Yet Another Fishless Cycle Question!

drobbyb

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Go ahead and dose 2ppm and see what happens. At this point you will only strengthen your bacteria colonies.

But don't be surprised if it takes a while for your levels to drop.
 
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Electric Warrior

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Okay, so I dosed 2ppm of ammonia this morning before work, which was about 10 hours ago. I just home and tested, and these are the results:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: still about 30ppm
PH: 7 (okay someone explain this to me? It's actually climbed... Is this normal after having a PH crash and then doing a 90% WC? I thought if anything it would be lowering, but it's actually climbed since last night???

So, since ammonia and nitrite are still zero after a 2ppm dose, does this mean I should up to 3ppm now?
 
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Electric Warrior

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So, I just tested again right now because I was curious, and now my PH is reading 6.4? I know I didn't misread it earlier this evening because I triple checked because I was so surprised. I know that PH fluctuation is normal during fleshless cycles, but it seems crazy that it dropped from 7 to 6.4 in 4.5 hours? Ammonia actually looks like between 0-.25ppm also now. I am really careful about cross contamination/mis-dropping etc. Nitrite still 0. Nitrate still about 30ppm. I am so confused now :crazy:
 

jb1997mcd

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If you did a 90% water change that will help bring down the nitrates and if I am understanding your question...the water change caused the ph to rise due to the ph of 7-7.5 in your replacement water.

I would not dose anymore thand 2ppm at a time. Just keep dosing at this amount every 24 hrs and your cycle will be fine. Once you get your arms around your ph situation you will be ready to add fish after a big water change to remove the nitrates. You are on your way.

If you think logically, your beneficial bacteria are never going to need to consume the ammount of ammonia equal to 4-5ppm when fish are in the tank. The fish would all be in big trouble. Additionally your nitrates would be off the chart in a week. If 1 ppm of ammonia converts to 3.9 ( i believe ) nitrate than if a tank was converting 5 ppm of ammonia every 24 hrs that would be 20 ppm of nitrates - in one week you would be at 140ppm for nitrates. Not practical.

Someone else may come along and debunk that idea however i believe it accurate.

jb
 
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Electric Warrior

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Okay, so once again I dosed 2ppm of ammonia before work this morning. I tested when I got home (8.5) hours, and the stats are:

PH: 6.6
Ammonia: 1.0 ppm
Nitrite: 1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 80 ppm

I also got my API KH/GH test kit today, and tested:

KH: 4 drops to turn yellow
GH: 3 drops to turn green

So, is that KH value of 71.6, and GH value of 53.7? I find this test a bit confusing? I guess that this means I do indeed have very soft water in my tank, and this kind of follows along with my OH results?

If anyone else has anything else to add that would be great? I don't know how many other people are reading this, but thanks to those who have responded so far. I guess what I am really waiting for at this point, is to see when my ammonia and nitrite drop to 0 within 10-12 hours (I should check again at 8:45pm GMT as that would be 12 hours)? Should I keep dosing at 2 ppm for now, and when/do I go to 3 ppm?

Oh, and does anyone suggest adding baking soda at all to increase the PH at this point, or leave it?
 

drobbyb

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Yeah, a KH of 4 is indeed soft. You can add baking soda to help buffer your KH and keep your pH from crashing. You have good water for SA cichlids and soft water fish. This also means that you will need to find out exactly how long you can go between water changes before your pH starts to nosedive, giving you your water change schedule once you have fish in the tank. Note: this will be different than your fishless cycle though unless you plan on heavily stocking your tank right away. You will get a feel for it.

In the meantime, you can add baking soda to buffer your KH. This will help you finish your cycle in a timely manner. Add 1 teaspoon every 10 minutes until you get slight rise in pH.
 
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Electric Warrior

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Yeah, a KH of 4 is indeed soft. You can add baking soda to help buffer your KH and keep your pH from crashing. You have good water for SA cichlids and soft water fish. This also means that you will need to find out exactly how long you can go between water changes before your pH starts to nosedive, giving you your water change schedule once you have fish in the tank. Note: this will be different than your fishless cycle though unless you plan on heavily stocking your tank right away. You will get a feel for it.

In the meantime, you can add baking soda to buffer your KH. This will help you finish your cycle in a timely manner. Add 1 teaspoon every 10 minutes until you get slight rise in pH.


Okay, thats good. HOw about ammonia? Do I keep dosing 2ppm when it drops to zero, or up it a bit?
 
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Electric Warrior

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Okay so 12 hrs after dosing 2ppm ammonia, it still hasn't cleared to 0 yet, so I am not fully there. But it's lower than it was just a few hours ago. Ammonia is at about .25ppm, and nitrite is now at .25ppm as well. PH was closer to 6.0 though, which is driving me crazy how much it keeps changing. I added just over a teaspoon of baking soda, and it's boosted my PH to 7.2. How often do you suppose the baking soda will keep my PH up before I have to add more?
 
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Electric Warrior

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So, in the last week I have been dosing about 2ppm of ammonia, and both ammonia and nitrite have been dropping to zero in about 12 hours. I just tested right now and:

PH: about 6.8 (so fallen slightly in the last week. Do I need to add more bicarbonate of soda to get it back up to mid 7's?)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 80ppm

So, at this point, should I up the ammonia to 3ppm and redose every time it falls to zero, and see how long it takes before 3ppm goes to zero within 12 hours? I am not planing on fully stocking at first, if that makes any difference at all? I have not added the bogwood I have had soaking for over a month because of the issue I have had with PH.
watertest0208.jpg
 

The Taffy Apple

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It's fantastic when you start getting reults like that... :good: .. well done !
The fact that you are getting Double '0's within 12 hours says your cycle is pretty much over... but obviously, the longer you can continue to prove it, the better.
I didn't fully stock after my cycle...i added a dozen or so inch long fish and continued to 'up' my bio-load in weekly stages.The theory behind our fishless cycle is, though, one that allows us to fully stock straight after our cycle, so it is possible should you choose to.
There is the chance that the bogwood MAY lower your tanks' PH once you introduce it, which brings me onto my next point, a PH 'buffer'. I have soft water like yourself from my tap so i have to add a good handful of Coral Gravel to keep my buffering capacity high and stable, therefore a higher and more stable PH. It's something you may want to consider as a PH crash after your cycle can be a nightmare (!).
Best of luck with it, always encouraging to see a great (first?) fishless cycle.

Terry.
 
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It's fantastic when you start getting reults like that... :good: .. well done !
The fact that you are getting Double '0's within 12 hours says your cycle is pretty much over... but obviously, the longer you can continue to prove it, the better.
I didn't fully stock after my cycle...i added a dozen or so inch long fish and continued to 'up' my bio-load in weekly stages.The theory behind our fishless cycle is, though, one that allows us to fully stock straight after our cycle, so it is possible should you choose to.
There is the chance that the bogwood MAY lower your tanks' PH once you introduce it, which brings me onto my next point, a PH 'buffer'. I have soft water like yourself from my tap so i have to add a good handful of Coral Gravel to keep my buffering capacity high and stable, therefore a higher and more stable PH. It's something you may want to consider as a PH crash after your cycle can be a nightmare (!).
Best of luck with it, always encouraging to see a great (first?) fishless cycle.

Terry.


Yeah, I am going to continue dosing for at least another week anyways, as I wont have the time to get any fish until after next weekend regardless. I hope that after I do a large water change the night before I get my fish, my ph should stabilise after the large number of nitrates are removed, but I do plan on keeping soft water, acidic loving fish anyways, so a PH of just above 6 is ideal really. I obviously know now that I am going to have to monitor the PH and GH/KH of my tank pretty regularly anyways.
 
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Nobody has really said yet whether I should start dosing 3ppm, or just keep doing 2ppm?
 
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Electric Warrior

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Okay, guys... A little help? From anyone? It isn't taking 10-12 hours to clear 2-3ppm of ammonia anymore. More like 18-20 hours. My nitrite is clearing completely within 10 hours though. Is this normal, for the nitrite to clear before the ammonia. My PH has dropped back down to 6.6, and my nitrate is at 80ppm. I am just worried because I thought that the ammonia would be gone much quicker than what it has. It was at zero now, after dosing about 20 hours ago, just I just redosed 2ppm.

Edit: I just retested my PH because I noticed one of the vials I used was stained slightly yellow inside (due to the fact that I left a test for ammonia in it for a whole day), so I won't be using that vial again! PH is at 7.6. I remembered from my school days that yellow and blue = green! :shifty: I also raised my filter outlet slightly above the water line to get more surface turbulence, so I don't know if that affected it at all?
 

The Taffy Apple

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Other similiar readings at this stage of your cycle have been labelled as a Cycle Stall, i had three of them.
I would suggest a 50% water change with warm, de-chlorinated water.. monitor the ammonia and NitrIte for a while then probably re-dose to 2ppm.
I have not heard of having to increase a dose from 2-3ppm. It is usually an initial dose of 4ppm then down to 2ppm towards the end.
You will not need to monitor the GH/KH once your cycle is complete, you now know what is coming out of your tap with regards to that. But yes, continue with the regular PH tests.
As long as there is noticeable movement at the surface, then there is probably enough o2 exchange into your tank.
Keep up the good work, you'll get there.

Terry.
 

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