I think my cycle has crashed

Avel1896

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Essjay

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Some of those ferts which are capsules with small beads inside are actually meant for terrestrial plants so they have nitrogen in the form of nitrate. The ones in the link do not have a brand name to look up a manufacturer's website. But the eBay seller's user name makes me suspicious.

You could try an experiment. Put some gravel or sand in a tub of water and put one of the tubs in the gravel/sand. Test nitrate a couple of times a week to see if it goes up.
 
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fishy_sean94

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I think I will do that, to see if it is indeed those causing the issue.
I went with the ones on eBay because they seem to have sold tons of them, and have very good ratings and feedbacks so I would assume they would have been fine.

Any way, I’ve just done another test of the tank water and it seems the results are the same as yesterday’s. I’ve tried to get better lighting this time but to me at least the Ammonia and Nitrite look good.
876C1463-1979-469D-A5A5-1C2669EAFA52.jpeg

I just have six danios in the tank, which to me look healthy. I can’t see any spots/blemishes or bad fins on any of them. And they seem to all be eating fine when it’s feeding time.
The only thing I have noticed is they seem a bit ‘hyper’ than normal at times, and occasionally I’ve seen two of them go around in circles as if they are fighting (though I see no damage to fins as I said). This behaviour I’ve only noticed in the past few days or so.
Would high nitrates cause such behaviour?
 

Essjay

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Nitrate wouldn't do that.

Danios are just hyperactive fish, they dash around the tank. The circling you see could just be two males sizing up to each other to sort out which is the dominant fish of the group.


You posted the photo of the tap nitrate test while I was typing. It is hard to tell from the different photos - is the tank nitrate higher than tap nitrate?
(The way to tell is to test them both at the same time and photograph them side by side. I know that's not very easy with having to shake the tubes....)
 
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fishy_sean94

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Okay so I feel like I’ve done a bit of a workout now but here are two new results side by side from the same time.

Left is tap, right is the tank water.

C4042BBD-16A6-4404-B788-BA34DFB7C76C.jpeg
 

Essjay

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They look just about the same to me, if anything the tank tube looks less nitrate. You can see the actual tubes, how to they look to you?

If they are just about the same, that's the lowest you can get nitrate by doing water changes. And the fertiliser isn't affecting things. There are other ways to lower nitrate, but they involve money and/or time.
There are things like Pozzani nitrate filters which could be used to filter the water to remove nitrate before it goes in the tank. This means buying the equipment and replacement filters regularly.
Other people have a vat of water with a lot of fast growing plants in. Water is left in the vat, the plants take up the nitrate as there is no ammonia so they have to use nitrate, then the water is used for water changes and the vat topped up ready for the next water change.. This means having a vat of water standing round somewhere all the time.
 
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fishy_sean94

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Yes in person they looked pretty much the exact same, with perhaps as you said the tank water slightly better.

Is it likely tap water changes at different times, to the point Nitrates would go up and down significantly? I ask as it still confuses me how last year, even when my tank was newly set up I was getting Nitrate readings of around 20ppm.

But thanks for the suggestions, I don’t really have space to have a heavily planted tank to go elsewhere sadly. Looking on Amazon as well I see that there are two other products which claim to lower Nitrates in the tank:
Seachem De Nitrate Remover (which looking at it you put this in the filter rather than just add it directly in?)
API Nitra-Zorb which also you add to the filter, though it says it will fit most canister filters which I do not have. So I’m not sure if something like this would work with the sponge filter on my Fluval Flex tank.
 

Essjay

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The things that go in the filters need to fit the filter. I wasn't sure which filter you have which is why I didn't mention those. If you can find one that fits without having to remove too much of the media already there, you could try one. But it will need recharging or replacing regularly.


Do you know where the source of your tap water is - which river or reservoir or underground pumping station? Nitrate usually gets into mains drinking water from run off from farming fields. For example, if your water is collected where there are farms which use a nitrate based fertiliser on their crops, that would get into the water supply. And if the farmers only use the fertiliser at certain times of the year, nitrate in tap water would also vary - peaks would probably occur shortly after the fertiliser was used, with the lowest level being just before they add the next batch of fertiliser.
 
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fishy_sean94

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Interesting to hear about different tests as I thought the API ones were supposed to be very accurate. I did a search for the JBL ones though and they seem rather expensive, at least on Amazon at the moment.

And no I don’t know or how you could find out where the water is coming from exactly, though the farming would make sense. I will keep an eye on it and doing tests more for now. I’m also hoping once my new plants start to grow they will help with the nitrate level.

I have done another test today and am pleased that both Ammonia and Nitrite are still zero, and also to me at least it looks as if the Nitrate is not as deep of red as yesterday, so may be in the 40-80 range which is still high but better.
 

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Late to the game here, but it sounds like a typical example of excess water changing doing more harm than good. Getting rid of your previous substrate certainly did not help. It is imperative that you patiently let the natural biological cycle happen again (but do not let the ammonia and nitrite levels rise - consider bottled water for changes instead of tap maybe for the immediate short-term). Excess nitrates can be very harmful as well and they seem to be introduced at a high level with each water change - you'll have to keep balancing the good with the bad here.
 

Avel1896

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it sounds like a typical example of excess water changing doing more harm than good.

Excess waterchange while cycling or in established aquarium doesn't influence beneficial bacterias that are hold in substrate and biological part of filter, not in water.
 

The_Labyrinth

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Excess waterchange while cycling or in established aquarium doesn't influence beneficial bacterias that are hold in substrate and biological part of filter, not in water.
Yes, that is why this is an example of balancing the good with the bad. If introducing water to decrease ammonia and nitrates, that also creates increased nitrites from the tap source - one needs to be careful. Getting rid of the nitrites is difficult. If you are doing water changing to reduce the ammonia and nitrates by introducing water with higher nitrites, then you are most likely not yet quite balanced enough in your beneficial bacteria development. This takes time.
 

Avel1896

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Getting rid of the nitrites is difficult.
I agree if one is unable to give time to time.

If you are doing water changing to reduce the ammonia and nitrates by introducing water with higher nitrites, then you are most likely not yet quite balanced enough in your beneficial bacteria development.
That's it. I should have specified "using RO water".
 

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