Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Nitrogen Cycle Question
I couldn't find an answer to my specific situation regarding the nitrogen cycle anywhere, so I figured I'd bring it up here. I have a brand new tank that I've been trying to cycle since January 1st. In March, I saw that the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels all dropped to zero. I was also able to add 4ppm of ammonia to the tank and watch (through testing) the beneficial bacteria cycle the ammonia out in 24 hours. I figured the tank had cycled, so I decided to add fish into the tank. Unfortunately, within a month all the fish were dead.
A couple of weeks ago, I emptied the tank and restarted the cycle. I began introducing 4ppm of ammonia to feed the cycle and to test if there are beneficial bacteria present. I'm still using filter media from when I thought the tank was cycled along with API Quickstart to jump start the nitrogen cycle.
Within 48 hours, I can see the 4ppm of ammonia get cycled into nitrites and the nitrites disappear. The only problem is I never get any nitrates from the nitrite consumption. For the past week, I introduce the 4ppm of ammonia every 48 hours in the hopes that nitrates will appear. Unfortunately, it still doesn't happen. I have 0ppm of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. The horrible side effect of having 0ppm of nitrates is that I'm starting to see cyanobacteria appear.
Does anyone know what's wrong with my tank? Any help would be greatly appreciated!