Test reading not what i expected ?

DarrenMT10

Member
Joined
16 Jan 2020
Messages
33
Location
Nuneaton Midlands
ok so i planted this tank on april 11th and as in my other thread the filter started leaking so then i had to wait till the 16th for a replacement due to this virus malarky anyway i oredered some test strips ammonia ones and a 5in1 strip and the results so far are not what i expected i was thinking i should have more ammonia and nitrite in my tank or if not high nitrate ??
has my tank allready cycled or has it even started cycling ?
here are the readings i got yesterday and today
ammonia 0 - 0.5
gh 180
kh40
nitrite 0.5
nitrate 0.0
ph 6.5

i have my plants in tropica aquarium soil and i used tropica premium 5 squirts once a week as tropica app stated half dose my tank is 200l i have a fluval 207 with the sponges and two trays ful of biohome ultimate
my temps are 24-25
lights are 2x T8 30w each one powerglo and one aquaglo
i also added a dose of API CO2 boost 6ml as directed when the lights started

as you can see the first pic was taken on the 11th and the second today i am getting some
nice growth from my plants
i can seem to make head nor tails of my readings??
IMG-20200411-WA0010.jpeg
IMG_20200421_182026.jpg
 
Last edited:

kilnakorr

Member
Joined
16 Mar 2020
Messages
208
Location
Denmark
Unless you add something to produce a good amount of ammonia then you won't get any significant readings, as very little nitrite and nitrat are produced.
As Darrel has mentioned, you can just wait a months time then add inhabitants a few at a time so the filter can catch up.
You can however add some (not a lot) shrimps or snails if you wish.
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,992
here are the readings i got yesterday and today
ammonia 0 - 0.5
gh 180
kh40
nitrite 0.5
nitrate 0.0
ph 6.5

Planted April 11 - I assume this is when tank was setup - test results seem about as expected
I’d be surprised if you had nitrate readings in under 2 weeks, I’d expect some ammonia, possibly some nitrite

Depending upon the test kit methodology and water conditioners used, nitrogen readings can be skewed

Seachem has some discussion regarding this on their Prime page, also Bulletin Board

As Darrel mentions, give it 6weeks and tank will be “cycled”
Aquariums can “cycle” anywhere from 2 - 12 weeks, with only the odd tank making the 2 and 12 week marks ;)
 

DarrenMT10

Member
Joined
16 Jan 2020
Messages
33
Location
Nuneaton Midlands
Thanks guys n gals . this is my first try with plants ive had a few community tanks and an african cichlid tank before and i guess im used to seeing a build up of ammonia and nitrite then a gradual fall as the tanks cycled ..i keep forgeting the plants themselves are a filter as well and are using up any ammonia as well as the external filter if that makes sense.
The one thing so far about plants that has shocked me is how quick they grow in the tank its like every day they seem bigger ... not like my wifes house plants that seem to grow about 1mm every 6 months (slight exageration) lol
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,986
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
i keep forgeting the plants themselves are a filter as well and are using up any ammonia as well as the external filter if that makes sense.
It does, plants are much more effective filters than people had realised. I think a lot of aquarists still look upon plants mainly as a form of decoration, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Aquariums can “cycle” anywhere from 2 - 12 weeks, with only the odd tank making the 2 and 12 week marks
Yes it isn't a set time, I just go on how well the plants have grown, once you have a large plant mass, in active growth, it is going to mop up any fixed nitrogen pretty effectively.
this is my first try with plants ive had a few community tanks and an african cichlid tank before and i guess im used to seeing a build up of ammonia and nitrite then a gradual fall as the tanks cycled .
If you <"don't have plants"> you are reliant on the filter (and substrate) housing a large enough population of ammonia (NH3), (& nitrite (NO2-)) oxidising microbes to convert these toxic substances into nitrate NO3-, which you then remove by water changes or anaerobic denitrification. Ammonia based cycling was better than the "sacrificial fish" method that preceded it, and it was based on the scientific knowledge available at the time.

We know a lot more about nitrification than we did, mainly because there has been a lot of scientific research using RNA/DNA sequencing. We can now look for the actual gene sequences that code for ammonia and nitrite oxidation, and that allows us to identify the organisms that contain them.

The results have been <"really interesting"> and have totally changed what <"we thought we knew about biological filtration">. A lot of the latest research has focused on Nitrospira, the specialised bacteria that was thought to just convert nitrite (NO2-) into nitrate (NO3-), but is now known to be a much more important "player" than was realised, and also to be a COMAMMOX bacteria, <"a complete nitrifier, capable of converting ammonia directly to nitrate">.

Have a look at page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium"> it has a lot more detail and links to some scientific references.

cheers Darrel
 

DarrenMT10

Member
Joined
16 Jan 2020
Messages
33
Location
Nuneaton Midlands
Hi all,It does, plants are much more effective filters than people had realised. I think a lot of aquarists still look upon plants mainly as a form of decoration, but nothing could be further from the truth.Yes it isn't a set time, I just go on how well the plants have grown, once you have a large plant mass, in active growth, it is going to mop up any fixed nitrogen pretty effectively.If you <"don't have plants"> you are reliant on the filter (and substrate) housing a large enough population of ammonia (NH3), (& nitrite (NO2-)) oxidising microbes to convert these toxic substances into nitrate NO3-, which you then remove by water changes or anaerobic denitrification. Ammonia based cycling was better than the "sacrificial fish" method that preceded it, and it was based on the scientific knowledge available at the time.

We know a lot more about nitrification than we did, mainly because there has been a lot of scientific research using RNA/DNA sequencing. We can now look for the actual gene sequences that code for ammonia and nitrite oxidation, and that allows us to identify the organisms that contain them.

The results have been <"really interesting"> and have totally changed what <"we thought we knew about biological filtration">. A lot of the latest research has focused on Nitrospira, the specialised bacteria that was thought to just convert nitrite (NO2-) into nitrate (NO3-), but is now known to be a much more important "player" than was realised, and also to be a COMAMMOX bacteria, <"a complete nitrifier, capable of converting ammonia directly to nitrate">.

Have a look at page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium"> it has a lot more detail and links to some scientific references.

cheers Darrel


well that was an intresting read and a bit of an eye opener ive allways added amonnia to fishless cycle my tanks !! im glad i didnt use any ammonia in this planted tank and just let things happen Naturally i was contemplating if i should add some ammonia to start things off having read that i wont do that now..

Who knew having plants in a aquarium is a whole new ballgame !!
 

Zeus.

Member
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
3,386
Location
Yorkshire,UK
, plants are much more effective filters than people had realised. I think a lot of aquarists still look upon plants mainly as a form of decoration, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I treat my canister filter as a mechanical filter esp after 'turkey blasting' the substrate if it wasnt for the fact that my filter drives the CO2 reactors I dont think I would even need a canister filter on the tank as my Maxspect gyres take care of the tank turnover and the plant biomass would take care of all the bio filtration without an issue. Could just have the canister on for 'turkey blasting' then clean it out afterwards and leave to dry out ready for next 'turkey blasting'
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,986
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
that was an intresting read and a bit of an eye opener ive allways added amonnia to fishless cycle my tanks !!
Yes, if you don't have plants you still need to run some form of ammonia based "cycling". My guess would be that the "3ppm of ammonia" is much too much, unless you need to introduce a whole lot of Mbuna etc in one "hit".

I actually started writing the "cycling" posts before I knew about the <"Ammonia Oxidising Archaea (AOA)"> and COMAMMOX Nitrospira. I was pretty sure the traditional view of cycling wasn't right, mainly because <"fixed nitrogen"> is a scarce and valuable resource in the natural environment, so it didn't make any ecological sense that the organisms that could utilise it were restricted to a few bacteria, with highly specialised requirements for growth.

An analogy would be that there is a big pile of money in the street, with a note saying "take me", but it is only ever picked up by a one-legged ginger irishman on a thursday.

When I started posting I was looking at waste water (mainly landfill leachate) as part of my day job, and that meant I'd seen a lot sewage works and we were researching at <"constructed wetlands"> etc.

Scientists were interested in <"Total Ammoniacal Nitrogen"> (TAN) but only in terms of its effect on the bioload and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), the take home message was very much that dissolved oxygen was the prime metric and you could process <"huge bioloads if you could get enough oxygen into the system">.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,480
Location
Bracknell
An analogy would be that there is a big pile of money in the street, with a note saying "take me", but it is only ever picked up by a one-legged ginger irishman on a thursday.

Hi @dw1305

That's brilliant. I couldn't have thought of that analogy - even if I'd tried! Ever thought of writing a book of analogies? Or just Darrel's UKAPS Compendium of Analogies. There's a job for you there when you retire!

JPC ;)
 

Zeus.

Member
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
3,386
Location
Yorkshire,UK
That's brilliant. I couldn't have thought of that analogy - even if I'd tried!

Yes @dw1305 does have a flair for them :thumbup:, he has even come up with a brilliant 'strap line' for the next Fert calculator release, it still has me laughing when I read it (but its under wraps ATM);)
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,986
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Or just Darrel's UKAPS Compendium of Analogies.
It is going to sound a bit strange, but I use the more unlikely analogies so that I can re-find my posts.

I'm working on the theory that very few other posts are going to mention "one-legged ginger Irishman", so as long as I can remember it (or any of its constituent parts) I can re-find that post. Same with "syphon", rather than "siphon" , COMAMMOX, writing out Total Ammoniacal Nitrogen, rather than TAN etc.

I do this for all <"three letter acronyms">, because if you just put BOD, NO3, AOA, AOB, CO2, ADA etc. you can struggle to re-find the posts.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,986
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
or maybe I always have as I think “python syphon”
Syphon (and sulphur) for me and "fertiliser" rather than "fertilizer".

I had assumed that they are all "UK Engish" spelling, but I may just have always misspelled "siphon".

cheers Darrel
 

hypnogogia

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2017
Messages
594
Location
Oxfordshire
Hi all, Syphon (and sulphur) for me and "fertiliser" rather than "fertilizer".

I had assumed that they are all "UK Engish" spelling, but I may just have always misspelled "siphon".

cheers Darrel
Both spellings are acceptable, but ‘syphon’ is the non etymological variant of ‘siphon’.
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,986
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
.......it helps any-one who isn't familiar with the abbreviations.
That is a good point, it is why I put the <"chemical symbol in for an element or compound"> as well as the name. If you write both "potassium" and (K) there isn't any possibility for ambiguity for German speakers who might use "kalium" etc.

Irrelevant bit
When I started <"recording moths">, I didn't know whether recorders would use their English or scientific names (a bit of both normally, English for macromoths and "Latin" for micromoths). I think of plant in Latin, but I don't for mammals or birds, so it is "Badger" not Meles meles, and I hadn't realised how annoying it was when people referred to a thing you knew the name of by a name you didn't

The other thing that really used to annoy me was that people used initials for a lot of the commoner moths, so they didn't write "Large Yellow Underwing" (Noctua pronuba) , they wrote (or said) "LYU" and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata) was "BBYU" or they might just say "oh that's fimbriata", and I was still none the wiser.

cheers Darrel
 

Oldguy

Member
Joined
27 Aug 2018
Messages
384
Location
Gloucestershire, UK
Irrelevant bit

(5R)-[(1S)-1,2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3,4-dihydroxyfuran-2(5H)-one , Ascorbic acid, Vitamin C. People go with what is easiest. I can never remember acronyms I have to look them up, except for BOD's and COD's both finicky wet analyses.

Interesting point about 'k' and German speakers.
 

Similar threads

Top