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Old 07-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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setting up my tank... cycle not quite there yet.

Hi everyone...

Have been setting up my tank after a long breakbfrom aquariums and have opted for the fishless cycle.

I know some people have reasonable objections to fishless cycleing but I feel it has gotta be better for the fish...

Its nearly 3 weeks into the cycle process and the no2 will just not drop that last little bit... Its been settled on 1ppm for a good few days now.

It processes ammonia no problem. I can bring it up to 4ppm and in 24 hours its back down to 0ppm.

No3 spiked up to 160ppm but after planting the tank its dropped to down to a stable 5ppm... Some of the plants are not doing too well and have been dying off so removed them...

PH is high though.. Its at 7.6 and have added 2.5ml of pH down every day for 4 days and its still at 7.6...

Will the high pH stop the no2 dropping that last bit?

I usually tap the water off for testing from at the top of the tank at the filter outlet. My thinking is that its just drawn the water from the bottom of the tank and is likely to be typical values for the whole tank...

Any thoughts or tips for getting the pH down or getting the no2 to move that last bit...
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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NO2 at 1ppm sounds trivial. If your BB is processing NH3 to NO2 and NO2 to NO3, you're cycled.

NOTE: edited this post for blatant errors.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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I would stop adding the PH down for one point. A PH of 7.6 is fine. When adding chems, it creats fluctuations. Which isn't good for fish when you add them.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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The info I had on fishless cycle said that no2 should fall to 0 before adding fish... I thought just being slightly above that would be no big deal.. But better to check first...

I am only going to put a few fish in to start with anyway...

I'll give it a couple of days to settle after the last dose of pH down went in (this morning) and add some fish Saturday or Sunday....

Now to decide what's going in....
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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Sorry - I should have held my tongue b4.

NO2 is nitrite - and you're right, that should be zero (I incorrectly thought it was Nitrate, which is NO3 - my bad!). It's nitrates that are okay to have some in your tank water, but your nitrite should measure zero.

The biggest question in terms of your tank being cycled: if you add 4ppm of ammonia, is your tank able to convert that to 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite readings in 24hrs?
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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I can add 5ml of ammonia which takes it up to around 4 or 5 ppm and 24 hours later the ammonia is down to 0ppm.

I tried reducing the ammonia to 2.5ml which took it to 3ppm it was 0 the next day. Added a little over 5ml and it still processed it out to 0ppm

Its processing the ammonia really well.

The no2 (niterite) has been on 1.0 ppm for the last 5 days... It did drop to 0.5 ppm one day but than back up to 1.0 ppm by the next.. The drop may have been an error in the testing procedure...

I just don't get why it won't drop that last bit.... Its driving me nuts..
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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I dunno. Seems like if your nitrite converting bacteria were really flourishing, you should be seeing zero nitrites. OTOH, if they weren't there at all, you'd think your nitrites would just keep increasing. Weird!
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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I know its doing my nut in...

Click image for larger version

Name:	NO2.jpg
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Click image for larger version

Name:	NH3.jpg
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Click image for larger version

Name:	NO3.jpg
Views:	45
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ID:	186875

The graphs are all pretty and as they should be... It just won't drop at the end.....
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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That's crazy! Have you tried using another testing kit for nitrites? Maybe you're getting bad readings? Are you dosing with anything? Could something be throwing off the reading?

That's whack!
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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I did think it maybe the test kit.... But I did a control test on declorinated tap water... Result = 0ppm....
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