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Old 07-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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Funny Nitrite readings in Cycling tank

Hello all,
I have been cycling my new 7.5g tank for a week now and have watched the ammonia spike very high, and then RAPIDLY go to zero. (three days). Nitrites then went off charts and rapidly decreased. Nitrates are now off the charts. Sounds cycled huh? Problem is, is that the nitrites refuse to go to the nice sky blue color. They have remained solid for three days at this strange blue with some grey mixed in.

I added 8lbs of live rock, so that explains the quick cycle. But nothing seems to explain the reason why nitrites wont become the nice sky blue that indicates zero. Its much closer to the zero color than the 0.25ppm color. I am using an API test kit.

Any ideas what is going on? What could have the nitrites drop rapidly (over 3 days) and then end this funny way? I dont know if they are zero, or not.

Ideas?
Matt
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:57 PM   #2
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Sounds cycled to me.... How high are your nitrates? Sometimes excessive levels of one thing can cause bad readings on another thing.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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Hello,
Nitrates were too high to read. Here is what I did:
I started off with a lot of dry base rock and some live rocks from my main tank. (Not much, just some hand size pieces). I put in some ammonia from Ace Hardware and saw 1ppm ammonia. A few days later this is gone, and there are zero nitrites and a little nitrates. Little cycle.

Then I added 7lbs of fiji totoka rock and dont remember seeing and ammonia, just off the charts nitrites. This stayed a few days and then rapidly dropped. Im talking 1ppm each day!

Now its stayed three days at that odd blue color. Nitrates look like blood. Haha!

I just did a massive water change and the nitrites are the pretty sky blue color. So I am confused whether this means I HAVE nitrites and simply diluted them with the water change, or if the excessively high nitrates caused the odd readings. I did notice that the ammonia reading (before the water change) was the zero color, but a really nasty THICK looking color. Deffinately the zero color though.

I am hoping to be adding my tailspot blenny soon! Just using a HOB to suck out a lot of nasty looking stuff floating about.
Matt
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrg02d View Post
Hello all,
I have been cycling my new 7.5g tank for a week now....
I hope you mean a month?
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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Nope, two weeks in all. 1 week with the additional 7lbs of live rock.

Sounds short, but so was the cycle for my 1st tank over a year ago. Remember, there is no set time before a tank cycles. It all depends on the amount of bacteria added at the start. Ive got 8-9lbs total of live rock that is extremely porous stuff. Watched the ammonia spike, then drop to zero. Next had the nitrites spike off the charts, then go to "zero" (the strange light blue color that looks like an off sky blue). Three solid days of this light blue and then found nitrates were off the charts. Did a large water change to bring them down to 15ppm. (Between 10 and 20).

Id call it done.
Matt
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Haha, not sure I like your tone boi.

It's my mistake though, I only read as far as the dry rock. With the addition of LR you are correct, and probably cycled. Do a test feeding to see if it varies at all. If it stays the same, its probably an error in your test kits.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Live rock is amazing stuff! We ought to be reccomending it more often. A 1 week cycle makes the rock worth every penny IMO. Although that is likely because I only have about 5.5g of actual water and put in 8-9lbs of live rock.

I ordered a tailspot blenny to be my tanks fish. My LFS was all out! Dangit! Sold all three in 1 week!

Matt
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