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Strange cycle issues

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by August Vukosovich, May 25, 2019.

  1. August Vukosovich

    August Vukosovich New Member

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    Hello. I have been doing a fish in cycle. I bought a 36 gallon bow front and added fish after 24 hours. I didn't know about the cycle since the petstore told me to do it that way. I've been set up since April 3rd. I didn't see any ammonia until 3 weeks ago. It hits 1ppm per day and I change about 30% of the water every night before bed because I'm terrified I will kill my fish. I have 11 adult guppies in there with 6 otocinclus. I haven't lost a fish yet. It's a moderately planted tank.

    My parameters just now are .50 ammonia, .25 nitrite (this is the second day since I saw nitrite in my tank for the first time last night. The strange thing is, I also found nitrates in my tank tonight 5ppm. I did read about the nitrogen cycle and I thought ammonia converted to nitrite which converted to nitrate. So why do I have all 3? This cycling had taken FOREVER.

    Now, my guppies keep having babies and I have about 28 babies in there from 1 week old to 4 weeks old. I got rid of the first 9 babies that were 6 weeks old last week to my LFS. I'm wondering if the new. Babies every couple of weeks are throwing off the cycle.

    I added seachem stability three nights ago for the first time, which i find interesting that I am finding nitrites now. It may be helping the cycle along? I'm confused and would love your input and/or criticism that I promise to take well lol. I just want to do the right thing for these guys.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Your baby guppies won't be stuffing up the filter cycle. However, the more fish you have in the tank, the more food you put in and the more waste that is produced by the fish. This all contributes to ammonia levels going up.

    Check your tap water for nitrates.
    Nitrate test kits will read nitrite as nitrate and give you a false reading.
    Don't bother testing for nitrates until the ammonia and nitrite levels have gone up and come back down to 0.

    Reducing the amount of food going into the tank, and doing big (75%) water changes, is the best way to keep ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels down. Just make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
     
  3. August Vukosovich

    August Vukosovich New Member

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    Thank you Colin for your reply. I use an API master test kit to check my water. My tap water doesn't have any nitrates in it, that's why I was surprised to see them in my tank. I have been feeding a little heavier because as you know, guppies are piggies and I worry that the babies aren't getting their fair share. That stated, I don't want to hurt them either by causing the ammonia to go up so I will decrease feeding. I did a 75% water change last night and will do 50% nightly until i no longer see ammonia and nitrites. Ammonia has been in their tank in low numbers (below .5) for 3 weeks now and even though it's not terribly high, I wonder about them being exposed for so long. I hope the tank cycles soon so I can stop worrying about them.
     
  4. FishFinatic77

    FishFinatic77 Fish Fanatic

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    Guppies are pretty tough fish (don't know about the babies, but the adults are).

    I didn't know about cycling either when I first started out. I had pretty much the same stock too, except for all the babies. I also had less fish. Almost all of my guppies survived, but I killed every one of my ottos. They are such sensitive fish, and they react to every little change in the water. I would really keep my eye on those If I were you.

    I would actually suggest maybe switching over to a clown pleco instead of the ottos after a while. Clown plecos are just so much hardier and won't die off easily.

    For right now though, watch your fish very carefully and watch their behavior. You can usually tell if they are comfortable by how they act. Also, remember to test your water often and do water changes when the parameters get too high.

    Good luck!
     

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