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Chicklet
03-21-2009, 07:23 PM
My nitrites just decided to drive thru the roof the past few days.
Don't really understand why..
I've been trying to keep the ammonia at 4 in a days run its almost totally gone,

But the nitrites are thru the roof, the brightest, rosest red you can imagine. no where near any of the colors on the chart.....

The nitrates also shows thru the roof,, But I read somewhere that high nitrites can screw the true readings of the nitrates, So I can't believe that reading...

So I been doing two water changes everyday to try and bring the nitrites under control... Still registers wayyy high.....

So today I ended up doing a near complete water change right down to the rocks... Figured that would have to bring them way down to almost nothing,, (i thought) Well it still reads Nitrites somewhere on the color chart of around 1.6 ... Doesn't that still seem high for a complete water change?? tested the nitrates after the change it its reading around a 10..... is this alll normal??

Wild Turkey
03-21-2009, 07:31 PM
That how it goes with a cycle or mini cycle, ammonia comes, when it goes, nitrite spikes come. The ammonia you are trying to combat has all turned to nitrite, and why you are your head wondering where the ammonia went the nitrite is building up. I assume you have fish, so now you want to test it dailt and wc it down to 1.0 like you would the ammonia. No big deal totally normal

Chicklet
03-21-2009, 07:35 PM
ok.... relief I think......

No fish yet in that tank..........

Wild Turkey
03-21-2009, 07:36 PM
ok so your are doing a fishless, and ur keeping it up at 4, so everything is going fine, no waterchanges. No you are in the later stages of establishment. Just take it down to 2-3ppm and maintain that
I have to ask, why are fishless-ing if you have other tanks?

Jaster
03-21-2009, 07:44 PM
I did the same thing... I was flipping thinking I did something wrong.
Sounds like you are on the good track though! As long as you are fishless I agree, don't worry about water changes too much. Give the tank a chance to even itself out. Since your nitrAtes are growing too you will soon see a drop in those nitrItes.
Sounds likes you're doing a good job!

Chicklet
03-21-2009, 07:47 PM
I have to ask, why are fishless-ing if you have other tanks?

this is a 20 gallon...
I wanted to experiance the fishless way I guess........
and I have since talking to you, cycled a 5 gallon and a 3 gallon using other media from other tanks, those worked good.... I didn't really think I could take anything from my other 20 gallon filters as they contained activated carbon?,, So I just used some gravel and plants from other tanks...and then after talking with you I stole some pieces of sponge from other tanks I have here and added it to this filter too,,, Thats kinda when I started getting the high nitrite spikes...
I have since stuffed all my 10 and 20 gallon filters with sponges....

Wild Turkey
03-21-2009, 07:52 PM
this is a 20 gallon...
I wanted to experiance the fishless way I guess........
and I have since talking to you, cycled a 5 gallon and a 3 gallon using other media from other tanks, those worked good.... I didn't really think I could take anything from my other 20 gallon filters as they contained activated carbon?,, So I just used some gravel and plants from other tanks...and then after talking with you I stole some pieces of sponge from other tanks I have here and added it to this filter too,,, Thats kinda when I started getting the high nitrite spikes...
I have since stuffed all my 10 and 20 gallon filters with sponges....

Yup, seeding the filter (as i apparently suggested lol) has sped up the process exponentially, the bacteria is growing, and it wont be long now. thumbs2:
Basically, it saved you looking at 4ppm ammonia for weeks before getting to this part.

Glub
03-30-2009, 06:39 AM
Remember, nitrites are a byproduct of the ammonia consuming bacteria. More bacteria consuming more ammonia = higher nitrite output.

Also remember that the nitrospira which consumes these nitrites is a slower growing bacteria that doesn't thrive as well in high levels of ammonia.

So, when you added your seeded filter, your nitrosomonas and nitrobactor took off and started converting all that ammonia, this produced all those nitrites. It could be that the nitrospira is a bit slower to catch up, or it could be that your ammonia levels are a bit high. But either way, you don't have enough of it to keep up with the nitrosomonas and nitrobactor.

My advice, since you have nitrites registering, would be to lower your ammonia to 2-3ppm as suggested in the fishless cycling guide, and just wait for that nitrite consuming bacteria to take off and clean up all that nitrite.

4ppm might not be too high, but you might be misreading your test, if it's a liquid test I know that it's not hard to do, and I would personally advise edging on the side of caution since keeping higher levels of ammonia wont necessarily speed up the process at this point.