to buy my qt tank and glass tops from him, instead he got me irritated enough to just leave. I realize there is a debate on whether water changes will slow a cycle (I'm in the camp that it doesn't), but really...after 3 months of waiting, seems like its time to shake things up, rather than spout the dogma from 10 years ago.

I came home, tested and got

Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia < .5 but not quite .25ppm
Nitrite < .5 but not quite .25
Ph 8.0
Nitrate 80ppm

My bucket of freshly mixed salt reads
Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia ~ .25ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Ph 8.0

My plans are to continue 50% water changes until the nitrates hit pretty close to 0 and see where we're at. Once the nitrates are lower I am going to use the water from one of the 10g water changes to set up my quarantine and start cycling it, I sure hope that goes better than this one.
Dont listen to the water changes stall cycle myths. Is decade old hogwash thats been explained to myth many times. Its been perpetuated throughout the hobby over the years like many other myths.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:15 PM   #27
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Thanks for the replies, I am hoping it will be done soon! I have a 50 dollar credit to reefcleaners.org and I'm ready to spend it!

Tonight's numbers

Salinity 35ppt
Ammonia ~ .25
Nitrite >.25 but < .5
Nitrate 40
Ph 8.0

Did one more water change tonight, that should do it unless the nitrates go back up.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:34 PM   #28
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Still having this issue, according to my kits still has low level ammonia and nitrite and even with a very low bioload the nitrates continue to rise within a few days. For example I had nitrates down to about 30-40 last week (5 days ago) to 100-120 today.

It occurred to me, that I live in an agricultural area, in recent years the light smell of ammonia has become prevalent in the area (the dairy farmers will tell you it smells like money), we have pretty much gotten used to the smell, so it didn't occur to me. So now I wonder if airborne ammonia isn't my problem. I set up the qt tank last night to start cycling it and the ammonia level is higher now (with no effort on my part, just filled the tank and turned on the sponge filter) than when I set it up last night.

So is this theory of mine valid?

Is there any hope for this tank?
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:48 PM   #29
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It is possible that airborne ammonia is somehow managing to get into your tank. Do this little experiment: Make new saltwater mix. Test it for ammonia. Place it beside your tank or if possible on top of it. Leave it there for 24 hours then do ur measurements again and compare results. While waiting, check the room's ventilation. Are u smelling ammonia inside? Are u using airconditioning inside the room? Or u have open windows? You may want to start searching for air purifiers/ionizers that addresses airborne ammonia. If ur tests shows elevated ammonia after 24 hrs, that where most of ur ammonia's coming from and that shows ur nitrifying bacterias are working well having high nitrates level. Your next step would be purifying air around ur tank. And yes...theres hope for ur tank
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