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labecs

How does a cycle crash happen?

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Hi, everyone... :)

55 gallon tank

I have 2 veiltails, and 2 fan tails and another veiltail in QT waiting to be brought to the mansion.

I use API drops to test

Tank has been established for more than two years

Temp varies from 73 to 76

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

PH stable at 8.2

Nitrates almost 0 :wacko: (Test tint is a dark yellow, but not the orange it should be for 10)

I have diligently tested my water for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites everyday and so far I have been getting 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and around 10 nitrates, but tonight, I'm still on 0 on ammonia and nitrites, but I have almost 0 nitrates... should I panic? Is that how a cycle crash happens?

The fish are okay, but I am worried that something might happen, like suddenly having a nitrite or ammonia bump and losing them!!

I do have Cycle at home if I need it, but I would love to know if this is how it starts and how it can be prevented, if at all. What brings it about? Am I just a worrywart? (I tend to be when it comes to my Goldies... I've lost too many)

:why:

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I wouldn't worry until your tank shows ammonia and nitrites.

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I'm not exactly sure so I'll let the others weigh in on this but I have a few ideas. Do you have plants or algae in your tank or have you done a large water change recently? These things can (the water change will) lower your nitrates. As far as things that affect the the beneficial bacteria: can be antibiotics, introduction of chlorine, too much salt, temperature changes, keeping them away from water for too long and too much bacterial waste.

I would say that you are probably doing just fine, just keep doing what you're doing and test your water every day if you're concerned.

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Did you test nitrates again after getting the zero reading? As you know, that nitrate test can be a huge pain, and if the reagents and final reaction aren't shaken very well, you could get a false negative.

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I did the test 3 times... Now, yesterday I did an 80% water change, so maybe that was it. I'm just totally paranoid, (as you know, Alex) I am deteined to give these guys a great life and even when I thought I was doing everything right, I lost Papillon :(. I don't want anything to happen to the rest of them. Ok, so I will breathe deeply and keep checking the water every day and doing water changes twice a week.

And also while I was waiting for a response I read more posts and now I have questions about my lights, my feeding habits, so I suppose I will be seeing you in other threads very soon :)

And I'll officially introduce my 3 new vails. ;)

I still would like to know what the first signs of a crash are. Is it just the rise of ammonia?

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I still would like to know what the first signs of a crash are. Is it just the rise of ammonia?

Unless you are checking your parameters daily (which you probably should if your tank is newly setup or you've added new fish), the first signs that something is wrong is going to be coming from your fish, acting "off" in some ways. However, you really don't want to use your fish as the barometers of the cycle's health, so regular parameter testing is absolutely crucial.

As you know, there are two distinct groups of microbes/bacteria in the nitrogen cycle of freshwater tanks. There are those that oxidize ammonia into nitrite, and those that convert nitrites into nitrates. If there is something wrong with your cycle, it could happen with either or both of these groups. That's why when we check, it's always important to check ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and not just one factor.

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I have found with my API test kit that if I shake both bottles for 30 seconds then test the water I get a reading of 0 for nitrates. If I shake both bottles for a mInute or more only then do I get a reading. Turns out they need more of a shake than I first thought :(

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I have found with my API test kit that if I shake both bottles for 30 seconds then test the water I get a reading of 0 for nitrates. If I shake both bottles for a mInute or more only then do I get a reading. Turns out they need more of a shake than I first thought :(

Yup! That's happened to me! You really have to work for that test! :rofl

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I have found with my API test kit that if I shake both bottles for 30 seconds then test the water I get a reading of 0 for nitrates. If I shake both bottles for a mInute or more only then do I get a reading. Turns out they need more of a shake than I first thought :(

hmm ive been getting a 0 Nitrate reading a few times, although the ammonia and Nitrite also show 0, I wonder if i need to give it more of a shake as i use the API test kit aswell.

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I repeatedly bang my nitrate test solution #2 on the side of the chair while I shake the test tube with other hand to make sure it's all properly shaken ;)

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Well, I tested again today, three times... the third, I shook the heck out of those bottles, (good for the "wings" under my arms...lol) and I also tested my QT tank water at the same time. My qt tank shows nitrates 10, and the main tank is as pale yellow as the ammonia test... I even thought maybe I had used the wrong bottle on that one... so, yep, no nitrates in the main tank. Also 0 nitrites and 0 ammonia for now, and I sincerely hope it stays like that.

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Just because you have zero nitrates doesn't automatically mean that your tank is now uncycled. It's a strange result, and does mean that you should test your parameters daily (or at least every other day) for a while to make sure that things are OK. Otherwise, I would carry on business as usual :)

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Do you have any plants in this tank? I regularly get all zeros on my tank because I have so many plants and small fish, the plants just consume everything the fish produce.

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You normally have a nitrate reading of 10, so after an 80% water change, it would be 2. That would read as almost zero. If it stays that way and you have no ammonia or nitrite, be happy. There are bacteria that can dispose of ammonia without producing nitrate, and algae can do that as well as using nitrate. You may just have established a very nice (and relatively rare for an aquarium) ecosystem.

I just tested my front pond for nitrates and, as always, it tests just above zero (a touch of gold to the yellow). This is with minimal water changes compared to what one does with an aquarium. It's the ecosystem.

By the way, testing an established aquarium every day does make you a worrywart. :) Since adding another fish is pushing your stocking level pretty high, you will do well to test daily for the first week. After that, you might ease down to weekly testing.

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Do you have any plants in this tank? I regularly get all zeros on my tank because I have so many plants and small fish, the plants just consume everything the fish produce.

Thats what I was thinking :thumb:

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Do you have any plants in this tank? I regularly get all zeros on my tank because I have so many plants and small fish, the plants just consume everything the fish produce.

Thats what I was thinking :thumb:

No, I have no plants, and no excessive algae growth either.

I know having 5 fishies in the tank might be a bit too much, but I do have good filtration: 2 canisters for 90 gallons and 2 emperors for 50 gallons each. That's good, right?

And I do big water changes once a week, and a couple of 25% in between.

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Ok and all the fish are fine ?

If so lets try this. i just want to see if the nitrates will go up.. Lets just do the 2 water changes this week :) But keep testing to see where the levels go :)

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Koko, here's the update. It took 3 changes, but after the third, nitrates started to go up. I'm at 10 now, but I have only made small changes. I need to do the big one and clean everything now. My new guy is already in the tank, and everybody is looking beautiful I even think there is a bit of green algae (that's good, right?) growing on my rocks and on the surface of my silk purple leaves. Check the video :) The guys names are: Giorgio, Gianni, Stephano, Junior and Goldie.

http://s877.photobucket.com/albums/ab338/labecs/?action=view&current=c6c3c5be.mp4

Edited by labecs

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It looks like your tank is doing just fine hun... Fish look happy. except the little one at the end :( whats with him, if you dont mind me asking?

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It looks like your tank is doing just fine hun... Fish look happy. except the little one at the end :( whats with him, if you dont mind me asking?

Actually, Gianni (that's his name) had just swallowed a large pellet and was just chewing. I had just fed them all. No worries.

Here he is again a few minutes after lunch :)

http://s877.photobucket.com/albums/ab338/labecs/?action=view&current=IMG_0683.mp4

Edited by labecs

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OK hun...scared me there a sec.

I know when my Jupiter is eating it looks like shes choking :lol

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They are looking fantastic! :thumb:

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