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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve started a new tank after many years (Fluval Flex 57L) and this is my first time doing fishless cycling. I’ve been dosing with ammonia to get the water to 2ppm for about 3 weeks. Nitrites went up to 2ppm after a week or so. A week later, the nitrites started dropping. Now, after dosing with ammonia, both ammonia and nitrites read zero 12 hours later. However, my nitrates are very high, between 40-80ppm. Oddly the nitrates started to increase before the nitrites while cycling so I suspect there is a source of nitrates in the tank. I’ve been dosing minimally with Thrive and the substrate is Fluval Stratum. Water is very soft, PH between 6-6.4. I do a water change once a week. Tank is moderately planted and the plants are doing great overall. I’ve had some hair algae and diatoms but not too bad.

I assume the nitrates are too high still to add any fish or shrimp yet. So should I continue adding the ammonia to keep the cycle going while trying to get the nitrates down? Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't know why the Nitrate increased before the Nitrite. That doesn't make sense to me either. Get the Nitrates below 30 ppm before adding fish. That's because 20 to 30 ppm is what EI says to dose. So I would get it to at least below that. Personally, I would go down to 15 or 20 ppm. You decrease Ammonia doses to 1/4 once you get Nitrite. Maybe that's how the Nitrate got so high. Did you keep dosing full doses of Ammonia after the Nitrite? I'm happy for you because it sounds like you got your filter going. Good luck.
 

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Both thrive and fluval stratum have nitrates, so ya it makes perfect sense that they would increase. Anyway to reduce nitrate just do a big water change (like 90+% water change). It sounds like your cycle is done if you are adding ammonia but you get zero ammonia and nitrite within 12 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forgot to mention I also added some root tabs when I set up the tank for the Amaszon Sword and Crypts which could also be adding to the nitrates. I will cut down on the Thrive and reduce the ammonia every day and keep trying to lower the nitrates with water changes. I didn't want to possibly break the cycle by stopping the ammonia completely and have to start over. Thanks for your replies.
 

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I forgot to mention I also added some root tabs when I set up the tank for the Amaszon Sword and Crypts which could also be adding to the nitrates. I will cut down on the Thrive and reduce the ammonia every day and keep trying to lower the nitrates with water changes. I didn't want to possibly break the cycle by stopping the ammonia completely and have to start over. Thanks for your replies.
I would add thrive to the normal amount on the directions. I would do one big water change and add whatever livestock you want in the tank. Your done, tada. ;P
 
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