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Old 02-20-2005, 09:10 AM   #1
bjm
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New Tank Syndrome

I have a new 55 gallon aquarium that has an undergravel filter using a power head rated to support 50 to 70 gallon set-ups. It has been running for about three weeks. I have 3 plants and 6 fish (1 large goldfish, 2 small green terrors, 3 small cory catfish). I read about the nitrogen cycle and have been testing the water every day. As expected, I did get a bacteria bloom that caused the water to go cloudy for about 4 days. It has begun to clear up slightly. I never saw an ammonia spike. The ammonia level never got above .5 PPM. Now the nitrite level has spiked to high levels. Should I be concerned at this point or should I wait the cycle out. The water still has a slight sour smell and the plants are turning brown.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:40 PM   #2
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keep up with pwc to keep the nitrite levels low. It will slow the cycle some, but your fish and plants will thank you.
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:12 PM   #3
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Could the lack of an ammonia spike be because plants consume ammonia?
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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It could be caused by that, although 3 plants in a 55gallon isn't much, and if the lighting it's at least 2wpg, the plants won't soak up much ammonia even if it was more heavily planted.

Sometimes you don't see a high ammonia spike...this tank isn't that heavily stocked. But do keep up the PWC so you don't kill the fish through nitrite poisoning.

As long as you have some nitrites, the cycle won't really stall.
However when cycling with fish, you always have to slowly stock the tank after the cycle finishes, so it can accomodate the increased bio load.
With fishless cycling, you're adding enough ammonia for a huge bioload, which is why you can almost fully stock the tank once a fishless cycle has completed.
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