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Old 06-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #1 
CRShelton
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1st 10 gallon cycle: confusing test results

I am cycling my first 10 gallon tank. I am doing a fish-in cycle because neither I, nor apparently the pet store employee, knew what we were doing at first. My betta is not in the tank, just a single small feeder goldfish.

I am about 16 days into the cycle. I have been doing 20-30% water changes every other day. Around day 7 my ammonia dropped down to near 0 and my nitrites really started taking off. Then nitrites stayed high for a while and nitrates started showing up. The nitrates got quite high while the nitrites were still spiking, around 80 ppm according to my API liquid tests.

A few days ago the nitrites finally started to come down a bit, but the nitrates have not seemed to go up much. This morning, nitrates and nitrites are reading 0, and ammonia is about .25 ppm, which really confuses me because I have not done a water change since my last reading, where the nitrates were at about 5-10 ppm, nitrites between .25 and .5 ppm, and ammonia was 0.

Could something be eating my nitrates and converting them back into ammonia? I have a driftwood with some java moss and an old conch shell in the tank. Besides that it's still empty.

Is it possible I neutralized my API tests somehow?

Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks!
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #2 
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Do you have excess algae growth or plants in your tank?
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #3 
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No algae. The only plant is the java moss, just a small bunch attached to some driftwood.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:26 PM   #4 
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I would be inclined to remove the conch shell because I believe it can change your water chemistry.

What are your other water parameters? PH, GH? Water chemistry is interrelated and one level being out of whack can effect the others.

It's also possible that your Java Moss is a factor.

BTW, what do you plan to do with the poor little goldfish?
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #5 
CRShelton
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The PH is around 7.2.

The Conch, Driftwood, and Moss all went in on the same day. The PH went high for a few days and then came back down. I would really like to leave the Conch in if possible, it has sentimental value.

I have not measured the GH. I bought an API freshwater testing kit with my tank but alas no GH test included.

I am about to run a new battery of tests after waiting 12 hours. I will update the thread with the new info.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:00 PM   #6 
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one conch shell probably wont do much to a ten gallon. I had three smaller seashells in my planted 1 gallon once, it was the healthiest tank I coul have ever asked for :D
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 PM   #7 
CRShelton
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Oh, re: the goldfish I am looking for a good home for him. Anyone in NYC feel free to file your adoption papers. Until then he will be part of my magic act and I can promise him clean water if not much space in the betta's old 2.5 gallon.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #8 
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I'm in NYC :S but I dont think I'm up for a gold fish....craigslist is usually the way to go, my friend sold all of his 4 goldfishies on there.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #9 
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Is that 7.2 PH from your tap or tank? I believe seashells can raise your PH.

You gotta do what you gotta do, but I would caution you to do more research before adding a natural seashell to a freshwater aquarium. Water chemistry can be a challenge on a good day but when you add something that can change your water parameters then you're courting disaster.

Good luck with your cycle.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #10 
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I've tested it before with my test kits. it raises the PH a about .4 over a month but also kept it very stable by adding to the hardness :) and this was in a 1 gallon, doubt it will do anything more than that in a ten gallon :D.
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