Nitrites not going away? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrites not going away?

I have a 3.5g tank thats been running for about a month and a half. Ammonia has been consistently zero for a month and nitrates have been hovering around 5 ppm for about that long as well. It's been taking about 2-3 days for nitrites to get to .25 ppm, at which point I do a 75% water change. I know that a water change that large will slow the cycle down, but I'm concerned that there hasn't been any signs of nitrites getting processed faster over the past month.

I've heard people say that tanks under 5 gallons can't truly cycle, is that true? Am I just doomed to 75% water changes every 2 days? I currently have a betta and two nerites in there, which is slightly overstocked, could that be why my BB can't handle the nitrites?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 06:26 PM
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The issue is that you have a lot of fauna in an uncycled tank. You're having to keep up on water changes to keep ammonia down to keep your fauna alive instead of letting the ammonia build up and growing beneficial bacteria to convert it.

It's not that nano tanks can't cycle, but fish in cycling in a tiny tank takes for-ev-er.

It'll eventually will just take a lot of time and patience to get there because the water changes are keeping the bacteria food source low, but that's alao keeping your fauna alive. Would have been quicker to cycle with no fauna and have just fed the tank drops of ammonia or fish food with no livestock.

Were I in your shoes, I would be asking local Facebook groups for a big chunk of sponge from an established tank to seed your tank with all the bacteria you need.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 10:20 PM
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Reducing how much you feed may help in the short term. It's not so much the amount of livestock but the amount of food you have to provide them. If you reduce the amount of food for a couple of weeks and then build up gradually again you'll limit the waste production.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 11:28 PM
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Or you can dose prime once it gets to .25, dose daily until it's at .5 then do your water change. When I cycle with fish that's precisely how I do it, I dose tank volume of prime daily and let Ammonia and nitrIte get to .5 and the do a water change. I also use stability more often than not as I'm impatient when I have to cycle from scratch. I almost always have cycled media somewhere that I use to almost instantly cycle a new tank. Definitely see if you can get some ceramics or a chunk of sponge off someone in your area.

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