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Mini cycle advice

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by rythmyc, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. rythmyc

    rythmyc New Member

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    Okay. So I'll start with the basics.
    55 Gallon

    Fluval 405

    Fluval 70

    3 Molly + 1 3 week old fry
    3 Glo Tetra
    5 Albino Cory's

    Current readings
    .5 Ammonia
    .25 Nitrites
    20 Nitrates
    7.4 pH

    So. Friday morning the water parameters were
    1.0 Ammonia
    .5 Nitrites
    60 Nitrates

    I did a 50% WC
    .5 Ammonia
    Close to 0 Nitrites
    20 Nitrates

    Saturday morning readings were
    .5 Ammonia
    .25 Nitrites
    20 Nitrates

    Here's my dilemma. My tap reads .5, 0, 0. Which means anytime I water change. My Ammonia is going to read close to .5, but I can keep Nitrites and Nitrates under control. I skipped Nitrites my initial cycle, but they are very prominent this mini cycle (I switched to sand from gravel).

    Do I continue to monitor, and WC the not so harmful (yes still harmful at high levels, but less so than the other two) Nitrates out? Or do I double dose prime and let the Ammonia and Nitrites climb a bit in hopes the Nitrates eventually catch up and put the other two out of their misery?

    Trying to end this mini cycle asap in hopes it doesn't stress my poor friends suffering through this out too much.

    I know the bioload is high, even for a mini cycle, which is going to make it tougher to begin with.


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  2. essjay

    essjay Member

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    The ammonia in the tap water could well be from chloramine if that's what your water company uses to disinfect the water supply. Using prime should detoxify it until the bacteria have had time to 'eat' it. Prime will also detoxify nitrite. But the effect will wear off in 24 to 36 hours - and to be safe I'd assume 24 hours. You need to do a water change every day until nitrite stays at zero. The prime will detoxify the ammonia in the tap water and the water changes will remove nitrite and any ammonia in the tank above the amount in your tap water.

    Nitrate should also be kept below 20 ppm with water changes. As your tap water does not contain any nitrate, you need to do enough and large enough water changes to stop nitrate ever going over 20 ppm.
    The fact that nitrate was 60 ppm on Friday suggests one or more of the following:
    You haven't been doing enough water changes, or the water changes were too small
    Your tank is over stocked
    You've been feeding too much food

    You need to think about which of those caused your nitrate to get so high.
     
  3. rythmyc

    rythmyc New Member

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    Well, here's the thing. I just switched to sand 48 hours prior to that. (Complete water change). So it's not a water changing problem. Considering my stock in a 55 Gallon tank, it's not over stocking. I have been lightly feeding considering I was expecting a mini cycle due to switching.

    Those spikes were within 48 hours of a 100% water change. Once I saw them that high, I knew an immediate 50% change was needed. My next thing I'm going to try is to fast for a couple days, to keep Ammonia down and allow the rest of my cycle to continue without the added bioload.

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