Okay, lets back up... fish and waste produces ammonia. Bacteria/Archea oxidize ammonia and produce nitrItes. Another bacteria/archea colony develops to oxidize nitrItes into nitrAtes.
Ammonia and nitrItes are not only toxic to fish, but also toxic at higher levels to the bacteria/archea that oxidize them. This is why water changes during the process are so very important. (higher levels of nitrates can also be harmful to fish long term which is one reason for routine weekly partial water changes.)
As 1077 points out, until you begin to see an increase in nitrItes that lead to an increase in nitrAtes, you have insufficient colonies for the N2 cycle.
So again, be patient and stay on top of the water changes to keep ammonia levels on the lower side.
Originally Posted by zkessler
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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