Question on my fishless cycle....still getting high readings - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question on my fishless cycle....still getting high readings

My amonia reads zero after an 8 hour period now. I tested for nitrites and nitrates. Both readings are off the chart. When I did the nitrite test as soon as I put the drops in it turned a dark purple. Then after a few minutes the water actually turned a dark clear. I dont know how to describe it other than a smokey clear color. My nitrates are a dark red its definitly darker than the last color on the test card.

This is the first time the nitrites have turned the test water into the smokey clear. Nitrites have spiked for the last 3 or 4 days now. I have been adding ammonia every morning to get it to read about 2ppm. Is once a day all I need to do this? Am I on the right track?

EDIT (7-7-08)

My nitrite and nitrate readings are still off the charts. I have been adding the 1-2 ppm amonia daily. To see if I could get a better idea of what my lvls are I diluted my test samples 1.25 ml tank water with 3.75 ml tap water. (tap water tested alone came out negative for amonia, nitrites and nitrates) After diluting the samples and testing my nitrites read 5-6ppm and my nitrates are still passed the readings on my test card. I realize this isnt the most accurate but gave me a good idea. Do I need to worry about this high of lvls as far as my plants health are concerned? Any reason I should do a water change to bring the lvls down?

Last edited by idontknow; 07-08-2008 at 01:10 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:19 PM
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yeah, the bacteria in the tank are turning the ammonia into nitrates, then other bacteria turn the nitrates into nitrites. only way to get ride of nitrites is to do water change.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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I think you meant amonia => nitrites => nitrates. I understand the process I was more concerned with my nitrite test turning a funny color.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 11:31 PM
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could be a bad test kit. it happens.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 06:11 AM
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I'd guess that your nitrIte readings are literally "off the chart" LOL

Do double-check the expiration on your test kits, but I wouldn't be worried about it. Since you're fishless cycling with ammonia, you're bound to send your levels sky-high- this is part of the process and a good thing. Means that you'll be able to add your entire bioload of fish all at once as soon as the cycle is over and you've done a few big water changes.





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Added another question to my original post.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:27 AM
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IMO it would be a little easier to follow if you just post them as you go along with the thread... LOL

One week isn't that much time yet for a fishless cycle- this typically takes 2 weeks to a month to establish.

Your plants will tell you if they're having problems; they'll melt. Some plants are sensitive to high levels of ammonia and nitrItes, but personally I wouldn't worry about it- most plants should be OK.

Your nitrAtes probably won't come down at this point till you do a water change; it would take a very large well-established plant mass to bring them down now at all, and it's probably impossible for the plants to keep up since you're still dosing ammonia into the tank.

What substrate are you using?

Have you done any water changes at all?





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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Im using the flourite black. I havent done any water changes. I have added a gallon or 2 of water to top off the tank from water that had evaporated.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 09:13 PM
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Odontknow,

I've completed my cycle on my 135 and am currently feeding my sump
2-4 ppm NH3 which it will be consumed in about 7-12 hrs... when I was cycling my N02 was off the charts as well once it recedes within about the same time frame as your NH4 then you know that your cycle is complete. Make sure you feed your filter NH4 about every 12 hrs or so... your tests will indicate when...I try and time my NH4 feeding about 7am and again about 7 pm... this is not exact I have had my sump N bacteria consume 4-5 ppm in about 6 hrs before so check with testing... Don't starve your filter however.
I've cycled in about 3 weeks... but I also used seasoned Bio rings from another tanks canister as well as washed My sponge/filter pads from a seasoned tank in the sump as well. The only time I did a WC was when I had gotten a good bloom of brown algae diatoms. The plants seem to like this as well. I'll begin my weekly H20 WCs starting this week and begin to put the finishing touches on my scape. Its important to continue to add NH3 until you put your livestock in... With the Fish less cycle you can add your whole stock at once... I'm getting ready for my 75 Cards sometime this week. I'll quarantine them for about 3 weeks and then the discus of about 2 week.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I started getting the brown algae diatoms about 5 days ago. It was only on my plants. Nothing on my glass at all.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idontknow View Post
I started getting the brown algae diatoms about 5 days ago. It was only on my plants. Nothing on my glass at all.

It may hang around for a couple of weeks... nothing that I'm going to flip out about. kinda gives my "new" rock scape some character

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Just checked my nitrite levels and they dropped from off the charts to .25ppm over night. Thanks for all the help
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 05:23 AM
 
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Believe it or not the best way to stop this from happening would be to buy a gallon of spring water and take 25 percent of the water out. Lot's of bottle water companys put clorine in their water and it kills the bacteria causing these problems. I actually started using spring water and I never had problems with Algae or bacteria infestation. I know it is weird but it is worth a shot. And you do not need the expensive stuff. I purchased 8 1 gallon juggs of water.

Oh and you do not have to wait to put the fish back in. Or that is what the lady at the fish store said.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 05:31 AM
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looks like AquaMoron is back....don't pay attention to this nonsense, OP...his advice could get you in a lot of trouble...dosing your tank with chlorine is stupid, worthless and well...I don't have to say this...you know.
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