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Old 01-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #1
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Nitrite spike - How long?

How long does the Nitrite spike normally last in a fishless cycle? I have gone the pure ammonia route and I am cycling two new tanks at the same time. Both have identical water peramiters. Obviously, it takes more ammonia to dose up the 55g as to the 33g to 2-3ppm, but both convert it to zero in about 12 hours or so.

My nitrites have been spiked for about 4-6 days now, just wondering when I can expect those to level off. Nitrates are between 60-80.

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:44 PM   #2
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It shouldn't be much longer IMO. Keep dosing the ammonia, once both the ammonia and the nitrites drop to 0, you'll be cycled. With your nitrates already being so high, I would suspect you are very close to done. Although nitrate readings aren't very accurate when the nitrites are so high.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
It shouldn't be much longer IMO. Keep dosing the ammonia, once both the ammonia and the nitrites drop to 0, you'll be cycled. With your nitrates already being so high, I would suspect you are very close to done. Although nitrate readings aren't very accurate when the nitrites are so high.
Yup. I did fishless cycle with a shrimp and after my ammonia went to 0, I got so impatient for my nitrites to do the same. It took about a week, although I didn't keep a log or anything. I wondered if it would ever go down to zero, so I stopped checking my water and decided to let it be. When I did check again, ammonia and nitrite were both zero, and nitrate was between 10 and 20. I agree with Zagz: it shouldn't be much longer.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:45 PM   #4
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Don't you need to keep feeding ammonia though while you're waiting? You don't want the nitrIfying bacteria to not be able to keep up with the ammonia once your fish arrive.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:58 PM   #5
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I've never done fishless with pure ammonia, but yes, there needs to be a constant source of ammonia for the bacteria to convert. When you keep dosing (or the decaying shrimp stays in there) it is keeping those good bacteria busy. I think once you have enough bacteria in there, the ammonia and nitrite are converted so quickly, they never have a chance to register. I know in other fishless cycle threads where pure ammonia was used, they had to keep dosing the tank with ammonia. Since I just left the shrimp in there until it was gone, I have no idea how much to dose, but I know someone else does! I did leave the remains of the shrimp in there even after I put my first fish in a week ago. It is now completely gone. I've checked my water 2 times in the past week and it's always been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrates.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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I just wanted to make sure he knew to keep dosing.

I'm in my first cycle like this too, we're about the same place. I have been keeping a log, moreso for a reference for when I do this again. Here it is if it helps

Deleted it. bbcode isn't holding it's formatting, so it just looks like jumble on here.

Let me try attaching it as a pic.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tank_log_212.jpg (76.9 KB, 413 views)
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:33 PM   #7
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Nice record keeping neilanh.

For what it's worth, here is some data from a 10 gallon that I just finished cycling. You will find two pages of data, one is the raw data and the other is in chart form. The total time was 17 days, 4 days longer than it took my 29 gallon to cycle. I had seed material in the 10 and none in the 29!

Go figure, it seems that many of the "rules" don't apply to smaller tanks.

I hope this helps the question. It seems to me like the nitrite is never going to drop and then one day it is all gone
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:47 PM   #8
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Kudos to you too Sparky!
I should clean up my spreadsheet and post it too. I didn't graph mine, but it's definately interesting to see it like that. I think now I'll have to be a copy-cat and do that too!

I don't think there are "rules", too many variables for this to be an exact science. I was hoping to be done in 14 days, like I talked about early in my thread, but I don't think I'll be too far off of that. I'm still thinking fish next weekend.
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