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IT'S DONE YAY

Author Topic: IT'S DONE YAY  (Read 3743 times)

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Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2017, 10:08:21 PM »
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In a plantless cycle, ammonia is turned into nitrite as bacteria grow to eat it, then on to nitrate as more bacteria grow to eat nitrite. Both nitrite and nitrate are acidic so they tend to make the pH drop.
Tap water has some carbonate in it; it comes from the rock the water flows over. Some places have a lot of carbonate because the reservoir or river flows over a lot of limestone. Other areas, like Northumbrian Water's Kielder Water doesn't sit on limestone so there is not much carbonate in the water.
Carbonates react with acid. If there is a lot of carbonate in the water, the amount of acidic nitrite and nitrate isn't enough to use up all the carbonate so the pH stays constant. But in places with very little carbonate it can all get used up and then there is nothing to stop the acids dropping the pH.

The problem during cycling is that our filter bacteria need carbonate to grow properly, and they need an alkaline pH. At below pH 6.5 they stop multiplying. And if there is not much carbonate in the water there may not be enough for the bacteria to grow well enough to multiply.

So in places where KH in tap water is low, it is easier to add bicarbonate of soda to artificially boost the amount of carbonate in the water. All the sodium in bicarb (the soda bit) is not very good for fish, but we do a big water change at the end of the cycle to remove all the nitrate the cycle has made and that also removes bicarb.

My KH (carbonate hardness) is 3 degrees. When I did a fishless cycle (no plants) in 2013, my pH dropped from 7.5 to below 6.



But when there are plants in the tank, they use ammonia as fertiliser. They don't turn it into nitrite or nitrate so there won't be as much acid formed. There will be a bit because of plant waste (yes plants do make waste just not on the scale of animals  :) ) so there is less risk of a pH crash than when there are no plants.
I didn't test my pH in 2013 until I realised that the cycle seemed to have stopped and that's when I found the very low pH. Your cycle with plants may never suffer a pH crash but as pH is the simplest of all the tests (no waiting 5 mins for the colour to develop) testing for pH when you test for all the others will catch the pH starting to fall if the does happen.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2017, 05:48:46 PM »
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My fishless cycle re-start on the 4/10/2017
water reading
 I tested the water that was in the tank before I started the change,
PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 8.0
Nitrate: 5.00
Nitrite 0.50

Took out all but a few centimeters of water, all the plants as they were just mush, cleaned the filter in the old water, (a bit to much dead plant matter clogging it up). Replaced the water adding 1ml de-chlorinator per 4.5L I did not put anymore bi-carb in, replanted new plants. tested water

PH 7.4
Ammonia: 2.oo
Nitrate: 4.00
Nitrite: 0

Switched everything back on and tested after 30mins.
PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 2.00
Nitrate: 4.00
Nitrite: 0

7/10/20017
PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 1.00
Nitrate: 5.00
Nitrite: 0
I am worried that the Nitrate is going up, should I do anything. B xx


10/10/17
PH: 7.4
Ammonia:0
Nitrate: 7
Nitrite: 0

Do I now add 2ppm Ammonia?
Added the Ammonia

Today's reading 13/10/17
PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrate: 10
Nitrite; 0.25

Added new plants and 10ml Fertilizer. (after tests done).

Snails very active above ground and climbing tank walls during the day, but not coming out of tank do I possibly need to put some food in for them or will there be enough plant matter for them to eat.?

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2017, 08:13:58 PM »
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It looks like something is happening. You have a tiny amount of nitrite, possibly caused by the plants not using all the ammonia, and bacteria staring to multiply to eat the bit the plants don't use.

You could try adding a tiny bit of food for the snails. But what would be better is some vegetable matter. Depending what you have to hand in the kitchen, a thin slice of courgette or a thin slice of cucumber or a small piece of lettuce leaf. They will like it better if it is soft so blanch whatever you have in a bit of water in the microwave for a few seconds. You will need to weight it down, something like a small stone, or even sacrifice a teaspoon and use the handle to skewer the veg. Remove the veg after 24 hours or it will go off and make a mess of the tank - and confuse the cycle. Doing this once a week will be fine for snails.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2017, 09:08:22 PM »
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So I test again in 2 days to see if the readings have moved. I have put more plants in today, and now I have found what might be a baby snail n the glass, whatever it is it is moving about so not a bit of debris from the plants.  ::)

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2017, 09:14:40 PM »
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Yes, test again in 2 days.
If ammonia is zero but nitrite is not zero, wait another 2 days and test again.
But if both ammonia and nitrite are zero, add another 2 ppm ammonia and test next day.

This is not what I wrote in the 'how to' thread, but it is because you have a lot of plants so the cycle won't be the same as without plants.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2017, 09:35:37 PM »
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Thanks, Sue I had realized it was a bit different that is why I am posting it in this way then I will print the whole thing off at the end so I have it to refer back to. Thank You for all your help it is really appreciated. I will put some food in tomorrow and see how it goes. B xx

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2017, 05:37:35 PM »
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[FCMF DELETING LARGE SECTION THAT WAS A COPY & PASTE OF THREAD REPLIES #50 & #51 AND THUS POTENTIALLY CONFUSING. C:-)]

CONTINUATION OF WATER QUALITY RESULTS FROM REPLY #51:  C:-)

Fed snails a piece of lettuce not sure if they ate any, but I definitely have baby snails more showing each day.
today's test
16/10/17

PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrate: 10
Nitrite: 0

do I wait another 2 days and test again?

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2017, 06:58:38 PM »
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Yes I would wait and test again. The good news is that you don't have any nitrite, but you need to make sure the plants can remove all the ammonia before getting fish.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2017, 07:17:47 PM »
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But what about the Nitrate it just seems to be getting higher and higher is that not dangerous. I really do not understand about them. I need to re-read it so I can try and get the gist of it all.

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2017, 07:37:07 PM »
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Ooohhh, I missed that  :-[

Yes it does seem a bit odd.

Did you use a bacterial starter at any stage, either when you overdosed ammonia or when you started again? And if so, what was it?
Did the plants come out of a tank that had fish in, or was it a plant-only tank?

1 ppm ammonia is turned into 2.7 ppm nitrite, which is then turned into 3.6 ppm nitrate. Since your tap nitrate is zero, that 10 ppm must all have come from ammonia, and 2.8 ppm ammonia is turned into 10 ppm nitrate.


So....
if you did use a bacterial starter, it could be that it contained nitrite eating bacteria
or
if the plants came from a tank that also had fish, there would have been bacteria on the plants.



Nitrate is only a problem at higher levels, though there is now evidence that we should keep our tanks below 20 ppm nitrate. You don't have fish yet so I wouldn't worry about nitrate. The main thing is that your tank (be it bacteria or plants) can remove all the ammonia made by your future fish, and any nitrite that may be made from that ammonia.
This is why I am concentrating on making sure that your plants are well growing and can take up all the ammonia that you add, or that you grow enough bacteria to eat any ammonia that the plants can't deal with.

A thought has just occurred to  me - are you using any nitrate containing plant fertiliser?

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2017, 07:56:17 PM »
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When I first set the tank up I overdid the ammonia, after a few days use some put Tetra Safe Start Water Conditioner, 50 ml into the water, but since then have done a 90% water change and not added any more, my plants were from a plant only tank from a shop, I added some amazon swords from Andy earlier in the week I think they were from a tank with fish but it was going up before I added them.
 
The Plant food is " Love Fish Plant Food is nitrate and phosphate free so avoids encouraging unwanted algae."
I have only added 20 ml of this over that last 2 weeks as it is a weekly feed.

My Plants are growing I can see new growth on all and the grass that died off is sprouting in some places as well so all seems good for them.

I do still have the fine sponge in the filter alongside the carbon one should I maybe take that out now.?

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2017, 07:59:57 PM »
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If you remove anything I would remove the carbon  :)

In that case I would just wait until the tank can get rid of all the ammonia. Once the plants are growing really well, it shouldn't take too long. And just ignore the nitrate for now. Once you do have fish, you can test nitrate then to make sure it doesn't go over 20 ppm.

Offline Matt

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2017, 10:08:47 PM »
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The carbon will be removing the fertiliser and getting clogged by it so I would agree on removing it

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2017, 05:27:05 PM »
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So what should I put in place of it. ?


Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2017, 07:07:47 PM »
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What is the carbon? It could be a bag of granules, a carbon impregnated sponge or a cartridge (a flat bag of carbon held on a plastic frame). What to replace it with depends on what shape it is.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2017, 08:41:37 PM »
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It is a carbon impregnated sponge you can have a look at the filter here.

http://www.interpet.co.uk/Media/InterpetUK/Skoo/2201/2201_7.pdf

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2017, 09:09:57 PM »
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In that case, all you need is another piece of sponge, any brand, and cut it to the same size and shape as the carbon sponge. I would look for a cheap filter sponge so that it will be the right type of sponge. A bath sponge isn't, for example. (Some sponges are designed to hold water, others to allow water to run through them. Obviously filter sponges need to be the kind that let water run trough  ;D )

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2017, 01:51:18 PM »
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I have ordered some thanks,  we have just had a card from Northumbrian Water they are going to be cleaning the pipes between the 26th oct-1st nov  I am hoping this is not going to cause any problems after all the work I have put into getting the tank right.   ::)

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2017, 03:42:59 PM »
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I have't had problems when they've done that because I do a bigger than usual water change the day before the first date on the card and the next one at least 2 days after the second date. That way anything in the pipes has had chance to be flushed out before I put any water in my tanks.
It is annoying though when you get a second card saying they couldn't do it the first time so they'll be doing it instead on these new dates.

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2017, 05:11:21 PM »
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I was thinking that might be worth doing but as not finished cycling yet might not have fish by then anyway so will be lucky. I forgot to do reading today and it is getting too dark to get good readings now so will do it in the morning. fingers crossed it is ok. B xx

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #70 on: October 20, 2017, 09:23:31 PM »
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Ok so The tests today are.
PH: 7.4 ish,
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 20-30
Nitrite: 0

I was worried about the Nitrate so took a sample to A.M. Aquatics on the team valley Gateshead they tested my water and it is ready to go. I showed him all my reading he did a test with their testing equipment and all was spot on with my readings. I bought 2 Assasin snails as I am getting loads of Malaysian snails after a bit chat with him, he suggested that my tank will get overrun with them and would be better with Assasins as they do not breed as much and will be just as good for the tank. Tomorrow I am picking up my first fish  Yippee.... :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1: :fishy1:

Offline Sue

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2017, 10:15:41 PM »
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Take it slowly with the fish, not too many to start with. And test every day till you are sure that ammonia and nitrite stay at zero. This is the only problem about cycling with plants, the cycle runs differently  ;D

Offline Aquarius Barbara

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Re: IT'S DONE YAY
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2017, 11:01:32 PM »
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I am getting some neons as he says they would be fine, and happy to test everyday fingers crossed. Thank You to everyone that has helped me out I am very happy it has finally worked. Bxxxx :cheers:

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