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Old 12-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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New aquarium advice

Hi all so I am on my 25th day of my fishless tank cycle and had some questions. I am running a 20L gallon tank with an Aquaclear 70 gph HOB filter. For the very first time in 5 weeks my water parameters are:

-0.25 ppm ammonia
-0.25 ppm nitrites
-5 ppm nitrates

These parameters have not changed for about a week now. The ammonia has not gone down and the nitrites have not either. Has my cycle stalled? If not, when should ammonia and nitrites go down so that I could start adding fish?

A couple things to keep in mind. My tap water has been tested with a natural 0.50 ppm ammonia but I use Prime to neutralize the ammonia. With that said my last water change was a week ago and my ammonia went from 0.50 ppm to 0.25 pm overnight but has not changed since for a week now. Any input would be great. Thanks.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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What's your ph?
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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Ph is 7.5. By the wsy I just planted 3 Amazon swords yesterday. This doesn't affect the cycle but I thought I would disclose.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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How about your heat? Where is it set? With plants you can't go to 84 but 80 is good
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Great question. I've been cycling my tank at 86 degrees but turned it down to 82 yesterday. So do you think the tank is almost ready to complete its cycle or am I stalled?
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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Hard to say. But I think at this point a WC may be what you need. Try 50% wait an hour Then check lvl.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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Got it. So what am I waiting to see as a result of the 50% water change?
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:26 PM   #8
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Sorry, just a marker to see where you are before you redose. Then to 2mrw you will know if there is any change . I think your water just needs a recharging to kick the cycle out of neutral.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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I agree, try a large water change and then redose. Is this the first time you're seeing nitrite or have they risen and fallen already?
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #10
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This is the first time ammonia has dropped and that there was a nitrite and nitrate presence. Just performed a 50% wc. Will test again in 24 hours.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:26 AM   #11
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Ok so I preformed a 50% wc and here are my new water parameters:

Ammonia: 0.50 ppm
Nitrite: 1 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
Ph: 7.6

So after changing half my water, my Ammonia is about the same level, my Nitrite spiked up, and my Nitrate definitely went up.

So with these new parameters, does it seem like my cycle got the jump start it needed? What should I expect at this point as far as change and timing goes? Any input would be thankful.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #12
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Looks good. I'd leave it alone for now. Keep checking and dosing ammonia every 24 hours as needed when ammonia drops below 1-2. Rising nitrites is a very good sign; you're headed into the last phase. Nitrites should continue to rise. The nitrite phase is the longest, lasting about 3 weeks on average. When nitrite are 5 for a week or more, or PH drops below 7, do another water change to get nitrites down and/or PH back up. Otherwise it's just a waiting game for nitrites to rise and then fall to 0.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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Ok sounds good. So should I be concerned that ammonia has not dropped down to 0 yet? Should I wait for ammonia to drop to 0 before dosing again?
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee1106 View Post
Ok sounds good. So should I be concerned that ammonia has not dropped down to 0 yet? Should I wait for ammonia to drop to 0 before dosing again?
It will take a little more time for ammonia to zero out. You don't want to let your ammonia get to zero, that means your BB has no food, as libragirl stated once your ammonia gets around 1-2 you need to dose ammonia again to get it around 4ppm.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:30 AM   #15
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So I just dosed my aquarium to get my ammonia up. Here are my updated water parameters:

Ammonia :2 ppm
Nitrites:2 ppm
Nitrates:40 ppm
Ph: 7.6 ppm

So it looks like doing the 50% water change definitely jumpstarted the cycle stall I was dealing with for the lady week. Only concern I have right now is the Nitrates shot up to 40ppm. Should I be concerned or is this normal?
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:57 AM   #16
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Boom! Good to here! Now as soon as the nitrites drop your cycled! Big WC and added some stock.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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High nitrates are normal; as the nitrite is processed the nitrates will rise. Mine got up to 160 at one point during my cycle.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:47 AM   #18
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So just tested my water and looks like ammonia is dropping to 0 within 24 hours 2 days in a row now. My nitrites are at 5 ppm but my nitrates are extremely high. They are at 160 ppm today. Do I need to do a water change? Can nitrates this high kill the good bacteria I need?
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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Wow you're doing well! There's some debate about high nitrates stalling a cycle and how high they need to go to do it. If you wanted to do a water change you could, it won't hurt anything. You can also wait it out. Keep an eye on PH too; PH drops are common in cycling tanks and if it falls too low (mid-low 6's) it can stall the cycle too; if that happens just do a large water change to get PH back up.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #20
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Ok so it's been a few days since I posted my results. My ammonia has been continuing to drop withing 24 hours even when dosing ammonia to as high 5 ppm. This is great but my nitrites and nitrates have been off the charts. So high that the colors are not on the API test.

I just performed a 50% water change because I've read that levels this high could stall the cycle. Has anyone experienced what I'm going through? What can I do at this point or should I just just wait for the cycle to complete? How long will this last for?
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