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Old 09-30-2014, 06:38 AM   #1
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Tank Cycle Stalled??

Hello,

I am currently cycling a turtle tank to house turtle hatchlings until they are bigger. I been cycling for about 7 weeks. I been stuck on high nitrates for around 3 weeks.
I have done the following:
Current readings: Ammonia=0 Nitrite=5 Nitrate=40-60
60 gallon aquarium with approx 30 gallons of water

Fish in cycle (2 danios) I also added about 8 ghost shrimp thinking my turtle might eat them. He did not. They are all still alive. I see no signs of stress on the fish.
I do not feed the turtle in the tank to avoid excess food and feed my fish sparingly. Any leftover food I am certain the ghost shrimp take care of.

I do 2-3 weekly 20% water changes

I have recently added fluval biological enhancer

Water temp=78 degrees
Is my cycle stalled? is it normal to have high nitrite readings for 3 plus weeks?
I attached pictures below

Thank you in advance
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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The nitrite test only goes up to 5, right?
Chances are good that you actually have way more than 5ppm nitrites in the water, but the test can't show that high.

At this stage of the cycle, when the first stage bacteria (ammonia to nitrite) are there, but the second stage are still duplicating, nitrite spikes get really high.

I've only experienced this as a fishless cycle but I'm sure it's not that different... at this stage I had to do many extremely large water changes one after the other just to get the nitrites into a readable range. As in three more than 70% changes. While the bacteria that you need now is the nitrite processing kind, apparently too-high nitrite levels can delay them duplicating as well.

You also need to get the nitrites lower for the sake of the livestock you have in there.

I'd recommend you do as many large water changes as it takes to get the nitrites into a lower the amount of ammonia you are dosing, and lower the amount of ammonia in the tank as well. So strictly limit anything that would contribute to ammonia. Repeat on doing those huge water changes any time the nitrite levels get too high again.

As I say, I've not done a fish-in cycle before but my understanding is that you need to do more water changes, as the nitrite levels have to be kept low for the sake of the livestock.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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That sounds about what I was thinking. The test does take a bit to turn purple. I read some people have readings that are instantly purple, but it could be higher than 5 for sure. I am going to do some large water changes at this point. Thank you very much
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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What type of filtration?
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:54 AM   #5
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I am currently using a fluval 306
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjpaulman View Post
That sounds about what I was thinking. The test does take a bit to turn purple. I read some people have readings that are instantly purple, but it could be higher than 5 for sure. I am going to do some large water changes at this point. Thank you very much
That does sound hopeful - maybe it is only 5. But "only 5" is still way, way too high I hope this phase is over soon, it's the one I found the most troublesome.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:18 AM   #7
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Update***Once I did a 70% water change and got the nitrite to readable levels, the nitrites dropped to zero in just a couple days. Thanks for your help
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:11 AM   #8
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That's excellent news, I'm so pleased to hear that. Thanks for letting me know.
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