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Old 07-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #1 
BettaPrincess13
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Is this ok?

My 10 gal tank has been cycling for about a month now and my nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia were all constantly at zero. this morning I did a water change and found that everything was at zero except at nitrites which are at 0.25 :/ I waited a few hours and it didn't go down so I did a 25-30% water change to see if it would help but the Nitrite level remains at .25...

is this ok? or is there something I can do to bring it down to zero? I'm leaving tomorrow on a trip and I don't want anything to happen to my fish :/ I'm going to test the water again tomorrow to make sure the nitrite doesn't spike up anymore than it has and hopfully it remains the same until I can get back and do another water change.

I read somewhere I shouldnt do to many constant water changes because it might mess up or slow down the cycling process but I don't want the levels to go to high
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #2 
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How are you adding ammonia to cycle the tank? (For instance, are you adding fish food? Or pure ammonia?)

And have you tested your tap water to see if perhaps that is the source of the nitrites?

Also, do you have a heavily planted tank? That 0 nitrate is confusing for a cycling tank.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #3 
lilnaugrim
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How many plants have you got in there now? The plants should be taking care of everything but there's always a chance unfortunately.

But yes, Nitrites need to be at 0, Nitrates can be anywhere below 20ppm and be fine but Nitrites and Ammonia both definitely have to be zero.

Did you add anything new to the tank? Plants, decor, gravel, fish, snails, shrimp? And did you take out any filter cartridge lately to replace it? That's really the only thing that would cause a Mini-cycle along with letting the filter dry out.

A mini-cycle is just that, a mini version of the full cycle. Basically when you loose BB from your tank, there isn't enough BB to keep up with the waste being produced so you get a temporary ammonia/nitrite spike and then in a few days, the BB colony has grown enough to compensate for the fish waste. So that's why it's recommended to put another cartridge in with the old one for a week or two so that the BB can transfer over and you won't loose as many.

However if you didn't do anything with the filter then I don't know what else could have caused it!
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:54 PM   #4 
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I'm not adding any ammonia during my cycling just using live plants and my fish.

yeah I thought it was really weird to that my nitrites were the only thing that spiked

I've been using the same tap since I got my tank and I haven't had any readings of nitrites until today

Its not heavily planted but it has a bit that I put in to help with the cycling process. I want to say around 6 or a bit more? I added a lot of water wisteria

I haven't added any new decor since the middle of June. I did take the filter cartridge out on saturday to add in general cure for his gill flukes and put it back in today its a new cartridge to I changed it out last week but had to take it out for a while and just put it back in

Last edited by BettaPrincess13; 07-25-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:55 PM   #5 
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Ammonia could have already spiked and now it's on the phase where Nitrites spike, that's fine. So then in this case it's just a Mini-cycle is happening because you lost some BB somehow. It will be cycled again in a day or two.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #6 
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ok thanks! Ill check on it tomorrow before I leave and hopefully it will go down while I'm out of town. cycling can be such a pain and after i'm done with this cycling all my BB is going to die cause I have to move in 3 weeks so I'll have to clean my filter and my bio wheel X____x then the process all over again^^;;
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:10 PM   #7 
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You changed the cartridge? That could have done it. Even if there's a biowheel for BB to grow on, some will still grow on the cartridge. And really, you don't need to change cartridges unless you're adding new carbon to take out medicine. Just swish it around in old tank water to clean it.

And if you keep your cartridge and biowheel in a container with tank water while you move, you shouldn't lose all your BB. How much would depend on how long they're separated from an ammonia source, but if the tanks are taken apart and re-set up within a day or two, you should still have some so that you're not starting from scratch at least!
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #8 
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thanks! yeah I changed it thinking I had to replace them when they got dirty cause the instructions said to change the cartridge every month or so >_> next time I'll just rinse it and put it back in

I definitely do that! I plan for it to be the first thing put into the apartment and set up once I get there. the drive is about 11 hours Im hoping both my fish and BB can survive the trip
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:11 PM   #9 
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Manufacturers tell you that so you'll spend money on replacement cartridges. They honestly don't need to be replaced until they're literally disintegrating. You'd need fresh carbon if you're trying to get rid of medications, but that would be the only thing.

11 hours? That's a long drive! Yeah, you'll likely experience a mini-cycle even with the best care.

Unless... Do you have any pure ammonia in the house? The kind used for fishless cycling (no added colors/fragrances/detergents, give it a shake and if it doesn't foam up it's good). If you already have some, you could add a drop or two to the water that the cartridge and biowheel are sitting in. Or maybe a piece of food. Just something that will boost the ammonia in the water to keep them fed. I've never tried traveling with my tanks, but I imagine it'd be like fishlessly cycling the tank. Of course, that water wouldn't go into the new tank, but it might be enough to keep the BB going until you can set up the tank!
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #10 
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yep virginia to florida lol Ive never traveled with fish or anything before so this will be my first time. makes me nervous but I figured if Carl survived all the moves from the pet stores he can survive an 11 hour drive

I don't actually. having pure ammonia sounds lethal to me lol so I've been trying to do the most natural cycling I could
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