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Old 04-25-2013, 02:23 AM   #1 
Ezzie
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Question where in the cycle am i?

I have aquired a new fighter (i just cant stay away) and have recieved my sisters 5 gallon tank which was previously cycled with some small tetras and was running for over a year fine.
I emptied, cleaned everything out (she had a major algae takeover) and cleaned all the parts with the filter (NOT the actual filter media just the tubing and such).

I then replaced the filter wool with seeded wool from my 3ft tank as well as replaced the little ceramic tubes again with already established ones from my tank, i then half filled the tank with water from my 3ft tank and half clean conditioned water, i let this run for two days and these were my results:

ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 40-80ppm
ph: 7.2

Since my nitrate was high, i did a 50% water change and another 25% change the next day which is the day i bought my betta home, but it was still showing a higher then normal reading even after testing yet again with that water change.

I tested the water again today (the day after) and was a little bit shocked at my readings:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: .50ppm
Nitrate:40-80ppm
Ph: (i didnt test this time)

I did another 50% water change with a little higher then average dosage of PRIME and a tps of aquarium salts and my readings went down, but only slightly. However my nitrate is STILL HIGH.

I have tested my tap water for nitrates and it was 0ppm.

Where am i in this cycle? Why was it showing good readings (apart from nitrate) in the beginning then one day after i added Milton it changed so much.

Will doing small changes everyday be beneficial? I was planning on doing 20-25% daily to bring it down and hopefully the cycle will melllow back out.

Will it harm him to be present in the tank while this cycle is happening, i am afraid his amazing fins will develop rot and thats the last thing i need for this boy!
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:03 AM   #2 
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what test kit do you use? I know the API one had to be shaken vigorously before it gave an accurate reading >.<
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:19 AM   #3 
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High nitrITE levels will also produce false high nitrATE readings. Like aokashi said the api solution number 2 has to be shaken vigorously for 30 seconds. Also after adding solution number 1 the test tube is supposed to be inverted several times. When I have high nitrITE readings I usually do over 4 water changes a day to keep the levels down. I also had good experience adding tetra safe start to a tank that was having high nitrITE readings and they dropped within 24 hours and went to 0 in under 48 hours. Good luck

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Old 04-25-2013, 10:40 AM   #4 
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I use the API ones and i follow the instructions :S I don't want to stress the new fish and risk him falling ill so i think that a few small changes a day will be okay, i will re-test tomorrow before another water change and let you guys know the results. I wouldnt have thought one fish in a 5 gal tank would let the parameters change so drastically..
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:44 PM   #5 
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I re tested today and these were my results (see picture) even after a half water change the nitrite isn't going down (either is the nitrate) however ammonia is being kept in check. How long until you think they will start to lower or have I lost my cycle?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:15 AM   #6 
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I bought some API quick start to try and bring my nitrites down, the person at the store wanted me to bug some bio zorb (never heard of it) that takes away ammonia, nitrites and nitrates but that can't be beneficial to a cycle if there's no bacteria left so I decided against it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:22 AM   #7 
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that is VERY odd. what substrate are you using? any roottabs or live plants?
oh i just noticed that you are using aq salt. is there any reason you're using that?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:38 AM   #8 
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Its just some gravel (you can see it in the picture a little) with silk plants. It has one live plant that's an Anubis that I'm attempting to grow on the driftwood I have there.. Ill do another small water change with this new quick start and re-test. I like to use a little aq salts when adding a new fish to give it a little boost, I won't be using it anymore unless he starts showing signs of a problem.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:58 AM   #9 
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Re tested the water after a 15% change and dosing with api quick start and these were the results.. Any ideas?
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:35 AM   #10 
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I have noooo idea .... I can guess that ur going theough a "mini" cycle... but the nitrate leels baffles me. where are all these nitrates coming from?
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