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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Tank cycle question

I've been fishless cycling my heavily planted 40gallon breeder for a little over a week and a half now with Ammonium Chloride. My nitrites are well over 5ppm as that is all my api kit tests for and it's well over the color for 5. My nitrates are at 80 ppm right now and have jumped from 5 ppm in 24 hours. Anytime my ammonia dips below .50 ppm I add more to get it back up to 2ppm. Does this sound normal for a heavily planted 40gallon breeder? Is there anything else I need to do?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 12:54 PM
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I just recently cycled my 20 Gallon Long tank. Took me about 2 weeks to cycle, with a piece of used filter from my LFS. I had the same thing going on, ammonia was dropping, nitrites were off the API test charts and nitrates were steadily going. I kept doing what you're doing and eventually the nitrites just 0'd out. So i dosed it once more with ammonia to double check and sure enough ammonia would zero out, nitrites would zero out and nitrates kept going up. So I think you're doing just fine. Just wait it out. good luck!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 01:06 PM
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Do a water change to get the NO2 under 5 ppm, and keep feeding the bacteria with ammonia. Looks like you are almost there.

When the bacteria can remove all the ammonia (up to 3 ppm) in 24 hours, and no NO2 shows, it is done.

If you will be stocking right away do a couple of massive water changes (2 x 90%) to get the NO3 way down.
If you will not be stocking right away it does not matter about the water changes. Keep on feeding the bacteria. Do the water changes right before you are ready to stock the tank.

It is also OK to remove all the water if you still have to plant or rearrange the hardscape. Just fill it back up with dechlorinated water. Feed the bacteria or not, depending on how soon you will be stocking the tank. A day or so without ammonia won't be a problem. Longer than that, I would add ammonia.
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