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Old 01-31-2013, 07:22 PM   #1 
Elliriyanna
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major cycling problems!!! Help !!!

i got my Betta Finn on January 13th thus starting my cycle .. i am doing water changes daily but suddenly i have an ammonia AND nitrite spike ... my tank is planted but its not helping

i am very concerned for Finns health and i dont know what else to do ... ammonia is at 4 ppm and nitrites are at 1-2 ppm ... no nitrates
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:33 PM   #2 
LittleBettaFish
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Have you tested your source water? Also what size water changes are you doing? With levels that dangerously high I would be doing 100% water changes until you can bring them down.

What are you using to test your water parameters with?
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:54 PM   #3 
Elliriyanna
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100% would do more harm than good and disturb the cycle

i do 30-40% daily

my water source has 0 ammonia and nitrites ...

i have an api master test kit liquid

i have done all my research and followed all the directions so i dont know why both are spiking ... the ammonia should be coming down as the nitrites go up
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #4 
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Actually even with 100% water changes there is enough ammonia present in the water that your test kit can't pick up to feed the beneficial bacteria. It's why a tank stays cycled even though your test kit says there is 0ppm of ammonia and nitrite in the water.

In a fish-in cycle, the health of the fish comes first and the cycle itself comes second. At those levels your fish is going to die if you don't get the ammonia and nitrite back to zero.

If you are concerned about doing a 100% water change, do two 50% water changes in a short period of time. But really it's obvious your current water changing schedule isn't enough at this point, so you need to do more otherwise you are going to start harming your betta.

Also cycles don't always follow the rules. Each one is unique so you just have to ride them out and see where you go.

What water conditioner are you using? Seachem Prime can help as it detoxifies ammonia (and supposedly nitrite) for around 24 hours and although you will still get a positive reading for ammonia it will be in the less toxic form of ammonium.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #5 
inuudo
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Doing two 50% water changes would be only a 75% change in total, not a 100% change, so it would be better to do three or four 50% changes if you don't want to do one 100% change.

BUT... you really should just do a 100% change for the health of your fish.

I'm dealing with a fish-in cycle process right now, too. I made the mistake of ditching my substrate for something new when I switched my betta from a 5 to a 10 gallon tank and I lost the cycle. Apparently, the beneficial bacteria in the substrate is more substantial than I had been led to believe on various forums I'd read.

My ammonia reading usually gets up to around 0.5; once it was almost 2.0 and I have seen it at 1.0 a couple of times in the process. I do 75%-90% water changes daily, and sometimes twice a day.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #6 
shellieca
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You can do a 50% water change, retest the water 30 min to an hour later & do another 50% water change if need be this will not harm your BB if the water is conditioned correctly. It is not uncommon to have an ammonia & nitrIte spike as the tank is cycling but then the ammonia should start dropping, your nitrites may stay high for a week or two maybe even 3.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #7 
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How is the Betta acting-if he is acting okay-then it is either a user error on the test or something is causing skewed results-since at 4ppm ammonia the Betta should be near death unless you have a pH under 6....

How many and what species are the plants and how are they doing-to rule them out as a cause.

What kind of additives are you using-dechlorinator, plant foods, medications, cycle booster products....etc.....Some of these can cause skewed test results....
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:18 PM   #8 
Elliriyanna
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My fish is acting fine swimming around eating well ( even though our heat went out and its only 70 degrees in his tank right now)

as for the plants all are in good shape but one which has two small leaves with brown spots on them.

as for user error testing I have been following directions exactly and my tests have always been fine I even tested twice.

my current plants are Java moss Java Fern and Subwassertang ( I am expecting more plants very soon)

The ONLY product I am using in his water is API + stresscoat water conditioner

also my PH is around 7.8

I have been doing my best for his tank :( I am just apparently not meant to be a fishy mommy ... This is definitely making me rethink my second tank :(

I do plan to buy some seachem to help the plants if they start to struggle at all
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #9 
Elliriyanna
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GOOD NEWS!!! Finns ammonia is down to under .25 ammonia ... there is still a nitrite spike but its being converted to nitrates clearly :D i am up to 10 ppm ... our tap runs at 5 ppm
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