Nitrogen cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrogen cycle

Hi guys, I am at the beginning of the 4th week of my fishless cycle, so far my ammonia is close to zero, but nitrite (> 2 PPM) and nitrate (> 20) is very high, the API test kit is just very hard to tell after you get to the higher levels.

Should I continue to to add fish food to my aquarium as source of ammonia? I also have alot of melting plants in the tank as they adjust. I think I have a good amont of BB for consuming the ammonia, but the nitrite BB is still developing and cannot catch up with it. I know I need some form of ammonia to keep the BB alive but how much should I add? Also, do I need to do some water change now to lower the nitrate and maybe even nitrite level?

Also, I heard of a 3rd kind of BB that can consume nitrate and turn it into nitrogen gas in the live rocks for saltwater aquarium, could this kind of BB exist in freshwater as well?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by corgifishkeeper View Post
Also, I heard of a 3rd kind of BB that can consume nitrate and turn it into nitrogen gas in the live rocks for saltwater aquarium, could this kind of BB exist in freshwater as well?
Perhaps you are thinking of anaerobic bacteria that can perform denitrification?

You can try to build a similar setup (say a plenum) in a freshwater setup, but to be honest, it is more effort and hassle than it is worth

Anthony


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 11:20 AM
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4th week and you already have almost 0 ammonia and high nitrates, it looks like your cycle is already done. Keep adding just a tiny amount of fish food for one more week to keep ammonia at 0.25 ppm or less and watch for nitrites to come to 0.25 or less and you're done. Then its time to put some fishes little by little and keep watching ammonia.

Regarding denitrification bacteria, they develop in anaerobic conditions and consume nitrates (which is supposed to be consumed by your plants). Despite they develop too into some parts of the tank, it's not a very good idea to try to adjust your media in the filter to generate anaerobic conditions (poor flow) to grow a high amount of that kind of bacteria as they will consume the nitrate that is supposed to be the nitrogen source of your plants. Zero nitrates and you will have problems with algae and cyanobacteria.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:06 PM
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Your cycle is done when Ammonia and Nitrites are 0.

Did your Ammonia ever spike?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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My nitrite is no where near zero yet, it spiked to dark purple from the API test kit and comes down a little bit today to around 1PPM, so I am getting there.

despite the spike the nitrite I never see ammonia spike during my cycle, it's been pretty constant from around 0.5PPM to 1PPM from the beginning (my tap water have about 0.5PPM ammonia from the chloramine), the nitrite level had been slowly going up from week 3 and I think it just peaked and slowly going down.

Now that I am confident there are BB working in my tank, I just waiting for nitrite to get to zero, and then I plan to go to petsmart and get a few of the 0.39 cents ghost shrimp for the tank and see if they can survive before slowly adding fishes to my tank.
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