Cycling - Where are my Nitrates going? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling - Where are my Nitrates going?

I'm on Day 11 of cycling my 10gal tank. On Day 5 I started using a "Live Nitrifier" that my LFS uses, mostly just as an experiment to see if it helps speed things up. Since then I have had a pretty steady reading each day, 4 Ammonia, 2 Nitrites, and 40 Nitrates.

Today I tested, and I have 4 Ammonia, 2 Nitrites, and only 5 Nitrates.

Where are my Nitrates going?

Yesterday I cleaned out some melting plants, but otherwise didn't do anything different. It's been many years since I've cycled a tank from scratch, I don't remember if this is a normal part of the cycle?

Here is a picture of my tests from today, and of my tank (ignore the ugly little sponge filter, that's temporary during the cycle).

Thanks!



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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 PM
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So your adding ammonia? I donít see any fish.

If your nitrates are dropping it means your plants roots are getting established and are kicking in and using them. With fine sand like that itís also possible that some areas away from plant roots are going anaerobic and becoming a denitrifying filter but the previous option is more likely.

Your breaking through cycle to completion. Denitrifying bacteria are doing what their supposed to do, plants roots and their accompanying bacteria and fungus are doing what their supposed to (grab nitrates and feed them to plants).

We have a go mission control. At this point I would start backing off straight ammonia dosing and start using a little bit of fish food as a nitrogen/phosphate source getting ready to add some starter fish in about 7-10day. Start monitoring your phosphate,ph,gh,kh as well as nitrogen cycle indicators.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 02:08 AM
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API test kit? If so shake bottle 2 really well and try again. Also make sure drop size is same for both bottles.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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So I tested again today, Day 12. Ammonia 2-3, Nitrites 2, Nitrates 5. I am using the API tests, I made sure to shake shake shake the nitrate bottle and testtube really well (I use a timer too).

I am doing a fishless cycle, I added ammonia Day 1 to bring it up to 4, and haven't added any since. I assumed maybe the melting plants were keeping it at 4, I also had snails show up on Day 8 (gifted plants came with a bonus, hah!), and I've been squishing them, so maybe that is adding to the ammonia levels as well?

Today the ammonia has gone down some, it's 2-3ish. Should I add more ammonia to bump it back to 4?

I am noticing much less plant melting, they are all starting to look better, so I'm assuming they're rooting and starting to process some of the nitrates.

I am starting to source some fish, and I will definitely need to add an assassin snail as these little baby pest snails keep coming no matter how many I squish, but I won't add them until the cycle is complete.

I have to say, I love the cycling process, it's fun to test every day, my son likes to help, we're like little scientists with our pipette and test tubes and potions. Good thing I have an empty 33gal waiting in the wings once this one is done!


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