help with my cycle please
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
simplicitysarah
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help with my cycle please


I am 4.5weeks into my fishless cycle!! things were going good, until 2 weeks ago! my pH is fluctuating from 8-8.4 and nitrates are now up to 40-60
I did a 50% wc last night and did not dose any ammonia..
Today:
pH 8.0-8.2
ammonia-0
nitrite-0
nitrate-40-60... so they nitrates came down very little..
Any advice what to do!! I was hoping to get Fish bc I thought my cycle was done.. it was around 10-20

55 gal
2 HOB marineland 150 & aquatech
temp 75
about 15 low light plants

Been dosing with Pure ammonia from ace

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
rocksmom
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It sounds like your cycle IS done. The nitrates won't go away on their own. You either need to keep doing water changes until they're where you want them to be, or add plants will use them up like some floaters.

The pH is probably fluctuating from the additions of ammonia. I've never used pure ammonia though, so I'm not sure on that one.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
simplicitysarah
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ok! thanks!! yah i planted a bunch of new plants and some have melt..So I probably could add more!
Will high nitrate come down with fish? since i won't be dosing ammonia?
my fish choices may need change alil bit b/c of my high pH. so I am leaning towards hardy fish!
want some nice schooling fish
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Your nitrate level will depend on a few things. The more fish you put in the tank, the higher the nitrates will be especially if you feed heavyily or have high bioload fish like goldfish (I'm guessing you're not planning on goldfish though). The more plants you have and the faster growing they are, the lower your nitrates will be. And of course water changes. You'll have to keep testing for awhile and figure out a balance that will work for your tank. I have some where I have to dose nitrates for the plants and one that needs at least a 50% water change weekly to keep the nitrates under 40. The latter was an unplanted tank with goldfish!

As far as fish choice with that pH, check into livebearers like swordtails, platies, and guppies, or some cichlids. I'm not familiar with cichlids, so I can't help you there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Should I do a large WC and not dose ammonia? Its that nitrate level toohhigh for fish?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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You'll want to keep dosing small amounts of ammonia until you actually get your fish to "feed" the bacteria. If you stopped dosing now and waited say a week or two until you got your fish you could have die off. 40 is definitely high, but not terrible. I'd say do at least one more 50% change and then check it again before you add your fish. Some fish are more sensitive to nitrates than others too. Livebearers are pretty hardy if you go with them, but still not a good idea to keep them in "dirty" water just because they can handle it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
simplicitysarah
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Ok thanks so much!! I am trying to figure what has caused the change in nitrates! I had couple plants melt?! I thought I cleaned it with python last night.. Hopefully nitrates come down alil so i can get fish this weekend
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:22 AM   #8
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Keep on adding ammonia.
Since you did a big water change and NOT added ammonia, no wonder the ammonia an nitrite are 0. Your cycle might or might not be complete.

Keep on feeding the bacteria. Add ammonia to test 3 ppm once a day.

If they can remove that much ammonia and not show any nitrite in 24 hours THEN your cycle is complete.

When the cycle is complete do a really big water change, perhaps a couple of them back to back right before you add the fish. The nitrate can be sky high at the end of a fishless cycle. Remove nitrate with water changes. Do not depend on adding plants. New plants might not be ready to get going and they might not remove any significant nitrogen.
Plants can remove the nitrogen, when they are growing fast, and the nitrate may be lower at the end of some fishless cycles, but it does not look like this is the case in your tank.
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