I recently setup a new fish tank. Itís a Fluval Flex 32.5g Freshwater. It has been running for 2.5 weeks now. I am doing a fish-less cycle. Only thing in the tank is substrate, rocks for decoration, a airstone and about a dozen live plants that are thriving. Temperature is 78į, PH is 7.4 and my tanks light system starts at 6am and shuts off at 8pm.
3 days after conditioning water and letting everything settle I added Fritz Zyme Fishless Fuel to bring the ammonia to 4.0+ ppm
. I tested my aquarium water with my API Master Test Kit before adding Fritz Zyme Fishless Fuel and Fritz Zyme 7 Live Nitrifying Bacteria to tank. The ammonia, nitrite and nitrate were all 0 ppm
. After adding Fishless fuel and 7 I checked the water again 1 hour later. Ammonia was at over 4.0 ppm
++ while nitrite and nitrate was at 0. By day 2 my ammonia was slowly lowering and my nitrite shot up to 2.0 ppm
while my nitrate started to rise as well. Fast forward 2 weeks to today, I have not touched the tank in any way and my ammonia has dropped down to 0 three days ago and my nitrite was down to .25 ppm
by yesterday. My nitrates are over 20 ppm
now. I tested today and noticed that my nitrite has gone back up to .5 ppm
+. I am also starting to see a little algae growth on my rocks and air stone tubing. Iím scratching my head because I thought I was almost complete with my cycle but I guess not. I have read various information and talked to local pet stores all with varying opinions.
Now to my questions and concerns:
My first question is am I doing this right? I have read that you are supposed to continually add ammonia when it drops below 1.0 ppm
to the tank until you see ammonia and nitrite spike then drop back to 0ppm within a 8 hour period. I have also read that once you add the ammonia/beneficial bacteria to the tank to just wait until the spikes occur and drop to 0 without adding anything or regardless of time that it takes. When this is complete do a water change and add fish (I have been doing this method but still no water change or fish).
Second question. If my ammonia is officially at 0 ppm
for a few days, why would my nitrite lower to .25ppm then jump back up between .5-1.0ppm? Should I be adding more?
Third question. If some of the algae in my tank is brown, I have ready that it could be because of high nitrate. My current nitrate levels have been over 20ppm for 3 days now. Should I even concern myself with this by doing a water change at this time?
Last question. I know this can take a few weeks to complete so with this information Iíve shared should I tweak anything or keep doing what Iím doing? Am I pretty much buggin over making this go perfectly so i donít kill my fish when added. I would appreciate the help and tips from the pros. Thank you!