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Old 05-23-2013, 08:31 AM   #41 
Kanra Chan
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Did a water change yesterday, and my nitrates and nitrites spiked. My ammonia is high too, and my pH is low.

Plus it looks like my plants are dying O_o
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #42 
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strange... what substrate did you say you have?
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:53 PM   #43 
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So I came home and my nitrates were at 20ppm, nitrites at 10.0ppm, hardness at 100ppm, and acidic water with ammonia at .05ppm.

My fish and snails seemed to be fine, so I did a 50% water change and my test says the water quality is the same even after the change...
Plus my water wisteria plant died. O.o
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #44 
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Hey guys, so something weird happened.

My nitrites stayed at toxic level for a couple of weeks, no matter how many water changes I did. My ammonia stayed higher than it should be, my nitrates high, my alkalinity low and my pH all over the place (I did everything I could to keep it high for the snails. It never went below 6.2).

I found out that one of the plants I got from PetSmart had pest snails on it. I found out the snails were the cause of my high ammonia, and that they had stalled my cycle and killed my wisteria plant. My amazon sword plant is also dying.

I put down some lettuce and killed them all. After this, I did an 80% water change, and the nitrites and all other toxic elements of my water FINALLY went down to 0. The pH and alkalinity rose, as usual with my tap water. Two days later, no water change, and there is no sign of the nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia is still not at ZERO, but not high enough to do any damage. I assume once I get another plant, it will be better. My alkalinity and pH went down as well, to good levels. However, all the pest snails came back. I guess I didn't get them all.

Two questions:

Has my tank been cycled?

Will the return of the pest snails screw up my cycle, complete or incomplete?

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Old 06-06-2013, 10:31 AM   #45 
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I think that the high levels killed all your BB and you are starting the cycle over. I would check your premise on the snails causing the ammonia spike. It would take a very large number to do so. It is more likely that you are too lightly planted to absorb much bioload, and the dying plants contributed to the ammonia spike.

It is very normal for plants to "melt" in new situations. They usually recover. It is only once they are growing that they help to uptake ammonia. While they are in a decaying mode, they are actually making the ammonia level worse.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #46 
Kanra Chan
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Thanks VJM! Here is some more relevant information:

My amazon was growing, it sprouted a new vine and everything. My wisteria was completely black at the roots and fell apart when I did a water change.

There is a HUGE number of snails in my tank, and they produce a lot of waste in a short period of time. The waste produces ammonia. I did research this before I got them. There are probably thirty or so, not including the mystery snails. And those are just the ones that I CAN see...

There haven't really been any 'spikes' of ammonia. It's stayed constant, steadily rising until I do water changes. I realize that I do need another plant to replace the wisteria.

If my BB has been killed, what should I do differently this time to make sure the cycle works okay?

Is there any other way to be sure my cycle has restarted?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #47 
Kanra Chan
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One more question:

Nitrate: Between 0 and 10ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Ammonia: <0.02ppm
Hardness: 150ppm
Alkalinity: 40ppm
pH: 7.8ppm

Can I put my betta in my tank now?
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