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Old 11-14-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
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Does it sound like my cycle is stalled?

My nitrites have been high for a while now, off the test chart. Nitrates around 5. When I dose with ammonia it goes to zero within 12 hours. Did a 60 % pwc last Friday- no change in nitrites. Did another 60% pwc today. Still nitrites are off the chart. I started cycling in mid October.
Any words of wisdom? Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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You've probably mentioned this before so sorry if you have but I can't remember offhand: how long have nitrites been high?
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:26 PM   #3
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I'm not sure because I didn't start testing for them until a couple of weeks ago. When I did, they were already high. Nitrates tested around 20 then. I did a pwc and tested again- nitrites were still high, nitrates dropped to almost nothing and has been hovering around 5 ever since. Now recently have done the two big pwcs.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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Anybody? Tested this am. and seem like nitrates are 0-5.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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Dont despair!! My big tank stalled on nitrites-the solution was water changes. Lots & lots of big water changes down to the gravel. I believe (though i dont have an explanation for the chemistry behind it) that crazy high nitrites seems to stall out a cycle. When you test for nitrites, does the test tube turn purple before you even shake it? If it does, then your nitrites are really high! It took 3 wcs down to the gravel (in 1 afternoon) to get my nitrites readable (2ppm)- this would be my suggestion for you. Get your nitrites down to 2ppm then only dose the amm to 2ppm for a few days to allow things to catch up (go back up to 4ppm by 4th day). Then, anytime your nitrites get crazy, do more wcs to get them readable again. Starting on the day i got my nitrites readable, it only took 9 days for my tank to fully cycle. Good luck & ask if you have nay more questions!
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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Cool. Thanks for that. Will do.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:05 PM   #7
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I'd try what jkl suggests: 100% water changes until you can get nitrItes to a level you can read on the chart (<2), then dose ammonia to 1 for a few days to let the bacteria catch up and see what happens. Go back to dosing to 4 after 2-3 days though or else the bacteria will adjust to the lower dose. With your nitrites being high for at least 2 weeks they should be coming down soon, but the water changes to get them to a readable level on the chart will hopefully help. Keep us posted.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:03 AM   #8
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Ok thanks!
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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Ok, I did an 80% pwc tonight and it still turned the nitrite test magenta. I'm bummed.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:19 PM   #10
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Hi! Try this little chemistry experiment. You just did a pwc so you know where you stand. Fill up only 1/2 test tube with tank water & other half with tap & see what your results are (equivalent of another 50% pwc). Then do 25% tank & 75% tap & see what you get (75% pwc). Then do 10% tank & 90% tap & see what you get (90%pwc). If you still cant get readable results after the 90%tap test, then you will have alot of pwcs in your future! Otherwise, do another pwc based on what it takes to get readable results. It took me 3 consecutive pwcs down to the gravel to get readable nitrites (and about 6hrs & i was verge of tears...). Let us know how this works!
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:25 PM   #11
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Ok, will do. Glad to know it's not just me.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hholly View Post
Ok, will do. Glad to know it's not just me.
Isnt cyling FUN?!?! Actually, i did fish-in cycling on my other 2 tanks & i will NEVER do that again!!!!! So, i did it fishless the last time & other than the nitrite-torture water changes & looking at at empty tank for weeks, it really was not that bad!!!! I would def do it but im trying to run crazy filters everywhere so i have them to use for the next one! This is becoming a bad habit....
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:39 PM   #13
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Sorry- def do it AGAIN!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:18 PM   #14
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I tested it with just 25% tank water, still off the chart. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:42 PM   #15
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Someone really needs to come up with a high-range nitrite test so we know what kind of numbers we are really dealing with!!!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:47 PM   #16
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That would be nice.
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