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Old 09-22-2010, 10:38 PM   #1
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Cycle - High Nitrite

I am about couple of weeks into cycling my tank. My ammonia was at 0.5 and my nitrIte at over the scale of my API test kit. I changed about 16 gallons of my 75 gallon tank (this was all the RO/DI water that I had) and retested. The Ammonia is closer to 0.25 now, but the nitrIte is still over the top. I have at least two questions:

1. How high is too high on the nitrItes? Should I just let it go through it's cycle or try to do another water change to bring it down within readable levels?

2. Since my ammonia is so low, should I add more ammonia? Adding more ammonia, won't this just create more nitrItes that I am worried about being too high? But don't I always want ammonia to keep that bacteria growing?

My son pointed out that was more than two questions, but it really boils down to only two answers.

Thanks for the help'
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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I would pick a dosing amount and dose for a couple more weeks at that amount and not bother checking for a while. The Nitrite reducing bacteria can't start to populate till the Nitrite is there. Your Nitrite reducing bacteria is about 2 weeks behind your ammonia reducing bacteria.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
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I would just wait it out and do nothing... don't even test for a few days. Sounds like you are getting a hard cycle. Thats better in the long run than getting a small one. Reason being, less chance of getting another mini cycle when you add fish etc.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:44 AM   #4
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+1 for Ryshark's tip. Best thing to do is stop doing any water changes and just wait out the cycle. Doing water changes while cycling can really slow the whole process down.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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Ok. My main concern was the high nitrite reading.

Thanks guys. My wife keeps saying I need to be patient. Looks like she isn't the only one.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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You want a high nitrite reading that drops while nitrates go up and ammonia stays at zero.
"A long cycle is a good cycle" (I just mad ethat up).

As Ray said, just wait it out.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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One thing I would do if I was going to wait it out (I didn't think of this option) is once the nitrites are down I would add some ammonia to ensure that there is still enough of the ammonia reducing bacteria to prevent a mini cycle.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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How did you start your cycle?
Did you use pure ammonia or raw shrimp?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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I used raw shrimp initially. At that time I hadn't received my Marco Rock yet. When the 75 pounds of Marco Rock arrived I took the shrimp out and put the rock in. That was about a week ago and I hadn't added anything else till last night. I changed 20% of the water, then added ammonia to bring the level back up to between 2 and 4 ppm. The nitrite is still over the 5 ppm.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #10
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It has now been 7 days with the high nitrite reading. I can put a little ammonia in the tank, and within about 18 hours it will be down to 0, but my nitrites just aren't going away. I tested the PH yesterday and it was down around 7.8. I tested the nitrite and it was a good K-state purple, which I guess is well over 5 ppm, so I did about a 75 percent water change hoping to raise the PH and get the nitrite to something I can read, retested, and it is still K-state purple but the PH is up to around 8.2.

Am I just too impatient, or have I lost all the good Nitrobacter bacteria from my tank? Any suggestions?
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