Freshwater cycling

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Rbishop

...and over the edge.
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Dec 30, 2005
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OK RB- I must be an idiot, You said .25 is bad, you say that 0 is not the target. Can we assume your ideal number is above 0 and less than .25.? And what is that number at which folks should be happy? If you had one maybe you could state it for our benefit. And once you have given us that number, could you please recommend a test kit or method one should use to be able to test ammonia >0 and <.25 ppm?

How can you possibly have read my post, then read all 7 of the research pieces at those links and then posted your reply all in under 8 minutes? I posted at 3:31 and you at 3:39. If nothing else you are giving me a few good laughs when you claim you read the stuff.

As for complicating things- making people panic when they need not, making folks do water changes which will also have a stressful effect on fish when they are not needed, proloninging a fish-in cycle needlessly and failing to accept the science involved all complicate things for people who then make the mistake of listening to what you say.

I am done arguing. I offer science and what comes back is basically irrelevant junk. In response to about 9 or 10 studies and a number of quotes I got back not one word of scientific comment nor one link to similar types of content which would show what I posted is inaccurate or that it has been supplanted by later research. It is hard to argue science with people who does not appear to understand what science is. I am not devoting more time to this thread. Folks can chose to accept the science after they read it or they can ignore the science and continue to accept the urban aquarium myths being offered in this thread with no basis in fact.
errmm..you have posted them before....including in chat via PM to me..just saying...in addition, I can do research on my own...I need not rely on your links to provide me information..might even have read some of the stuff you posted/linked about previous to this convo.....

;)
 

Glabe

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May 10, 2011
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I notice you are still monitoring the thread..dang Mod powers...lmao
of course!

Rbishop vs. TTA! TTA takes a "science vs religion" approach to bring down the thread which so many turn to for guidance. Rbishop gains ground when TTA consistently and annoyingly calls out every single technicality, disregarding any and all implications. TTA gains ground when he uses fancy walls of text and links which we are all too dumb to understand and too lazy to read. Will Rbishop stick to his guns? or will he use his jesus-powers to silence the evil heretic? Will we question and abandon our prophet in the name of science?

Find out the answers and MORE on page #20 of this thread!
 

Dreadz

Registered Member
Sep 20, 2012
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At the risk of starting another argument just thought I'd let anyone who's interested know that Safestart certainly seems to be working for me and in far from ideal conditions (tanked is well overstocked for cycling purposes!!) I dosed tank 4 days ago, and it's gone from fluctuating (albeit fairly low) levels of ammo and very little else to today showing 0 ammo/nitrite and <5ppm nitrate and I can only attribute thus to the safestart.


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Glabe

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i've always pictured him in more classy jammies
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Re: All your tank cycling questions answered here

by DrTim's » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:52 pm
Hello

What test kits are your using? You do not want to add more ammonia until the nitrite get below 2 ppm as nitrogen that is why I need to know the test kit so I can know the units.


Re: All your tank cycling questions answered here

by DrTim's » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:11 am
Ok, that test kit measures in the ion form. When I say 5 mg/L-N I mean ammonia-nitrogen or nitrite-nitrogen not in the ion form.

3 ppm ammonia in the ion form -- your kit, equals roughly 2.2 ppm ammonia-nitrogen (divide the ion value by 1.216 assuming your measure NH3-ion)

3 ppm nitrite in the ion form -- your kit, equals roughly 1 ppm nitrite-nitrogen (divide the ion value by 3.284)

What this means is that in the units I discuss your values are less than what you may think. I would wait 24 hours and them re-measure and then re-dose

Re: All your tank cycling questions answered here

by DrTim's » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:16 pm
Ok, let's see if I can clear things up - please see below
I did a partial water change using NovAqua Plus as a dechlorinator to get my nitrites down to approximately 3.0 ppm. They have held there at that reading like a rock for the last 8 days, measured twice per day.

these products do not get rid of nitrite so you are fooling yourself about that by I digress

Through contact via your website I was told that since I was using API liquid test kits they measured the ion form that i actually had to divide my ppm rating by 4.4 to find my actually nitrogen-nitrite reading. Since this was less than 1.0 ppm it was proof that the process was working. This was a little confusing to me because it was nothing you had ever mentioned before when you helped me with my last fishless cycle, and I don't know what Nitrogen it's measuring then since there is no ammonia in the tank currently, my water contains no chloramines, and the API test kit for nitrite doesn't reduce Nitrate into nitrite so I'm not precisely sure what nitrogen it IS measuring then (and it's been a while since my last chemistry class but I had thought nitrite was an oxyanion--but i digress)...... **Edit: I do see above where you mentioned to someone else about Ion form of nitrite--still not sure I understand it, but in fairness I'm not paying you as a consultant
**



You can always hire me as a consultant but I am not cheap! Your nitrite test is measuring nitrite, ok. But there a couple of ways to express the units. As an example, someone from Europe might ask us how far it is from Las Vegas to LA - you might say 300 I might say 483 and neither answer is wrong they're just incomplete. You said 300 MILES I said 483 kilometers. This the same with the kits - some kits measure the nitrite ion (NO2-) other kits measure nitrite using nitrogen as the scale. The kit is not measuring nitrogen it only a scale for the units. So I say don't let your ammonia or nitrite get above 5 ppm ammonia-nitrogen or nitrite-nitrogen that gives you the units (I'm telling the scale (like miles or kilometers). The API does not measure on that scale - it measures in the ion form. So when it says 5 ppm (the top of the color chart) that is not the same as the 5 ppm that I talk about - they are different units or scales. The conversion is that 1 ppm of the nitrite-nitrogen equals 4.4 ppm of the nitrite ion. So that is why when you say you have between 4 or 5 nitrite in the scale I work with that is around 0.9 to 1.13 nitrite-nitrogen.

From this you should be able to see that any concentration of nitrite in your tank above about 1 ppm nitrite-nitrogen is going to register on your kit at the very top end. You cannot tell is the real value is 1 or 1.5 or 3 or 5 ppm nitrite-nitrogen because with that kit you are off the high end of the scale. This does not mean the kit is bad, not as all. It just means you don't have way to measure in the higher range of nitrite that you have so it seems like the cycle is stuck because every time you measure it's above the 5 on the scale. - does this make sense?
From http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=214764&start=45
 
Apr 2, 2002
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The toxicity of ammonia is critically dependenton pH and temperature. The un-ionized form (NH3 ) is more toxic than the ionized form ( NH4+). As pH increases, NH4+ is converted to NH3, and the toxicity increases. Higher temperatures also favor the more toxic form. It is very important that you compare values of ammonia correctly. You must compare total ammonia to total ammonia, and compare un-ionized ammonia to un-ionized ammonia. Are the values reported "as N" or not? Be careful, the scientific profession has not always been clear in their reporting!
from http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/swamp/docs/cwt/guidance/3310en.pdf


WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN
When taking water samples it is extremely important to read instructions to make sure that you are reporting the correct reading (example: ammonia vs. ammonia-N or nitrate vs. nitrate-N). .......

Conversion Factors

  • μ = micro
  • 1 μmho/cm = 1 μSiemen/cm
  • 1 ppm (part per million) = 1 mg/l (milligram per liter)
  • Convert Nitrate-Nitrogen (NO3-N) to Nitrate as NO3 = multiply by 4.43
  • Convert Ammonia ion to Ammonia-Nitrogen = divide ion reading by 1.3
  • Convert Ammonia-Nitrogen to Ammonia ion = multiply by 1.3
  • Convert mg/l PO43- to mg/l P = multiply by 0.326
  • Convert mg/l P to mg/l PO43- = multiply by 3.07
  • Fahrenheit to Celsius = oF – 32, multiply this number by 0.557 = oC
  • Celsius to Fahrenheit = oC x 1.8, add 32 to this number = oF
  • Convert ppt to ppm = multiply by 1000
  • Convert ppm to ppt = divide by 1000
  • Convert ppb to ppm = divide by 1000 (1 ppb = .001 ppm)
  • Convert ppm to ppb = multiply by 1000 (.001 ppm = 1 ppb)
from http://www.awqa.org/farmers/numbers.html
 

Mamajin

Psychotic Female
I am currently attempting to do a fishless cycle with my 30G freshwater tank. I'm using the API Test Master Kit, DrTim's One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria, and DrTim's Ammonium Chloride. Current tank temp is 79F, and there are no live plants or driftwood.

I've followed the directions from Dr Tim's website (at least I think I did it right), and am now on day 12 of the cycle. Day 3 Nitrite was at 0ppm and Ammo was .25ppm so I added 30 drops of Ammonium Chloride. 5th day Nitrite was 0ppm and Ammo was at .25ppm so I added 30 drops of Ammonium Chloride. 7th day Ammo was .5ppm and Nitrite was .25 and no Ammonium Chloride was added. 9th day Ammo/Nitrite 0ppm so I added 30 drops of Ammonium Chloride. 11th day Ammo was .25 and Nitrite was 0ppm. 12th day Ammo is 25ppm and Nitrite is at 0ppm.

Should I keep adding the Ammonium Chloride? Did I mess up somewhere, or are things where they should be?
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Your tank is cycled. that .25 and even a .25 reading is not accurate. You can not continually have an ammonia reading, even a low one and not get a nitrite reading that follows it.

If ammonia is at 0 and nitrite is also, then you have cycled tank. if something causes the ammonia to go up, it means there are not enough bacteria working to clear the ammonia and they will reproduce. The result is more nitrite gets produced as well- that is more nitrite than the nitrite bacteria can handle. So while the nitrite eaters are working and reproducing, you get some excess nitrite which would show up on the test.

While is has not been documented or scientifically researched, there are an increasing number of posts on the net about issues with the API test kit and ammonium chloride. On the surface it makes no sense this would be a problem, but apparently it is. i am working with somebody on another forum in the exact same situation. Nitrite acts right and ammonia wont go below .25 ppm.

At this point you have two options- to hold the cycle you dose about 4-5 drops every few days, or else do a water change and add a bunch of fish.
 

FreshyFresh

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Should I keep adding the Ammonium Chloride? Did I mess up somewhere, or are things where they should be?
I'm not sure about the Dr. Tim products or instructions, but have recently gone through fishless cycling by adding household ammonia in both a 29gal and 10gal tank. Are you measuring for nitrates? I'm not sure how this tank could be cycled if you are not seeing any nitrates.
 
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