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My Tank Water Is Confusing Me.


Guest Cattrix

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Guest Cattrix

Hello :) ok I set up my small tank over 3 weeks ago and started out wanting to the fishless cycle.

It has an AquaTech 20 with a bio max media bag, a carbon sack and sponge. I have some plastic plants and some Wonder Rock gravel ,,, this is a coated gravel... why it's coated I have no idea,,, anyway the problems started when my husband could not find ANY clear pure unadultrated amonina anywhere,,, and he looked,, I am partially handicapped so he does all the shopping, he checked pretty much all our local grocery stores.

I didn't want to use the fish food in the tank method as it sounds gross... :ill Anyway, the tank went thru a bacterial bloom I think as the water got very cloudy and then gradually cleared up to very clear.

We finally got the Master kit today and I wanted to check the water to see where it was and this is what it tested out to be..

PH 7.6 but this was so dark that I used the ... High PH also and tested another sample and this tested at a definite 7.8

Ammonia 0

NitrIte 0

NitrAte 0

Then I was curious about the PH right out of the tap and it was 6.8-7.0 it seemed right between the two.

So I take it that the tank is not cycled,,, and that the cloudy water if it was a bacterial bloom died because of lack of anything to process. So do the water quality sound ok if I were to put some WCMM in or some Rosy Minnows? and will they be enough to start and cycle the tank? We want some fish.... :fishtank:

Regards

Cat :blink:

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To get a tank to cycle you have to have a source of ammonia for the beneficial bacteria to "eat" and process. Without the waste, you have no bacteria and no cycle. So you a correct when you say that the tank is NOT cycled.

Adding in any fish, of any type, (or any life form, actually) will supply the waste. Life eats, eliminates and grows. That elimination is the waste you need to start the cycling process. WhiteClouds and Rosys are commonly used because they are typically cheaper fish and fairly hardy. Cycling is a HARD process for a fish to endure - and it usually ends up killing or dramatically injuring the fish that are used for the cycle. You may end up killing all those fish during the cycle - are you able to deal with that? You may end up with fish that live - and need care after cycing - are you able to deal with that? If so, GREAT. It will work well and you should have a cycled tank within 6-10 weeks.

If you have no source of ammonia (that seems, unfortunately, to be the case for many :( ) your best bet would be to use the smaller, hardy fish as you have stated.

The fact that the tank has NO cycle, but is clear may mean it is ok to start a cycle in - if there is any scum or mold in the tank I would suggest that you start over. Since you have had the filter running, chances are that all is ok. The carbon is most likely full - keeping that water clear. You may wish to change it out.

Good luck. :)

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Guest Cattrix

Hello :) ok I set up my small tank over 3 weeks ago and started out wanting to the fishless cycle.

It has an AquaTech 20

Actually it is an AquaClear 20... I keep saying Aqua Tech and I don't know why? lol it must be old age! :exactly

hhhmmm I really don't want to put any fish thru misery going thru a cycle... and my husband has put his foot down about looking anymore for pure ammonia... I don't blame him really,,, he went to over 8 stores. All the ammonia bottles that say Clear Ammonia have as ingredents " ammonia, water, surficants..."

I think I read somewhere that if your shake the bottle and there is no suddsy foam then it is ok... we have a bottle that is clear oder free... (other than the sinus clearing mind numbing cat pee smell ) :thud

and does not make bubbles or foam, but it has that "surfacant" on the lable and that is what gives me pause in just going ahead and using it,,,, Ok... I know this may sound ODD "But" what about using urine? Human urine? in a healthy person urine is baisclly sterile until it is passed and picks up bacteria in the process of elimination.. We have used urine in organic composting in the past to start the process in a cold pile of dry brush and weeds, worked great! (off topic I know ) Any thoughts? Anyone ever heard of this ...

Thanks for everything and this Great Forum!

Regards

Cat

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Someone else said they have done that - weird, but if you're desperate! lol

I assume it would work, it's pretty much the same thing as the fish are releasing anyway.

I found my pure ammonia at Ace True Value - a hardware store - do you have those there?

Good luck!

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Y'know Cat, I reckon that'd be alright, -although you'd only want to add a couple of drops at the start to see. Urine is just urea and small proteins, as long as you said, ~one~ is healthy, with no UTI's, or is not on any meds incl. smoking/alcohol/caffeine (some breakdown products from meds get excreted in urine, and although they're less active, I wouldn't want to vouch for their potency in a fish tank!)

If you try it you must let us know how it goes!

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Guest Cattrix

Ahhh We do have a True Hardware close by and had not even thought of looking for pure ammonia at a hardware store... I will cajole husband into checking there first and it they don't have any we may try the umm, Human Tinkle Tank experiment... But I hear ya Mads, just a few drops of clean drug free stuff and then watch for a change in the water params... my husband said he would provide the substance but he takes some potent perscription drugs so I guess if we have to, it would be me... :teehee

Thanks

Cat

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Guest Cattrix

:rofl:rofl:rofl

You have now joined the ranks of the truly fish insane.... :crazy:

You fit right in here.

:rofl

:exactly Sweeter words have 'ner passed my ears.. errrr, (eyes) before... :9

Warm Regards

Cat

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Cattrix

Hallo ! I have been so busy with this and that... I have only been able to get over here on occasion to read, but wanted to update the progression of my little tank.. We did not find any pure ammonia so I added some pure 100% natural product (urine) to the tank... the first was a few drops and it didn't register at all after a few days so I added some more... well I definatly have ammonia in the tank... it is like off the chart.. 8 and above.. it has been in for lets see... I think around March 10th. I tested the water yesterday and these are the numbers High Range PH 8.2 Ammonia 8.0 (really dark) No Nitrites and no NitrAtes So I am getting antsy... anyway to help this along? What about using a product like Cycle? I did use Jungle Water Safe Plus to condition the water in the beginning and I use a jug of water that has that in it to top off the tank when the water level goes down from Evap. Should I take out the charcol bag and add more Ceramic Media ? Thanks

Cat

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Hmmn, I'm thinking that the 8ppm ammonia might be a touch too high for even the biological filter to start to multiply... I'm not sure, but maybe if you do a 50% water change to bring it back to 4ppm ammonia, it might be a better environment for the bacteria to start growing? I know ammonia evaporates over time, but it might take a LONG time, hence my suggestion of a waterchange to hurry things up a little. :)

Cycle can be used, I used it and it seemed to work for me, but there are a lot of conflicting arguments as to whether it is effective. Cycle is supposed to have a concentrate of the bacteria found in biological filters. so you could give it a go, it is a bit spendy tho'. :( -Perhaps you could ask for some gravel/filtersponge media from an established tank at your lfs to try kick starting your filter?

I'm really excited that you're trying cycling this way.. I reckon if it works it's gonna be my method of choice for cycling future tanks. :D

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Guest Cattrix

Hi Mads! Ok then in the morning I will do a 50% water change and see where this goes...won't be much of a problem. I am going to take the charcol bag out also and replace with more rings. Evn without fish we have actually Enjoyed the silly tank! It sounds lovely. :rest:

I'll keep ya apprised of the sich u ation. :D:exactly

Regards

Cat

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Guest Cattrix

:blink: Hmmm I did a 50% water change and used my water conditoner and waited until this AM to test,

My water right out of tap is PH 6.6-6.8 Can't quite tell is is kindof in between.

Tank water PH is 8.0 which I believe is down from what it was.

Ammonia. is Still 8.0 ! but is not as inky... I can actually see thru the tube... it was almost opaque before.

Gee I didn't think I had added that much uummm Product! :rofl or maybe I need to drink more water :lol:tomuch:

The water was pretty clear right after the change but 6 hours later it had gotten cloudy and has cleared a bit... do you think I should do another 50% water change or leave things alone for a few days and then if nothing happens ??? heheheh

Oh.. one clear difference ... there are bubbles forming at the top of the tank.. they pop quickly but there have never been bubbles on the surface before... every thing I used in the water change was very clean and had no residue ... I just siphond the water out with plastic airhose tubing which I had used before ... I am thinking maybe it is stronger bio reaction from the bacteria?

Regards

Cat

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The high pH in your tank is probably mostly from the ammonia - I had the same thing happen when I was fishless cycling. It should go down when your ammonia is low. What is your ammonia at now? You'll want to add more "product" when the ammonia gets down to about 1 ppm. :) If your ammonia is still above 4 ppm or so, I'd do another water change, otherwise leave it alone since it sounds like you're having a bacterial bloom (the cloudy water) and that means progress!

The bubbles I'm not sure about. Could be from the bacteria working, but it might be from your water conditioner - what kind are you using? I wouldn't worry about it anyway.

What kind of goldies are you thinking about for your new tank? What size is it? We'll need pictures when you get set up of course! :bingo:

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cool! that cloudiness does sound like a bacterial bloom! Have you tested for nitrites yet? perhaps the bacteria have started? -If not, I'm with TammyO, do another waterchange, as the ammonia might still be a bit high for the bacteria to survive, but check the nitrite situation first! -And thanks! I was wondering how everything was going! :D

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Guest Cattrix

:D Well two more 50% water changes later.... :blink: The Ammonia is down to 4.0 YAYYYYYYYY :rockon ....PH is 7.4

No Nitrites Or Nitrates,,, I didn't add any water conditioner yet, but I have Jungle Tank buddies with Bio Active bacteria, so now I wait some more and test in a week to see if there is any good bugs growing right?? wow this is cool ... I feel as though there is a chance to get this tank going now!!

Waving

Cat

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Cattrix

Well I think the tank has cycled.... I am not getting excited yet until someone who knows... confirms

here are the numbers..

High range PH.... 7.4

I then did a reg PH test too... and the color was right between 7.2- 7.6.... so this confirms it's 7.4!!! Dancing a jig..

Ammonia is 0 :bingo:

Nitrite is 2.0

Nitrate is 5.0

is this cycled?? What do I do now? Is it safe to get a fish .... Fatheads or White cloud Minnows I am thinking as this tank is too small foe anything else,, and I think a Shrimp of some kind...

I am so exicted... if this tank is ready and it goes well for awhile with new fish we will then get a large tank and prepare it for GOLDFISH!!! yay!!!

Regards

Cat

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Hi Cattrix :)

Your tank isn't quite cycled yet, though it looks like it's in the last phase. You have a good colony of ammonia processing bacteria and now you're working on the second colony that processes the nitrites. Keep adding ammonia to feed the first colony. It should break down the ammonia fairly quickly into nitrites (say about 1 ppm ammonia broken down to zero in about a day). When the nitrites also begin to be processed pretty quickly, you'll be just about ready. You want to test out your cycle for a few days to make positive that it is stable - so add 1 ppm ammonia, see how fast the ammonia goes to zero and then how fast the nitrites go to zero. Both should be zero before you add fish. When you are completely cycled, the bacteria can handle the recommended fish load by keeping your ammonia and nitrites at zero all the time. At that point, you will be using the nitrate reading to determine the frequency of your water changes. 40 ppm is considered the max level that is safe, but most prefer to keep them around 20 or lower. I rarely have high nitrates because my plants use them for food, so I do a regular once-per-week water change. So when your nitrates get to 20 ppm, you would do a water change. If your nitrates don't get to that point in about a week, do one anyway.

Hope that makes sense! How big is your tank?

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Guest Cattrix

Hi Imtammyo, my tank is a little under 5 gal. So it's not for goldfish.... I do wish that SOmeone would come up with a teeny tiny gold fish that could only require 5 gal instead of a min. of ten gal for fancies.

Thanks for the guidence... I added a tiny more ammonia in today and will keep an eye on what happens and how fast it's converted.

Warm Regards

Cat

Hi Imtammyo, my tank is a little under 5 gal. So it's not for goldfish.... I do wish that SOmeone would come up with a teeny tiny gold fish that could only require 5 gal instead of a min. of ten gal for fancies.

Thanks for the guidence... I added a tiny more ammonia in today and will keep an eye on what happens and how fast it's converted.

Warm Regards

Cat

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