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Old 11-13-2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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What do these results mean?

I got my hands on a 30 gallon (tall) aquarium at the beginning of the month. I started bought some fish and threw them in (didn't know about cycling). However, over the past few days I have been checking the tank readings and here is what they have been.

11/10
-pH = 8.0
-Ammonia = .50
-Nitrite = 0
-Nitrate = .25

And today:
pH = 8.0
Ammonia = .25
Nitrite = .5
Nitrate = .5

I am very confused by the results. I didnt have a test kit for the first 12 days so I have no idea what the readings were. I was adding Stress Coat bacteria to help speed up the process but I realized today that I was totally underdosing. So I went out and bought some Fritz Zyme #7 and added it. I will be interested in seeing how the results are over the next few days because I know that Fritz Zyme works well and helps the conversion process.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:18 PM   #2
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For the little that I know, and since we all go thru the cycling process at the begining or at some point in time,
those results mean that your nitrite bacteria has started to consume the amonia and its producing nitrate as a result.
If am correct, you will need to provide a source of ammonia for the cycle to complete. That will take place when you get a reading of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite over night...

If im correct that is what your result show is going on, but don;t take my word for it, am sure other more experience aquarists here can correct me if i said something wrong...

Have fun thought, just keep the keep the levels low, since you are not doing a fishless cycle, so your fish dont suffer ..much...
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:49 PM   #3
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I am by no means an expert in the slightest, but my Hagen master test kit says that, if your Ammonia reading is indeed 0.5 mg/l or ppm, and your pH is 8.0, that your un-ionized ammonia is FAR in the red (danger) zone.
Your nitrites are also high for a tank with fish, if the value is 0.5 ppm or mg/l.

What are the units of measure of your values?

I think that you should be performing a large water change ASAP.

Hopefully, someone with much more experience than I will chime in with more information.

Regards,

Gary
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:21 AM   #4
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cycling

KeSs,

Yup, you are indeed in the middle of a cycle. If the fish are still in the tank then there are a few things you need to do:

1. Do NOT add any ammonia!! This is done if you are doing a cycle without fish. Adding ammonia will harm and possibly kill your fish.

2. Do a Partial Water Change ASAP!! Try to change out 50% right away. Just pull out half the tank water and put in fresh that has been treated for chlorine/chloramine. This will lower the ammonia and nitrite levels in your tank some.

However, this will not be the end of it. Depending on how many fish are in your tank, you may have to do this daily for some time. I am runing late for work and cannot offer more now. Please go to the articles section amd read up on cycling your tank. If no one else jumps in sooner, this will hopefully explain what is happening to your aquarium.

Good luck, and keep testing that water!!
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:39 AM   #5
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You are doing fine KeSs. The worst part looks to be over. As JeffreyL has said to not add NH3, that will kill your fish. Keeping NH3/NH4 and NO2 under .5 PPM is where you want to be, so just keep an eye on it and do a PWC when you see it start to go up. teamgs has a valid point with you pH being very high. That means your NH3/NH4 is more NH3 which is more harmful to your fish. I would add seachem prime when you do your PWC. This will also neutralize the NH3 so it doesn't harm the fish. You may want to add some aquarium salt to your tank during this cycling period, this will help the fish breath due the the NO2 in the water.

above all take it easy, you will get thru this. Just keep testing and doing PWC's when the levels start to rise. No need to run out and do them ASAP!

Edit: I just hope the 12 days prior to you testing that the NH3 levels where never high enough to cause permanent damage.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:35 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. All results should of had PPM after them. As far as the ph being so high. I have live rock and crushed coral. I was told to add these things in order to increase pH. Also, I have started adding salt to the tank. I plan on making the tank brackish over the course of a couple months.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:23 PM   #7
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You need to make sure the fish you currently have can survive in brackish conditions. Also increase the salt SLOWLY. Do 50% PWC's anytime the levels (except for nitrAte) get above 0.5ppm.

Are you using strips or a liquid test kit? If these numbers are from strips, do a 50% PWC now and go get a liquid test kit.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Are you using strips or a liquid test kit? If these numbers are from strips, do a 50% PWC now and go get a liquid test kit.

I have a liquid Test
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:21 AM   #9
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OK, that's good!

What kind of fish did you purchase for the tank? Very few prefer/require a set pH level, and in truth many will live just as happy close to pH6 as they would pH8. We tend to recommend NOT affecting the pH unless you plan on injecting CO2 for plants, and then only in specific circumstances (ie very soft water with DIY CO2). Most tap water is acceptable.
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