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Author Topic: Help with cycling tank  (Read 16822 times)
jdennysgirl
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« on: December 17, 2007, 12:46:11 PM »

Just took tank readings. I am cycling my tank. PH jumped from 7.4 yesterday to 8.8 today. Ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are all 0. I have 5 small danios in a 44 gal. Is this normal?  Fish have been in tank since Sat. Help here please. Thanks
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Q
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007, 01:00:29 PM »

Hi, JD!

     Don't panic.  This very well could be normal, depending upon your tap water.  Take a sample straight from the tap, test for pH, then leave another sample sitting out for 24-hours and test again.  You may be surprised at the results.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 01:21:12 PM »

Q, thank you for your quick reply and for guiding me through this. I will do as you said and see what I come up with. Also, am I not to do any water changes until the other readings rise? Or should I be doing it daily? Thanks so much.
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 01:35:16 PM »

Hi again, JD!

     How long have the fish been in the tank, and which brand test kit are you using?  Sorry if you've already provided this information elsewhere, but sometimes this is quicker than poring over previous threads.  You can wait until you see ammonia start to appear before doing a water change, but the answers to the above questions might (just might) be relevant.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 01:38:32 PM »

Q,
The fish were put in the tank Sat. The test kit is new. API is the brand name.
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Q
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 02:26:11 PM »

D-OH!!!  kopfpatsch  Just scanned back to your original post and found the answer to my question about your fish.
     I would've expected to see some small level of ammonia by now.  Try shaking the dickens out of your ammonia test reagents and taking a fresh reading.  Sometimes the contents settle when they sit on store shelves, and can produce a false reading.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2007, 03:52:19 PM »

Q,
Took it again and shook the heck out of the bottles first. Same thing. Ammonia 0.
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2007, 04:13:37 PM »

Alrightty, then!

     Don't waste time worrying about a problem that apparently doesn't exist.  Test again tomorrow and see what you get.  I'd do a 50% by Wednesday either way, just to be safe.  Let me know tomorrow what you discover about your tap water and pH.  Wink

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2007, 07:07:06 PM »

Q,
Will let you know later tomorrow afternoon about the PH test. I will also follow your advise and do a water change on Wed. so long as my ammonia doesn't spike before then. Thanks for taking the time to help.  I just want to do this right so I can have a healthy and thriving community tank.
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 01:50:06 AM »

"I just want to do this right so I can have a healthy and thriving community tank."

     Keep doing what you're doing and you will!  I'll look for your pH post later today.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 03:29:49 PM »

Q,
Took the PH test from yesterdays water. It was 7.8. I then tested the tank today and came up with still 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites and 8.2 on the PH. Any idea as to what is going on here and why  nothing has spiked yet? It seems the PH has come down some since that one high reading of 8.8. Thanks.
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2007, 11:04:47 AM »

O.K.
Took water tests. Ammonia 0, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 0, and PH still at 8.2. Tank has been up and running with fish in it since Sat. No spikes yet. Is it recommended that I change any of the water yet, or wait till I see something spike? Let me know. Thanks.
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 05:12:01 PM »

Hi, JD!

     Sorry!  This moved so far down the list I'd almost neglected it.
     Odd that you're not seeing any ammonia yet.  I would've expected at least a trace by now, but I'd go ahead with the water change anyway.  It's hard to hurt a freshwater fish with fresh water.
     I've made a note to post back here again tomorrow.  Dashing off to work now.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 07:27:32 PM »

Thanks,
I will do the water change tomorrow. Getting late now. Don't forget to check back. Thanks.
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None of us is as smart as all of us.


« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2007, 04:30:50 PM »

Hi, JD!

     What are your latest test readings?
     I want to post a link to another members very clear and well-written explanation of why your pH is rising.  I know it's here somewhere -- I just can't seem to find it as quickly as I'd like.  And of course, I'm in a rush again.  I LOVE the holidays, but I really could enjoy them much more if they weren't quite so hectic.
     Anyway, you needn't stress over the pH issue.  I will find it and post it.  In the meantime, let me know how things are progressing.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2007, 05:50:52 PM »

O.K. Bill,
I feel I know you well enough now I can call you by your name instead of Q! kewl  Like you I am so busy getting everything in order for Xmas. I took a reading this afternoon and still no rise in anything and PH has dropped to 7.9.  I was gone all day today and for sure a 25 percent water change is happening tomorrow. So whatcha thinkin' about my cycle? Thanks, Chris
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Sully
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2007, 02:54:24 PM »

when the test kit shows 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, and an increasing level of nitrates you will have "cycled" the tank.  You have very small fish in a relatively large tank.  I would hold off water changes for a week--or until you see the ammonia begin to show in the test results.  Whichever comes first. 

The solution to pollution is dilution.  That is basically what is going on.  Patience Grasshopper--it will come.  Then you may wish it hadn't -- lol.  You may be able to manage it through the cycling process without problems. 

Important to remember is that when you get to the 0,0, and accumulating nitrate stage you will want to add more fish.  Do it slowly.  just a couple of small fish at a time.  The colony of nitrifying bacteria will be realtively small.  As a result it will have a tough time handling a sharp increase in bio-load. 

What type of fish are you thinking of adding when you get the tank settled in?
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Q
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Tanks: 125 Gallon Amazon Biotope Community: 30 Cardinal Tetras; 8 Silver Hatchets; 10 Panda Cories; 2 Butterfly Ram; 6 Discus 37H Rose Garden: 9 Rosy Tetras
Posts: 470

None of us is as smart as all of us.


« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2007, 03:07:26 PM »

Hiya, Chris!

     I found it!

     "Tap water, freshly drawn, has a lot of dissolved gases from lower temperatures and being pressurized.  If it is high in CO2, the freshly drawn water will read lower to a lot lower (depends on the source water) pH than the aged water will.  The water equilibrates with the air and loses the excess gases over a few hours max.  That pH change has no impact on the fish at all, as it is just from dissolved gas, not dissolved minerals, so has no impact on the TDS (total dissolved solids - which set/control the osmotic pressure of the water)."

     And there you have it, in the proverbial nutshell.  That quote is from RTR, one of the members here who's extremely well-versed in issues of water chemistry as it relates to pH and fishkeeping.  If he said it, you can trust it.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2007, 03:49:38 PM »

Bill and Sully,
Thanks so much for your time. Just took a reading and no change. It will be a week tomorrow that they have been in the tank and I think I will do a water change. Can't hurt, right? I will post later when I see something happen. See ya, Chris
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2007, 10:45:37 AM »

O.K. Something happened! Ammonia is .025 everything else still 0. I did a 25% water change. What exactly is the next thing to look for? Also, how often do I do the water changes now? Thanks, Chris

Remember what I said. I know I am a pain in the anal fin, but I want to get this right without losing a single fishy life! happy_dance_01
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Q
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Tanks: 125 Gallon Amazon Biotope Community: 30 Cardinal Tetras; 8 Silver Hatchets; 10 Panda Cories; 2 Butterfly Ram; 6 Discus 37H Rose Garden: 9 Rosy Tetras
Posts: 470

None of us is as smart as all of us.


« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2007, 03:16:26 PM »

Hi, Chris!

     My anal fin is fine . . . doesn't hurt a bit.  lol lol
     Congratulations!  You're off and running.  Here's what you can reasonably expect to happen now.  While you're cycling (4-6 weeks), you'll want to test at least every other day, though every day is even better.  For the first week or two, you'll see ammonia (NH3) regularly rising, and you'll need to do daily water changes to keep it below .25.  As the ammonia-eating bacteria establish their population in your filter, they'll begin converting the ammonia into nitrIte (NO2), and somewhere between weeks 2-4, you'll start to see those levels rising.  Keep up with the daily or every-other-day water changes as necessary to keep those levels as low as possible, and around week 4-5, you'll start getting detectable levels of nitrAtes (NO3).  By week 5-6, you should be getting consistent readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes, and slowly rising levels of nitrAtes.  Once you're sure you've reached that point, it's safe to cut back to regular, weekly 50% water changes.  Your tank cycle has established itself.
      good_luck, and don't hesitate to post back with any questions that might arise.

Bill
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2007, 07:39:31 PM »

Bill,
Thanks. You and the rest of the posters have been so helpful. Glad to see your anal fin is o.k. Wink lol I will probably post what is going on with my tank just for the heck of it. Who knows, I may even have another question or two! Gotta go check my water now. See ya.
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2007, 10:17:38 AM »

Hi,
I'm back. Well, just when I thought my tank was starting to cycle, it isn't! I was pretty sure that the ammonia spiked just a bit a while back. Since then I have checked every day and everything tests 0. Yesterday has been 2 weeks since it has been set up with the 4 fish. I have done 2 25 percent water changes, one a week ago and one today. Am I just impatient or what? Thanks, Chris
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jdennysgirl
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2007, 08:43:45 PM »

Any thoughts?
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Erik
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2007, 09:36:37 PM »

I can attest to the aged water raising in Ph. My tap water has a Ph of 7.2 less than 8 hours in a container with good aeration and it goes up to 8.2 My tank fluctuates from 8.0 to 8.2 depending on how long after a 50% water change I test the water. Every one here assured me that my fish would be fine and they have been wonderfully healthy and hopefully happy.... thanks to all the help from the people of this site.
Erik
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