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Old 12-05-2012, 08:48 PM   #1 
Loki22
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Question Having trouble reading test kit

Ok so i just got the API freshwater test kit as recomended by people on here from my last thread.
I have a 5 gallon heated tank that i am trying to cycle while my betta is in it. i have a few plants, moss ball, petco combo, anubis on a lava rock, and an aqua fern. i just did a 60% water change 12/4 and 3 days before that was a 50% water change. 2 days ago i added a new heater Aqeon, and i have it at 80 degree's, says the heater and thermomiter which is in the tank. i also use Prime water conditioner, 5 drops for my 5 gall.
i recently found out that my betta care was not as it should be so i pretty much restarted my cycling. i have had this betta for a month and had done a water change 3 weeks after starting the tank, but after learning that i should be doing a 50% water change every week, i restarted the cycle. 1-50% water change, then 3 days later 60% water change. and thats been it as of now.

ok so here are my results from the tests
Ammonia-0.25 ppm
nitrate-10 ppm
nitrite-0 ppm
PH- 7.6

is this where i should be with my cycling so far? im still learning and all help is greatly appreciated
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #2 
shellieca
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by restarting the cycle. But regardless of that, are you testing your water right before a water change? Here's my advice & others may offer different. When I fish IN cycle my tanks I test the water once daily around the same time, if my ammonia or nitrites are above .25 I do a 50% water change, more if the tests are really high. For me this averaged about every 3 days. IMO unless your water tests say you need to don't do a water change. But in direct response to your question it appears you're moving along. My 10g fish IN didn't show nitrites until week 6, they lasted 2 weeks & then my tank was cycled - 8 weeks total. Based on what you posted you may be half way there, but as I said I'm not sure how you restarted your cycle.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:28 PM   #3 
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sorry i didnt clarify.... i restarted my cycle by doing a huge water change (95%) at week 3 before i knew that my betta was in ammonia poisoning, and that I was doing all the wrong things. that is when i went to this site, and learned so much. at that point i did a 50 % water change, then 3 days later i did another wich was 12/4 :)
Thank you, i was hoping i was on the right track :)

Last edited by Loki22; 12-05-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:26 AM   #4 
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Even that large water change didn't "restart" the cycle. The bacteria live on surfaces, not in the water column. So, unless you let it dry out, you're still cycling.

Your high nitrite WILL stall the cycle, as well as being dangerous to your stock. Change water as often as needed to keep ammonia and nitrite <0.25ppm, and nitrate <20ppm.

Use 2drops/gal Prime at least every other day to keep the ammonia converted to harmless ammonium, which is still good for the nitrifying bacteria. Still keep it <025ppm.

Your plants won't effect the cycle in any way.

Keep testing, but I think you'll find that a 50% change every week will do. Maintain the 50%/week schedule for the life of the tank.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki22 View Post
sorry i didnt clarify.... i restarted my cycle by doing a huge water change (95%) at week 3 before i knew that my betta was in ammonia poisoning, and that I was doing all the wrong things. that is when i went to this site, and learned so much. at that point i did a 50 % water change, then 3 days later i did another wich was 12/4 :)
Thank you, i was hoping i was on the right track :)
Then you are most definitely half way if not further along to being cycled. Water changes do not mess up your cycle. Now if you changed out your filter media or let it dry out then you may have restarted it or have a mini cycle. Bottom line, I wouldn't worry, you are doing whats necessary to keep your fish safe; testing the water & doing the necessary water changes.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #6 
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Thank you everyone You are all amazing!
Ill be testing everyday, and hope that the results are where you all say that it should be.
another question.... what is high range PH? that also came with the test kit and im not sure if i should be testing for that as well?
also should i be adding aquarium salt to the tank? does that effect the cycle in any way? My betta does have acouple of ammonia burns on him, and i wonder if that would help, or should i be using stress coat till his scales are all healed up?
and he mostly swims around the back of the tank, going from one end to another, should i be concerned? were starting to get into a rountine now, most of the day he swims back and forth from one end of the tank to the other, but only along the back wall, then he gets fed in the morning, but at night he bunks up in the skull rock, and "sleeps" in there, he wont come out once he goes in for the night. this is all normal right?
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #7 
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High range pH is a pH test to be used in the event that your pH test results are off the chart on the high end of the regular pH scale. For API, a pH of 7.6 and above will register that blue color on the normal pH test. If you are getting that blue color, you will need to use the high range test to either verify the 7.6 reading or to determine if your pH is indeed higher than 7.6 (high range). During cycling I've had my pH go into the high range, but once the cycle has completed the pH returned to normal levels.

I hope I made that understandable. :)
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #8 
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The high Ph is if your test results for low Ph are too high for the low Ph chart. I hope that made sense. His ammonia burns should heal up with the fresh, clean, conditioned water but I don't think the aq salt will hurt anything if you want to use it. Is he swimming behind the filter flow? Could be that's where the water is calmer for some reason. 3 of my 4 males are all over the tanks but do have favorite spots, my CT male tends to hang out on the top suction cup of the heater or on the bottom of the tank or in a cave, he's much less active than the others. They each have their quirks, I wouldn't worry too much about whether he's at the front or back.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:32 AM   #9 
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Also, one thing I've found useful for reading nitrite levels is the time it takes for the test to turn purple (if it is turning that bright purple that looks like both 2.0 and 5.0ppm). If I see the test turn that bright purple color within the 5 seconds of shaking or very soon after (within seconds) I assume a reading of 5.0 or above and change the water. If it takes a minute or so to reach that color I play it safe and record a 5.0. Any longer than that, I call it 2.0-5.0. Once you see the bluer hues staying for most of the 5 minute wait period you are likely below 2.0 and can get a more accurate chart reading in those lower ranges.

This is just from my experience, but my tank is cycled now, and it worked for me! ;)
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:46 AM   #10 
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ALL of those readings are toxic and should never be seen with fish in the tank. Any ammonia or nitrite reading of 0.25ppm or more should be water changed out.

You will not be dumping bacteria because they live on surfaces; not many live in the water.
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