ammonia, no nitrite, and high nitrate??
Hi Guys!!! Im new to this forum, and to having a successfully cycled tank and I have a quick question.
soooo ive only been cycling my 3 gallon tank for like 3 days. I've been keeping a journal on all the changes in the water (ive been obsessively testing it with the API freshwater master kit thing) and so heres my question: I've seen the ammonia drop substantially, but I've not seen any nitrites in the tests I've done, but for some reason the Nitrate level is rapidly climbing!!! Is this normal??? Is it possible that I somehow missed the peak in nitrite??
tested the water @ 1:40am this morning:
tested the water @ 12:30pm this afternoon:
Nitrate: 5 ppm
so I added Ammonium hydroxide (the right kind from Ace Hardware) *8 eyedropper drops to be exact* to raise the ammonia level to 2ppm. and the ammonia level has since dropped to between 0.5-1.0 ppm and the nitrate level is now between 10-20 ppm and still Nitrite has tested at 0ppm.
Is this supposed to happen?? I tested my tap water and it showed 0ppm Nitrate. As the level of Nitrate rises should I do a partial water change? Please any advice for how to continue cycling properly would be GREATLY appreciated. If theres any information I can provide that I left out pls reply :)
Thanks for your help!!!
Cycling with ammonia you need not mess with water changes. But you have a very small tank. Probably cycling with just .50 ammonia would be enough.
Can't explain why no nitrites but you have just begun and they don't generally show up for 5-6 days.
ahhh I see, yeah I figured raising the ammonia that high was excessive lmao!! but online all the guides are like... for 10 gallon tanks (at some point when space allows I'll upgrade to a 10g tank my bf has one just sitting at his parents house but till then I'm just gonna stick with the 3 gallon)
Also thanks for clarifying if I needed to do water changes or not, im just so paranoid, I wanna like do it right this time. So even if the Nitrates get higher then 10-20ppm I dont need to change the water? Like, will I'd need to do a partial water change when I add the fish b/c if things continue as they are the Nitrates will be off the chart and I'm not sure if a 10-25% water change will lower the Nitrate level to a safe level.
*sigh* severe fish cycling failure paranoia...
oops meant to add above reply
Bacteria is growing. It can't grow in 3 days and the nitrite eating bacteria takes longer than the ammonia eating bacteria.
If your tank was a little larger, bring the ammonia level to 2 would be perfect but your tank is very small so even that much is not needed.
When the cycle is finished, you will do a large water change to bring the nitrates down to under 20 and add your fish.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 08-29-2011 at 06:17 AM.
Since you're doing a fishless cycle you really don't have to add anything to the tank (save your money) and you do not need to do any WCs until you're done.
After your tank is fully cycled and you add fish THEN you'll need to do WCs to keep the nitrAtes below 40ppm. How often that is depends on your readings.