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I believe I made the mistake of thinking my system had cycled and so I added 6 bluegill fish to now 150 gal system.  I have 16cubic feet of grow media , 1/2 is expanded clay pellets and the other is volcanic stone.  Water pH is 6.9, temp is 74 degrees and I added some nitrifying bacteria I purchased from the Aquaponic source store.  I have had to make a 50% water  change every week to keep the ammonia levels at or below 4 ppm.  I added the bacteria 3 plus weeks ago and had repeated this at every water change.  At this point my nitrates are some where on the color chart between 40 and 60ppm, amonnia has now stayed at 2ppm and the pH is staying around 6.9 to 7.  Still no nitrites noted during each days testing.  Did I just miss the peak, or has my system still not cycled.?  I suppose the nitrites could have come from the liquid seaweed with Iron I added at one cap / 150 gals.  I've not changed the water now for 2.5 weeks because the ammonia has stablized at 2ppm.  I quess my question is 'where am I in the cycling process?  Last by not least,  my fish are now feeding well twice a day and active. 

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Hi len,

If you're having to water change the ammonia out of the system and the system itself is not removing it, then you're "somewhere" within the cycling process. Those Nitrites are going to hit your fish with a big bang sooner than later. As is, I will suggest you don't feed the fish anymore until after the Nitrite spike and try to keep the ammonia at that 2ppm level.

Hi Harold,

 

I have not changed the water for about 2.5 weeks now.  The ammonia levels have not gone up like they were for the last several weeks. 2.5 weeks ago I changed the water and they rose over the next few days to about 2ppm and then instead of continuing to rise as they had done, they stayed at 2 ppm.  I was gone for 5 days and stopped feeding the fish and left it on autopilot and I got back, the ammonia was still at 2ppm with the pH and temp the same or slightly lower at 6.8.
 
Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi len,

If you're having to water change the ammonia out of the system and the system itself is not removing it, then you're "somewhere" within the cycling process. Those Nitrites are going to hit your fish with a big bang sooner than later. As is, I will suggest you don't feed the fish anymore until after the Nitrite spike and try to keep the ammonia at that 2ppm level.

Hi len,

Sorry, didn't read your post properly. So we have Nitrates, evidence of Nitrifying bacteria! So the question is why is the ammonia holding at 2ppm? Zero nitrites with a reading of nitrates but ammonia holding at 2ppm. Could there be some source of ammonia as in uneaten fish food or dead fish stuck somewhere hidden in the system? The system could be having to deal with an input of ammonia greater than its "processing" capacity. If a system is within the recommended ratios of FT/Fish/GB

From your last post we know that the source water didn't contain any Nitrates so their presence means that they are converted Nitrites, meaning that the full range of bacteria are indeed present. Adding to this the Ph and temps are within acceptable levels. So the question remaining will be the 2ppm ammonia.

Hi Harold, 

 

I did ck for dead fish, etc and all are looking good.  I have 6 full size bluegill for 150 gals.  That would seem to be ok and I have 8cubic feet of expanded clay and 8 cubic feet of volcanic rock.  The rock is newer added about 5 weeks ago and has lettuce growing in it. I did wonder if the nitrates were from the seaweed liquid which I added at one cap full to the 150 gals at two week intervals.  I just quessed at the amount.  I will just decrease feeding and keep monitoring. 

 

thanks,  Len
 
Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi len,

Sorry, didn't read your post properly. So we have Nitrates, evidence of Nitrifying bacteria! So the question is why is the ammonia holding at 2ppm? Zero nitrites with a reading of nitrates but ammonia holding at 2ppm. Could there be some source of ammonia as in uneaten fish food or dead fish stuck somewhere hidden in the system? The system could be having to deal with an input of ammonia greater than its "processing" capacity. If a system is within the recommended ratios of FT/Fish/GB

From your last post we know that the source water didn't contain any Nitrates so their presence means that they are converted Nitrites, meaning that the full range of bacteria are indeed present. Adding to this the Ph and temps are within acceptable levels. So the question remaining will be the 2ppm ammonia.

My nitrites aways test zero.  It seems that you simply have good filtering with light stocking.  Sounds good to me.

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