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120 Gal Tank Update/Questions (Again)

Posted By: Judy <jmz@capital.net>
Date: Friday, 24 March 2000, at 11:06 p.m.

Hi there everyone. Thought you would like to know what's happening and maybe clear up a few questions for me. The 120 has been cycling (fishless with ammonia added daily) for 3 weeks (give or take a couple of days). I think I added to much ammonia at first because around day # 4 the ammonia spiked off the chart (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit). It stayed off the chart for 4 days. I let it burn itself off & started again on 3/18. Meanwhile the nitrites were at .25 ppm on 3/16. This time I brought the ammonia level up to 4-5 ppm with 3 Tbsp + 1.5 tsp ammonia added. Here is a chart of the scenario (sorry for the poor spacing):

3/12/00 = 3 Tbsp + 1.5 tsp ammonia added = 2-3 ppm ammonia after 1 hour

3/13/00 = 3 Tbsp + 1.5 tsp ammonia added = 4-5 ppm ammonia after 1 hour

3/14/00 = 0 ammonia added = 6-7 ppm ammonia

3/15/00 = 0 ammonia added = 6-7 ppm ammonia

3/16/00 = 0 ammonia added = 6-7 ppm ammonia and .25 ppm nitrItes

3/17/00 = 0 ammonia added = 6-7 ppm ammonia

3/18/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = 2-3 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + .50 ppm nitrItes

3/19/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = 2-3 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + 1.0 ppm nitrItes

3/20/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = no readings taken

3/21/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = 2-3 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + 5.0 ppm nitrItes

3/22/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = .5-1 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + 5.0 ppm nitrItes + 5.0 ppm nitrAtes

3/23/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = 0 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + 5.0 ppm nitrItes + no nitrAte reading taken

3/24/00 = 2 Tbsp ammonia added = 0 ppm ammonia before NH3 added + 5.0 ppm nitrItes + 5.0 ppm nitrAtes

Correct me if I'm wrong but with these readings should I increase the amount of ammonia I add each night? I expect it to be constantly used but I'm concerned that it is all being used every day. Is this OK? Also, how long before the nitrItes start falling? Or won't they until I stop adding ammonia. Since I have the start of nitrAtes, shouldn't the nitrItes begin falling in conjunction with the establishment of the biological filter (evidenced by the nitrAtes). I'm also expecting the nitrAtes to continue climbing until I actually do a major water change. At that time, I'll stop adding ammonia 2 days before the water change so I can then add the fish which are now in quarantine. Can anyone tell me if my assumptions are right/wrong and what changes (if any) should I make in my procedures.

MY FISH!! I started out with 3 little guys (about 1 1/4" long) on 3/12/00 placed in quarantine. They have been doing great. They are even bullying the Tiger Barb at feeding time. What a change from hiding in the cave those first 2-3 days. One didn't come out for 4 days and I was worried he would starve to death so I got some Hakari (sp) blood worms. These guys are little pigs!! Anyway, they've even gotten used to me walking past the tank (kind of). Course I always try to go slow. I think the fact that I didn't put any lights on in the room or on the tank for a couple of days helped to keep them calm and readjust faster.

Anyway, I stopped in the lfs today & they had some more little clowns. I picked up 5 more and just now added them to the q-tank. I know with the large additional bio-load I'll have to monitor the water very carefully and do frequent water changes until the bio-filter can catch up to the new load. Anyway, until I added them, I did'nt know how much my first 3 had grown. They must have grown by at least 1/4 times what they began at. Since I just added 5 more to the q-tank, that means at least 3-4 weeks before they can all go into the 120 gal. This cycling/synchronization thing is not easy. We are getting there though.

Sorry for the long post - No I'm not - I just had to share!
 

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