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Old 01-10-2018, 11:10 AM   #1
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New Tank Cycle

I have a 55gal tank with a filter rated for 110gal. The tank has been cycling since 11/29/17 with fish in. I saw the ammonia spike and now it is at 0 ppm, Nitrites are at 1.0 ppm and Nitrates are between 10 and 20 ppm. I just did a 50% water change on Monday, bringing the Nitrites down to 0.5 ppm and dropping the Nitrates to about 5 ppm. I was careful not to disturb the substrate when changing the water. Now, not even 48 hours later, the Nitrites are back to 1.0 ppm and the Nitrates are back to 10 ppm.

The temperature is about 79įF and the pH is 7.2. What am I doing wrong and why can't I get the Nitrites down?
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:43 PM   #2
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I have a 55gal tank with a filter rated for 110gal. The tank has been cycling since 11/29/17 with fish in. I saw the ammonia spike and now it is at 0 ppm, Nitrites are at 1.0 ppm and Nitrates are between 10 and 20 ppm. I just did a 50% water change on Monday, bringing the Nitrites down to 0.5 ppm and dropping the Nitrates to about 5 ppm. I was careful not to disturb the substrate when changing the water. Now, not even 48 hours later, the Nitrites are back to 1.0 ppm and the Nitrates are back to 10 ppm.

The temperature is about 79įF and the pH is 7.2. What am I doing wrong and why can't I get the Nitrites down?
Not enough bacteria in your system to convert the nitrite to nitrate, only thing you can do is wait for the population to increase, eventually leaving no nitrites.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
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Not enough bacteria in your system to convert the nitrite to nitrate, only thing you can do is wait for the population to increase, eventually leaving no nitrites.
Will continuing with 15-20% water changes every few days help or hurt the cycle? I want to keep the levels in check as to not put too much stress on the fish. Should I be dosing the tank with anything to help speed up the process? (Nite Out, Stability, Prime, etc)
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:02 PM   #4
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Will continuing with 15-20% water changes every few days help or hurt the cycle? I want to keep the levels in check as to not put too much stress on the fish. Should I be dosing the tank with anything to help speed up the process? (Nite Out, Stability, Prime, etc)
You can try products made as bacterial cultures to speed up the population growth. Unfortunately your situation will be a slow tedious process, more nitrite will speed up population growth but hurt your livestock, less nitrite will slow population growth but be easier on your livestock... Its a rock and a hard place scenario. My vote will be for keeping nitrites low, and having it take a little longer to reduce the effects on fish short term. Prime may help, I'm not sure off the top of my head if it detoxifies nitrite though.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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You can try products made as bacterial cultures to speed up the population growth. Unfortunately your situation will be a slow tedious process, more nitrite will speed up population growth but hurt your livestock, less nitrite will slow population growth but be easier on your livestock... Its a rock and a hard place scenario. My vote will be for keeping nitrites low, and having it take a little longer to reduce the effects on fish short term. Prime may help, I'm not sure off the top of my head if it detoxifies nitrite though.
Thanks for the answers and insight. I will dose with Prime and continue to monitor nitrites. I figured the bacteria responsible for conversion weren't established, just thought they would grow a little quicker than they are.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:16 PM   #6
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Some cycles take a few months lol, some take a week or two.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:50 PM   #7
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I was in a similar situation when I first started in the hobby. It took a little over 2 months before my tank finally stabilized! You just have to have patience. Definitely use Prime as it does detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:26 PM   #8
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I was in a similar situation when I first started in the hobby. It took a little over 2 months before my tank finally stabilized! You just have to have patience. Definitely use Prime as it does detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
Thank you for the info. I will definitely continue using the Prime.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:59 AM   #9
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Some cycles take a few months lol, some take a week or two.


Mine took around 2 months too! Although it was an accidental fish in cycle as I didnít know any better at that point until I did a load of research.

Iím sure the daily water changes slowed the process down however
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:55 AM   #10
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Mine took around 2 months too! Although it was an accidental fish in cycle as I didnít know any better at that point until I did a load of research.

Iím sure the daily water changes slowed the process down however
Thanks for the info.
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