stalled cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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stalled cycle

Hi,
New planted tank here (29g). Ammonia dropped down to zero pretty fast, but the nitrite has been stuck for a couple weeks and hasn't dropped. The guy at LFS suggested surface agitation to increase O2. But I thought that decreased to CO2? I'm just dosing excel for now to get started... medium light level. My CO2 is probably too low to begin with and I don't want to reduce it further. I've been reading that running an air stone at night is a good idea, though the guy at LFS said not to. Is there any consensus here on the board for running nighttime air? Any other suggestions to get the cycle finished? Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 10:48 PM
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What do you have in your tank right now? If you're cycling with plants and fish, that's one thing, but if you're just pumping CO2 into an empty tank, it's a waste.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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No fish, just plants. Waiting for cycle to finish before adding fish. So I guess the main issue is that the nitrite levels are not dropping... do I need to add O2 somehow, or is there some other tactic I should try?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 04:15 PM
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Unless you have calibrated the test kit you are using, you can only guess at what the nitrite level is. Those kits can't be assumed to be accurate. If you have lots of plants in the tank, you don't need to worry about cycling anyway. Just add a few fish, not real delicate ones, just average fish, wait a week or so, and add a few more, until you have the tank stocked.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 04:21 PM
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Don't worry about anything but the ammonia level once it's light yellow to nothing your good to go. I'd wait until the ammonia is safe before adding fish but I'm just funny about not burning the heck out of any fish's gills but that's just me.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I love it when people tell me not to worry about stuff. On another recent post, I was told not to worry about diatoms. This forum is GREAT!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 05:41 PM
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Hoppy is right about the test kits the only thing I use anymore is the ammonia kit, usually the API version since it's easy to find. You could check pH if you really want to but I pre-mix my water and heat it before I add it to my tanks so big swings rarely every happen.

All of the other tests are ballpark color ranges so good aquarium habits is better than over testing.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Good to know the test kits are not always trustworthy. Just a final note: I stuck in an airstone overnight, and by the next morning the nitrites and nitrates dropped to zero. Maybe that did help after all. So, finally, I'm off for some fish!

As a final, final aside: at the fish store, my ten-year-old took a long time examining all the fish in every tank. Without any coaching or prompting from me, he decided his first choice for the first fish in the new tank was: zebra danios! Good call! (Second choice: upside down catfish.. we'll see about that one...)
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