Question about my cycle.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question about my cycle..

I have a 10 gallon planted tank that is currently going through a fishless cycle. I'm on day 26, the last couple of days my readings have been ph 7, ammonia 0ppm nitrite 5ppm, nitrate 0ppm. I can't seem to get the nitrite to drop any, even after a water change. Any thoughts on what to do? Or should I leave it alone?


10 gallon with 6 plants
diy co2
flourish root tabs
weekly dose of aqueon liqiud plant food
8 hours of daily light
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 11:39 AM
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I'm not too educated on the fishless cycle, but my understanding is that plants convert nitrite to nitrate, and the bbs only convert ammonia to nitrite.

I could be wrong, but I think you want your plants to do a lot of heavy lifting.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:01 PM
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Try reducing the amount of ammonia if you are still adding it by 1/2, and see if nitrites don't drop to near zero within 12 to 24 hour's.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:09 PM
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I went through this same thing, nitrites refused to budge for a while. (They're gone now... I may or may not have done a silly dance when that happened) I don't think water change will help, but I think you could try what roadmaster suggested... Just decrease your ammonia dosing a little, and see if they can handle that in 12-24h. I stopped trying to dose to 2ppm every 12hrs, and just did it every 24hrs and they seemed to "catch up" after that.

If you're worried about a big bioload at fish time, once you know you have the right nitrIte to nitrAte bacteria present, I imagine you could gradually beef them up by *slightly* increasing your ammonia dosing over several more days.

Disclaimer: first time cycler, hopefully I have it right! Others will likely chime in to help as well... Gotta love this forum.

I bet you're in the same zone where I was though, thinking it was never gonna happen, and then it did.

Last edited by Pika; 02-18-2014 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Newbie offering advice disclaimer!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:38 PM
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There is a point that may need more thought here.
When you measure nitrite, it is PPM. So if you do a 50% water change and the reading does not change, how is that possible? Possibly you wait to do the test and they have bounced back up? Or possible that the color change does not show well to your eyes and you are not getting a true reading?
When you take out half the water and replace it with water with no nitrite, you will take out half the nitrite. If it does not show in the testing, I would suspect the test results.
I had to change test methods to get them to work for me.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:54 PM
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Do enough water changes that the NO2 tests well under 5 ppm. The bacteria do not grow so well when the NO2 is over 5 ppm.
Maybe do a 90% water change. Whatever it takes.
Then re-dose the ammonia to perhaps 1 ppm. Just enough to keep the ammonia removing bacteria fed.
Check twice a day, and add just a little ammonia.
Be ready to do another water change if the NO2 starts creeping up.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Try reducing the amount of ammonia if you are still adding it by 1/2, and see if nitrites don't drop to near zero within 12 to 24 hour's.
I haven't added any ammonia in a couple days. I don't have any ammonia in the bottle I was using a dead shrimp but I pulled him out when my ammonia started to raise above 4ppm. So my nitrites have been holding steady and I can't figure out why.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
There is a point that may need more thought here.
When you measure nitrite, it is PPM. So if you do a 50% water change and the reading does not change, how is that possible? Possibly you wait to do the test and they have bounced back up? Or possible that the color change does not show well to your eyes and you are not getting a true reading?
When you take out half the water and replace it with water with no nitrite, you will take out half the nitrite. If it does not show in the testing, I would suspect the test results.
I had to change test methods to get them to work for me.
You could be right, its hard to tell what color the test is sometimes. How do you feel if I added some tetra safe start?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Do enough water changes that the NO2 tests well under 5 ppm. The bacteria do not grow so well when the NO2 is over 5 ppm.
Maybe do a 90% water change. Whatever it takes.
Then re-dose the ammonia to perhaps 1 ppm. Just enough to keep the ammonia removing bacteria fed.
Check twice a day, and add just a little ammonia.
Be ready to do another water change if the NO2 starts creeping up.
Thanks for the advice, how do you feel about adding tetra safe start to get my levels where they need to be? I've done that with two quarantine tanks with good results but I've never done it with a planted tank with no fish in it.
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