One and Only issues

Discussion in 'DrTim's Aquatics' started by ducky_vt, Aug 10, 2014.

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  1. ducky_vt

    ducky_vt Plankton

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Vermont
    Hi Dr Tim,

    I am trying to use One & Only + ammonium chloride to do a fishless cycle, but it's been three days and the ammonia levels have not gone down and I'm becoming concerned.

    Setup
    • 20 gal tall
    • eclipse 2 filter
    • freshwater
    • river gravel substrate (slate, quartz, granite)
    Water & treatments:
    • tap water (chlorinated, fluoridated)
    • Dr Tims conditioner
    • Dr Tims one & only
    • Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride: 20 drops day 1, 20 drops day 2
    • Kent Marine pro plant (nitrate, magnesium, sulfur, boron, kelp)

    Initial Measurements before adding one & only:
    • pH: ~7.5
    • Hardness: ~60ppm
    • Temp: ~77F
    • Ammonia: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    • Nitrite: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    • Nitrate: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    Measurements after adding one & only, 20 drops ammonia, plant food:
    • pH: ~7.5
    • Temp: ~77F
    • Ammonia: ~0.25ppm (hard to read color chart)
    • Nitrite: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    • Nitrate: 5-10ppm (hard to read color chart; from plant food?)
    Measurements after 24 hours & 20 more drops ammonia:
    • pH: ~7.5
    • Temp: ~77F
    • Ammonia: ~0.5ppm (hard to read color chart)
    • Nitrite: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    • Nitrate: 5-10ppm (hard to read color chart; from plant food?)
    Measurements after 72 hours:
    • pH: ~7.5
    • Temp: ~77F
    • Ammonia: ~0.5ppm (hard to read color chart)
    • Nitrite: 0.0ppm (no trace)
    • Nitrate: 5-10ppm (hard to read color chart; from plant food?)
    Test kit: API Freshwater Master Kit

    The ammonia started out around 0.25ppm after I added ammonia on day one, then about 0.5ppm after I added ammonia on day two. This is well below the expected value of 2ppm and 4ppm respectively. I made a control sample of 1 drop ammonia to 1 quart tap water and the API kit measured 2ppm rather than the expected 8ppm. So either the ammonia solution is weak, or the API kit is grossly inaccurate. I also tested pure tap water and got the expected zero no trace result.

    I am measuring nitrates in the tank around 10ppm which I suspect is from the plant food. Could that also throw off the ammonia test?

    My expectation was that using one & only with ammonium the tank should begin to cycle almost immediately. Since I've seen no drop in ammonia after three days, I'm starting to suspect my bacteria arrived dead. I ordered from Amazon; do they have known issues with storing One & Only? The bottle was pretty new, expiration July 2015, but I hear stories about Amazon's 120F warehouses.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  3. ducky_vt

    ducky_vt Plankton

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vermont
    Update: I got bored of looking at an empty tank so I did a major water change and added a few fish. I'll be continuing to monitor water quality and change as needed.
     
  4. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    Hey duck, I don't know anything about fresh water, but the api tests for salt are not dependable. I've seen a number of examples of people (including myself) trying to correct for test results that were misleading.
     
  5. ducky_vt

    ducky_vt Plankton

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Thanks Billme, yeah I'm not trusting the API test much farther than I can throw it. I think it's probably OK to tell you if nutrients are present or not, but as far as quantifying them, forget it. Some of the colors on the chart aren't even distinguishable from each other; the pH-high scale is particularly bad. I wish they'd used custom inks to print the actual colors instead of cheaping out and printing it with CMYK halftone. I don't understand how they even came up with the ammonia scale; it goes all the way up to 8ppm! If it's that high, who cares what the exact number is? I'd be much more interested in having greater precision at the low end of the scale. Maybe I can fudge it by using a 2.5ml sample and divide the resulting number in half; or double the amount of reagent...

    At least my fish seem to be doing great so far. Normal behaviors and bright colors.
     
  6. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    You may want to check around, for salt water, there are several manufacturers of more reliable kits.
     
  7. ducky_vt

    ducky_vt Plankton

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vermont
    Today:
    Ammonia: 0.25
    Nitrite: 0.0
    Nitrate: 0.0

    Did a 75% water change; fish look good
     
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  9. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I'm not trusting that ammonia. Or the others. Hopefully someone on this forum can recommend a different test kit for fresh water.