Should nitrite come first and nitrate follows? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Should nitrite come first and nitrate follows?

I set up this 6G tank a week ago with old gravel, some plant cuts and filter material from another tank.

Then, I keep testing the water for a week, the ammonia is always between 0.5ppm to 1ppm with nothing in the tank, NO I didn't add any ammonia in it.

I was curious about other parameters, so I did some test anyway.
nitrite is always sky blue 0 ppm, but nitrate was about 10 ppm 1 day after I set up the tank. No, my tap water has 0 ppm nitrate in it.

This morning, I was scratching my head and decided to take some material from my canister to "reseed" the new tank.

Now, about 10 hours later, I tested my water again, here are the parameters:
Ammonia 0.5 ppm to 1 ppm
Nitrite 0.25 ppm to 0.5 ppm (finally)
Nitrate 20 ppm

I guess the cycling process is finally started. But this still left me with some unanswered questions like, where does the ammonia come from? where did the nitrate come from if there was no nitrite?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 01:48 PM
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In a fully cycled tank you would not detect any ammonia or nitrite because nitrosomonas and nitrospira bacteria handle those pretty quickly. Either suspect the test results and/or possibly check your source water for ammonia. (yes, source water can contain ammonia as well as nitrates, especially in agricultural areas.)
Note that the API test for nitrates is "notorious" for false readings unless regent #2 is shaken really, really well. Best to thump against a hard surface.

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60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshan View Post
I set up this 6G tank a week ago with old gravel, some plant cuts and filter material from another tank.

Then, I keep testing the water for a week, the ammonia is always between 0.5ppm to 1ppm with nothing in the tank, NO I didn't add any ammonia in it.

I was curious about other parameters, so I did some test anyway.
nitrite is always sky blue 0 ppm, but nitrate was about 10 ppm 1 day after I set up the tank. No, my tap water has 0 ppm nitrate in it.

This morning, I was scratching my head and decided to take some material from my canister to "reseed" the new tank.

Now, about 10 hours later, I tested my water again, here are the parameters:
Ammonia 0.5 ppm to 1 ppm
Nitrite 0.25 ppm to 0.5 ppm (finally)
Nitrate 20 ppm

I guess the cycling process is finally started. But this still left me with some unanswered questions like, where does the ammonia come from? where did the nitrate come from if there was no nitrite?
The ammonia is the first by-product of fish waste and decaying matter. Bacteria changes this to nitrite. Then a second bacteria changes this to nitrate. To me it looked like you had a cycled tank, then had a heavy bio-load of decay and caused a spike. However, you just set up the tank so that is not possible. I am not sure what happened in your tank.
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