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Old 06-21-2011, 10:26 AM   #1
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Question I think I am getting Bad LFS advice

I am still cycling my tank with a fish-in cycle. The PH has been high (7.8 - 8.0) and my ammonia is around .5 ppm due to my water changes every 2 - 3 days.

It's been 40 days and no sign of cycling. 0 Nitrites/Nitrates.

The LFS store told me I need to immediately lower my pH by using their pH-Down product and my tank will never cycle if I keep changing the water. However, I have 4 fish in there and don't want to damage them with the ammonia getting too high.

Is this LFS crazy or am I needlessly delaying the cycle?
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Terrible advice IMO, but I understand why they advise that way. Increase your PWCs to keep ammonia below .25.

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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HN1 - Thanks for the confirmation. I was sticking with .5 as a balance between keeping the fish healthy and getting the tank cycled in a reasonable amount of time.

Can you explain your reasoning behind keeping it at .25? I imagine that will slow down the process further.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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Hey,

Do you know what the pH is in your water when it comes out of the faucet? Where I live in It comes out at about 8. Unless you use a stabilizer to adjust your water it will try to go back to what the number was when it came out of the tap.

I learned long ago that water has "memory" which is why it wants to go back to the original pH. Only a stabilizer will help to change the pH to keep it constant.

I don't wory about my pH as I raise livebearer; mostly guppies, endlers, and platys. The do well with the higher pH.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x5 View Post
HN1 - Thanks for the confirmation. I was sticking with .5 as a balance between keeping the fish healthy and getting the tank cycled in a reasonable amount of time.

Can you explain your reasoning behind keeping it at .25? I imagine that will slow down the process further.
.25 is what we consider a safe(ish) level for the fish to not suffer from ammonia and nitrIte poisoning. It will cause your cycle to take a bit longer, but consider the extra time and bucket carrying a sacrifice you are making to keep your fish alive and healthy.

I wouldn't worry about your pH at all. Cycling can wreak havoc on your pH, but once it's done things should stabilize out. Altering pH is a slippery slope, and unless you are keeping very sensitive fish like Discus...almost all fish can acclimate and live happily in a wide range of pH levels. They will always prefer stable pH as opposed to fluctuating values that can be caused by trying to alter it.
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Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #6
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The tap water pH is about 7.3, so I'm not sure why it rises to 7.8. I haven't seen it get any higher, so I am not too concerned.

I'll increase my water changes if you think .5ppm is harming my fish. I really wish I had done a fishless cycle, but my dad kept pushing me to do a fish-in cycle and I made a decision I regret.

This LFS advice is really dissapointing. If I listened to them, I'd have ammonia levels at 1 - 2ppm and torturing my fish. While, simultaneously dumping chemicals into my water and probably altering the pH beyond survivability. This advice can from some of the senior people at the store too.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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A great tool to use during fish-in cycles is a bottle of Seachem Prime. It is a water conditioner / dechlorinator...but it also temporarily detoxifies ammonia and nitrItes for 24-36 hours. The ammo and no2 are still available for your beneficial bacteria to consume, but they will be non-toxic to your fish during that time. It's a great way help protect your fish in between water changes.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:06 AM   #8
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Disolved gases can alter the pH of the water. Water under pressure will absorb more disolved gases. If you let the tap water sit in an open container for a day and then retest it you might get a more acurate reading. It's possible your tap water is 7.8 but when it comes out of the faucet it reads 7.3 until it has a chance to offgas.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #9
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.25 is and isn't a safe amount, it really depends on your PH/temp, but the idea is that since it's the lowest recordable amount on the API kit, to keep it at that point or lower. It's definitely a good target range to be in.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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Eco - Great advice. I was thinking about that, but was paranoid my beneficial bacteria would not be able to consume it when it was "detoxified"

Also - I am trying another idea that I cooked up myself . I started a 5 gallon tank alongside my main tank, that I am doing with a fishless cycle. I grabbed about 10 bioballs from my main tank and put them on the substrate. I am hoping this tank will cycle in about 2 weeks and then I can put the balls back into my main tank's filter. Do you think that will speed up the process?
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