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Why Water Changes During Cycling Are Good

Discussion in 'Tropical Chit Chat' started by Bignose, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Arbee

    Arbee Member

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    I am so new to keeping fish its painful, I freaking LOVE your posts.  Thank you so much for taking the time to write them!  You have answered so many of the questions I have had.  I also know what I will do different with my next tank (shhh don't tell my husband)!
     
  2. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Another article that should be deleted. From the outset it starts with an argument that can't hold water. At a level of 5ppm as nitrogen, both ammonia and nitrite will begin to stall a cycle and rising higher they kill the bacteria we want and encourage the bacteria we don't. On the API kits this is 6.4 ppm for ammonia and 16.4 for nitrite.
     
    Next, it totally ignores the NH3/NH4 issues involved. And this means all the fancy spread sheet work is worthless in this article. Where is the pH and temperature data that is relevant. What about carbonate and oxygen levels. What about different reproduction rates for bacteria depending on temperature. All of this has been ignored.
     
    Then it ignores the biology of the the bacteria. They do not multiply until there is sufficient excess food to make that possible. And the thing is a Nitrosomonas type AOB can increase how much ammonia it converts before it reaches the point of dividing.
     
    I would say the urban myth here is that many water changes are good during cycling. The science doesn't support this. I would say that in fish in cycling the goal is to allow both ammonia (esp NH3) must be allowed to be as high as reasonable as long as the fish show no signs of distress and the N3 levels are held under .05 ppm.
     
    During any cycle, with or without fish, the goal is not to do multiple water changes, it really is just the opposite. The point at which they might be necessary depends on if fish are involved or not. The biggest issue in fish in cycles isn't the ammonia so much as the number and types of fish used. If one uses the right fish in the right number, ammonia is much easier to manage and fewer water changes should be needed.
     
    As for the whole snapshot argument it is silly. The spreadsheet is a series of snapshots. The way we know how a cycle is progressing is by having a series of those "useless" snapshots as they will tell us clearly what is going on during a cycle.
     
    But here is the real nail in the coffin of the whole idea of this article. There is a simple way that we all know already why what is stated in here is simply not true. And that proof is seen by anybody who has done a fishless cycle dosing to 2 or 3 ppm of ammonia. We are controlling ammonia levels closely when we fishless cycle. We can hold them so they never go above that 2 or 3 ppm. These are the same levels the author suggests would speed up a fish in cycle . But if this were the case why do these same ammonia levels not speed up a fishless cycle? If the logic of this article held water, the average time for fishless cycling using 2 -3 ppm levels of ammonia should be fewer than 3 weeks tops. Case closed.
     
    ps- During a fish in cycle one rarely should allow ammonia levels to rise much above 2 ppm for any length of time even if NH3 is below .05 ppm. But there is a huge difference between doing water changes because they are needed and just doing them because somebody thinks they have shown they cycle faster when they haven't.
     

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