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Old 02-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Nitrates question

Hi everyone! I had a little set back with my bowfront this past few weeks and had to completely trash the whole tank and stand and buy a brand new one. Of course this took me a few weeks to purchase so meanwhile, my brand new live sand and rock (some live, some dried out from an old system) had been hanging out in large totes cycling.

So here's the question. Now that I have the new setup running, I've been testing for the past few days and Im seeing the ammonia drop to almost nothing, the nitrites have been at or above 5.0 and the nitrates are almost undetectable. When I first tested, everything was as i figured it would be, literally everything high except the pH (which I raised to 8.4 once i got everything in there). Why did my nitrates drop so low? I havent done anything to the tank besides run the powerheads and I bought another couple live rocks from the LFS. Did my bacteria that eat the nitrites die off and are no longer producing the nitrates? I assume that they were probably present in the totes since they were cycling for so long and must have died when I moved them out of the totes. But I honestly just dont know. Ive never had this situation come up. lol Any suggestions? Partial water change? Should I add some ammonia to keep the cycle going?

Oh and I just realized that the sand and rock and been cycling in the totes for about a month....not just a few weeks. Man time flies when you're working your butt off to buy fish tanks!!!!!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:41 PM   #2
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I wouldn't do water changes, keep dosing the ammonia and testing. You have nitrites so your tank needs to complete the cycle. Once you can dose ammonia and have no ammonia and no nitrites but you do have nitrates in 24 hours then your cycled and ready to go.

What happened that you had to trash your tank?
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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Hi and thank you! I dosed the tank before I went to work yesterday. Today its looking a little more like it should I think. Ammonia is slowly coming down since yesterday, nitrites and nitrates are high as they should be. pH is 8.4 still and temp is steady at 80.

The other tank was a used tank from an aunt of mine and had leaked before. So we resealed it and tested for a month total. Slowly filling with water and waiting. Then added 50lbs of sand and waited. Then added another 30 lbs of rock and waited. All was well until we added another 27lbs of sand and rock and it sprung a leak. ugh!! We bailed the water and put everything in totes and I did my best to cycle everything in there.

It was such a nice tank and stand that I felt I had to try. lol Ive learned my lesson and Ill just buy new things from now on. What a disaster that could have been!!
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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Ok, so I guess Im probably just being paranoid but everything is just off the charts right now and has been since yesterday. The pH went from 8.4 to 7.4 in 2 days also. I think I read that when nitrates are high, the pH will drop. Is this correct? Should I do anything about not being able to even read the levels or just stop worrying and leave it alone and let it do its own thing? lol Thanks again for the help!
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