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Old 01-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
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Cycle taking forever

Hi everyone,
I'm doing a fishless cycle which I started way back on the first of December with pure ammonia, after reading the AA article on the subject. The ammonia started out at about 4.0 ppm. The nitrite went from 0 up to a high of over 5.0, which is the highest number my color chart shows. Then the nitrate started up, and that reading is now way off the chart. Ammonia has gradually gone down to 0.0 (yay, I think!) but the nitrite seems to be stuck at 2.0 for about a week now, not going any lower. Should I start changing the water, or just wait for the nitrite to hit 0? I can be patient, but this is getting to be frustrating!
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:13 PM   #2
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What are you using for your ammonia source?

I assume pure ammonia.

Add a pinch of finely ground up flake food, that might give it a kick.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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I used pure ammonia. I did put a little food in last week. Would a drop of the pure ammonia again be useful? Should I get the ammonia up over 0.0 again?
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
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U need to keep the ammonia source there to feed the already established ammonia-consuming bacteria. The nitrite will come down. It's the slower of the 2 to establish.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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thank you for doing a fishless cycle!
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Keep dosing the ammonia, once it's turning over daily you'll have a better idea where you are at. Which also means you have to test daily, mainly ammonia & nitrite. Yes, since there's not fish in there, dose that ammonia back up high.

And much applause for going fishless, I started again at the same time as you.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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OK, thanks everyone. I boosted the ammonia back up to 0.50 today. Nitrite is still hanging in there at 2.0ppm. Just to make sure I understand:

Whenever the ammonia drops to zero but the nitrite is still not down to zero, I boost the ammonia up again. I'm not done, and no water changing, until both hit zero, then I change water until nitrate is around 10 or so? Right?

And now for more waiting and testing!
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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you got it, except you should boost your ammonai into the 3-5 range, not .5
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
you got it, except you should boost your ammonai into the 3-5 range, not .5
Oh, Ok! I thought I just had to get any amount of ammonia back in there. Won't making it way high again increase the cycle time even more?
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
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The bacteria will only stay alive if there's food for them to eat (i.e. ammonia). They're like pets, if you have a lot, and only feed a few, they won't all make it. You want to sustain the entire population
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