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Old 03-06-2007, 09:11 PM   #21
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If pwc reduced nh3 below 3 ppm then I can understand the prolonged cycle time but if off the chart then lowering the nh3 slightly should not affect total cycle time IMO
The nh3 reading today was over 8 ppm (again) so in order to get in even in the range of 3 ppm I would need to do more than a 50% water change, yes? Well, I did break down a do a 10% change today, also added some Bio Spira. At this point it couldn't hurt. I don't think I mentioned this before but I am starting over with this tank. I had it set up for 5 months but had a persistent case of ich. Fish are in a QT. My point in saying this is that I cycled this tank before using gravel from a friend's tank (no fish) and my nh3 never got this high and it still cycled just fine.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:04 PM   #22
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tough crowd
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:23 AM   #23
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No scientific study, but just my experience...

I cycled my 10g QT with a cocktail shrimp, but didn't realize I didn't need a whole one for just 10g. At 3 weeks after getting a trace of ammonia, my ammonia levels were at 6.0+ppm, and I still hadn't seen any nitrites. At that point, I did a 50% PWC and got my ammonia down to 3.0+ppm. Two days after that I did another 50% change and got it down to around 1.5. I still hadn't seen any nitrites, and I was 3 weeks and 4 days into the cycle. Two days after I did that 2nd PWC, I finally detected nitrites and my ammonia started to drop. Two weeks after that point, my cycle was finally done. The cycle took just shy of 7 weeks.

Perhaps it was just coincidental that my nitrites finally showed up only after I substantially lowered my ammonia. Except...

Fast forward 3 months or so after I've broken down the QT and disinfected it. I'm ready to cycle it again. This time I control the ammonia source better and only let it get to 0.75ppm ammonia. Within 10 days I had nitrites showing up. After 5 weeks the tank was completely cycled. (And is home to a very perky Bangaii Cardinal, in his 3rd week of quarantine.)

Granted, the difference between 5 and 7 weeks for a cycle isn't a big deal. But I did find it interesting that with the super high ammonia levels, my tank took 3 weeks to show any signs of nitrites - but with lower ammonia levels it took only 10 days to show signs of nitrites.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:20 AM   #24
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rubikcube, I value all input and feel we should learn from from each others experiences and was wrong to get personal and hope you don't hold it against me.

I have used Purigen in the past and still use it every once in a while and know how well it does to absorb nh3/no2/no3.

I've cycled many SW tanks over the 20 years of keeping SW tanks and in my experience too much nh3 has slowed my cycle times and I've adjusted it lower over the years.

It's not scientific but just what I've experienced so again I'm sorry I didn't just communicate that.

I hope you will continue to share your knowledge with others and contribute to this forum.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:32 PM   #25
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I appreciate all the input. I did do a very large water change late last night...I just couldn't take it anymore..I felt like I was murdering these organisms unnecessarily.

Quote:
Granted, the difference between 5 and 7 weeks for a cycle isn't a big deal. But I did find it interesting that with the super high ammonia levels, my tank took 3 weeks to show any signs of nitrites - but with lower ammonia levels it took only 10 days to show signs of nitrites
I found this very interesting.

Quote:
I have used Purigen in the past and still use it every once in a while and know how well it does to absorb nh3/no2/no3
Can I use Purigen instead of doing the massive water changes to control the ammonia? Also have you heard of a product named Nitrex?
Follow up: I did a 50% water change late last night (Tues). Tonight (Wed) my readings are nh3 over 8ppm
no2 over 5
no3 over 160
Which I don't understand..I thought nitrates don't show up until nh3 and no2 start to drop off..what is happening?
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:41 PM   #26
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Several things could be happening I suppose...

First, you mentioned that you had over 5ppm Nitrates on the 4th day of your cycle. Something's up there, as tecwzrd mentioned - you just don't get nitrates showing up after only 4 days. My guess is your source water has nitrates in it. Have you tested it? Sorry if I missed it somewhere, but are you using tap water? RO/DI? Fish store water?

Second, your ammonia could actually be coming down - you just can't see it because it's off the chart to start with.

It is odd that you have 160ppm of nitrates with your ammonia still that high. Seems like the times I've cycled, the nitrates don't really start kicking in until the ammonia is gone.

In the end, I suppose it really doesn't matter what's actually going on as long as you end up with zero for both ammonia and nitrites - and you will eventually!
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:25 AM   #27
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[quote]My guess is your source water has nitrates in it. Have you tested it?
Quote:
Yes, I've tested before 10ppm.
The odd thing about the nitrates is that it went up the instant I put the first reagent in (I'm using API testing kit).
Second, your ammonia could actually be coming down - you just can't see it because it's off the chart to start with.
Quote:
I was thinking the same thing.
In the end, I suppose it really doesn't matter what's actually going on as long as you end up with zero for both ammonia and nitrites - and you will eventually![quote]
I hope so, I just don't want to end up with dead rock.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:57 AM   #28
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Sound's like your AP test is bad if your getting color with the first reagent. I swap out my tests at least once a year and considering how cheap they are usually every 6-8 months. IME the no3 test is the quickest one to expire. They have a self life that is longer (1-2+ years) for most kits but often it's already 6+ months old by the time we get them. I only order my test kits online from www.drsfostersmith.com since they keep fairly fresh stock and are cheaper then the lfs.

I'd get another test kit or have the lfs test the water to make sure of the readings. Could be why your nh3 readings are off the chart also.

Purigen works best in canisters IME (since water is forced through the media) but also works decently in HOB filters or sumps. You could use it but it also could reduce your nh3 too low so your tank might not properly cycle. If your nh3 levels are truly off the chart then using Purigen for a couple of days to lower your nh3 to 2-3 ppm would be fine IMO.

I'd get your water retested to make sure you know the levels are correct. Take a sample of tap water also to double check the no3 level (10 ppm is kind of high for most tap).
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by tecwzrd
Sound's like your AP test is bad if your getting color with the first reagent.
Hmm... are you sure you're thinking nitrate and not ammonia? My AP nitrate test has two bottles. After 10 drops of bottle #1 into the test sample, you should end up with a very bright yellow color that matches the 0ppm color on the card. Then after shaking bottle #2 for 30 seconds, drop 10 drops of #2 into the tube. Shake tube for 1 minute. After 5 minutes, compare the color. Perhaps you meant "getting color" that's anything but yellow?

jwburleson97 - if you're getting something other than the bright yellow after adding the first bottle, than tecwzrd is correct - you've probably got a bad test. And 10ppm nitrates is something you're probably not going to want in your "fresh" water. You might start thinking about alternate water sources, or RO/DI.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:01 PM   #30
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Thanks for clarifying, I assumed they were talking about getting a color other then yellow (0 ppm) just using the first bottle

But I'm a little color blind anyways so I'm always asking my wife what "shade" she thinks the test is
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