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Questions On Water Changes And Test Results.


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  • Regular Member

I was wondering if anyone can give me some concrete #s on how much ammonia should there be to start a cycle, and how much water should be changed at each ammonia level to make it safe once again.

Next question is how much nitrite should there be before the nitrates will start. How high is too high nitrites and and how much water should be changed at each level.

If you leave a test out for hours/days will the test results change in the tube? The ammonia levels seem to lessen after a day in the tube.

Currently my ammonia is a lil more than .25, nitrites at .25, nitrates at 0. Ph is 8, and I got plenty of salt in the aquarium, my temp is 82 and plenty of tannin in the water. The salt and temp are due to a small bout of ich that I caught early. Supposedle the salt helps make nitrites bearable and the added temp makes cycling go faster. The high ph allows the ammonia to be ammonium ion which is a tad safer than pure ammonia.

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  • Regular Member

Wait...are there fish in the tank or are you doing a fishless cycle?

If there are goldfish remove the tannins with a water change. Are the tannins in there from driftwood? Or are you using it to lower your pH? A high pH is fine for goldfish but lowering it on purpose with fish in the tank does more harm than good. Also you don't need to add ammonia since the fish do that themselves. Just keep doing the water changes to keep it under .25.

If you don't have goldfish in the tank just keep adding the ammonia every day. Some people do it differently but keeping it above 1 moves the cycle along faster.

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There are fish in the tank. The wood is special wood I bought from my lfs its called wompani wood that is supposed to be good for tanks. I bought it becouse I hear there are lots of benefits to your fish by having tannin in the water. Plus I was hoping to get the ph down to 7.5 from 8.2, in order to add another type of fish, but the wood only seems to get it to 8. I ain't putting any ammonia in, no worries there.

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  • Regular Member

If there are fish in that tank I'd do a huge water change - now. If your ammonia and nitrites are at .25 that is extremely harmful to the fish. Even with huge, daily water changes you will still cycle the tank because the fish are constantly producing waste (thus ammonia and nitrite).

In terms of how much water to change to make the ammonia 'safe,' any ammonia registering is unsafe for fish :(

So you have to do the biggest water changes you possibly can. The same goes for nitrites.

As long as you know that ammonia and nitrites are being produced, there is enough to start your cycle.

And yes, if you leave the water in the tubes for any length of time the results will change as the chemicals continue to react, etc. This doesn't reflect what's happening in your tank during the same time span.

What other type of fish are you planning to add? There are very few species that can do well with goldfish.

Edited by Chrissy_Bee
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  • Regular Member

I was hoping to get kuhli loaches but they reqiure a ph between 6.5-7.5. I did do my homework when I chose them but I didn't realize my ph was so high. They are supposed to be great with goldfish although once the goldfish reaches its true potential size the loaches may have to be removed since they are basically the same size and shape as worms just a couple times bigger maybe. I guess I will have to look again.

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Turns out after more research that as long as my water is soft then high ph is ok for the loaches. I will have to do more research on this one.

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