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Old 04-27-2019, 03:48 PM   #1
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Nitrite Issue When Cycling With Ada Amazonia Ii And Power Sand Special

So this is my first tank and I'm having some trouble with the cycling process, which has been going on for 10 days. I have a 125L (33 Gal) Juwel tank with a Juwel Bioflow M Filter pumping at 600l/hr. My first layer of substrate is ADA Power Sand Special topped off with ADA Amaznoia II. I planted a significant number of plants before filling the tank with water.

After the first day, my test results were Ammonia: 5ppm, Nitrite: 5ppm and Nitrates: 0ppm. I proceeded to do 15% water changes daily for the next 10 days, which resulted in Ammonia: 2ppm, Nitrite: 5ppm and Nitrates: 5ppm. on the tenth day, I did a 50% water change, which lowered the Ammonia: 0.5ppm, but the Nitrite is still at 5ppm, which surprised me. The Nitrates went up to 20ppm!

Now I understand that Amazonia leaches quite a lot of ammonia, but I'm not entirely sure where the Nitrites are coming from and how they haven't reduced after a 50% water change. I'm also not sure if the ADA Power Soil Special is contributing to the Nitrite levels. Another issue is that despite having planted a decent number of plants, there is still a good amount of surface area of Amazonia not covered by plants and is immediately exposed to the water, which I've heard is not ideal.

I've been dosing Seachem Prime, Seachem Flourish Excel and Seachem Stability (not sure if I need to use this). My plants went through a bit of a melting phase during the first week, but I have since noticed new bright green leaves and growth on several plants.

I understand that there are loads of threads on this subject but I can't seem to find a consistent answer regarding my Nitrite issue. Also, some have said that I should be doing 50% water changes every day, while some say 10%. Some say I shouldn't do ANY water changes for about a week so that the beneficial bacteria can have the opportunity to grow. Am I doing anything wrong? Is there something I should be doing instead? How much longer can I expect the cycle to last?

I'd really appreciate the help on this guys as I'm really lost on the matter.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:27 AM   #2
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If there are no fish then you do not need to worry about it as much. Ammonia turns to nitrite so it is the natural progression of nitrification.

I did a test of ammonia for the Amazonia and there was significant ammonia. I didn't do the testing with the power sand and do not know about that part.

But you said Amazonia II and I haven't used that. It mentions doesn't cloud the water similar to Amazonia Light (also have and presently am using), but doesn't exactly mention the ammonia part.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:23 AM   #3
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Generally ammonia should be between 2-4 ppm, nitrites not above 5 ppm and nitrates not above 80 ppm. You can do a water change if it gets above these levels. Sounds like you are in the middle of the cycle. Be patient with it.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:07 AM   #4
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Generally ammonia should be between 2-4 ppm, nitrites not above 5 ppm and nitrates not above 80 ppm. You can do a water change if it gets above these levels. Sounds like you are in the middle of the cycle. Be patient with it.
I appreciate the reply! Given that my ammonia levels have already been reduced to 0.5ppm, what do you suggest I do next? Should I do a couple of 50%+ water changes for a few days until my nitrites go down to reasonable levels? Then Ill add more ammonia?
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:07 PM   #5
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I don't think your levels are too high. IMO, your nitrites are right at the limit. Maybe leave it alone for a couple days and see what it does. If your nitrites get really high then you could do a 50% water change then dose your ammonia back up to at least 2ppm.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:57 AM   #6
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A quick update!

I did an almost complete water change last night and retested the water.

An hour after the water change:
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrites: 0.5ppm

7 hours after the water change:
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrites: 2ppm

I'd really appreciate your feedback!
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:40 AM   #7
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Check with the company, maybe a quick email.

Did you say if you have aqua creatures living in the cycling tank?
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:44 AM   #8
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Check with the company, maybe a quick email.

Did you say if you have aqua creatures living in the cycling tank?
Nope, there are no animals in the tank, only plants!
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:57 AM   #9
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Good, then you don't have as much to be "worried" about.

Though you are interested in knowing of course, why and how this is.

What temp is the water at? You can increase it up to what you feel your plants will be okay with.

Check out the section 12 and 18 (in general for your tank) You might know about most of this stuff in the article, maybe something will be useful.
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:09 AM   #10
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Good, then you don't have as much to be "worried" about.

Though you are interested in knowing of course, why and how this is.

What temp is the water at? You can increase it up to what you feel your plants will be okay with.

Check out the section 12 and 18 (in general for your tank) You might know about most of this stuff in the article, maybe something will be useful.
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
Thanks for the link mate, it was actually quite helpful! I've been keeping my temperature at about 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
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