New tank cycle - Nitrites above 5ppm - Good or bad? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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New tank cycle - Nitrites above 5ppm - Good or bad?

Hello everyone,

I’ve been cycling my new tank and tested some water parameters today and found that my nitrite level was most likely over 5ppm since that’s all the API test kit goes to. Should I do a water change or let it sit for a day/two and test again and hopefully it drops? I’ve heard mixed reviews on high nitrite levels stalling the cycle process and killing off beneficial bacteria. Here’s a timeline of my cycle from day one to today to see my process....



8/18 - started cycling aquarium with all filters and heater running. No substrate, only two 6” pieces of Cholla wood. Used Prime to condition water and added Stability. Have media sponge and media bag in AquaClear 50 filter. Will add a capful of Stability everyday for 7 days.

8/19 - Added Dragon Stone to aquarium. Dosed with Stability and a pinch of flake food.

8/20 - Dosed with Stability and two pinches of flake food (one AM, one PM). Ammonia tested at 0.25ppm. Zero nitrite and nitrate.

8/21 - Dosed with Stability and added a pinch of flake food. Ammonia tested at 0.25ppm and PH tested at 8.0. Zero nitrite and nitrate. Boiled Manzanita driftwood and started soaking in a bin of water. Drained tank water into a bin, vacuumed any loose debris from bottom of bare tank, Added 2 bags of CaribSea Eco Complete and refilled with same water that was taken out. All flake food in water was disposed of before filling tank back up.

8/22 - Dosed with Stability

8/23 - Dosed with Stability. Added Dr. Tim’s Ammonia to bring ammonia to 3ppm.

8/24 - Dosed with Stability. Ammonia tested 3ppm. Zero Nitrite or nitrate.

8/25 - Dosed with Stability. Ammonia tested 2ppm and Nitrite tested 0.50ppm. Added Manzanita branches and almond leaf to tank.

8/26 - Dosed with Stability. Ammonia 1ppm, Nitrite 5ppm or over, Nitrate 20ppm, PH 8.2


—TANK IS NOT AQUASCAPED YET. Everything in the tank will be getting used in the aquascape once my plants come in and I can actually do it—
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 10:34 PM
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It looks like you have just started your cycle. Personally I'd up the ammonia from 3ppm to 5 or at least 4ppm. That aside, I'd suggest moving the wood. leaf and rocks from the aquarium. The levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you'll be inducing are not really suited to those hard scape materials.Also turn the light unit off until the cycle is finished. High concentrations of the aforementioned with light designed to promote plant growth isn't a combination you need at this time.

I created an algae soup by doing this with my first ever cycle.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RollaPrime View Post
It looks like you have just started your cycle. Personally I'd up the ammonia from 3ppm to 5 or at least 4ppm. That aside, I'd suggest moving the wood. leaf and rocks from the aquarium. The levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you'll be inducing are not really suited to those hard scape materials.Also turn the light unit off until the cycle is finished. High concentrations of the aforementioned with light designed to promote plant growth isn't a combination you need at this time.

I created an algae soup by doing this with my first ever cycle.
The light was only on to get a picture. Yes the cycle is only a week old at this point but is the 5ppm or over Nitrite bad?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 11:16 PM
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The light was only on to get a picture. Yes the cycle is only a week old at this point but is the 5ppm or over Nitrite bad?
I cycle with 5ppm on ammonia.

5ppm of nitrite is not bad during a fishless cycle. It's a normal reading/measurement and part of the process.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tsort91 View Post
The light was only on to get a picture. Yes the cycle is only a week old at this point but is the 5ppm or over Nitrite bad?
I cycle with 5ppm on ammonia.

5ppm of nitrite is not bad during a fishless cycle. It's a normal reading/measurement and part of the process.
Do you usually do planted tanks while cycling or wait until the cycling is over and then plant? My plants will be shipping out tomorrow so if need be I can have them hold off until cycling is complete. A bunch of articles I ready were mostly around 2-3ppm ammonia when cycling but looks like 5ppm had worked for you obviously
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 01:28 AM
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Do you usually do planted tanks while cycling or wait until the cycling is over and then plant? My plants will be shipping out tomorrow so if need be I can have them hold off until cycling is complete. A bunch of articles I ready were mostly around 2-3ppm ammonia when cycling but looks like 5ppm had worked for you obviously
Putting plants in an environment full of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate is a really bad idea. The levels will be toxic. I made this mistake myself during my first cycle, from experience it just doesn't work.
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