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Old 08-31-2006, 11:34 PM   #1
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Cycle - Nitrates High

I started cycling my 75 gallon aquarium using live rock about 2 weeks ago. I just did a water test and got the following results:

ammonia: 0
nitrites: 0
nitrates: 200

Are the nitrates going to go down on their own or do I have to take some action here? I used RO water so I know they came from the cycle.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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Nitrates won't really go down on their own, without something assisting their removal like a refugium. Only thing you can do is to do a few water changes. 50-60% at a time until you see them go down and stay down.

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Old 09-01-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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How much live rock did you use? Sure it was uncured? I'd think the ammonia or nitrite should definitely be present by now in 2 weeks.

I'm not trusting your test kit or the rock was cured and there never was an ammonia source to get the cycle started. Didja ever see any in the 2 weeks at all?
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:55 AM   #4
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There was ammonia and nitrites when I tested last week. And the live rock was definitely not cured since it smelled awful when it arrived (after 2 days of shipping). I ordered 90 lbs from liveaquaria.com.
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
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Just hard to imagine that sufficient levels were present and already back to zero in 2 weeks - implying the cycle is complete. How many lbs of LR?

How high did either reading get?
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
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I agree that your test kit is probably off. There is a very slight possibility that your tank could start producing no3 into your 2nd week but a 200 ppm reading is extremely high.

Nitrate test kits are notorious for being off if older then a year and usually give inaccurate readings that are very high. Even if you just bought the kit it could have been sitting on a shelf somewhere for over a year. I’d verify your results with the lfs and also buy a new kit from a different manufacture to be sure.

As Devilishturtles said multiple pwc of 50+% is the only way to reduce such high no3 numbers if they are accurate. Make sure you aerate and mix your SW for 24+ hours before changing though.

What was the highest nh3/no2 reading you have had so far and what is it currently?
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