Have we messed up?

TheScovilleCouple

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Hey Guys,

Having a hard job working out what is going on in our 25L nano tank. We took the below tests. Started off by adding Household Ammonia until we reached between 2-4ppm on the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, and redosed when Ammonia dropped below 1ppm. pH seems to be steadily climbing daily while Ammonia and Nitrite don't seem to fluctuate all that much. Took a sample of our water to LFS who said we should do daily 50% Water Changes with tap water (w/ Tap Water Conditioner) for the next 2 weeks, but im worried the pH rising liek this will stall the BB.

DaypH Reading ( Electronic Meter)Ammonia Reading (API Master test Kit)Nitrite Reading (API Master test Kit)Nitrate Reading (API Master test Kit)Notes
37.80.25020
47.384240
Added Ammonia (0.8ml)
56.731040Switched from Gravel to Fluval Shrimp and Plant Substrate capped with Fine Aquarium Sand
67.520.5020
77.9720.540
Added Ammonia (0.8ml)
88.151540
98.081140
108.112240
128.352220
138.422220
148.560.5220Started Daily 50% water changes as advised by LFS
14.58.5330.2520
Added Ammonia (0.8ml)
158.5630.2520

Nitrates in our tap water are 40ppm, ran tests on 50/50 water Tap / deionised, H is 7.52 and Nitrate is 5ppm.
 

Slaphppy7

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What kind of ammonia did you use? It MUST be pure ammonium hydroxide, no added perfumes, surfactants, soaps, etc., or it won't work...

Fluctuating PH during a fishless cycle is normal...

That's a bit much ammonia to be adding to such a small tank
 

Essjay

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You are adding too much ammonia. Have you read the fishless cycling method on here?


The person at the LFS told you to do daily water changes because he thinks you are cycling with fish in the tank. Fish-in cycling needs daily water changes to stop ammonia and nitrite poisoning the fish. With fishless you don't need to do water changes unless the pH drops below 6.5.


I would do a big water change - all of it since it's a small tank - to reset the water back to tap water. Then add ammonia and follow the method in the link.
What fish are you planning to get? If it's a single betta, you only need to add 1 ppm ammonia (then 0.3 pm for the snack dose). That's all I used to cycle a 25 litre tank for a betta.
 

Utar

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Your tap water has 40ppm nitrate? That's very high for tap water.
 

Essjay

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The UK allows up to 50 ppm in drinking water (the US allows something like 45 ppm, though water providers use a different scale from fish keeping and will give it as 10 ppm)
 

Utar

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The UK allows up to 50 ppm in drinking water (the US allows something like 45 ppm, though water providers use a different scale from fish keeping and will give it as 10 ppm)
I guess I was a bit alarmed by the fact that my tap water reads zero nitrates.
 

Essjay

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Mine reads very low as well - my nitrate tester shows somewhere between 0 and 5, and my water provider's water quality report gives it as 4.
High nitrate mainly occurs where water is collected in an agricultural area - crop fertiliser run off, or run off from fields with lots of cows etc. This affects both mains water and well water.
 
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TheScovilleCouple

TheScovilleCouple

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According to our water provider "Your water is pumped from underground sources in the chalk at Southover, Newmarket, Patcham, Mile Oak, Goldstone Hove and Housedean."

You are adding too much ammonia. Have you read the fishless cycling method on here?


The person at the LFS told you to do daily water changes because he thinks you are cycling with fish in the tank. Fish-in cycling needs daily water changes to stop ammonia and nitrite poisoning the fish. With fishless you don't need to do water changes unless the pH drops below 6.5.


I would do a big water change - all of it since it's a small tank - to reset the water back to tap water. Then add ammonia and follow the method in the link.
What fish are you planning to get? If it's a single betta, you only need to add 1 ppm ammonia (then 0.3 pm for the snack dose). That's all I used to cycle a 25 litre tank for a betta.
We told him we were doing a fishless cycle on a 25L tank He was saying because our water is so hard in our area, the substrate is getting saturated really quickly so we could speed the process up by doing 50% water changes with the tap water for a few weeks whilst we wait for the swings to balance themselves out and then switch to 50:50 RO and Tap Water for future water changes. We plan to keep Cherry Shrimp in this tank.
 

Essjay

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Does the water company give a number for hardness? Water companies words make it sound harder than it really is.

I'm afraid the shop was talking rubbish - fishless cycles usually go faster in hard water as the pH is generally higher, which the bacteria prefer, and there's lots of KH in hard water which provides the inorganic carbon that the bacteria need. I would stop doing water changes and just follow the method in the link I have you.

Depending on just how hard your water is, you may not need to use RO for red cherry shrimps. They do best in medium to hard water, with GH (hardness) up to 15 dH/270 ppm
 
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TheScovilleCouple

TheScovilleCouple

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Does the water company give a number for hardness? Water companies words make it sound harder than it really is.

I'm afraid the shop was talking rubbish - fishless cycles usually go faster in hard water as the pH is generally higher, which the bacteria prefer, and there's lots of KH in hard water which provides the inorganic carbon that the bacteria need. I would stop doing water changes and just follow the method in the link I have you.

Depending on just how hard your water is, you may not need to use RO for red cherry shrimps. They do best in medium to hard water, with GH (hardness) up to 15 dH/270 ppm
Yes it says 262ppm or 14.7dGH, I've decided to move away from the API liquid tests and going to buy an eXact iDip 570 on payday as i'm colour blind and these shades are not helpful haha
 

Essjay

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That GH should be OK for cherry shrimps but if you would prefer to mix tap and RO water, you won't need much RO, maybe 10% in the mix.
 

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