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Old 12-08-2014, 11:30 PM   #1
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Cycling tanks is a never-ending nightmare.

Hey guys,
If you have read anything I have posted, then you know I am trying to do my first fishless cycle with a column tank and it has been trying to say the least.

I use ammonia, which is has been able to process in 24 hours for about 2 weeks now. The problem is my Nitrites are sky high and have not moved in 2-3 weeks. I even changed the water thinking my cycle had stalled, and lowered the nitrites to a readable level. They went back up to purple in 24 hours, and have stayed there. Its getting so frustrating! All that is in there are sevweral live plants and gravel. I had a large chunk of driftwood, but decided I hated how it looked as I want it to be heavily planted with a few larger rocks.

Im running an aquaclear 30, temp is at 80, and ive been waiting for what feels like a year. Am I doing something wrong? Did I miss something? I look fondly back on the days I was worried about Ammonia and Nitrites werent a factor, lol. I test daily using the API master test kit.

Any advice or insight would be awesome! Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:25 AM   #2
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It takes about twice as long for the nitrite consuming bacteria to divide compared to the ammonia consuming bacteria. Just give it some time

The number 1 cause of a stalled cycle is lack of nutrients. Thats why it's a good idea to add flake food occasionally as well. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate need to be ocscenely high to stall it, certainly higher than we should get.

How is your kh? Bacteria consume that quite regularly.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:18 AM   #3
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I just read ammonia can cause nitrite bacteria to stall out, but if I stop adding ammonia, wont that starve the first initial bacteria?
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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No, they will live for a while without ammoina. You can put fish flake to decay and feed them.

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Old 12-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppo8820 View Post
I just read ammonia can cause nitrite bacteria to stall out, but if I stop adding ammonia, wont that starve the first initial bacteria?
It cqn, but the levels need to be really high
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
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As a rule of thumb, I usually don't even start checking levels until about two months in. It usually takes about that long, checking it earlier doesn't accomplish anything, and you'll drive yourself insane checking like that. I agree with adding some flakes, it may help, but otherwise you're still in the waiting part of the cycle rather than the troubleshooting stage.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Some say that very high nitrites can (paradoxically) inhibit the growth of the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. If I were you, I'd continue to do large WCs until the nitrites are below 5 ppm. Doesn't sound like you have much to lose right now.

Also, check your pH. If it's below 7, bump it up to ~8 with baking soda.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Some say that very high nitrites can (paradoxically) inhibit the growth of the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. If I were you, I'd continue to do large WCs until the nitrites are below 5 ppm. Doesn't sound like you have much to lose right now.

Also, check your pH. If it's below 7, bump it up to ~8 with baking soda.
Did some digging, >20ppm nitrite is the only figure I've found to be potentially inhibitory.

http://www.environmentalleverage.com...on-balance.htm

Not a scientific article. But it's exam week and I don't have the tenergy to decipher scientific articles atm
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:46 AM   #9
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Cycling tanks is a never-ending nightmare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
Did some digging, >20ppm nitrite is the only figure I've found to be potentially inhibitory.

http://www.environmentalleverage.com...on-balance.htm

Not a scientific article. But it's exam week and I don't have the tenergy to decipher scientific articles atm

Yeah, that claim may only be applicable to parameters that most folks don't encounter during a cycle. I have a three-day-old infant and am struggling to be functional at work right now, so no lit search on this end either.

Good luck with exams.


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Old 12-10-2014, 07:18 AM   #10
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Thanks all. I stopped dosing ammonia for a few days to see what happens and I tossed in some flake food. Thanks for taking the time to look up articles and things to help out, you all are awesome. I will keep you posted.
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