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Old 08-09-2017, 03:57 PM   #1
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Ammonia gone, high Nitrites and Nitrates, I am a beginner and could use some help!

Hey everyone. I am a beginner and about 3 weeks ago I started a fishless cycle. The last few days, my readings have been looking as follows:

Ammonia:0 (I am having to dose it back to 4ppm everyday)

Nitrite: 2-5ppm (it seems like it is getting lighter as time has went on, so those seem like they are starting to drop.)

Nitrates: This test has been coming out very bright red. I have been marking it as 80-160ppm

I am no sure if these reading are what I am supposed to be getting. I actually did a 50% Water Change a few days ago and tested my Nitrates again, and they still read about the same as before. Will these begin to drop as Nitrites begin to drop as well? Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I am just getting worried that I messed something up. I have read a lot of conflicting info regarding doing water changes, or just leaving the tank alone to do it's thing, so I am not sure of what my next step should be. Does it sound like my tank is close to being finished?

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Old 08-09-2017, 03:59 PM   #2
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I personally would add plants. Even simple potted ones. Any plants would help move the cycle along
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:42 PM   #3
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The nitrates are removed by doing water changes. The more water you change, the more nitrates are removed. Some people prefer to do large weekly water changes, some like to do a few smaller changes throughout the week. There's pros and cons to both.
I'm not really sure how adding plants will help the cycle progress. They'll absorb some nitrate as nutrients I suppose. I feel like you need to have a high plant to fish ratio for it to be significantly impactful.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:59 PM   #4
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Yes by planting heavy plants will help turn nitrite to nitrate and eliminate ammonia. Then change the water for any excess nitrate.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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I thought the plants consumed the nitrogenous wastes directly rather than convert them.
I've heard of a "silent" cycle in which plants keep the nitrogenous compounds at a lower and often safer level.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:21 PM   #6
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Eventually they eat all of everything which is why fertilizer is necessary for any long-term heavy growth. Natural tanks can balance out so nothing is needed but they'll never get as thick. By blasting high everything (light/co2/ferts) all you have to do is change water to get rid of unused ferts. Just keep an eye on the ph, put timers staggered and monitor to fine-tune it to your set-up
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:32 PM   #7
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OP - You still have a ways to go. The nitrite-to-nitrate conversion takes much longer than the ammonia-to-nitrite conversion.
Personally, I would only dose the ammonia to 2.0 ppm.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:58 PM   #8
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I kept my tank in temperatures of 80-85 , Using Seachem Stability every day for the first two weeks then I started dosing weekly, threw small fish flakes in the tank every 2-3 days, Did 20 percent water changes once a week, I had like 6 live plants( Amazon swords, water wisteria, nana Anubis , Java fern ) on gravel substrate . It took a month for my tank to cycle . My ammonia was always around 0.5 ppm , and it never changed so I gave up testing the water every day. After a month the tank was ready for fish.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:04 PM   #9
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If your nitrite are over 4 I would do a 50% water change to get them down around 2 and I agree with Fresh2o 2ppm of ammonia is all I would dose. If I remember my cycle correctly ammonia to nitrite took 1.5 weeks while nitrite to nitrate took a little over three weeks to complete. I only did one water change when my nitrite spiked and one huge 80% water change when it was done.
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