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  1. Default Fishless cycle, non-zero, but low nitrites for weeks.


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi,

    I'm about 12 weeks into my fishless cycle. Ammonia dropped and ntirites appeared about 4 weeks ago. Nitrites were off the charts for a few weeks, but then suddenly (over 1-2days) dropped to 0.5ppm.

    Now for the past 2 weeks they have stayed low, 0.25ppm some days, 0.5ppm or even 2ppm some days. Never 0. Even if I give them a lower ammonia dose they still show up at 0.25-1ppm after 24 hours.

    I dose 2ppm and that ammonia is completely gone in a few hours. I have tested 6 hours later to find Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 5ppm. Left until the next morning when Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 0.5ppm.

    I did 2 50% water changes at the weekend to see if it helped, nitrAtes AFTER the water changes are still 60ppm.

    Is it possibly as the cycle has been slow the the extremely high nitrates have stalled it?

    Any other suggestions?

    (pH is fine and under control with baking soda at or above 7.4).

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    How large is your tank? Yes, if you are adding too much ammonia, that could stall your cycle - how much did you add initially when you 1st started? The same amount or higher than 2ppm?
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    How large is your tank? Yes, if you are adding too much ammonia, that could stall your cycle - how much did you add initially when you 1st started? The same amount or higher than 2ppm?
    125 litre (33 US gal)

    Started with 4ppm, topped up to 2ppm when it fell. When nitrites went off the scale I lowered it to 1ppm. When they became readable on the chart again I increased to 2ppm which is my intended bioload.

    I lowered it a little this morning's dose to see if I can work out how much it will process and ease it up, but I worry it will still be 0.25 tomorrow morning.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I apologize if you already said you are doing this, but are you waiting for the ammonia to fall to 0 before adding more? If I were you, I would add to no more than a reading of 1.0ppm for that tank size. Wait until it drops to 0 and add again to 1.0 - hopefully that will encourage your nitrites to fall to 0 finally.

    I've seen an initial ammonia of 4.0ppm recommended for cycling larger tanks - like 50gal or bigger.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Yea, ammonia is dropping to 0 in a mater of hours. Just the nitrites that are being slow.

    Is 1ppm enough for a full stock bio load? Or should I keep it at 1ppm until nitrites 0 out and then ease it up to 2ppm slowly?

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    There is no need to increase your ammonia - you are looking at tank size/biofilter area when cycling, not stocking amount. You are also looking to complete the cycling process, not extend it.

    Maintain the ammonia at 1.0 until your nitrites drop to 0 - as you are familiar with the cycling process, you will know that normally, nitrites spike and drop pretty quickly - the fact that yours are taking their sweet time doing this would indicate that you need to be cautious about how much you are "feeding" the current bacteria (which is what the ammonia is doing). There is only so much space in your filter to grow bacteria.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    There is no need to increase your ammonia - you are looking at tank size/biofilter area when cycling, not stocking amount. You are also looking to complete the cycling process, not extend it.

    Maintain the ammonia at 1.0 until your nitrites drop to 0 - as you are familiar with the cycling process, you will know that normally, nitrites spike and drop pretty quickly - the fact that yours are taking their sweet time doing this would indicate that you need to be cautious about how much you are "feeding" the current bacteria (which is what the ammonia is doing). There is only so much space in your filter to grow bacteria.
    Aha, so what might have happened in the ammonia eaters have gone on a spree and filled up the filter space that the nitrite eaters now need. The ammonia vanishes really quickly as there are too many of them. If I lower their feed considerably they will atrophy a bit and leave room for the nitrite eaters.

    Once the nitrites do come down to 0 can I then increase the ammonia slowly to get back up to 2ppm, or is a filter processing 1ppm enough?

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by paulca View Post
    Aha, so what might have happened in the ammonia eaters have gone on a spree and filled up the filter space that the nitrite eaters now need. The ammonia vanishes really quickly as there are too many of them. If I lower their feed considerably they will atrophy a bit and leave room for the nitrite eaters.

    Once the nitrites do come down to 0 can I then increase the ammonia slowly to get back up to 2ppm, or is a filter processing 1ppm enough?
    No - if you lower their "feed", none of them will "atrophy" - in fact, even with lower ammonia, more will grow - again, once the nitrites come down to 0, increasing your ammonia to 2ppm won't help - you need to keep it at 1ppm in order for the cycle to finish. As long as you are feeding ammonia up to 1ppm, all your current bacteria will live and multiply as they should until you are at the end of the nitrogen cycle.

    Your filter processing 1ppm is sufficient for the amount of biofilter in your filter - you are not looking to stock a 50+gal tank which requires more bacteria.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks. I dropped it back to 1ppm and had double 0's this morning. At last.

    If it stays 0:0 until Friday it's time for fish! :)

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Good for you, post back and let us know....imma24 has given you some great info here
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

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