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post #1 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling question!

Hello all,

My tank has been cycling for about 4 weeks now. Up until 5/4/13 it was only on the ammonia phase. I did a 50% water change on the 4th because of really high ammonia levels, and waited 2 hours and tested the water again. The ammonia had dropped to 3.0 and nitrites finally appeared at 0.25ppm. Needless to say I was happy to finally see nitrites. On the 5th I tested the water again prior to a water change to find ammonia at 6.0 and 0ppm nitrites. Can anyone help with this problem? I'm new to the whole water chemistry thing and have a basic understanding of the cycling process just not the best trouble shooter.

60g African cichlids-

2 Labidochromis caeruleus (Electric Yellow Labs)
2 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
1 Plecostomus
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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Is this a freshwater or saltwater tank?



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post #3 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Freshwater, African cichlids.

60g African cichlids-

2 Labidochromis caeruleus (Electric Yellow Labs)
2 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
1 Plecostomus
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 12:58 PM
It can take 6-8 weeks to cycle a new tank...sometimes even longer, especially w/o a bacteria seed.

Be patient, stay on top of water changes to keep the ammonia on the low side as ammonia is toxic not only to fish, but in excess even to the bacteria/archae that convert (oxidize) it to nitrites and nitrites to nitrates.


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Hello all,

My tank has been cycling for about 4 weeks now. Up until 5/4/13 it was only on the ammonia phase. I did a 50% water change on the 4th because of really high ammonia levels, and waited 2 hours and tested the water again. The ammonia had dropped to 3.0 and nitrites finally appeared at 0.25ppm. Needless to say I was happy to finally see nitrites. On the 5th I tested the water again prior to a water change to find ammonia at 6.0 and 0ppm nitrites. Can anyone help with this problem? I'm new to the whole water chemistry thing and have a basic understanding of the cycling process just not the best trouble shooter.

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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I was wondering why nitrites appeared and then disappeared? Just wanted to make sure I didn't do anything to make it happen.

60g African cichlids-

2 Labidochromis caeruleus (Electric Yellow Labs)
2 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
1 Plecostomus
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-06-2013, 02:45 PM
Hard to say...coulda been a testing error. What are your nitrates?.... and if you have nitrates, have you tested your source (tap) water?

There is most often an ammonia spike...and later a nitrite spike as it takes awhile to develop the appropriate colonies. As I mentioned, we just need to be patient and do the water changes to control the levels and keep them down.

Nowadays, if you don't have media from a healthy, established tank, it makes good sense to use one of the bottled supplements to help speed things along.

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Originally Posted by zkessler View Post
I was wondering why nitrites appeared and then disappeared? Just wanted to make sure I didn't do anything to make it happen.

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
` ...><((((>` . . ` . . . ><((((> . ` .. . ><((((>
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-12-2013, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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so it happened again. I check my water and 0.25 ppm nitrites were present. I did a 25% water change, waited 2 hours, and checked it again to find the ammonia levels went down as well as the nitrites. Now they are non existent (0ppm). Next time I get nitrite Levels should I just not change the water for awhile??
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-12-2013, 06:04 AM
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so it happened again. I check my water and 0.25 ppm nitrites were present. I did a 25% water change, waited 2 hours, and checked it again to find the ammonia levels went down as well as the nitrites. Now they are non existent (0ppm). Next time I get nitrite Levels should I just not change the water for awhile??
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Nitrites are just as lethal as ammonia. So if fish are present,,then water changes are the order of the day(maybe twice daily depending on number's of fish and amount of food being offered.)
Is wise to feed sparingly with fish in cycling.Feed the fish tiny amount once each day, or every other day.
Can feed more often once the biological filter has matured.
Need to keep ammonia AND nitrites as close to zero as possible so less food and more water changes(50) % would be my plan.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-12-2013, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so despite the nitrite level being 0 they ate still building in the tank? It's been over a month and I have not seen a decrease in the ammonia level yet.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-12-2013, 08:49 AM
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Ok, so despite the nitrite level being 0 they ate still building in the tank? It's been over a month and I have not seen a decrease in the ammonia level yet.
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Any nitrAtes?
If not,,you just need to keep up on water changes so fish aren't killed, and have patience.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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