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Thread: First Nitrite Reading, False?
12-01-2012, 06:22 PM #1
First Nitrite Reading, False?
So it's now the 19th day since I started the pure ammona cycle. So far i've dosed the tank three times. Yesterday I tested the water for Nitrite in the morning and got a reading of zero. I tested again on the night after I added some more water/dechlorinator and I got a reading of 0.25ppm.
Now this morning, I tested again and got a reading of zero, suspicious that the level had suddenly dropped, I retested and this time is said 0.25ppm again.
I just retested about an hour ago to see if the level was consistent still, and surprise surprise. The reading is crystal blue at zero again. I've gotten two false positives without doing anything differently each time. I'm so disheartened. I got so excited that I was finally seeing nitrites and now I feel like i'm back to square one and I can't even trust api liquid tests.
12-02-2012, 12:49 AM #2
What are you using to test with? Strips or liquid test kit?
The only time I have had false readings with the liquid was, I believe, because I was distracted and put the wrong number of drops in.
I haven't heard anything good about test strips being reliable, but have never used them myself.
CheersI think I want a bigger tank!!
12-02-2012, 01:46 AM #3
So sorry you're having such a time getting this cycle in gear. Wish you hadn't started a new thread. Makes it difficult to pull it all together and I just accidentally noticed you had another one going which I just read. *having said that, I did the same thing too once LOL
Resist the urge to test for ANYTHING more than once a day. It takes a full 24 hours for everything to process. Test at the same time every day
In the meantime, there have been a lot of things happening with this tank.
Generally in a fishless cycle you do not redose ammonia until ammonia is 0 and you're seeing nitrites. Realize you had some overdosing problems so that's made this cycle a bit wonky.
have you ever seen ANY nitrite reading other than after you added water?
What is your ammonia reading now?
12-02-2012, 02:43 AM #4
I decided to try to catch up with what was going on with this cycle but you have started 4 threads on this same cycle so this makes it somewhat confusing with information all over the place.
To backtrack some, you have mentioned numerous times you have detected nitrites that disappeared. You also mentioned overdosing a few times and doing water changes to reduce the dosage. When you have grown nitrite eating bacteria, it will disappear right away so it sounds to me as you may have nitrite bacteria already.
I would have to ask, if it hasn't been yet addressed, what have you got for a filter for that 15 gallon tank? I would not be surprised if your filter media is simply unable to handle anymore bacteria. If you have done a few large water changes, that would explain why you have no nitrates.
Cycling really isn't all that hard. As fishmommy mentioned, you test one time a day and add a bit of ammonia if it has dropped off to 0. But overdosing is a problem when you have a tiny filter and are feeding too much ammonia. There is limited room for bacteria growth in any filter but far less in a small one. Ammonia dosing should have never exceeded even 2ppm when you started cycling....at the max.... and then when nitrites were first detected, no more than 1ppm in ammonia when previous dose had dropped to 0. And only one time a day no matter how fast it dropped to 0.
Because your ammonia itself doesn't seem to be processing as quickly as it should, I would have to think that you simply are unable to grow anymore bacteria's in your filter media.
Are you mixing the liquids in the glass vial and allowing them to sit on the counter for 5 minutes before taking the reading? Rinsing the glass vials out a couple times after each use? Shaking the bottles up a bit before adding to the vials? I have not heard of anyone getting "false positives". You either have nitrites or you do not and the API test kits are very accurate. If any lingering chemical remains in the vial after a test, the next test can be messed up tho so make sure you rinse each one out a couple of times.
Your ammonia should be dropping off to 0 within hours. Have you changed your filter media at all and have you added dechlorinator to each water change or topping off the tank? If you are adding dechlorinator to the tank directly, make sure you add the dechorinator first and the water last.
I think I would do a water change of almost all the water, dose to 1 and check it the next day. I'd actually be more concerned right now that the ammonia is processing than I would be the nitrites.
12-02-2012, 01:13 PM #5
Thanks everyone for all the replies.
@250Gimp I've been using the api liquid test kits. I was using the strips originally but switched to these because of the accuracy problems.
@LadyHobbs I've dosed ammonia 3 times now. The first 2 times were overkill and the reading was way beyond my target of 2ppm. I quickly did a 50% water change and that solved the overdosing. The second time, the same thing happened again. The third time (4 days ago) I got the dose right and didn't need to touch anything. The ammonia tends to drop about 1ppm over a period of 2 days. So far, I've had two readings for nitrite but they mean very little since I've tested dosens of times afterwards and I get the same reading of 0. I have a modest filter. You probably wont be aware of it since i'm pretty sure it's made in Britain. For the record it's a Marina Slimline S15 filter that came with the tank. I haven't touched the filter since I set everything up.
I don't think i've overloaded the tank, yes I've overdosed but i've quickly brought the level back down with water changes.
It's been a good 1-2 weeks since I did the water change and it was only ever 50%. I would assume the nitrates would be back by now if I had them. I checked yesterday and got a reading of 0, so I don't.
Yep, I've been following the instructions and doing everything you said, rinse viel, shake bottle, leave for five minutes. I always add 5 drops although on one occastion I accidentally added 6.
I've been adding fresh water to top up the water level. I've been pouring it in and then adding the dechlorinator to the tank afterwards.
Last edited by CrackFox; 12-02-2012 at 01:20 PM.
12-02-2012, 02:20 PM #6
@fishmommie The first nitrite reading I got was 2 days ago after I added some more water to bring the water level back up and dechlorinator. Then the next day, I did another test and it showed 0 again. I was confused and immdediately retested, the second test was light purple and measured 0.25ppm. Every other test i've done since has firmly measured 0ppm.
The ammonia level is 2ppm at the moment.
12-02-2012, 03:29 PM #7
Are you waiting for the ammonia to drop to 0 before re-dosing? The ammonia should drop to 0 within a day by now (hours, really) and at 2 days you are still getting a reading. That means the ammonia is not processing fast enough.
Add enough dechlorinator to the tank for the whole tank even if you are changing out only 1/4 of the water. Add the water conditioner first and then refill. I still think this is an overdosing problem per that filter.
12-02-2012, 05:53 PM #8
I am waiting for the ammonia to drop to zero yes. I don't understand why I should have ammonia disappearing within one day if I don't even have nitrite yet though. This whole process is so confusing. There's another fish forum that keeps telling me to do the complete opposite. This is the advice I got from them this morning
Do you remember the amount that it took to initially get to 2ppm? That is the amount that you dose. For the ppm after that, it is irrelevant when it comes to ammonia. Just dose and don't worry about how high the ammonia gets. Whoever said that high levels of ammonia stalled a cycle must not really understand how the nitrogen cycle works. Higher levels of ammonia force things to occur at a much faster rate.
Once you start getting confirmed nitrite readings, cut the dose in half and dose every 3-4 days. Keep that method to the end. Nitrites will go very high, but once it starts to go down it will drop off in nearly one day.
Once you start down this road, no need to test for ammonia until you see the nitrites have gone away. This is just to ensure they are clear before stocking.
Here's a link to the filter I have: http://www.acrylicaquariumsdirect.co...filters15.aspx
Last edited by CrackFox; 12-02-2012 at 06:02 PM.
12-02-2012, 06:04 PM #9
I can only speak to what I know. The instructions on this forum for fishless cycling helped me cycle my 90 gallon tank in exactly 21 days. LadyHobbs has never steered me wrong.
Perhaps you should pick a forum and stay there - and I did not mean that to sound unkind. In the end, it's your call but what is the point of soliciting answers from 2 different forums then pitting one against the other? Seems very counterproductive for all concerned.
12-02-2012, 06:36 PM #10
0Originally Posted by fishmommie
Sorry if it seems like i'm snobbing advice, i'm just really unsure and frustrated that I've been doing all the right things with no luck
As it stands now, i've done a 90% water change. I haven't retested anything but I can bet by tomorrow, levels of everything will be at 0.