Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi everyone,

My system in finally cycling.  I have levels of Nitrites and Nitrates present, but my ammonia and ph are still pretty high.

My numbers:

PH - 8-8.2

Amm - 4-6 ppm

NO2 - 3-4 ppm

NO3 - 5-6 ppm

Is this good, bad, normal?  Should I do anything at this point?  The system has been running for about 4 weeks.

Thanks,

Ed.

Views: 302

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

are you cycling with or without fish?

If with fish, STOP feeding!!!!!  Perhaps do a partial water change.  Here is a blog about cycling up with fish

If Fishless, stop Dosing you may have gone too far but you should probably just stand by instead of doing water changes.

Here is a blog about fishless cycling

Your ammonia level is high.  Now this is kinda normal for cycling but if it gets too high it will kill fish and too high can also slow the cycling process.  I don't like to be over 3-4 ppm of ammonia even for fishless cycling personally.  If you have fish you may need to do water changes to bring the ammonia level down to avoid killing them.

Your nitrite level is high, if you have fish you should immediately salt to between 1-2 ppm after you do a water change to bring the ammonia down a bit.  Nitrite is to fish as carbon monoxide is to us, it will bind with their blood faster than the oxygen will and can kill fish.  Salt can help mitigate that by the chloride binding with the nitrite hopefully before the nitrite can get into the fish but nitrite is still bad.  If you are cycling fishless, just have patience.  Here is a blog with info about using salt

Nitrates, having any nitrates just means the process is starting to convert some of the nitrite to nitrate.  Nitrates can go quite high and not be a problem.

Once you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and your able to feed your fish the desired amount without spikes, then you are cycled up to your fish load.  Any time you add fish or make major changes there is risk for spikes so always do water tests when upping the feed or adding fish etc.

So things didn't go so well.

I lost most of my fish.  I still have five hardy little guys swimming about.  Ammonia has dropped to almost 0, nitrites are still pretty high, but dropping too.

How long can I withhold food before I end up starving the fish to death?  Will the nitrites cycle out of the system by themselves or should I take steps?  I added some salt, but not being sure how much I should use, I was pretty conservative about it.

Thanks,

Ed.

Fish can go weeks without food unless they are just fry or tiny starving fingerlings, it which case they may tend to eat each other before they starve to death.

What is your pH? keep an eye on that

Once your nitrite drops below 1 you may be able to start giving tiny amounts of food as long as the nitrite keeps dropping.

Then you will be able to slowly ramp up the feeding as you monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels making sure you keep them below .25-.5.  Ideally they should eventually drop to 0 and stay there while you are able to ramp up feeding to as much as the fish will eat completely in 5-10 minutes.

pH continues to soar.  It's climbed to about 8.6 or even higher.

I did find a dead and rotting lizard at the bottom of the tank.  Maybe that was it, but it's gone now.

Nitrites are also still very high.  

Ammonia is almost at zero.

Should I assume the lizard was the problem and give it more time to level out?

On a positive note, everything is growing like crazy.  I'll have veggies ready for the dinner table any week now.

Ed.

Hopefully now that the dead lizard is removed, things will return to normal.  Something dead in a tank can certainly mess things up.

Ed , i am having the exact issues you had in this post. #'s are almost identical. Please tell me what has happened since this post. My system is about 4 weeks old. 40 goldfish.  thanks



Edwin Mercado said:

pH continues to soar.  It's climbed to about 8.6 or even higher.

I did find a dead and rotting lizard at the bottom of the tank.  Maybe that was it, but it's gone now.

Nitrites are also still very high.  

Ammonia is almost at zero.

Should I assume the lizard was the problem and give it more time to level out?

On a positive note, everything is growing like crazy.  I'll have veggies ready for the dinner table any week now.

Ed.

Good news.  After a few weeks of looking grim, my levels have dropped to almost 0.  It's hard to believe how dramatic the change has been.

My pH levels are dropping too, but it's still a bit on the high side.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service