What is this green build up?

Essjay

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Nitrate is the least accurate of the tests. Assuming you are using a liquid tester, one of the bottles needs to be shaken really well, longer than the instructions say, because one of the reagents settles on the bottom of the bottle. If it's not shaken well enough it gives inaccurate readings.
 
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DGJ

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I followed the instructions and say there shaking the bottle like a mad man for 30 seconds then the vial for a minute
 
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DGJ

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Hey guys so completed another water test today:

Shook the bottle for a good couple of minutes to ensure fully mixed.

PH 7
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 2
Nitrate between 10 and 20 (can't really tell as the colours seem exactly the same)

Am I right in my understanding that I am progressing through the nitrogen cycle? The next stage should be for the ammonia to reduce to zero and the nitrite to start lowering and Nitrate rising a bit more?
 

Essjay

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I followed the instructions and say there shaking the bottle like a mad man for 30 seconds then the vial for a minute
Which brand do you have?

The API nitrate tester says to shake bottle #2 for 1 minutes then the tube for 30 seconds. Other brands might be different. But with the API one, it is recommended to shake bottle #2 for longer than they say.
 

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PH 7
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 2
Nitrate between 10 and 20 (can't really tell as the colours seem exactly the same)
Disregard the nitrate reading because it is picking up the nitrite and reading it as nitrate.

Nitrate test kits read nitrite as nitrate and give you a false reading if there is nitrite in the water.

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You have ammonia and nitrite levels, which means the first lot of beneficial filter bacteria are converting the ammonia into nitrite. In a few weeks (possibly less), the ammonia should go to 0ppm and the nitrite should go up and come down to 0ppm, then the tank will be cycled.
 

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Which brand do you have?

The API nitrate tester says to shake bottle #2 for 1 minutes then the tube for 30 seconds. Other brands might be different. But with the API one, it is recommended to shake bottle #2 for longer than they say.
This isn't exactly correct, for the API nitrAte test...

You should: Add 10 drops from bottle #1, invert to mix, vigorously shake bottle #2 (they say 30 seconds, but if the reagent is new or has been sitting for a while, it needs to be shaken longer than that), add 10 drops from bottle #2, shake the test tube (capped, of course) vigorously for 1 full minute, then wait 5 minutes for the results.
 
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DGJ

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Thanks for the advice guys.

the nitrate solution should be mixed well as I’m using it everyday and have been shaking it for over a minute each time now after reading this.

todays results are:

PH 6.6
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 2
Nitrate 20

what would be causing the PH to drop? I read that maybe it’s over feeding or a dead fish? I have no dear fish so maybe I should scale back the feeding?

Should I be doing a 50% water change today
 
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Colin_T

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Thanks for the advice guys.

the nitrate solution should be mixed well as I’m using it everyday and have been shaking it for over a minute each time now after reading this.


what would be causing the PH to drop? I read that maybe it’s over feeding or a dead fish? I have no dear fish so maybe I should scale back the feeding?

Should I be doing a 50% water change today
Don't use nitrate test kits until the tank has cycled. It is a waste of money and not necessary until the filters have developed.

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The pH can drop if there is no KH (carbonate hardness) or there is a lot of fish, food or waste in the water. If you use carbon dioxide (CO2) for plants, that will drop the pH too.

You can add a piece of limestone or some shells to the tank to help stablise the pH.

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You should do a 75% water change and possibly gravel clean the substrate any day there is an ammonia or nitrite reading above 0ppm, or a nitrate reading above 20ppm.
 
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DGJ

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Hey everyone,

So am I cycled? I have done two 50% water changes the last two days so not sure if this has affected the cycle?

Readings today are:

PH 6.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5

What should I do now?
 

Essjay

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There are fish in this tank, aren't there? With a fish-in cycle, you know it's cycled when you have two zeros every day for 7 days.
Keep testing every day for a week. If you have two zeros every day, you are cycled. But if either show up, it's more water changes, then when you have zeros again, start the 7 day testing again.

Don't forget that the tank will be cycled for the amount of fish in there now. When/if you add more fish the tank will need to grow more bacteria. It should be OK if you add no more than a third of the fish already there in one go - slow is the way to go. It is good practice to monitor ammonia & nitrite every day for several days after each fish addition.
 
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DGJ

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Ok great,

thsnks Essjay, solid advice there. I will check again tomorrow.

im also battling a case of ich at the moment so have turned the temp up and am dosing daily with seachem paraguard which I will do for 14 days?

what shall I do once the ich is no longer visible? How do I get it out of the filter and the substrate?

I’m also going to add an external filter to up the filtration alongside the internal. With the internal running and cycled will it just be a case of running the new one and that will cycle itself?
 

Essjay

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When you treat for ich, it should be either heat or medication not both. Medication and heat both reduce the amount of oxygen in the water. Paraguard's instructions are for a range of conditions; they don't say anything specific for ich, so I would continue the treatment for 7 days after the last spot disappears. The danger with ich is stopping treatment/turning the temp back down too soon. The parasite can only be killed in the third stage of its lifecyle, and the spots on the fish are just the first stage.

You probably know all this but just in case -
#1 is the spots on the fish. The parasites are feeding on the fish. They are inside a coating where meds/heat can't harm them. When they've eaten enough, they fall off the fish.
#2 is when the parasite is inside a sort of cyst on the bottom of the tank. Again, the coating protects them. They multiply and multiply inside this cyst till there are hundreds of them.
#3 is when the cyst opens and all those new parasites go swimming off to find a fish to infect. Now they can be killed - and only in this free swimming form.

So there must be medication in the water or the heat still at 30 deg C/86 deg F when the very last cyst opens.



Once treatment has finished, the med will be diluted out with water changes. You can also use brand new carbon in the filter to adsorb it. Throw away the carbon afterwards. Speaking of carbon, you did remove any carbon from the filter before starting treatment?



When adding a new filter, it won't increase the number of bacteria in the tank. The amount of bacteria is dependent on the amount food so same fish, same number of bacteria. Just letting two filters run will take weeks, if not months, to grow bacteria in the new filter. And they'll be spread between the two filters.
What to do depends on your plans for the filters.
If you want to run both together indefinitely, just add the second filter and leave them both running.
If you want to remove the first filter, the simplest is to take the media out of the first filter and put it in the second. The old media can be persuaded to fit. Sponges can be cut up. Ceramic media can be mixed in with the ceramic media that come with the new filter.
 
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DGJ

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Thanks Essjay, Always appreciate the really detailed answers.

The Ich seems to be only on two of the fish from what I can see, I will keep the progress updated on here.

I am in no rush to remove the internal filter and will probably run both filters for a few months at least before i get round to removing the internal as I think I need to cut it off from the adhesive sides on the tank which I can't be bothered with at the moment as it isn't causing any problems.
 

Essjay

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It is possible to remove the internal from the tank while there are fish in there - I did it with a Rio 125.

When you decide you will soon remove the internal, if you remove the media one at a time with a couple of weeks or so between, that will encourage more bacteria to grow in the new filter. Do you have cirax in the internal? If you do, I would think about opening the box and mixing it with any ceramic media that comes with the new filter
 

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