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Old 04-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
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Is It Normal for... ?

Is it normal for the beneficial bacteria to slow down their consumption of ammonia and nitrite? Last time I checked my levels, when my tank was finished cycling for a week or so, my tank was consuming ammonia and nitrite really fast. Now, I just checked out of curiosity because my bio load went up a lot from getting my snail and frog. Ammonia is reading 0.5ppm, which isn't out of the ordinary I guess, but my nitrites are reading over 2ppm! I expected to see none of either :|
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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It's not that unusual for a newly established tank to have fluctuations, just keep monitoring it and it should settle down in time.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll keep monitoring just to be sure. I have a betta, an ADF and a mystery snail in a 7g tank. Bio load may just be a bit too much, but its all I have atm :|
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:36 PM   #4
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Nah that's not much of a bioload at all, just try to be sparse with feeding till things get situated.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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Hopefully it'll catch up. With nitrite over 2 though I'd do some water changes to get those numbers down if you have living things in there.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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I think maybe I have a problem. Yesterday, I did a 25% water change like I do every week. I fed my guys last night, tested again today, and still seeing 0.5ppm ammonia, nearly 1ppm nitrite and 40ppm nitrate. The ammonia isnt spiking, so i guess that is good, but the nitrite doesnt seem to be consumed all that quickly. Either that, or too much ammonia is being produced. Could I be overfeeding my snail? I feed him a slice of cuc, and he literally chomps on it for 48 hours straight to eat it all. Should I quarter the size of the piece? I feed him one every 3 or 4 days. I think he also eats leftover mysis shrimp my frog tosses about when I feed him, but im not 100% sure.

Im just not sure what the problem is Should I do another water change today? Heres what my tests looked like:



Thats after a 25ish% water change just yesterday!

One last fact, I was curious, so I tested my tap water. It tests 0.5ppm for ammonia right out of the faucet. Is that an issue??
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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So how exactly did you cycle the tank prior to getting the fish, etc? What are you feeding each inhabitant, how much and how often? It's possible there's rotting food and waste in the tank; do you vacuum the substrate when doing water changes?

25% per week isn't much; since there's ammonia in your tap water I'd do 20-25% twice per week once the levels stabilize. With nitrite at 1, though, you'll want to do some extra ones to get that down; I'd do a 30-40% water change which is going to knock the nitrite down to a bit less than half (normally I'd suggest doing larger water changes but the ammonia in your tap water is complicating things). Tomorrow or tonight do another. Dechlorinate the water of course. Have you changed out filter media or anything recently?

There isn't much you can do about the ammonia in your tap but it complicates things a bit; the biofilter should be consuming that ammonia. When you do water changes to get nitrite down you're also going to be adding ammonia so just do your best to get nitrite down slowly without addding too much ammonia. What dechlorinator are you using? If you can get something like Prime it'll help detoxify the ammonia and nitrite temporarily to help out your fish and frog (not to be used in place of water changes though).

Your nitrates are a bit high too; are there nitrate in your tap water? If not then I'm guessing you're overfeeding and not cleaning the tank well enough.

What filter do you have in the tank and how many gallons is it rated for? What media do you have in there?

Sorry for all the questions but if you can answer each one it'll help to try to get at the cause of the spike.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for the thorough reply. I cycled the tank using seeding material from angelsplus and pure ammonia from ace hardware. I got the tank to the point where it was consuming 4ppm of ammonia and nitrite in a single day before adding fish. My filter is an Enheim Liberty 200. The media I'm using is the black filter pads that came with the unit plus as much of the seeded sponge as I could fit inside. I've tested my tap and only ammonia is showing. No nitrites no nitrates, however when I first started my cycle the tap was different. No ammonia or nitrites but a small amount of nitrates. My ph is steady at 7.5. My dechlorinator is the one made by tetra. In the yellow bottle names AquaSafe.

My feeding involves 1 slice of cucumber to my snail every 2 days. He is about 1 inch in diameter and takes quite some time to eat it. For my betta, he gets 2 pellets of hikari gold in the morning and 2 at night, which there is never any left over. Finally, I tweeze my frog a few helpings of lysis shrimp or blood worms. I'd he thrashes a lot and leaves a mess I'll turkey baster the rest out. Other wise I'll leave the few pieces for my snail to find.

When I clean I use a gravel vacuum. I have white sand so it's fairly easy to see the waste. I get as much as I can, and use the turkey baster to spot clean some areas I cant get to easily with the vacuum.

I did a 40% water change last night. I'll post back the levels when I test in a little bit
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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Here are the levels after doing a 40% water change last night, and only feeding my betta:



As you can see, ammonia is showing trace amounts, but the nitrite and nitrate are still very high. I'm going to have to assume its due to the ammonia that all of a sudden started to show up in my water. Should I treat with Prime or something instead like suggested?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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Good news. I took away my snails cucumber last water change (about 24 hours ago), and let the tank sit. Last night Ammonia was reading nearly 1.0ppm, nitrites 1.0ppm. This morning, I tested, expecting to see worse, but was glad to find that the tank tests only trace amounts of ammonia and nitrites, it seems its all been converted.

I think my issue was a combination of the new ammonia in my tap water, and a bit overfeeding of my snail. I'll need to cut him back, hes quite the glutton
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