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Old 02-17-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
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Nitrates not cooperating!

Hi all..

So I completed my fishless cycle this week! I planned on getting fish tonight so I did an 80 to 85 percent water change last night to drop the nitrates. Before the PWC I was pretty high, well above 80ppm. After the change I tested and still had a high level, almost as if nothing changed. So my hopes of getting fish tonight were crushed . I did about a 40 percent water change tonight and I'm still fairly high, I'd say about 40ppm or higher. Should I do another PWC tomorrow? Also, should I continue to dose ammonia to keep the bacteria alive? Is it normal to have to do a few water changes in order to drop nitrates after a cycle?

Man, and I thought I was home free after my nitrites disappeared!!

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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Congrats on being cycled! Typically, it can take more than one big water change to lower your nitrate levels at the end of a fishless cycle. Also, if you havent done so already, check the nitrate levels of your tap. You will only be able to lower your nitrates to the level of your tap and no further.

When do you plan on adding some fish? If its in the next day or two, no need to dose ammonia- your bacteria can survive for awhile without it. Just get your nitrates under control & adjust the temp for your planned fish. If your not familiar with the process, check out U-tube for how-to videos on 'drip acclimation' for your new fish. Enjoy your tank!!
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk
Congrats on being cycled! Typically, it can take more than one big water change to lower your nitrate levels at the end of a fishless cycle. Also, if you havent done so already, check the nitrate levels of your tap. You will only be able to lower your nitrates to the level of your tap and no further.

When do you plan on adding some fish? If its in the next day or two, no need to dose ammonia- your bacteria can survive for awhile without it. Just get your nitrates under control & adjust the temp for your planned fish. If your not familiar with the process, check out U-tube for how-to videos on 'drip acclimation' for your new fish. Enjoy your tank!!
Ok so it's not out of the ordinary, that's good. I'd really love to add fish tomorrow afternoon but it all depends on the nitrates I guess. So I'm debating adding a little ammonia tonight and doin another PWC tomorrow morning.

I've actually never checked the nitrates from my tap, I will definitely do so. But assuming my tank used to read about 5ppm or below it should be fairly low.

Thanks for responding!
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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Def worth checking your tap nitate levels! You will atleast know where your nitrate level stands & the amount of water you will need to change to lower your nitrates down to this level. Another big water change & you should be in good shape.

The ammonia really isnt necessay tonight but its your decision if you want to add it- just remember that your nitrate levels will be even higher tommorow if you do. Your beneficial bacteria can survive for a couple of days with no food without a problem so dont worry!
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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i just got my 90 gallon cycled and did one 100% PWC and another about 75% PWC to get my nitrates down low enough

took a while, but worth it!
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherW
i just got my 90 gallon cycled and did one 100% PWC and another about 75% PWC to get my nitrates down low enough

took a while, but worth it!
Ahh good stuff! I'm so angry I added a little ammonia last night before I read jlk's reply, now I'm showing slight traces of ammonia and nitrites. I guess tomorrow I will have fish
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