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Old 10-22-2009, 03:31 AM   #11 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
October 22, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 4.0 ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = 5.0 ppm

thanks Christina and 1077 for the input. If you two veterans say its a rad way to do it then I believe you =D

I am also an adult, but I can see not wanting a kid to be using ammonia... I've almost knocked myself out with it a few times now
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:42 AM   #12 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
October 23, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 3-4 ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = around 5.0 ppm

the ammonia levels are so hard to read on the API freshwater master kit... I still haven't seen any sign of nitrites. hopefully soon =)
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:30 AM   #13 
giypsy
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Location: Great Lakes State
If I understood your records, your NH(3) dosing aligns with
calculations per volume of water. I too am puzzled by the
appearance of NO(3) ahead of NO(2). I can only speculate
there was residue on something associated with the tank.

What substrate are you using?
With regard to the dosing method; I find the drop method a little
chancy, I used a lab pipette but you could just as easily use
a baby medicine dropper with mL markings, or sharpie one
of your tubes with the level 3.9mL.

With regard to API test reading; it is a common problem; however linking
to another forum is prohibited here therefore; I can only say that API
recommendations state that not touching the tube to the card and
even looking down through the top of the open tube has been reported
as helpful. MerchantWu and I both had this problem; I always erred
on the side of caution. If I was waiting for a reading to rise, I chose the
lower reading, if I was waiting for it to drop, I chose the higher reading.

One last thing; I would add the cheapest plants I could get my hands on,
immediately. Plants move the process along and help give
stable chem readings. They are necessary for processing both
NO(2) & NO(3).
Keep us posted.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:06 AM   #14 
Mizzle
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October 23, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 2.0-3.0 ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = about 5.0 ppm

ammonia definitely dropped down a bit since my last reading, but still no sign of any nitrites. Should I keep dosing to bump the ammonia back up to 4.0 ppm? When did you guys get your first nitrite reading?

Last edited by Mizzle; 10-24-2009 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:29 AM   #15 
giypsy
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Great Lakes State
I would continue to dose NH(3) @ 4ppm until after you see your
nitrIte & nitrAtes spike.
I had my first NO(2) & NO(3) readings simultaneously on day six I believe.
Keeping in mind I had some Marimo balls & a Java Fern and some
other specimemen plants in the tanks and I was using Floralite substrate.

I am wondering about your NH(3) dosing method, 1 drop does not equal 1mL
consistently. I am pretty consistent about making sure all my chems are
exact.
Here is another bit of information I gleaned along the way;
the API test kit recommendations suggest shaking those bottles pretty
well. Especially the 2nd bottle for NO(3). I have read comments
where other tank cyclers have banged the 2nd bottle, upside down,
on the counter before shaking it, and to quote them
"shake until your arm hurts, switch hands, repeat."
My method is to put that 2nd bottle in my hand with
every one of the other bottles when I shake them.
So, ph bottle plus 2nd NO(3) bottle, shake, do ph test.
1st NH(3) bottle plus NO(3) bottle, shake, and so forth.
By the time I get to the actual nitrAte test, that 2nd bottle
has been shaken 4-5x.

I'm going to poke around and ask my other aqua-scaping
colleagues if they have ever had a nitrAte reading prior
to a nitrIte reading. I'll let you know what they report.

{ 10g planting scheme in the photo-journal }

Last edited by giypsy; 10-24-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #16 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by giypsy View Post
I would continue to dose NH(3) @ 4ppm until after you see your
nitrIte & nitrAtes spike.
I had my first NO(2) & NO(3) readings simultaneously on day six I believe.
Keeping in mind I had some Marimo balls & a Java Fern and some
other specimemen plants in the tanks and I was using Floralite substrate.

I am wondering about your NH(3) dosing method, 1 drop does not equal 1mL
consistently. I am pretty consistent about making sure all my chems are
exact.
Here is another bit of information I gleaned along the way;
the API test kit recommendations suggest shaking those bottles pretty
well. Especially the 2nd bottle for NO(3). I have read comments
where other tank cyclers have banged the 2nd bottle, upside down,
on the counter before shaking it, and to quote them
"shake until your arm hurts, switch hands, repeat."
My method is to put that 2nd bottle in my hand with
every one of the other bottles when I shake them.
So, ph bottle plus 2nd NO(3) bottle, shake, do ph test.
1st NH(3) bottle plus NO(3) bottle, shake, and so forth.
By the time I get to the actual nitrAte test, that 2nd bottle
has been shaken 4-5x.

I'm going to poke around and ask my other aqua-scaping
colleagues if they have ever had a nitrAte reading prior
to a nitrIte reading. I'll let you know what they report.

{ 10g planting scheme in the photo-journal }
Yeah my dosing method isn't exact.

I have definitely been shaking the 2nd NO(3) bottle thoroughly everytime.

Theres also a bit of information I didn't describe about my tank. When I first got it I was cycling with ammonia & a bottle of Top Fin Bacterial Supplement. I didn't have my API master kit, just a dip stick. After about 7 days when I finally got my API master kit, I realized I had way too much ammonia in my tank and did almost a 100% water change. Since then I haven't used the bacterial supplement and haven't overdosed on ammonia.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:28 PM   #17 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
First week summary (7 days)

I'm still dosing with ammonia to keep my NH(3) levels at around 4.0 ppm. I still haven't seen a big ammonia drop or any sign of nitrites at all.


October 24, 2009

pH = 7.6
ammonia = 3-4 ppm (added ammonia to get back to around 4.0)
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = still around 5.0 ppm
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:07 PM   #18 
giypsy
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Great Lakes State
I did the same thing re: the supplement the first couple of days.
My recommendation is discontinue using it. There is no
measurable, living bacteria in it. I believe I messed up
the first couple of days with the supplement. However,
once I discontinued using it, the chems righted themselves
within two or three days.

The only bac. supplement I have read others using is
Bio-Spira and only when they knew the conditions under
which it was kept. (translate: maybe two or three of the
twenty or so journals I have read)
No long stays in a warehouse or stockroom with variable
temperetures. The bacteria we are cultivating grows
between 68-ish and 86(F). Not as sure about the low
temp as I am about the high temp. This bacteria, unlike some
that can live after freezing and unlike yoghurt/cheese bacteria,
live and reproduce at basically the same temps as the fish.

I would not let yourself get discouraged at this stage of the
game. The nitrIte chomping bacteria takes a while to develop.
But wait, it gets more frustrating; the nitrAte bacteria normally
takes 2x longer than the nitrIte. In your case however, it is
in a word; a crap-shoot. MerchantWu & I commiserated back and
forth in another thread, still are once in a while.

I spent the time reading everything I could find. And find good
information, I did, indeed. The most beneficial to me, were the
Tank Logs & Journals, then the experts.
Hang in there, keep us posted!
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:16 PM   #19 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
October 25, 2009

pH = 7.8
ammonia = 4.0
nitrites = 0.0
nitrates = 0.0 - 5.0 ppm

I'm still keeping my ammonia as close to 4.0 ppm as possible.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:17 AM   #20 
Mizzle
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Join Date: Sep 2009
October 26, 2009 (Day 9)

pH = 7.8
ammonia = 4.0 ppm
nitrites = 0.0 ppm
nitrates = 0.0 - 5.0 ppm

not a whole lot is changing, trying to keep my ammonia steady for now.

though it may not appear this way. the readings from today & yesterday were around 24 hours apart. I just forgot to post them last night =)

Last edited by Mizzle; 10-26-2009 at 12:21 AM.
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