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Old 04-01-2023, 10:07 PM   #1
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High Nitrites

Hello Iím new here.
I am on day 15 of cycling a 20 gallon tank, with no fish, using ammonia and Dr Timís one and only bacteria. I have gravel a few ornaments in the tank. Water temp has been at 80 degrees. I started with fresh treated water that had 0 ammonia, 0 nitriteís and 10.0 ppm nitrateís. I added the bacteria and I dosed with ammonia and got 2.0 ppm. It toke 6 days to return to 0 ppm. I dosed a 2nd time and it toke 3 days to come down to 0 ppm. I dosed a 3rd time and it came right back down the next day to 0 ppm.
The Nitriteís slowly came up to 2.5 ppm on the 7th day and has remained there all the way to day 15 and is still at 2.5 ppm.
The Nitrateís slowly came up to 90.0 ppm on the 10th day and remained there until day 14. And on day 15 it dropped down to 20.0 ppm.
My questions areÖ Is that normal for Nitrateís to come down on their own without doing a water change? I did add a little Java Moss on day 9
Also shouldnít the Nitriteís have come down by now? Or am I just being impatient?
I have been testing every day.
Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 04-01-2023, 10:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimsFishTank View Post
Hello Iím new here.
I am on day 15 of cycling a 20 gallon tank, with no fish, using ammonia and Dr Timís one and only bacteria. I have gravel a few ornaments in the tank. Water temp has been at 80 degrees. I started with fresh treated water that had 0 ammonia, 0 nitriteís and 10.0 ppm nitrateís. I added the bacteria and I dosed with ammonia and got 2.0 ppm. It toke 6 days to return to 0 ppm. I dosed a 2nd time and it toke 3 days to come down to 0 ppm. I dosed a 3rd time and it came right back down the next day to 0 ppm.
The Nitriteís slowly came up to 2.5 ppm on the 7th day and has remained there all the way to day 15 and is still at 2.5 ppm.
The Nitrateís slowly came up to 90.0 ppm on the 10th day and remained there until day 14. And on day 15 it dropped down to 20.0 ppm.
My questions areÖ Is that normal for Nitrateís to come down on their own without doing a water change? I did add a little Java Moss on day 9
Also shouldnít the Nitriteís have come down by now? Or am I just being impatient?
I have been testing every day.
Thanks in advance for any help!
Sounds like you source water has nitrates in it. That's not too much of an issue but if you re changing water to dilute nitrates, you have to account for the ones in your source water. If you are able to, set up a barrel or trash can to hold water for your water changes and run a nitrate remover ( i.e Poly filter, ion exchange resins, Reverse osmosis) to the water before using it.

I'm not familiar with Dr Tim's product but if your ammonia is returning to 0 within 24 hours, you are halfway there. It does take time for the bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate to establish themselves so if we are only talking about 2 weeks ( basically), you need to have a little more patience. That said, if your nitrates are rising without doing water changes, it sounds like your bacteria bed is functioning and your test results should be confirmed with another test kit or at a local shop as the only place they could come from is from the bacterial conversion. The reduction of the nitrates can be from the plant(s) you added. Some will absorb more than others.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:23 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Don't bother testing for nitrates until the tank has finished cycling. Nitrate test kits read nitrite as nitrate, and give you a false reading. Wait until the ammonia and nitrite have both gone up and come back down to 0ppm, then start testing for nitrates.

If you had a high nitrite reading, you will get a really high nitrate reading. If the nitrite goes down, the nitrate reading will also go down.

Some nitrate test kits also need a lot of shaking/ mixing to get an accurate result. If the reagents are not mixed properly, the test results can be incorrect. The phials used for test kits need to be cleaned well after use so no residue is left behind that can affect the results.

-------------------

Most filters take between 4-8 weeks to cycle. If you are only 2 weeks into the cycling process, you probably have a bit to go.
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Old 04-02-2023, 04:56 AM   #4
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Dr Tim Hovanec is the person credited with first identifying the bacteria that goes into most of these bottled bacteria products. Ive no idea if that is factually correct, but he used to work for tetra and he created Tetra Safestart before leaving and setting up his own company. Dr Tims One and Only is a development of Safestart and they are essentially the same product.

Ive had success with One and Only, IMO most of the other similar products dont work as well as One and Only or Safestart as they dont contain denitrifying bacteria and all they cause bacterial blooms.

Fritzyme #7 or*Fritz*Turbostart 700 which Andy regularly recommends seem to be at least as good as One and Only or Safestart from what recommendations ive seen, although ive personally never used them.

You are 2 weeks into what could easily be a 2 month process and are showing typical progress. Maybe even a little ahead of schedule.
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Old 04-02-2023, 09:16 AM   #5
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Sounds like you source water has nitrates in it. That's not too much of an issue but if you re changing water to dilute nitrates, you have to account for the ones in your source water. If you are able to, set up a barrel or trash can to hold water for your water changes and run a nitrate remover ( i.e Poly filter, ion exchange resins, Reverse osmosis) to the water before using it.

I'm not familiar with Dr Tim's product but if your ammonia is returning to 0 within 24 hours, you are halfway there. It does take time for the bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate to establish themselves so if we are only talking about 2 weeks ( basically), you need to have a little more patience. That said, if your nitrates are rising without doing water changes, it sounds like your bacteria bed is functioning and your test results should be confirmed with another test kit or at a local shop as the only place they could come from is from the bacterial conversion. The reduction of the nitrates can be from the plant(s) you added. Some will absorb more than others.

Hope this helps.
Thanks Andy!
Sounds like I need to just be patient then.
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Old 04-02-2023, 11:36 AM   #6
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Thanks Andy!
Sounds like I need to just be patient then.
I would still get a second confirmation on your test results.
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