High Nitrite, Low Ammonia - Fishless cycling - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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High Nitrite, Low Ammonia - Fishless cycling

Hi all,

I could use some advice/help here with my fishless cycling process (Dr. Tim's ammonia). I started out by adding ammonia to my tank this past Sunday, so it's day 3 of this process.

Day 2 reading:
Ammonia - about 4ppm
Nitrite - 5 ppm

I conducted a water change since I was under the impression that this was high for both readings (may have been a mistake?) so I did about a 20% water change yesterday morning. Checked the levels a few minutes ago and these were the results. Should I leave it as is although the nitirite readings are still pretty high? Or should I do another water change. I'd like to think that I have a decent understanding on the fishless cycling process but I'm still confused about what should be done with high nitrite levels, especially when the ammonia reading is below 2 ppm. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Day 3 reading (after water change):
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:05 AM
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High Nitrite, Low Ammonia - Fishless cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiek_3 View Post
Hi all,

I could use some advice/help here with my fishless cycling process (Dr. Tim's ammonia). I started out by adding ammonia to my tank this past Sunday, so it's day 3 of this process.

Day 2 reading:
Ammonia - about 4ppm
Nitrite - 5 ppm

I conducted a water change since I was under the impression that this was high for both readings (may have been a mistake?) so I did about a 20% water change yesterday morning. Checked the levels a few minutes ago and these were the results. Should I leave it as is although the nitirite readings are still pretty high? Or should I do another water change. I'd like to think that I have a decent understanding on the fishless cycling process but I'm still confused about what should be done with high nitrite levels, especially when the ammonia reading is below 2 ppm. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Day 3 reading (after water change):


You do not want the ammonia to drop below .25 preferably .5. Doing so can/will starve and kill off the beneficial bacteria that convert the ammonia to nitrite. The nitrite levels are fine. You could do a water change if you like. Either way you want to add about 2-3ppm ammonia. Anytime it gets low you want to add more ammonia. Did you also get and add the dr Timís one and only? That works great at adding the Bacteria that greatly speeds up the cycling. Either way once you start seeing the nitrite dropping and seeing nitrates you are nearly there. When you can get the ammonia and nitrite to drop from about 3ppm to 0 in 24 hours you are cycled.


High nitrite levels are fine and can be off the charts like you see. Itís the ammonia that can cause an issue if too much. Just stay at between 2-3ppm ammonia and you are fine.



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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:27 AM
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Adding to @clownplanted cooments:

Once nitrite appears, begin testing pH and ammonia daily until ammonia drops to 1 ppm or less (donít allow it to drop to zero) and then add enough to raise it to 4 ppm. Once the ammonia drops back to below 1 ppm within 12 hours, and nitrites drop to zero, cycling is complete. The appearance of nitrates confirms cycling.

Once cycled, add enough ammonia every other day (4 ppm) to maintain the nitrifying bacteria.

Brown algae / cloudy water may occur. Change enough water to bring nitrates down, then add fish.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I did not get the Dr Tim's one and only since my tank came with some Fluval Biological enhancer..added a few days before I started the cycling process. I also added a tad bit more on Sunday. There's a few ML left in the bottle..would you recommend me adding the rest to the tank?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiek_3 View Post
Thanks! I did not get the Dr Tim's one and only since my tank came with some Fluval Biological enhancer..added a few days before I started the cycling process. I also added a tad bit more on Sunday. There's a few ML left in the bottle..would you recommend me adding the rest to the tank?


If you added the recommended dose then you should not need to. But I do not believe that it will hurt anything. I know the dr tims one and only gives a dosing but says you can add the full bottle as well so if itís similar then should be fine.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! These explanations are way more helpful than what I was seeing on other sites. I'll add some more ammonia to the tank to keep the process rolling.
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