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Old 09-03-2014, 08:24 AM   #1 
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Question Measuring Ammonia vs Ammonium Levels During Cycling

Hi all! I'm exactly a week into a fishless cycle on a 6 gallon tank for one of my bettas. I've been using crushed up fish pellets stuffed into pieces of tied stockings as my ammonia source. I've been testing my pH and ammonia levels daily since I started, but something occurred to me today, hehe.

My ammonia testing kit is an ammonia/ammonium kit, so there are two readings. I am currently at 5ppm for ammonium (NH4), but according to the chart included with my kit, only at .09 ammonia(NH3) in accordance with my tank's pH level. My question is, should I keep working on getting the ammonia levels to at least 2ppm as recommended, or am I already at/over where things need to be in order to continue the cycle?

My pH levels have been pretty even throughout the week. It started at 7.0, went up to 7.5 for about 3 days, and has come back down to 7.0. My tank temperature has been at 80.6F throughout, and I've got gravel, some fake plants, and a piece of natural driftwood along with a sponge filter running. No nitrite/nitrate test kit yet, so I don't have those measurements as of now.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:43 PM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2013
Your Goal is to have 0ppm readings for All but Nitrates (which should be kept <40ppms with under 20 even better)...

As for PH anything from 6.0-8.0 is usually acceptable...
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ammonia, ammonium, nitrogen cycle, ph level

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