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Old 06-01-2020, 08:11 AM   #1
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New User, New Tank, not so new questions...

Good morning, all,

I am new to having an aquarium and decided to go freshwater. My tank is approx 73 gallons, with a 10-gallon sump filter system. The tank is 47" (long) 20" tall and 19" width.

The tank is planted with primarily Amazon Sword, Brazilian Pennywort, Anubias Nana Petite, and Ludwigia Perusensis. I have been using Seachem Flourish Tabs, Flourish Excel, Flourish Iron starting this past week and the substrate in eco-complete. The filter system consists of 250 micron socks (3), matrix carbon, coarse sponge, and matrix (in that order).

Hardscape includes tiger rock and Malaysian driftwood. The driftwood was releasing crazy amount of tannins, more brackish than I wanted, so I pulled and boiled them for an hour to two and put them back in last week.

This past Saturday I did a 20% pwc and moved some of the plants around for a better aquascape.

The problem that I am running into now is that the nitrites are pretty much stuck around 2.0 ppm. The ammonia approaches zero (.25 ppm) almost each day and I have been adding between 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp of Fritz ammonia daily so that I don't hit zero. The nitrates have hit close to 160 ppm - all tests utilizing an API Freshwater Master Test.

Any ideas/suggestions of why the nitrites aren't dropping to zero? Just need to be patient?

After I get over this hump I will gladly take stocking ideas...

Thank you! Chuck
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:06 AM   #2
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Couple of questions.

- How long have you been cycling?
- Im unfamiliar with fritz ammonia. Do you know with the amount you are dosing how much it brings your ammonia in ppm?

You should be dosing back up to 2ppm ammonia if after your daily test you are seeing below 1ppm. When after 24 hours you are seeing 0ppm ammonia and nitrite and your nitrates are rising, then you are cycled. Typically, this is a 4 or 5 week process, the majority of which will be seeing nitrites. From first seeing seeing nitrites it can take 2 weeks before you see them start to drop and another 1 or 2 weeks before they drop to 0.

With your nitrates you are clearly in the home straight, but as i dont know how much amminua you are bringing it up to, its difficult to judge how close.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:13 AM   #3
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Having looked at fritz ammonia, i think you might be overdosing.

1 tsp brings 100 gallons upto 4ppm. Your 1/2 to 3/4 tsp will bring your 75 gallon upto 3 or 4ppm. But please check my maths for yourself.

You should be redosing to 2ppm ammonia, so i would look to half the amount of ammonia you are dosing. That would mean less nitrite production, and bring your results closer to 0ppm and closer to a cycled tank.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:33 AM   #4
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Thank you for your help! I have been cycling for 14 days. I had been taking the Ammonia back to 4ppm, but will adjust so that I am hitting 2ppm.
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