Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my tank set up for about a month now. The nitrogen cycle started well. I had ammonia for about two weeks, and then Nitrites started to form. In about another week an a half nitrates started to form and the ammonia levels went almost to zero. I did a partial water change a week and a half ago and still have no signes of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates in my tank. I feal like i should be seeing atleast some amounts of nitrates if nothing else. I have a 40 gallon planted tank with six tiger barbs. Thinks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
Welcome to the site!
It could be that the plants have absorbed some of the nitrates and they won't read until later.
 

·
Water Chemistry/ LiveBearer Specialist
Joined
·
343 Posts
The question I have is whether you were using ammonia to artificially cycle the tank or were relying on the fish waste to produce it. If you were doing it without fish, it is time to dose the levels back up. If you have fish in the tank, you may have enough plants that you really don't need to cycle it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The question I have is whether you were using ammonia to artificially cycle the tank or were relying on the fish waste to produce it. If you were doing it without fish, it is time to dose the levels back up. If you have fish in the tank, you may have enough plants that you really don't need to cycle it.
Thanks for the responses. I am cycling with fish.
 

·
Water Chemistry/ LiveBearer Specialist
Joined
·
343 Posts
With fish in the tank you will need to monitor both your nitrite levels and your ammonia levels. It is best to keep both at less than 0.25 ppm so if you do see any you will need a water change to bring it down. In the meantime, 6 tiger barbs is a light enough stock level for a tank that size that any movement will be fairly slow and easy to monitor. If you have enough plants in the tank, they may well be taking care of any nitrogen build up. Plants think nitrogen is food and it will just make them grow faster. I have some heavily planted tanks that I can't seem to get any nitrogen into because the plants use it faster than the fish put it out. This could be happening to you with your small fish load if you have enough plants.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
What has happened is that your tank has cycled and the process is completed. The cycle is complete when the readings are:

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates stay below the level of 10 after a water change unless your tap water contains high nitrates to begin with.

You could have nitrAtes from just having it in your water but if you have live plants in the water they will use nitrates as fertilizer of a type so those of us whose water is high in nitrates normally use live plants to help maintain and control the high nitrates that occur normally here.

But if you are having the readings that you are reporting after a month of having fish in your tank, I would say to test a couple times a week and if they are being at that level then do your weekly maintenance and water changes of no more than 25 to 40 percent of the water and go on from there. Do a filter maintenance one time a month for sure and remember not to change out all the filter media at any one time or your lose your cycle.

Congratulations on the new tank and cycle and hope all continues to go well.

One thing that most people do not understand is that Nitrates are just the end product of the cycle not a necessary product at all. It just means that the original two that need to be converted to the nitrates have been. The two really dangerous products that are needing to be processed and converted are the ammonia and nitrites. When they are as completely converted as they can get as they can be they ARE nitrates. The only two ways to rid your tank of the nitrates are through using live plants to convert them into fertilizer and through water changes. The last thing you do in the cycle process is when the nitrates start to form it means that the nitrites are beginning to convert to nitrates and you do a partial water change to rid the nitrates and your cycle is completed. The only thing you can do at that point to really undo matters is to add too many fish to the tank and go back into a mini cycle by overloading the bacterial load that you have established with too large an ammonia load. Then it will take a while to reestablish the correct number of beneficial bacteria to cover the new fish load if it has not been too seriously compromised. If that happens then you have to start all over. This is why we generally recommend if you have a new cycle not to add more than one or two more fish at a time if you add more at all with at least a couple of weeks between additions.

Rose
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
Your tank is cycled. Most people with heavily planted tanks have zero nitrate levels, but you should still do a 25% change once a week if possible. I actually have to add nitrate (nitrogen) into my tank from time to time to keep the plants happy.

You can typically "overstock" a planted tank (ie go over the 1" per gallon rule) because your plants will keep your nitrates down. Add more fish!!!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top