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Old 08-17-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Nitrogen Cycle Help

Hi

I am new in this. Got Fluval UNO 600 (60 litre) Aquarium Kit. It comes with under water filter and heater.

The filter model no is: Fluval 2Plus. It comes with 2 filter pads. One is white and one is black. I am using the white polyster filter pad.

I setup the aquarium on 28/06/2013 with the water treated with Neutrafin Aqua Plus and Neutrafin Cycle.

I also have some Real Pants in my new aquarium. I also treat water with Tetra PlantaMin.

Left it running for few days and went to LFS with the water sample on 02/08/2013.

The results are of both tap water and fish tank are:

02/08/2013
PH - 7.2
Ammo - 0Nitrate-0
Nitrite-0


LFS shop suggest me to buy few fishes to start nitrogen cycle and then after few weeks I can add more. So I bought 2 Platies, 2 Sword tails, 1 cat fish and 1 shrimp.

Then I start testing my tank water daily with my API Master Test Kit. The results are as follows:

03/08/2013
PH - 7.6
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0

04/08/2013
PH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0

10% Water Change on 05/08/2013

Rinse filter media with tank water on 05/08/2013

06/08/2013
PH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0


10% Water Change on 06/08/2013

07/08/2013
PH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0


Tetra Safe Start Treatment on 08/08/2013

09/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5

10/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5.0

11/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5

12/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5

13/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5

14/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5


Tetra Safe Start Treatment on 14/08/2013

15/08/2013
hPH - 7.4
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 3.0


35% Water Change on 16/08/2013

17/08/2013
Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 3.5

The fish food I am using is TetraMin and I am feeding only once a day and skip one day in a week. I am feeding little amount and the feed is finish in a minute and there is no left over.

The problem is that the ammonia is constant on 0.25. I don't understand what I am doing wrong?

Do I need to change filter as this filter is few years old model. Actually my friend gave me this aquarium set and is was lying with him for last few years and he never used it. Then he gave it to me.


Please I need help..

Best Regards
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:09 PM   #2
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Hello Al...

That's a very small tank, so you'll need to test the water daily and if you have a trace of ammonia or nitrites in the water, you'll need to change out 25 to 30 percent and replace that with pure, treated tap water. Don't remove more, because you want to grow the bacteria needed to use up the rest of the ammonia and nitrites.

The procedure is simple. Test and change the above amount of the water and replace it if you need to. The process generally takes a month or so. Get some floating plants into the tank too. Anacharis (Common water weed) is about the best. Yo can get it at most of the pet stores that sell fish. Just remove the lead tape and drop the stems into the tank.

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Old 08-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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I wish lfs would stop telling newbies to cycle using fish. It's so much safer to use pure ammonia or even a piece of shrimp.

But now you have fish and once that nitrite spike begins, you must keep on top of it, or you may lose the fish. Ammonia kills, and nitrite kills. Even at that low concentration ammonia is damaging the fish, though it takes a bit of time for the damage to show up. Ammonia burns the gills at first, later damaging internal organs too. If fish survive it dramatically shortens their lives. It's why the filters are there in the first place.

The black pad, btw, likely has carbon in it. I would not use it unless you have to remove either colour, odour or medication from the tank water. Stick with the white pad and do always use tank water to rinse it out, as you have been doing.

Keep testing. You will know that you have nitrifying bacteria starting when you begin to see nitrite readings. Usually you get those before the nitrate, but not always. Bacteria live almost exclusively in the filter media, very few live in the biofilm and even fewer in the water column. They require a hard surface to stick to, to grow colonies, which is the reason for the types of filter media in use these days. So changing the water won't slow the bacteria down too much. Cleaning the filter too much will slow them down, so don't do it unless it really needs it. Of course, don't allow it to become clogged.

You'll know the cycle is coming to an end when you start to see nitrite levels falling and nitrate levels rising. Don't let them rise over 30 ppm.. ideally, less than 20 ppm is good. When you have zero ammonia, zero nitrite and nitrate of around 20 ppm, you are done.

Do add some plants. The more you can add the better. They will use up the nitrate to some degree and also add some desirable bacteria to the water which may assist the cycle to get going. It can take six or eight weeks doing it without fish, so you do have to be patient, even when using live fish.

I just hope you don't end up with damaged fish due to the ongoing levels of ammonia.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the detail replies. Yes I will keep an eye on levels. The only thing I don't understand that why ammonia stays on 0.25 for last few weeks.

Do I keep water change daily or wait until the Ammonia or Nitrite levels increases.

Thanks
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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You need some ammonia for the bacteria to become established, as they eat it. So daily changes are not helping the cycle. Removing most of the ammonia via water change is not good for the filter but it's good for the fish.

So long as the level doesn't rise over what it is now, I'd skip water changes, but keep testing. As soon as the ammonia rises a bit, do a water change.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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Hello again Al...

Cycling a tank with fish is very efficient, but you'll need to pay close attention to the water chemistry. Simply test the water every day and if a test shows a trace of ammonia and/or nitrite, just change out some of the tank water. For your tank, a water change of roughly 4 to 5 gallons is enough. Your goal is to get the chemistry back into the safe zone for the fish and still leave enough of these forms of nitrogen to feed the good bacteria.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice.

I will keep a close look and update accordingly.

Regards
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Hi Guys

Tonight results are:

Ammo - 0.30
Nitrite - 0.25
Nitrate - 5.0

I think now the cycle starts.

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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I'm going to make this very simple... your tank is cycling as you are showing nitrites as well as nitrates. All you have to do to keep the fish safe and healthy is to do your daily water readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Whenever ammonia and nitrite rise above the .25ppm do a 50% WC. That is all you need to do! Once the tank is cycled keep nitrates below 20ppm which can be done with a once a week 50% WC.

One thing to be aware of is often times later in the cycling process your ph can fall so be sure to monitor your ph as well. Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello again Al...

Cycling a tank with fish is very efficient, but you'll need to pay close attention to the water chemistry. Simply test the water every day and if a test shows a trace of ammonia and/or nitrite, just change out some of the tank water. For your tank, a water change of roughly 4 to 5 gallons is enough. Your goal is to get the chemistry back into the safe zone for the fish and still leave enough of these forms of nitrogen to feed the good bacteria.

B
Well said!
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
I'm going to make this very simple... your tank is cycling as you are showing nitrites as well as nitrates. All you have to do to keep the fish safe and healthy is to do your daily water readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Whenever ammonia and nitrite rise above the .25ppm do a 50% WC. That is all you need to do! Once the tank is cycled keep nitrates below 20ppm which can be done with a once a week 50% WC.

One thing to be aware of is often times later in the cycling process your ph can fall so be sure to monitor your ph as well. Good luck!
Thanks for suggestion.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Hi

Todays update:

Yesterday's Nitrite Levels are a bit high, so I did 30% Water Change.


Today when I came back from office and notice couple of fry in the aquarium and my cat fish died.

The Levels are :

Ammonia - 0.30
Nitrite - 0.35
Nitrate - 5.0


I did 30% Water Change and the check levels again after couple of hour.

Ammo - 0.25
Nitrite - 0.25
Nitrate - 2.5

Fishes looks alright. I hope I will be able to safe my other fishes and their fry.

Regards
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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Those are very good levels and if you keep doing this the fish will be just fine. I've been doing fish in cycling since I was a teen in the late 60' and early 70's.
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