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Old 09-26-2022, 07:43 PM   #1
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Ammonia After Cycling

I did a fishless cycle using beneficial bacteria and dosing with bottled ammonia. The cycle happened as normal and now the Nitrates and Nitrites are finally at 0ppm. However, for some reason after they both hit 0ppm my Ammonium went from 0ppm to around 1ppm. What's going on? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 09-26-2022, 07:59 PM   #2
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If you have been dosing ammonia and your tank is cycled, your nitrate shouldn't be zero. The nitrogen cycle turns ammonia into nitrate so you should see nitrate in a cycled tank. If you added ammonia and afterwards saw nothing in your tests, there is something wrong with your testing.

How much ammonia have you been dosing? How long does it take for that ammonia to drop to zero ammonia and nitrite?

Did you do anything in the tank between those zero readings and the positive ammonia test? Change some water? Any new decorations, or moved anything about?
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:54 PM   #3
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I followed the ammonium dosing directions on the bottle and stopped when told. After 4-5 days of adding the Ammonia my Nitrites formed and then Nitrates shortly after that. At it's highest I had around 2.0ppm Nitrites and 20ppm Nitrates. After about two weeks they both went down to 0ppm and I got the 1ppm Ammonium level as previously discussed. That's all I did. I didn't add anything or do a water change.

-Freshwater
-40 gallon tank
-78 degrees temp
-No live stock
-No decorations
-No plants
-No lights on
-Aqueon QuietFlow Pro 50 Aquarium Power Filter
-API Freshwater Master Test Kit
-Dr.Tim's One & Only Nitrifying Bacteria
-Dr.Tim’s Aquatics Ammonium Chloride Solution for Fishless Cycling
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Old 09-27-2022, 03:32 AM   #4
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You need to be able to add 2ppm ammonia and 24 hours later see zero ammonia and nitrite.

The instructions given by Dr Tim wont cycle the tank in the timescales they claim.

Every time your ammonia drops below 1ppm redose it back to 2ppm. If after 24 hours you see zero ammonia and nitrite you are cycled.

You are at 1ppm ammonia, so add another 1ppm and bring it to 2ppm and see where you are same time tomorrow.

Nitrate wont go down without a water change. If you are now seeing zero nitrate there is something wrong with your testing. Either it wasnt high before or it isnt zero now. Could be either.

- High nitrite is known to cause false high nitrate readings.
- Assuming you are using API liquid test, you have to really shake bottle #2 hard. Like bang it on the countertop.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:07 AM   #5
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Do you have any Zeolite (Ammogon) in the filter?
It is a white granulated substance that removes ammonia from the water.

If you have lots of live plants in the tank, that can hinder with the filter bacteria development.

Nitrate test kits will read nitrite as nitrate and give you a false reading. You don't normally start testing for nitrates until the ammonia and nitrite have both gone up and come back down to 0ppm. This usually takes around 4-6 weeks. After that you start testing for nitrates.
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