Ammonia, pH & Nitrate testing…again!

Just a quick update, as I tested my water again today. Well, the aquarium water… Not much has changed despite a little water change yesterday. I have a bucket of tap water getting up to room temperature, already de-chlorinated, so I will do another change tomorrow. Maybe this is my tank going through its real cycle after a fake start?!

Ammonia, 0.25ppm
Nitrate, 5.0ppm
pH, 7.2

According to the test instructions, a new aquarium can surge in levels of Ammonia to 4ppm or more, then fall rapidly as the biological filter becomes established. I’m not panicking over my result then. New aquarium Nitrate levels are supposed to gradually climb, with a reading of 40ppm or less recommended for freshwater aquariums. The pH should be ok as it varies even throughout one day and it is sudden changes that are most harmful to my fish. As long as the fish are looking healthy it shouldn’t be a problem to leave pH to its natural level.

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Freshwater Testing

Using an API Freshwater Master Test Kit, my results so far are as follows:

18.02.12. pH test, 7.0
20.02.12. Ammonia test, 0
22.02.12. Ammonia test, 0; Nitrite test,0; Nitrate test, 5.0ppm
23.02.12. Nitrate test, 10ppm

From reading online, I expected a peak in Ammonia, then for that to reduce and for Nitrite to peak, lastly the Nitrates to be present, showing that the essential bacteria had grown. Online forums have suggested this would take 3-6 weeks. The bacteria must be present for the Nitrate to appear so it appears to have cycled. I will continue testing as maybe it is a freak result and it hasn’t really happened! Can it be that easy? Have I spoken too soon?!