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Old 08-31-2011, 01:20 AM   #1
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0.25 ammonia levels okay?

I started my tank cycle on the 24th, and I think my cycle is almost over, however there is still ammonia present. (I'd say somewhere between 0 and .25ppm). My nitrate is at about 20ppm and nitrite has dropped to 0 (started at 2ppm). I'm currently stocked with 4 platys and 3 fry in my 25g tank, and I've been doing 1 to 2 20% PWC every 1-2 days.

My question is, should I be worrying about the ammonia? Is it too early to introduce a few more fish?/How long should I wait?
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:59 AM   #2
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Yeah its a little early at the moment.

Try not doing the water changes but testing the levels each day. The Ammonia levels should stop the same or even drop to '0'. You wont be able to tell if its the cycled tank dropping the levels or your water changes. Just try waiting a few days, testing the levels at least once a day (Twice if you are a worryer like me ) then if the levels rise you can carry on with your changes but if they stay the same then its all good to add more fish.

One reason for your high nitrates could be over feeding. How often to you feed your fish?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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Alright I'll hold off on the water changes for a few days. I've only been feeding my fish once a day in caution of ammonia levels. However, aren't levels under 40ppm of nitrate alright for the aquarium to help break down the ammonia and nitrite? This is my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:21 PM   #4
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You started the tank cycle on August 24th? If so, I'm not sure how the tank cycled in one week, as it isn't possible unless you used a ton of seeded filter media. I don't agree with holding off on water changes as a rule; sure, if ammonia and nitrite stay at 0 and nitrate isn't over 20, then fine. But if any of those rise, I'd break out the buckets right away. Water changes don't stall/affect your cycle as very little bacteria live in the water.

I would't add any fish for a while yet. Your nitrites just went to 0 but they could go up again, and ammonia isn't even 0 yet. When ammonia is clearly 0 and nitrites are 0 and they stay that way for at least a week, then I'd say it's ok to SLOWLY stock more fish (be sure to research that the fish you want are going to be compatible with your tank lol). As for nitrates, I think 40 is the upper limit, 20 or less is best, especialy with fry in there I wouldn't let it get any higher. Nitrates leave the tank through water changes, which is why it's important to keep up the 1-2 water changes weekly even when the tank establishes.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:01 PM   #5
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library girl, i think what tony is saying is that the ammonia is in the water, so by changing the water it takes the ammonia out of the tank making it seem like it cycled.but there is absolutely noway the tank cycled in a week. idk i didnt change water during cycling. once i thought it was cycled i continued to dose for a cpl of weeks to make sure and then started with water changes.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:48 PM   #6
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library girl, i think what tony is saying is that the ammonia is in the water, so by changing the water it takes the ammonia out of the tank making it seem like it cycled.but there is absolutely noway the tank cycled in a week. idk i didnt change water during cycling. once i thought it was cycled i continued to dose for a cpl of weeks to make sure and then started with water changes.
The OP is doing a fish-in cycle, unless I'm misunderstanding the fish that were listed in the original post. I agree for fishless that water changes aren't generally needed unless it stalls or PH crashes, but for fish-in cycles I would definitely keep up with the water changes. But that's just me.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #7
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I was using two filters that were previously being used in other tanks, one from a 10g and the other from the 25g, which would have sped up the cycle.
Here's what my levels were..

Aug 24 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0.25ppm, Nitrite - 2ppm, Nitrate - 0ppm (2-20% PWC)
Aug 25 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0.5ppm, Nitrate - 0ppm(2-20% PWC)
Aug 26 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0.25ppm, Nitrate - 5ppm(2-20% PWC)
Aug 28 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate -10-20ppm(1-20% PWC)
Aug 29 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate - 10-20ppm(1-20% PWC)
Aug 30 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate - 10-20ppm(2-20% PWC)

Also to clarify, I do have fish in the water, and where I live the water is naturally harder (high pH).

One more question, after 5 minutes my ammonia tube contents are a very light green colour, however when left overnight it changes to yellow. Is the original light green accurate or is the test just taking longer to develop?

As per fish I will wait another week or two and then slowly introduce new fish.

And for water changes? Should I continue at one per day until the ammonia drops?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achtemichuk View Post
I was using two filters that were previously being used in other tanks, one from a 10g and the other from the 25g, which would have sped up the cycle.
Here's what my levels were..

Aug 24 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0.25ppm, Nitrite - 2ppm, Nitrate - 0ppm (2-20% PWC)
Aug 25 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0.5ppm, Nitrate - 0ppm(2-20% PWC)
Aug 26 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0.25ppm, Nitrate - 5ppm(2-20% PWC)
Aug 28 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate -10-20ppm(1-20% PWC)
Aug 29 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate - 10-20ppm(1-20% PWC)
Aug 30 - pH- 7.6, Am - 0-0.25ppm, Nitrite - 0ppm, Nitrate - 10-20ppm(2-20% PWC)

Also to clarify, I do have fish in the water, and where I live the water is naturally harder (high pH).

One more question, after 5 minutes my ammonia tube contents are a very light green colour, however when left overnight it changes to yellow. Is the original light green accurate or is the test just taking longer to develop?

As per fish I will wait another week or two and then slowly introduce new fish.

And for water changes? Should I continue at one per day until the ammonia drops?

Thanks for your help!
Since nitrites are 0 and ammonia is potentially < 0.25 I'd wait on the water changes. Test the water 1-2x a day though and if you see either of those rise do a water change; I just want to see if the ammonia and nitrite stay at <.25 on their own. Also the ammonia test can be hard to read; the tube might look yellow but then you hold it against the card and it starts to look greenish. If you have some distilled water (or spring, or you know that your tap is 0 ammonia) test it against the tank water and compare the two colors; if they're the same, then the tank is 0. If it's slightly greener than the spring/distilled then it's 0.25. Also taking the readings at the 5 minute mark is the accurate reading; the colors change after sitting a while which isn't the accurate reading.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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Alright, after 24hrs with no water change, my test results were indeed different. pH and nitrate stayed the same. I'd say the ammonia is a bit more yellow than last time, so somewhere just over 0ppm, however nitrite rose back to 0.25ppm!
I also removed the 10g filter yesterday after the water change.
Tomorrow morning I'll test the water again and if nitrite continues to rise, back to PWC's?
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Achtemichuk View Post
Alright, after 24hrs with no water change, my test results were indeed different. pH and nitrate stayed the same. I'd say the ammonia is a bit more yellow than last time, so somewhere just over 0ppm, however nitrite rose back to 0.25ppm!
I also removed the 10g filter yesterday after the water change.
Tomorrow morning I'll test the water again and if nitrite continues to rise, back to PWC's?
Yep. I'd do one even if it stays at .25. The fact that ammonia is staying near 0 is good; the ammonia to nitrite bacteria just need to catch up. Just keep testing and do water changes as needed and hopefully the cycle will end soon. You're doing great!

Oh, when you say you removed the filter....what did you mean? Don't remove any filter media from the tank or else you'll set your cycle backwards (and don't replace it unless it's literally falling apart; it should last a long time).
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