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Old 05-12-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Ammonia WAY too high?

Hi,

Sorry for yet another cycling question- I have read a number of articles but have not been able to find exactly how high my amonnia should get during my cycle... though it seems that 5ppm is ideal?

Mine is at 8 ppm and has been fluctuating at that for about 8 days. I am assuming this is way too high? My nitrites doubled from .25 yesterday to .5 today. Should I wait and see waht happens or should I remove my decomposing shrimp, change water?

Thanks,
Elle
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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I never have done it with the shrimp...but the number I see most often is around 5 ppm.There is a number that it can get too that will stall the movement of the cycle but I'm not where that number is exactly.

All that said...if it were my tank...and my nitrites were climbing...I wouldn't do a thing.

If if stalls (stops converting) I'd do the pwc to get the ammonia number down.

HTH
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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You may want to do a water change simply because with that high an ammonia level the nitrite portion of your cycle will take forever. You can leave the shrimp in. Change 50% and see how fast the ammonia rises after that. You may have to remove some of it but you dont want to stall your cycle by removing it all.
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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with that high an ammonia level the nitrite portion of your cycle will take forever
Thats why rich is a mentor lol...I honestly didn't even consider the impact on cycle time at all.
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:24 PM   #5
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You guys are funny.

Rich is correct, a PWC will get the cycle moving in the right direction--those nitrites are just waiting to spike
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:42 PM   #6
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Thanks! Life savers- all of you!
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:37 AM   #7
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So I didn't get a chance to do the PWC yesterday and was going to do it first thing today, but when I checked my levels my nitrites has spiked to at least 5 and the ammonia had dropped to about 4-5 all on its own! So now I am assuming that as long as the ammonia stays here or lower I should hold off on the PWC?
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:17 AM   #8
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well...you know what I'd do lol...I'd just smile and wait.

But many of these guys have done this a lot more then I have and I will defer to them everytime.I knew squat about the cycle just 3 monthes ago.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich311k
You may want to do a water change simply because with that high an ammonia level the nitrite portion of your cycle will take forever. You can leave the shrimp in. Change 50% and see how fast the ammonia rises after that. You may have to remove some of it but you dont want to stall your cycle by removing it all.
I completely agree.....

Edit:

Didn't see the last post, lol.
Yes, I'd wait and see if it comes down more. I think it's looking good.
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:03 PM   #10
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Thanks! Today was even better- Ammonia down to 1. But my nitrates also seemed to go down, and strangely my Ph has taken a huge dive.. I guess I should make a new post for that.
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #11
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A dive in ph usually happens towards the end of the cycle. If your ph is down near 6, do a PWC, a small one, to try and bump the ph up so it doesn't stall the cycle by being too low.
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Old 05-14-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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Did you mean to say nitrites?
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Old 05-14-2006, 05:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCFatz
Did you mean to say nitrites?
Well my nitrates are holding at a high level but my nitrates, which showed up in a small amount for the first time yesterday, seemed to drop today as well (although they are at very marginal levels so perhaps this doesn't mean much?)
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:30 PM   #14
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Well my nitrates are holding at a high level but my nitrates
Ok...now your just messin with my head.

Maybe just post all the results when you get a chance.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:05 PM   #15
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ooops... sorry- I meant to say that my Nitrites were high but that my Nitrates lowered.

May 13th

Ammonia: 4-5
Nitrites: 5
Nitrates: 5

May 14th

Ammonia 1
Nitrites 5
Nitrates 0-5 (looked like some where in-between)
pH 6
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:41 PM   #16
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how many days did your tank set at 4-5ppm of ammonia. i am right there now. i have transfered rocks and decorations and ceramic cylinders from cycled tank and havent seen a decrease in ammonia yet or nitrites. i am on day four. i am using liquid ammonia.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:47 PM   #17
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Nitrate tests below 10ppm are kind of iffy. It looks like you are moving right along. You have to love that ammonia number, dropping nicely.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:51 PM   #18
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that's what I was hoping. now if I can just figure out what's happening to my pH I will hopefully be back on track.


My ammonia sat between 5 and 8 for 8 days, on the 9th it dropped to about 4 and then the day after that to 1. But I was cycling with dead shrimp so you may not have to wait as long if you are using pure ammonia. I found this person's readings helpful- though I expect my cycle to be slower:

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/flc-data.htm
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:22 AM   #19
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Shouldn't have to worry about your nitrate level just yet. With having both nitrite and nitrate, your nitrate test is probably not going to be accurate. Personally, during a fishless cycle, I only watch ammonia and nitrite and ph. If the ph crashes, I do a PWC to bring the ph back so the cycle doesn't stall. Once you are cycled, then test for nitrate to get an accurate level to determine if you need to do a small or large PWC before adding fish.
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:41 PM   #20
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I figured that was probably the case- and pretty much guessed that I was getting ahead of myself with the nitrate testing- it just becomes a bit of an obsession monitoring and hoping for changes. But it was back up a little today so I am not too worried and won't bother testing again until the end. I did a PWC today for the pH so hopefully that works.

Is it possible that I am adding too much water conditioner for the chlorine and that might be what is lowering my pH? I haven't added more than the instructions call for, but it does say that it buffers pH and if my water is already soft....
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