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Old 10-04-2008, 12:49 PM   #1
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Cycling problem

Hi i have being doing a fishless cycle recently.

I have a big problem here my ammonia is at 5ppm but my nitrites and nitrates are both falling. My nitrites are at 1ppm and nitrates are barley 5ppm a couple of days ago they both were way higher please help have no clue whats going on.

Thanks
Stan
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'm no expert when it comes to fishless cycling, but when my ammonia wouldn't fall and all other values were, I checked the chemistry in my tap water and found out it had an ammonia level. Once I started filtering my water and removing the ammonia before putting it in the tank, everything finally zeroed out.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:53 PM   #3
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I tested my water and there is 0.1 ppm of ammonia in my tap water don't know if that is enough to affect it

Stan
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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Hi Stan, My levels were closer to .25ppm. My guess is that if you continue to put water in the tank that contains ammonia, it will never clear out completely. I think that any level of ammonia is not good for fish health. I'd certainly welcome other thoughts. I fortunately had recently purchased a gravity fed water filtration system for my drinking water. It uses ceramic filters and filters out ammonia, chlorine, nitrAtres, nitrItes, etc....
Karen.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:11 AM   #5
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i don't know much either but from what i've read you'd be best off doing a big water change 60-80%.. what are you using as an ammonia source? are you using a water ager?
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan22 View Post
Hi i have being doing a fishless cycle recently.

I have a big problem here my ammonia is at 5ppm but my nitrites and nitrates are both falling. My nitrites are at 1ppm and nitrates are barley 5ppm a couple of days ago they both were way higher please help have no clue whats going on.

Thanks
Stan
How long have you been fishless cycling? Did you add any "bacteria" products when you started or seed material from an established tank? Have you added any other chemicals to the tank besides ammonia? Are you using pure ammonia that contains no surfactants? Have you done any water changes during the fishless cycle?
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
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Stan, Alaris has hit on one possibility and that is that surfactants are preventing the bacteria from thriving in your filter. Another possibility is the tests themselves. If you are using test strips, the funny readings may be no more than the inaccuracies in the strips. If you are using the API testing system and the instructions tell you to shake the bottle 30 seconds before you add in the drops, don't stop at 30 seconds. That test is notorious for needing a better chemical mixing than you get with 30 seconds. If you can go a full minute without your arm falling off, it would be a very good idea and would give you a more accurate reading.
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