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Old 08-22-2013, 09:57 AM   #1
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Day 6 of fishless cycle

Well my readings were weird again today. Yesterday after the water change the ammo was 1-2ppm trace nitrites and nitrates were at 20-30ppm. I let it settle until this morning and I have equally odd readings. My ammo was up to 4ppm Nitrites were at .5, and nitrates where I would say 60ppm. No I didn't add any ammo This is this mornings test.

I did a huge water change, about 90% to get out whatever is raising the ammo.
I am now at
ammo .5ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 15ppm
I am thinking about a fish in once I get this ammo raising on it's own under control.

P.S.
This is why not to use bb in a bottle!!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Hi! Did you add the bb product last night after the wc? Did you add anything else other than water conditioner such as ferts? What does your tap water read for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Can you tell us what exactly is in your tank (substrate, décor, plants, filter media, etc)?
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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True tap is 0 across the board. I have standard gravel Plants are 3 swords 1 Java fern 5 ludwigia cuttings and 5 wisteria I have not added anymore bb since Monday I also added fert on Monday. On Tuesday I added a mopani log that I boiled for like 3 hours after soaking started on Monday. Filter is a topfin 40 with the standard 1 cartidge and 1 sponge. I took the carbon out of the cartridge when I set it up though. I am using prime to condition. The bb was nutrafin cycle if that helps. The bottle itself was only enough to treat my water once. I took the cartridge out and shook it pretty good in the old water just incase something got in there all I got was a couple of dead plant bits. Water temp is 80. I am just trying think of anything else that might help figure it out. Ph has been pretty stable at 7.4-7.8.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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Hmm...that is quite odd. Something in your tank is contributing to the source of ammonia if you are not adding any from the tap or directly from a bottle. Are all the plants healthy and green (not browning/yellowing)? If you see any leaves that appear unwell, just snip them off and remove them. Lets just wait 24hrs and see if your numbers change. Do not do anything/add anything. If your numbers increase again, we need to figure out the source of ammonia. If they do not change/drop, the wc may have helped straighten things out and we can go from there. Keep us posted!
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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That's what I was thinking. I was hoping the 50% change I did yesterday would have fixed it but no such luck I am going to keep testing through the day and see what happens. The plants all look great aside from the couple of dead leaves at the bottom that I remove before putting them in the tank. I will post the next set of results in about 3 hours which is about 6 hours since the last water change.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Your going to make yourself crazy with testing! Wait atleast 12hrs before testing again though I would honestly give it 24hrs. Just relax a bit and have some patience (I know this can be hard!) but things will either get back on track or we will help you figure out why they are not.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #7
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Ooh, ooh, teacher, pick me, pick me! I know the answer!

When you added prime it "fooled" your test kit, and it just started to stop working overnight, so you tested 1-2 ppm of ammo because prime "locked up" the other 2-3 ppm. I wouldn't be surprised if you found higher ammo readings then you did your last test.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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Not sure if it was the prime which yes I did use. Cause it's still rising! Yes I am making myself nuts!!!!! I can't seem to help myself atm! First reading is from this morning right after the water change and the second is from the 3:30 this afternoon while it's not huge it's a rise. First one is .5 and the second one is 1ppm and nitrites are rising slowly but steadily and now I am showing trace amounts of those too I am not testing for nitrates thought it was sorta pointless when the current issue is the magically rising ammo levels.
Both are the ammo levels
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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Your tests look like .25 and .50ppm. I know you mentioned your tap has all zeroes but I would just double check the ammonia level in your tap. If it still says zero, then we need to start working figuring out the source of the ammonia. It doesn't matter if you use Prime or another water conditioner- water conditioners do not contribute to ammonia levels nor does it matter that Prime has the ability to temporarily convert ammonia to ammonium. Beneficial bacteria use either form ammonia equally well.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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I'll test the tap water again let you know tomorrow afternoon what how that comes out
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Your tests look like .25 and .50ppm. I know you mentioned your tap has all zeroes but I would just double check the ammonia level in your tap. If it still says zero, then we need to start working figuring out the source of the ammonia. It doesn't matter if you use Prime or another water conditioner- water conditioners do not contribute to ammonia levels nor does it matter that Prime has the ability to temporarily convert ammonia to ammonium. Beneficial bacteria use either form ammonia equally well.
Yes, but when that ammonia is locked up, although bacteria can use it, and it is harmless to fish, test kits like the API master test kit can't detect it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishperson View Post
Yes, but when that ammonia is locked up, although bacteria can use it, and it is harmless to fish, test kits like the API master test kit can't detect it.
This is getting a bit off topic as it has no relevance to a fishless cycle.

I will digress for moment, however, to point out the Api test does in fact test for ammonia and ammonium but its a combined result- it does not differentiate between the two. You also assume ammonium (NH4) is harmless to fish. While its no where as toxic as free ammonia (NH3), its not healthy either. Its misnomer to state ammonia is 'locked'. Its simply (and temporarily) chemically converted to a less toxic form.

A product like Prime will convert NH3 temporarily up to 1ppm (standard dose) for a period of @24 hours. If you have fish and your tank reads 4ppm of NH3/NH4, its pretty safe to assume a good portion of this is NH3. If its been over 24hrs, theres also a good chance a good portion is NH3. Factors such as PH and temperature also play a role here as well. The higher the ph and temp, the more free ammonia is available. Conversely, the lower the ph and temp, the less free ammonia is available. Nitrite toxicity works in opposition to ammonia- the higher the ph, the less toxic, the lower the ph, the more toxic. Basically, if you have fish, your NH3/NH4/NO2 readings should stay low and you should be doing frequent wcs, whether you use Prime or not. No relevance to a fishless cycle that's being discussed here.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:24 PM   #13
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On a happy note I tested again about 20 minutes ago and Ammonia is finally dropping not to 0 but pretty darn close! I will wait until morning and test again and if it's the same or 0 I will dose back up to 4ppm! First time no freaky readings!!!!!! and I will not be adding anymore fert or bb in a bottle until this cycle is done!
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
This is getting a bit off topic as it has no relevance to a fishless cycle.

I will digress for moment, however, to point out the Api test does in fact test for ammonia and ammonium but its a combined result- it does not differentiate between the two. You also assume ammonium (NH4) is harmless to fish. While its no where as toxic as free ammonia (NH3), its not healthy either. Its misnomer to state ammonia is 'locked'. Its simply (and temporarily) chemically converted to a less toxic form.

A product like Prime will convert NH3 temporarily up to 1ppm (standard dose) for a period of @24 hours. If you have fish and your tank reads 4ppm of NH3/NH4, its pretty safe to assume a good portion of this is NH3. If its been over 24hrs, theres also a good chance a good portion is NH3. Factors such as PH and temperature also play a role here as well. The higher the ph and temp, the more free ammonia is available. Conversely, the lower the ph and temp, the less free ammonia is available. Nitrite toxicity works in opposition to ammonia- the higher the ph, the less toxic, the lower the ph, the more toxic. Basically, if you have fish, your NH3/NH4/NO2 readings should stay low and you should be doing frequent wcs, whether you use Prime or not. No relevance to a fishless cycle that's being discussed here.
My bad, I was misinformed when I read this link: Prime and reading nitrite levels - Seachem Support Forums

Here the person asking the question says that prime will give wrong ammonia readings on the API liquid tests, and it seems that the seachem customer service employee agrees, but other websites say that it does not give wrong readings. Maybe I just don't understand. But what I meant was, if the ammonia that is "locked up" by prime does not show up on the test, then the ammonia readings would be smaller than they actually are, and the ammonia will appear to rise as prime wears off. Of course, if the ammonia that is "locked up" by prime does appear on the test, then it doesn't matter.

So while what I said does pertain to a fishless cycle, you were right about prime and the test kits.
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