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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greeting planted tankers. I have a question I am hoping someone can help me clear up. I have a 30 gallon tank that I set up in the first week of August. This tank currently has 9 tetras in it and a few pieces of driftwood. When I test my water I have high ammonia but zero nitrates or nitrites. If this because the nitrifying bacteria has not fully established a large enough colony to deal with the bioload? My ammonia readings are 8 ppm using Mardel test strips, and 4 ppm using an API liquid reagent test, both of which are new and they both give normal readings on my other tanks. Because of this, I do not think it is a bad test kit/strips/reagents. I may be wrong about this, so I came to the place where people who know more than me can be found. Thanks for your help!
 

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You've got rotting something in there that shortly will include your fish.
Unfortunately the needed water change might kill the fish.
In any event get them out of that water.

Use the search feature to pull up any of the hundreds of posts on cycling a fish tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You've got rotting something in there that shortly will include your fish.
Unfortunately the needed water change might kill the fish.
In any event get them out of that water.

Use the search feature to pull up any of the hundreds of posts on cycling a fish tank.
That was the first thing I thought as well: I figured that there was a dead fish in the tank. I pulled all of driftwood out (only four smallish pieces) and found no casualties; all nine tetras are accounted for. I have not lost any fish, and they appear to be doing well. There appear to be no signs of stress, and all of the fishes are eating. I just took another reading tonight, and with the Mardel test strips I had an ammonia level of 2.0 ppm. Using the API liquid reagent ammonia test I got a reading of 1.0 ppm. Nitrates and nitrites test at 0.0 ppm using both tests. Also worth noting; the water in this tank was slightly cloudy this morning. By the time I turned the lights off tonight the cloudiness completely disappeared. As a reference, the temp in my tank is 74 degrees F, and pH is at 6.1.
 

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you have other tanks running? why don't u use some of the other tank filter media to seed ur filter? tank will be instant cycle...
 

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That was the first thing I thought as well: I figured that there was a dead fish in the tank. I pulled all of driftwood out (only four smallish pieces) and found no casualties; all nine tetras are accounted for. I have not lost any fish, and they appear to be doing well. There appear to be no signs of stress, and all of the fishes are eating. I just took another reading tonight, and with the Mardel test strips I had an ammonia level of 2.0 ppm. Using the API liquid reagent ammonia test I got a reading of 1.0 ppm. Nitrates and nitrites test at 0.0 ppm using both tests. Also worth noting; the water in this tank was slightly cloudy this morning. By the time I turned the lights off tonight the cloudiness completely disappeared. As a reference, the temp in my tank is 74 degrees F, and pH is at 6.1.
If your reading were as you claim then your tank is now cycled.... Cloudy water means bacteria and when you go from high ammonia to no ammonia and from no nitrates to having nitrates then your tank is done... Especially when the cloudy water goes away means there isn't a bacteria bloom anymore= cycled tank

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you have other tanks running? why don't u use some of the other tank filter media to seed ur filter? tank will be instant cycle...
I did do this- I use the same filters for most of my tanks, and I used old filter media in addition to some substrate from an established tank.

If your reading were as you claim then your tank is now cycled.... Cloudy water means bacteria and when you go from high ammonia to no ammonia and from no nitrates to having nitrates then your tank is done... Especially when the cloudy water goes away means there isn't a bacteria bloom anymore= cycled tank.
The cloudy water is gone today; it was only like that for about three days total. I tested my ammonia/nitrites/nitrates today, and now all register zero on both the Mardel test strips and my API liquid reagent test kit. It seemed odd that I had a high ammonia reading and no reading at all on either nitrites or nitrates. I will just test it again tomorrow and see what my nitrates read then.
 

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I did do this- I use the same filters for most of my tanks, and I used old filter media in addition to some substrate from an established tank.



The cloudy water is gone today; it was only like that for about three days total. I tested my ammonia/nitrites/nitrates today, and now all register zero on both the Mardel test strips and my API liquid reagent test kit. It seemed odd that I had a high ammonia reading and no reading at all on either nitrites or nitrates. I will just test it again tomorrow and see what my nitrates read then.
When you have everything at 0 its because the bacteria aren't there and there is no ammonia. Once the bacteria break down the ammonia it turns into nitrite then nitrate when all is 0 exept nitrate your good... Again cloudy water is bacteria bloom, once its not cloudy its because they are established

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When you have everything at 0 its because the bacteria aren't there and there is no ammonia. Once the bacteria break down the ammonia it turns into nitrite then nitrate when all is 0 exept nitrate your good... Again cloudy water is bacteria bloom, once its not cloudy its because they are established
If his tank is planted then he may not get a nitrate reading. (Or ammonia for that matter depending on the plant biomass)
 
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