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Old 05-27-2011, 11:06 AM   #1
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Is it possible that one shrimp is putting out this much ammonia?

...or is this the joy of setting up a 10 gallon tank?

I started cycling May 3 using one shrimp. After 4 days my ammonia was off the chart (using API) and I did a water change and got it down to about 3. Things went per usual: ammonia came down, nitrite went up. Nitrates showed up quicker than expected, but that is not a bad thing. I did a water change last Sunday (the 22nd). Nitrates came down to about 20. Ammonia was 0, nitrites were still high. I decided to have LFS test my water to make sure it matched my results. This is when the real fun starts.

They used a Tetra test and they showed my nitrates over 100! They confirmed ammonia was 0, and high nitrites as well. So I bought a Tetra nitrate kit and played.

I tested the cycling tank with the Tetra kit and also came up with 100 nitrates. I tested my fresh water tanks with the Tetra and came up in the orange (12.5). I tested everything with the API kit and it always came up orange. Every time. Even for the cycling tank. So, I decided to stick with the Tetra test for now. Lot date on the API nitrate is 1010.

So, on Tuesday I did TWO water changes. But the nitrite was still purple (using API) and the nitrate was still red (using Tetra).

These are all 50% water changes. And I have done a water change each day this week trying to get nitrates down per the Tetra test. Each time the nitrites start blue then turn purple pretty quick. After a water change the nitrate red is less dark, but it is still in the red. Then the next day is darker again.

This morning for fun I tested with both nitrate kits again after the water change. Tetra still shows red, API barely turns orange.

My gut says to just keep going and water changing each day as long as my nitrates are red on the Tetra. Eventually the nitrites are going to be blue and I will have my water tested at the LFS again before adding my fish. But I wonder about monkeying around so much during the cycling process.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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is the tetra test a stick test? if so those arent very accurate i would rely on the api test kit results
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:14 AM   #3
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Nope - it is liquid.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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i would still rely on the api test kit and also i wouldnt do water changes til the cycle was over with
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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So what do I do when I need my LFS to test the water? I don't know if they guarantee saltwater fish, but they do with fresh if they test your water and it is good. Theirs is going to come out high nitrates, when mine will show little. I am nervous about putting in a fish without a matching test. I don't completely trust my LFS, but with water testing I usually can (depending on who is doing it).

I was also thinking I need to quit the water changes until nitrites show blue. I have had way too much practice mixing water this week.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:50 AM   #6
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Also, when I tested my fresh tanks the Tetra test did come up orange.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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when you are testing with the API are you being sure to shake the second bottle very well for over 30 seconds? if you dont shake it you will not get correct results.

also I would stop doing water changes as well. There are no fish in there getting hurt, all changing the water does is slows the process down. after Ammonia and Nitrite are at 0 do a larger water change to get your Nitrate down if you need to.
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