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Old 12-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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I don't know why I have 0's...tank cycled?

So I've had my 33 gallon tank up and running now for about 7 weeks. I had previously posted regarding some green cyano and green nuissance algae here:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ne-325555.html

One solution was to cut the lights for a few days. I did that, and it didn't make a difference really. I've scrubbed some of the worst patches of the cyano off. The algae isn't horrible, I am hoping it will just go. I've also taken an hour off of my daytime cycle hoping that will fix it.

However, when I first got the tank set up, I added a piece of live rock, a small bag of live sand, and a chunk of shrimp that I left in there for about 3 days. I didn't test my levels (I should have) until about 3 weeks or so later. All levels were 0. PH, Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia.

I thought maybe I had done something wrong.

About 6 days ago I put in a big chunk of shrimp. It is rotted to the point where it has broken up into shredded shrimp lol
I checked my levels again...all ZEROES.

Has my tank cycled? It's the only thing I can think of. There wasn't even a small increase in ammonia with the shrimp in there.

Also, my salt is at 1.008. I checked it about 6 weeks ago, and I added the proper amount of salt...1/2 scoop per gallon. I've even added more salt since. I checked the salt content and it is still at 1.008. Is my cheap hydrometer broken? It's one of those instant ocean ones with the plastic lever.

Sigh.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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If I was you I would get a refractometer, those swing arm hydrometers aren't very reliable.


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Old 12-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #3
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Also, have you ever had ammonia readings?


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Old 12-22-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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Who makes a good refractometer?

No ammonia readings yet. Shouldn't I be getting something though?
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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Dose pure ammonia to about 3ppm and test is 24 hours. That should tell you where to go from there.


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Old 12-22-2014, 11:48 PM   #6
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Where do I get pure ammonia? My Fish store?
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:27 AM   #7
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Hardware stores will carry it...but I prefer the simplicity of a single cocktail shrimp. As it decomps it provides a steady source of ammonia and then when you see a 0 you know you are ready.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:34 AM   #8
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Tried that one Sniperhank...
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:56 AM   #9
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Use the ammonia JUST as a test to see if it is cycled yet.

Add 3ppm & test in 24hrs.
If its gone your good to go.

If it is, add up to 2ppm every three days until you want to add fish, keep the bacteria alive.
(Major water change first).

You can get pure ammonia (non scented), in almost any cleaning supply / hardware store.



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Old 12-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Tried that one Sniperhank...

And? How long did you have it in there? It takes a couple of weeks to cycle a tank.


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Old 12-23-2014, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
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And? How long did you have it in there? It takes a couple of weeks to cycle a tank.


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The first time I only left it in for three days. That was six weeks ago. I put a new piece in and it's been in there for about a week now. Shouldn't I be seeing some change in levels?
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:37 PM   #12
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Your not even seeing nitrates? That leads me to suspect the tests.


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Old 12-23-2014, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Your not even seeing nitrates? That leads me to suspect the tests.


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+1.



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Old 12-23-2014, 03:47 PM   #14
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I'm following the tests as per the instructions. Let me go try again right now.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:14 PM   #15
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Ok, I re-did the test, carefully reading the instructions. Here is what I got. Basically the same as before:



Is it possible my test kit isn't working? Also, the Ammonia looks cloudy, as if there is some solid matter forming. I can take pics of the instructions too, maybe they are printed wrong?
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:21 PM   #16
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The only way to tell is to add ammonia to 3ppm.

You may have cycled, but by not feeding bacteria, it may have died and need to start over.

Or

You maybe good to go.
I have never had nitrates show up with API.



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Old 12-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #17
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The api nitrate test can be finicky, I'd try that a few times. It's got to be exactly what the instructions say down to the second with the shaking and such IME.


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Old 12-23-2014, 04:26 PM   #18
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Should I see about getting a different nitrate test? Or just go with the Ammonia?
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:29 PM   #19
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Does Seachem make good test kits?

Assorted Seachem Multitest Water Quality Test Kits for Aquariums Fish Tanks | eBay
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:29 PM   #20
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Just go with ammonia first.
You need to establish where the water is at with that.

If... In 24 hrs. It disappears.
Your tank is cycled, meaning it can consume up to that % of ammonia per day.

Then, after that. Get yourself some decent test kits.



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