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-   -   is my cycle over? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=193267)

thebuddha 10-08-2012 06:13 AM

is my cycle over?
 
its been about a month since i started fishless cycling, lately i have been adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cap of ammonia a day to keep it between 1ppm and 4ppm.
my tank has shown high nitrites, and nitrates at ~5ppm over the past two weeks or so. i just tested my nitrates again tonight and they were >150ppm.
so i have ammonia=1 nitrites>5 and nitrates>150

should i let my tank sit and wait until i have no ammonia or nitrites and low nitrates, or should i do a large water change and go from there?



thanks

JunJunJenn 10-08-2012 07:46 AM

You want 0 nitrites. Do a 90% water change and wait a couple more days.

proaudio55 10-08-2012 05:50 PM

#1. Make sure you've seeded the tank with a good colony of bacteria from an old filter from an established tank.
#2. I'd do a few water changes to get the nitrites / nitrates down a little bit
#3. I would add a heater (if you don't have one already) and warm the tank up to 80 deg F or so. That will really speed up the bacteria metabolism / growth rate

wendyjo 10-08-2012 07:18 PM

The tank is cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and readable nitrates. Until then it's not safe for inhabitants.

discuspaul 10-08-2012 08:45 PM

Wendyjo is right on - and it could very likely take another week to 2 weeks for the cycle to get to that '0' for both ammonia & nitrites, and a reasonable level of nitrates.
Do a large wc now, and give the cycle more time.

pejerrey 10-08-2012 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by proaudio55 (Post 2036717)
#1. Make sure you've seeded the tank with a good colony of bacteria from an old filter from an established tank.
#2. I'd do a few water changes to get the nitrites / nitrates down a little bit
#3. I would add a heater (if you don't have one already) and warm the tank up to 80 deg F or so. That will really speed up the bacteria metabolism / growth rate

Is inoculating with bacteria from another tank really necessary? I though that they are just all over, like in the air too. No?
:)

pejerrey 10-08-2012 09:00 PM

Oh, and yes OP, wait.

I wait 2 months from my last 2 set ups, and I will always do from now. Better safe than sorry.

thebuddha 10-08-2012 09:59 PM

sorry for the confusion, i wasnt expecting to put any fish in this week, i knew i still had some time left.

i just did a very large WC but do not have time to test the params. i will when i get home from work.

so am i correct in thinking that i should NOT add any more ammonia?
(just dont want my bacteria to starve after a month of work! lol)


yes, i have a heater in there :cool:

MSG 10-08-2012 10:11 PM

What size is your tank & what brand & model number is your filter?
 
PJ, adding established filter media will cut the cycling time to a fraction of what it would normally take.

Bud, do you have an air stone in that tank? If not, add one.

discuspaul 10-08-2012 11:59 PM

In order to maintain the development of the cycle, you need to keep adding ammonia as & when it drops down to 1 ppm, until your cycle is fully complete and you're ready to add fish.

wendyjo 10-09-2012 12:49 AM

If your nitrates are really 150 I'd probably do a partial water change and then continue as usual. I'm not sure but nitrates that high may slow down the cycle. Someone jump in if that's not accurate.

Diana 10-09-2012 01:50 AM

Nitrifying bacteria do not like ammonia or nitrite over 5 ppm, but do not seem to care about nitrate.

They require carbonates, they use that as a source of carbon. If the KH can be held stable as low as 3 degrees is fine, but a lot higher works, too. If it keeps dropping (for example, I have substrate that keeps removing the carbonates) keep adding carbonates.

Once a day (not more often) add enough ammonia to read 3 ppm.

When the bacteria can remove the ammonia within 24 hours and nitrites also read 0 ppm the cycle is done.

If you are still not ready for fish keep on feeding the bacteria.

Water changes are optional, but when you are ready for fish you will need to do a really large water change to get the nitrates way down.

thebuddha 10-09-2012 01:56 AM

ok, got in the WC right before i left for work,
(roughly 90%)

just tested the water and got ammonia=0 nitrite=0 nitrate>150 still :(
im guessing i should do another large wc?
then dose ammonia back up to ~4ppm

MSG 10-09-2012 02:22 AM

WOW, your Nitrates must have been over 300ppm if that's even possible.

Do you have any plants in quarantine you could feed that nitrate filled tank water to?

  • What kind of substrate are you using?
  • What size tank?
  • What filter are you using?

thebuddha 10-09-2012 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MSG (Post 2037155)
WOW, your Nitrates must have been over 300ppm if that's even possible.

Do you have any plants in quarantine you could feed that nitrate filled tank water to?

  • What kind of substrate are you using?
  • What size tank?
  • What filter are you using?

ya i shoulda been testing my nitrates over the past week, i was so tired of seeing ~5ppm that i stopped testing for em, then boom maxed out.. :icon_redf

anyways:
  • eco-complete
  • 10g
  • tetra 10i


just finnished the WC, ill check params again in a few.....


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