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Old 05-18-2003, 11:33 PM   #1
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Ammonia, DO and Nitrite or is it Nitrate?

The 3 things to monitor other than pH are Ammonia DO and which one of the 2 Nitrite or Nitrate

ALSO, I have a chemical called "Cycle" and have used it twice to set up my tank but when I added my new fish was advised that I didn't need to add "Cycle" ( but it suggests to add it when new fish are introducrd).

I am confused on these simple monitoring methods and would love to get some practical advice.

Thanks
Little Louie

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Old 05-18-2003, 11:45 PM   #2
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if for general monitoring....nitrIte

i dont monitor my nitrates, just ammonia, ph and nitrIte with a test kit they have at any local fish store. some people monitor both however.

if you want to introduce some live plants they should help in cycling the tank also. do not worry if your levels peak, this is normal in a new set up...theyll gradually go down through water changes and as the bacteria multiply. you can add bacteria also to speed up the process, stresszyme or biozyme worked for me. hope this helps!
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Old 05-18-2003, 11:45 PM   #3
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Ammonia and nitrite are the ones that spike during the cycle and will kill your fish. FW fish are not especially sensitive to nitrate except in extreme concentrations. Test for the ammonia first as it will be the first to peak. As the ammonia starts to drop, you will see an increase in nitrite. Once this spikes and starts to drop, the tank is almost through the cycle. Nitrate is the last thing you'll see and is a good sign that the tank has cycled. Beware that some water supplies may have nitrate already in them. I would suggest reading the article here about the nitrogen cycle. It's on the home page under the "articles" link.
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Old 05-18-2003, 11:59 PM   #4
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Cheers yv1 and loganj

"Cycle" is beneficial bacteria and I will add it but thought it strange that an aquarium owner would tell me not to use it

Pls confirm these levels to be maintained at
Ammonia below 0.1mg/L
Nitrite below 0.1mg/L
DO 7.0mg/L


Off to read the article
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:29 AM   #5
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Here's my levels from today after 1 mth without fish and addition of fish yesterday (sunday).

Ammonia = 0.00ppm

Nitrite = 0.026ppm

Nitrate = 2.44ppm

Feedback would be most appreciated

Thanks
LL
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Old 05-19-2003, 06:29 PM   #6
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Are the levels above indicative that my tank has cycled?

I unfortuneately did not know the idea o 30day fishless cycle and had actually just waited this amt of time for my new stup. The addition of benefitial bacteria was under advice from an aquarium guy.

I didn't test from the start, only since Sunday when I added my fish. If someone could advise on my results I will know if it is normal or not and what to do.

Thanks
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Old 05-19-2003, 10:05 PM   #7
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The cycle has not begun yet. You have to have ammonia present to start the cycle. Just having the tank running with no fish won't do it. Even if you used the "Cycle" additive, there was nothing there for the bacteria to feed on so it would have died out. Keep checking for ammonia...you should start to see it come up within a week depending on your fish load. Here is what I recommend for a FW tank after the cycle has completed:
Ammonia- 0 ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 50 ppm or less
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Old 05-19-2003, 10:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice loganj.

I will do as you suggested

btw...in your opinion the "Cycle" product by Nutrafin I have is the way to go to helping the tanks cycle? I have not added any since I put the fish in but believe it will be beneficial. Pls advise.
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Old 05-20-2003, 06:35 AM   #9
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I have never used it so I can't really say. I'm pretty sure it won't hurt anything though. Some folks I know swear by the stuff.
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:20 AM   #10
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Cheers loganj
I have added some and will do 1 per week.

My pH is at 8 tonight 8O I have understand that the important thing is the ammonia then nitrite then nitrate and not to be too concerned with the pH until the tank has settled. Is this correct.
My testing the other day was blue = 7.6 using the liquid test. I have had the opportunity to use a pH meter which is much more accurate and got the true reading. I do have a bottle of "pH Down" but don't think it's appropriate to use until cycle has completed? Pls. advise true or false? :|

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Old 05-20-2003, 12:52 PM   #11
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8.0 is a little high for the fish you have. Cardinal tetras...right? They prefer a soft, acidic environment. I think you will need to try to lower the pH eventually. What is the pH of your tap water? If it's high, you may need to start mixing distilled or RO/DI water with the tap water to set the proper hardness. It's been my experience that it's not hard to raise pH by adding buffer, but it's difficult to lower it and get it to stay down. Water with a pH of 8.0 probably has a high buffering capacity and you'd have to add a lot of acid to get the pH to stay down. Do you have any rocks in the tank? What kind of substrate are you using? Either of these could contribute to the high pH. I would not recommend using the pH down at this time...the pH swings that will result from that will likely kill the fish.
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:07 PM   #12
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8O I won't be adding th pH Down then.

The gravel is the same type as I used in my original tank, as well as the ceramic log. That tank generally maintained a neutral pH or lower.

I will do a water change but what % so as to not really interupt the cycle

Should I do the wc with dionised water

Can DI water be used instead of the bottled drinking water all the time

Hope to hear from you soon
Louise
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