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Old 10-24-2011, 06:37 PM   #1
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Working correctly? --- cycling with fish

Hey everyone,

As you will read in my other threads..I am working on cycling my tank. Well today, I tested the water as I do everyday and these are my readings...

Ph: 7.2
High range ph: 7.4
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 1.0
Nitrate: 10

Readings two days ago...

Ph: 7.2
High range ph: 7.4
Ammonia: 1.0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5

Is everything normal? I'm doing a water change now.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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No need to test ph and high range ph. High range is for measuring higher levels of ph, used for SW tanks etc
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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I only test the ph and everything because I do currently have fish in the tank.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chess46
I only test the ph and everything because I do currently have fish in the tank.
Yes, but you only need to test ph ammo nitrites and nitrates, no need for high range ph.
You need to do a pwc to reduce your nitrites. Have you read the excellent cycling guide on the forum?
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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How long have you been cycling with fish? Is this the first time you're seeing nitrite? If so, it's normal, you're starting the nitrite phase. Ammonia should begin to start dropping (as it seems to be) and should go to 0 soon. But now nitrites are rising. The nitrite phase is dangerous also because they are going to rise fast as you are already seeing. Nitrites are as toxic to fish as ammonia so you'll need to keep them below .25 at all times. With nitrites at 1, I'd do a 70% water change and then a 50% water change which should get them down below .25 for now. Test again in the morning though and be ready to do another pwc if need be. You're doing great so far it seems! Just keep up with the testing and the pwc. The nitrite phase can be tough and can be the longer of the phases so just keep with testing and the water changes and you should be fine. We're happy to help too so just ask.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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Okay sounds like it's starting to work. The tank has been cycling with fish for about 3 weeks now. I'm doing a pwc right now. I am unable to do them in the morning due to having to be at work very early. How long does the nitrite phase usually take? What should I expect next?
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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It's hard to say, every tank is different, but generally it's anywhere from 2-5 weeks maybe? I did a fishless cycle so I can't really speak to fish-in cycles, but on average probably a few weeks.

If you can't do a pwc in the morning I'd do two large ones tonight as I mentioned earlier to get the nitrite as close to 0 as possible. Hopefully it won't spike too much by the time you come home tomorrow night. You'll start to get a feel for how fast they are rising so at some point you may need to get up earlier just to do a pwc before work and then another after.

Ammonia should start dropping to 0 (but keep testing for it anyway) and nitrites will rise as you've already seen. Don't let them get too high; again under .25 is ideal for the fish as nitrites are toxic to them. The nitrite phase is tricky b/c they'll want to spike fairly quickly so as I said you may need to shift your schedule around a bit to get an extra pwc in there in the morning but I could be wrong, just let the tests tell you when to do a water change (or more than one, as in the case tonight). Nitrates will start to rise too but with all the pwc you'll be doing to keep nitrites down the nitrates won't get close to harmful levels.

Then after a while nitrites will come down and stay at 0 on their own. Then you'll just do your weekly maintenance water change (about 50% once per week is a good routine).

Also what dechlorinator are you using? If you can get some Prime, it will help detoxify the ammonia and nitrite in the tank until you can do a water change (but not to be used in place of water changes; water changes are very important now and will help save your fish through the process. But you seem to have a good understanding of this so far. ).

Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Thanks librarygirl!

I am currently using prime.
I did the water change tonight.

My readings were...

Ammonia: .50
Nitrite: .25
Nitrate: 5

Normal?
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