New tank, high nitrites - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question New tank, high nitrites


So i am new to the hobby, but researched a lot in the forums. After a while i decided to give it a go, becouse i needed some real time experience

I started my tank at the end of january. It's an ADA 60P, so a smaller tank, with co2 injection, lot of light, ada amazonia substrate, filter with a lot of matrix and a pack of purigen.
Everything went fine, but after approx. 3 weeks i started seeing hair and beard algae and green spot algae. So i thought yea thats the time for sime algae eaters (amanos or ottos), but i tested the water and my ammonia was 0, nitrites 0.5, nitrates 30. I thought okay, my cycle isnt finished so lets wait a week or two. But this week i tested every day, and my nitrites is still at 0.5. I did frequent water changes, i reduced the timer on the light (its on for 6 hours a day), my co2 starts 2 hours before the lights go on and stops 1 hour before the lights go off. I do fert daily with EI.

I know that it's a new tank, but im worried whether i do it right or not.

So my question is that is it okay that my nitrites is still not 0? My cycle isnt finished?
And is it safe to put amanos or ottos in the tank or should i wait till my nitrites will be 0?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 05:44 PM
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Welcome to TPT.

Have you had a chance to test your tap water for nitrites?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ohh i forgot to tell, that i use ro water.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 06:24 PM
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Is there a reason you started with a lot of light? When your tank is in an imbalance, which it is, high light is what can exacerbate it or prevent until you balance it out. And of course since this tank is new, an imbalance isn't out of the question.

As for the nitrate, my guess is that the ammonia in the ada substrate hasn't finished leeching yet.

Check your phosphates too.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well, its an ada aquasky led light, which is made for this particular tank. In the first weeks i turned on the light for 10 hours, yes that was much, so i cut back to 6 hours.

I dont think the substrate is leeching ammonia becouse my ammonia level is 0.

Nitrate is not too bad, i don't know what is up with my nitrites.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 08:01 PM
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The tank is still cycling - sometimes it can take 6 weeks+. At this point, there isn't enough nitrifying bacteria to keep up with the full conversion of ammonia-->nitrite-->nitrate. If you're EI dosing, I safely assume it's planted already... It'd be strange that the cycling process would take so long with the tank already being planted. Ddrizzle could be right about the initial light imbalance delaying the process.

Anyhow - several things can accelerate the process. Probably the quickest and easiest option would be to add bottled nitrifying bacteria (Ex: Seachem Stability).

I'd definitely recommend waiting until the nitrites are 0 before you add any livestock.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yes its planted from the start. I used ada green bacter at the first week and after that when i did water changes.

So my best bet is waiting maybe.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 09:59 PM
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You're not noticing ammonia because you have the bacteria in there doing their job. Amazonia substrate leeches ammonia for a while, but not at a rate that may be noticeable outside of nitrate testing. Just keep doing daily water changes until it chills out.

Keep the lights at 6. If you start seeing algae, go even less.
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