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Old 08-15-2017, 12:27 AM   #1
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Trouble with fishless cycling: no ammonia, high nitrites/nitrates

I am working on cycling a 29G fish tank with plants. I believe I have passed the ammonia spike. My nitrites and nitrates were high so I did a 80% water change. Now I keep adding ammonia to 4ppm to my tank and check the levels every other day. For the last week, every time I check it my ammonia is zero, and nitrites and nitrates are high. Am I supposed to continue adding ammonia every day or am I supposed to leave it alone in order to sufficiently grow my nitrites eating bacteria? Thanks
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:45 AM   #2
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Update: Now the pH spiked to 8.2 from 7.4 overnight. Also I have like a brown algae/hair fungus growing. I got the nitrite to go down to a readable level after doing another water change, and it went right back up over 2 days. I am getting really frustrated and don't know what I am doing wrong. I am now on day 23.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:03 AM   #3
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Test your water from where your getting it and let me know you get
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:37 AM   #4
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Trouble with fishless cycling: no ammonia, high nitrites/nitrates

you are aware how the nitrogen cycle works??



Waste breaks down into ammonia, then one bacteria converts that to nitrites. then another bacteria then converts that to nitrates.



from what you've described, the first bacteria is thriving converting all the ammonia in nitrites. though the second isn't as established yet.



your algae problem is a side effect of your original problem as its using the nitrogen to grow.



so to start with don't worry about water changes. the bacteria needs to consume the nitrites to grow and colonize your tank. having nitrates is fine, that isn't going anywhere. when you have fish in the tank to minamize the amount of nitrates we do water changes. my tanks are usally around 4ppm.

if you are still adding more ammonia, i would stop. keep waiting and testing till you get 0 nitrites. you can then do a water change to bring down your nirates to acceptable levels.



I've never had a serious algae problem. but basic science tells me plants need light, nutrients and water to grow. so if you cover your tank up with a dark towel your algae should die off... check the forum there is bound to be a ton of posts on algae removal.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:16 PM   #5
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I have tried that. There is no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in the water.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #6
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Hmm... Can you take a picture of your tank so i can see what it looks like
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:14 PM   #7
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from your last dosing of ammonia, and you haven't done a large water change. your ammonia and nitrites both read 0 your tank should be cycled.

if you are unsure. dose it once more. do nothing else bar checking your water parameters. once ammonia and nitrites are at zero do a 30% water change.
congratulations you can now buy your first couple of fish
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:41 PM   #8
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I understand the cycle. I was more concerned why it was taking so long and wanted to make sure I hadn't stalled the cycle. Also as I understood I thought you had to continue dosing ammonia or that bacteria colony would die off.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:50 PM   #9
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the bacteria i believe goes dormant as long as the water don't go stagnate. as for stalling your cycle doing water changes can do that as you're removing what the bacteria needs. 3 weeks is perfectly acceptable for cycling.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:03 PM   #10
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When you dose very high ammonia like 4ppm per day you will almost always end up with a point where nitrites spike way up. I usually do a big water change to bring nitrites down and then do smaller doses of ammonia every day. 1ppm.

Once your nitrite levels start to drop on their own you can increase the ammonia doses back up a little per day to 4ppm if you want to.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:18 PM   #11
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Ok I will try that thank you.
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