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Old 08-06-2011, 01:51 PM   #1 
fishcurl
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5 days without a water change and ammonia still at 0?

I'm trying to cycle my 5 gallon tank (occupants: 1 moss ball, 1 pathetic sprig of wisteria, 1 betta) and have been checking the ammonia levels daily (API Freshwater master kit)

When I started the tank about 2 weeks ago, I did a couple of water changes roughly 3 days apart. I tested the water each time and no ammonia.

So then I thought I'd leave the water change until ammonia registered. It's been 5 days now and there's still nothing.

What do I do? Change the water? Or wait until the ammonia registers?

confuzzled

EDIT: and for what it's worth I've been testing Nitri/ate for the last few days and they don't register either.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #2 
cajunamy
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In a 5 gallon there's enough water in there that the ammonia from betta is diluted... so it's a good thing ammonia is not registering yet lol. Just keep an eye on it.

Also, just make sure you're doing it right - fill to 5mil line, add 8 drops (I think it's 8) of bottle one, 8 of bottle 2 then shake and read at 5 minutes.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #3 
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Even without ammonia reading be sure and make at least 1-50% water change with vacuum a week for the DOC's...build up of DOC's can be harmful as well.......the plants may be using the ammonia as plant food and may be one reason you are not seeing any spikes too and hobby grade test product test at parts per million...you have ammonia in the tank but our test are not sensitive enough to detect it.....and as cajunamy posted water volume and stocking play a role as well......
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:06 PM   #4 
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Thank you for the feedback. Glad to know that there is some ammonia in there somewhere. I was worried that I was mucking up the cycle by changing the water before the bacteria could even nom the ammonia.

At any rate, I'll test again this evening (paranoid, lol). I'll do a change if I see anything. And if not, I'll do the change tomorrow regardless.

@oldfishlady - what are DOCs? I suspect they have nothing to do with Microsoft Word.

@cajunamy - hehe, thanks for the test refresher. Yes, that's what I've been doing. Except I shake it after the first bottle and again after the second. Does that mess things up?
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #5 
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Yup, forgot to mention what OFL said too! I don't shake with the ammonia (I think I'll have to read the instructions again) I think it's with the nitrite or nitrate you shake in between
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:17 PM   #6 
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DOC's Dissolved organic compounds.....

API's-Nitrate reagent #2 bottle...this one will settle and needs a shake, bang on the table and shake some more before use....lol......but important to follow all the direction to the "T" to get accurate results/reading......
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:43 PM   #7 
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Thank you! I'll stop shaking the other bottles then. I only half-hearted shake them. The Nitrate #2 bottle I do the *jiggy*jiggy*smack*smack* dance. I get funny looks from my family...fish and cat included...when I do this.

DOCs = Dissolved Organic Compounds. Got it. Thank you!

I did the test again tonight and I *think* it's finally showing a faint trace of ammonia. It's hard to tell because I'm losing my daylight here. If I were to guess it looks to be between 0 and .25 ppm but not one or the other.

Since it's so late and the kidlet is asleep, I think its safe to leave until first thing this morning. Unless I'm being a bad fish mom, in which case tell me so and I'll change that water pronto regardless of time!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:57 PM   #8 
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Nah, I think you'll be good.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:05 AM   #9 
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Thanks, cajunamy :)

I just read a certain thread over in the art forum, and I gotta say you're one stand-up gal :)
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #10 
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I've been testing daily for the last week and have found no traces of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. I changed the water yesterday to take care of those pesky DOCs of course. But I'm beginning to think either:

a) The filter/biowheel combo is super efficient;
b) Gleep and Wister are terminator ammonia sinks; or
c) Flambé is actually a robotic fish and doesn't pee or poop.
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