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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys and gals,

I am back for another expert opinion. I tested the water in our tank again today. I did a water change and cleaned the filter and so far the tank is looking great! but my nitrites are 1 and I am sure if this acceptable. ph is 8.0 Nitrates are 0 and Ammonia is in between 0-.25.
Ok what is safe? and what isn't acceptable?
 

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Any trace of nitrites or ammonia is unacceptable i'm afraid. If this is due to improper tank maintenance (untreated water change, too extensive cleanup, ...) those should disappear really fast, if this is not the case you will either need to treat the water or do some water changes until the situation is fixed. Just keep monitoring the water while keeping an eye on your fish. Laborious breathing, laying on the substrate, or any unusual behavior is potentially a sign of distress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry forgot to say there are not any fish in this tank (as of yet) we are just getting it set up and we're doing a fishless cycling. Still need to add a few things besides fish like a backing LOL but I am hoping to get that taken care of today.
 

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The good news is that you are one step on your way to having a cycled tank. :thumb: The first conversion is ammonia to nitrItes, then nitrItes to nitrAtes, then you remove the nitrAtes through water changes. Once ammonia and nitrItes are zero and you have a reading for nitrAtes you can add your fish.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/f ... ycling.php
 

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One of the first things you want to do is test your water source and see what kind of levels you have there. If you do a water change and add it from the source and do an immediate water change then those numbers will of course be reflecting your source water.

If you have .25 ppm ammonia in tap water and you add a detox chemical such as Prime or AmQuel it seems that the tests still will register it.

In some studies to understand the amount of bio filtration that occurs they add ammonia to raise the level of 4 ppm and then see how long it takes for a filter to bring that down to 0 amm 0 nitrite and then a rise in nitrates.

if you are adding ammonia and seeing zero nitrates that means your nitrogen cycle is not being completed.
 

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Ahhh... :) Then just keep monitoring and you should be okay adding the first fish when ammonia and nitrites hit 0. But don't wait too much, else the bacterias will died off of starvation. If you need to wait for fish, you need to continue adding ammonia to the tank continually. That will only leave more time for bacteria to establish. Then you simply need to feed very sparingly at first, and not clean your tank for the first month or so i'd say.

Well, hope that helps. :)
 

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Your cycle isn't complete yet. Keep adding ammonia and testing. When you start getting lower readings for nitrItes you should start seeing levels of nitrAtes rise. Keep up the daily additions of ammonia untill nitrItes disapear and do water changes to keep the nitrAtes at low levels.
 

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drewzwife said:
Hi guys and gals,

I am back for another expert opinion. I tested the water in our tank again today. I did a water change and cleaned the filter and so far the tank is looking great! but my nitrites are 1 and I am sure if this acceptable. ph is 8.0 Nitrates are 0 and Ammonia is in between 0-.25.
Ok what is safe? and what isn't acceptable?
The bold is the problem. You are still cycling your tank so you SHOULD NOT be cleaning the filter. You need the beneficial bacteria to grow and seed the media in the filter and this cannot be done when you clean the filter and remove said bacteria.

How are you cleaning the filter? What steps are you taking? Hopefully you are using dechlorinated water at the very minimum. While the best is to use water from the tank to clean the media.

Also, what size tank and which filters are you using?

Let us know.
 

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Just leave the filter alone for the remainder of the cycle. Let the ammonia and nitrites get to ZERO before putting any fish in it.

What do you plan on keeping? What filters are you running? What tank size? What water conditioner(ie prime) are you using?

What are you adding to your water(everything).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We are using dechlorinated water :thumb: We cleaned the filter because it was icky and I was not sure that it helping it I though that maybe it was hinder it instead. :( I have a 135 gal and we're have a Rena Px 4.
I have to tell you that I was miss informed about alot of things till I found this site :thumb: I have learned more from you all and this site than I have learned from people that "know" (not just the fish store)
We are doing the fishless cycling as I said and we have borrowed a lava rock from a friend :-? (I don't know her personally. she's a friend of my mother-in-laws) that has had her tank for 3 yrs (maybe longer). The rock has only been in there for about a couple of days.
At first we just had the tank running with just a filter and nothing else (advise from Daughter's BF, thought he knowledgable. finding out he's not as smart as he thinks he is :lol: ) So that lasted about a month. (one of the reasons I cleaned the filter)
I have been adding ammonia for 3 days now. We also added Prime to it today. We added cichlid buffer to it after a water change 3 days ago and I also put some aquarium salts in it after the water change (Not sure that is good but I do it with the tropical tank on an occasion)
We are planning on Mbunas to stock it.
 

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There is no need to add anything but ammonia while you are cycling your tank without fish. The Prime is only necessary when adding fresh new water IF you have fish in the tank. The aquarium salts & cichlid buffer are also not necessary if there are no fish in the tank.

What kind of "icky" stuff was in the filter?

The lava rock should help establish the bio load if it didn't dry out from your mother-in-laws' friends tank to your tank.

I also don't think you should be doing any water changes at this time. There really is no reason to since there aren't any fish in the tank.

Do you know what your readings for ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, pH, gH & kH are for your tapwater? These would be extremely helpful for determining if you will need to add any cichlid buffer when you get ready to add your fish.
 
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