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Old 01-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #21
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It sounds to me like that's the balance you want. Low ammonia and nitrites are a good thing. When you get to nitrates, I think that's the stopping point. The microorganisms have done their job and that's why you do your water changes to remove the excess. I think nitrates are the preferred state as ammonia is a quick killer.
ok but I just got back to school (where the 8 and 14 gallon are) and we checked everything in both of our tanks. The 8 gallon parameters were dammonia about .5-1, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was about 80. Then in the 14 gallon tank ammonia about .5, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was about 5. Do you think we need to do a water change in both of them and if so how much of a water change? PS the 8 gallon has no fish in it but the 14 gallon has 1 damsel in it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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ok but I just got back to school (where the 8 and 14 gallon are) and we checked everything in both of our tanks. The 8 gallon parameters were dammonia about .5-1, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was about 80. Then in the 14 gallon tank ammonia about .5, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was about 5. Do you think we need to do a water change in both of them and if so how much of a water change? PS the 8 gallon has no fish in it but the 14 gallon has 1 damsel in it.
The 14 gallon sounds like it should be ok without a water change. The 8 gallon I would change anywhere from 25% to 50% of the water before you add fish. You'll need to monitor the water and see how long it takes for the levels to get high like that and try to do regular water changes on a schedule to keep the nitrates under control. Small tanks are a lot higher maintenance.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:43 PM   #23
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Ok but this morning when we woke up the damsel had died. All the water was still the same as what is was last night at ammonia .5, nitrite was 0, and nitrate from about 3-5.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #24
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Here's what you want: Ammonia and Nitrite at 0 or very close to 0 and Nitrates should be rising higher (like in your 14 gallon). I can only guess that the ammonia or nitrite wasn't being converted quickly enough and it killed the fish. Sorry to hear about it but this page breaks it down for you very simply. I would use it as a guide.

The Basics of Cycling in an Aquarium
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #25
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leave the dead damsel in the tank and let it cycle.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:49 PM   #26
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Ummmm.... Sorry you are late lol he is on his way to the ocean.....
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #27
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then toss a piece of fish in the tank out of your fridge.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:51 PM   #28
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Ok I just did a 50% water change in the 8 gallon and waited 2 hours and checked everything and it is now ammonia was about .25, nitrite was 0, and nitrate was about 10-20. Do you think I need to add an ammonia source to it or just let it sit? And if I do need to add a source is it ok to use Ace Hardware Ammonia for Janitorial Use?
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:55 PM   #29
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According to the stuff you used, I don't think you need an ammonia source, but I would not trust that that is the case. That's why I recommended the fish.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:34 PM   #30
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So do you think we need to put the ammonia in it just to see if it will convert it to nitrate?
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