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Old 06-20-2018, 01:47 AM   #1
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New 9 Gal Tank...I Have Questions

Hi everyone...new to the hobby. Just got my new Fluval Flex 9 gal tank a few weeks ago and I think I'm at the tail-end of my fishless cycle and I got some weird test results tonight. For the past couple of nights, my Nitrites have been sitting at 0.0 (or less than .25) ppm as well as my ammonia. Tonight my Nitrites were back up to 2.0 ppm. Had a little issue with my pH dipping down but chalked it up to the fact that I've been dosing 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride since my tank has been pretty much cycling it out in a 24-hr period. I'm posting my cycle journal below to see if anyone has any insight. I apologize in advance for the long post. I tried to keep detailed notes in my logs.

5/27/18


Set up new tank, aquascaped tank using corkscrew vals, microswords, crypts (undulata and wendtii bronze), java fern and el nino ferns. Added ferts and ammonia.


5/28/18

Ammonia - 2.0 ppm
pH - 7.2
Nitrites - 0 ppm
Nitrates - ferts added 5/27/18

Added biomax from established 29 gal tonight.
Added 2 caps full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter


5/29/18

Ammonia - 3.0 ppm
Nitrites - 0 ppm

Added 2 caps full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter


5/30/18

Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
Nitrites - 1.0 ppm
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm

Added 2 caps full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter
Added a rock and piece of driftwood from established 29 gal tank


5/31/18

Ammonia - 8.0 ppm
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm

Performed 50% water change
Added 2 caps full of Stability and 2 caps full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter
Dosed ferts

Ammonia (post-water change) - 4.0 ppm


6/1/18

Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
pH - 7.4
Nitrites - .75 ppm
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm

Trimmed melt off of corkscrew vals and microswords tonight
Added 2 caps full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter and Stability


6/2/18

Ammonia - 6.0 ppm
pH - 7.4
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm
Nitrates - *5.0 ppm

Added one cap full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter and Stability


6/3/18

Ammonia - 6.0 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0 ppm

Added one cap full of ReadiStart Bacteria Starter and Stability


6/4/18

Ammonia - 6.0 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0 ppm


6/5/18

Ammonia - 6.0 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0 ppm
Nitrates - 10.0 ppm

Performed a 20% water change
Added one cap full of Stability


6/6/18

Ammonia - 6.0 ppm
Nitrites - 3.0 ppm
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm

Performed a 50% water change


6/7/18

Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm

Performed a 20% water change


6/8/18

Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm


6/9/18

Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0+ ppm

Performed 50% water change; added water from established filter sponge from 29 gal


6/10/18

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0+ ppm
Nitrates - 60.0 ppm

Performed 50% water change; dosed 1.0 ppm of ammonium chloride


6/11/18

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0+ ppm
Nitrates - 120.0 ppm

Performed a 60% water change; dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride


6/12/18

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrites - 5.0+ ppm
Nitrates - 20.0 ppm
pH - 6.2

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride
Added aragonite to tank


6/13/18

Ammonia - .50 ppm
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm
Nitrates - 10.0 ppm
pH - 6.0

Added pH regulator, dosed enough for 5 gallons


6/14/18

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrites - 0.0 ppm
Nitrates - 5.0 ppm
pH - 6.7

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride
Added macros liquid ferts


6/15/18

Ammonia - <.25 ppm
Nitrites - 0.0 ppm
Nitrates - 20.0 ppm
pH - 6.6

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride
Cleaned out some of the hair algae


6/16/18

Ammonia - < .25 ppm
Nitrites - 0.0 ppm
pH - 6.4

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride
Added 1 mL of pH regulator


6/17/18

Ammonia - < .25 ppm
Nitrites - .25 ppm
pH - 6.6

Performed 50% water change
Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride


6/18/18

Ammonia - < .25 ppm
Nitrites - < .25 ppm
pH - 6.8

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride


6/19/18

Ammonia - 0.0 ppm
Nitrites - 2.0 ppm
Nitrates - 20.0 ppm
pH - 6.6

Dosed 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride

My boyfriend has a 29 gal that's been established for just over a year now so he's been helping me with the cycle (adding biomax from his tank into mine, adding some bacteria-laden water from his filter sponge, dosing my tank with ferts, etc.). When he saw the Nitrite result tonight, he wasn't quite sure why it came up so quickly. He quickly directed me to you guys, saying that someone would know what's going on.

Thanks in advance for any help you all might be able to give!

P.S. Yep...I have pest snails, courtesy of my beautiful microswords...didn't know they were there until it was too late. Going to be getting rid of them soon.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-20-2018, 11:05 PM   #2
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Wondering if anyone has any ideas about the water parameters...
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:55 PM   #3
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Keep testing, dosing and waiting until it stabilizes.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:59 PM   #4
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Thanks... appreciate the feedback. Was hoping to add fish this week but since the Nitrites jumped like this I think I may have to wait.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:00 AM   #5
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Should I be dosing 1.0 or 2.0 ppm of ammonium chloride every 24 he's?
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:34 AM   #6
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My test results from tonightClick image for larger version

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:25 AM   #7
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I'd just dose 1ppm - the bacteria won't die off and this will help with ph which looks pretty low and may be causing some bacteria to slow down every so often. After awhile it all balances out as mentioned above.


The low ph indicates low kh which the bacteria do need so that would also tie in. Would add some carbonate chips or water change to get the ph up above 6.7 say as a thought.


I've also had tanks have low <0.25ppm ammonia readings for some time until tank properly sorts itself out.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:26 AM   #8
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Extra notes copied in:


1 ppm ammonia --> 2.7 ppm nitrite --> 3.6 ppm nitrate.

For every gram of ammonia oxidised into nitrate 4.8 grams of oxygen is used, 7.14 grams of calcium carbonate is used (thus why pH crash can occur in tanks with to little buffering capacity).
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, Delapool. I have wrapped some aragonite and crushed coral in some pantyhose and it's in the filter. As for the gH, my boyfriend will be adding some gH booster when I do my next water change on Sunday.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:16 PM   #10
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Have you got a kh / gh test kit? If not, I'd just start with small doses and see how ph moves (as a proxy).
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