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Old 01-26-2014, 06:05 PM   #1
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Angry I'm getting really frustrated with my fishless cycle. Nitrites will NOT drop.

Hey, guys. I have a bit of an unusual case. I started cycling with fish food because I didn't have access to plain ammonia. After a month of a whole lot of nothing happening and my ammonia not increasing more than 0.25 no matter how many fish flakes I added or how long I waited, I made the sacrifice of driving all the way to a very far away ACE.

Foetunately, I was able to properly dose my tank and I saw ammonia decrease daily. However, my nitrites were off the charts. I figured I would just let my cycle do its own thing.

Since then, I see my ammonia decreasing and nitrate production, buty nitrites will NOT decrease, no matter how many pwcs I do. I was told to do a 50 percent water change to get readable results. No luck. I've done this multiple times.

What gives? I have the API Freshwarer Masters test kit and I'm following instructions very precisely. I don't change my filter, I just rinse it in tank water. I dose pretty religiously. And I always use dechlorinator.

I'm about to give up. It's been two months since I started cycling and I just want fish. What do I do?

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Old 01-26-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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Perhaps consider a fish in cycle if you have time for some daily water changes for awhile.

If you have done some 50% changes and your nitrite is still unreadable, time to change some more until it is readable... every time you do a 50% change it cuts it in half so eventually it will get there. If your nitrites are off the chart unreadable, the cycle is probably never going to complete.

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Old 01-26-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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Try doing a BIG water change. Like 70%. Get your nitrites readable. ALso, unless your filter is super gunky don't rinse it. Right now you are trying to build bacteria and really you don't want to wash some away when you don't have to, even if it is just a small amount. I'm pretty sure I didn't have to rinse my filter when I was cycling. But maybe that's just me. Also if you have the time to do religious water changes, you CAN so a fish-in cycling. (that's what I do, but again I have the time to do WC twice a day) Here is the article on how to do fish in if you are interested.Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:07 PM   #4
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How much have you been dosing with the ammonia? I just finished my fishless cycle a little over a week ago. It took me three weeks. I dosed to 4 ppm every day. Where are your nitrAtes? Because once my ammonia was disappearing and nitrItes spiked, I started testing nitrAtes. Nothing different happened for about a week, them Bam! Nitrites disappeared too. Keep patient, I have heard a lot of people say that it took over two months for their tank. Also, I only did a water change when nitrates were off the chart, then I just left it alone. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:59 PM   #5
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You just have to be patient. Nitrite consuming bacteria take twice as long to grow as the ammonia consuming bacteria. If you want, you could reduce the amount of ammonia you are using down to 2ppm daily.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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I agree with Fort; if nitrites are that high, try larger water changes. Try taking out as much water as you can, refill, wait an hour or so and then test. If nitrites are still over 2 ppm, do it again; repeat as needed until you can get them to <2 on the chart. Unless your tap water contains nitrite, multiple large water changes should get nitrite down eventually.

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