Disappearing Nitrites and still no Nitrates, please help!
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Disappearing Nitrites and still no Nitrates, please help!

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Disappearing Nitrites and still no Nitrates, please help!
Old 04-09-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
 
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Disappearing Nitrites and still no Nitrates, please help!

I really don't know what to do now or even know what went wrong. My tank has been cycling for just over 4 weeks now and last Tues. I finally got a low NitrIte reading of .25. The ammonia, which had been steadily right between 1.0 and 2.0 became a definite 1.0 and the NitrAtes was 0. I left the tank alone until today...No water changes, no testing, no adding fish, etc.

Today I just tested again and the pH went to 6.0 from like 6.4 on Tues. The ammonia was back up at 2.0 and the NitrItes was back to 0. Still 0 for NitrAtes.

What is going on? When I saw the Nitrite reading on Tues. I assumed there was great progress but now it's at 0? And still 0 Nitrates?

I have some goldfish and paradise fish in there and they are doing fine. 20 gallon temp. 76 no live plants. I use Prime. Please tell me if this with the nitrItes is normal and what to expect from here?

Last edited by whitecloud34; 04-09-2011 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
 
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Can you tell me how many of each species of fish is in the tank? How often you're feeding them, how much each time, and what foods? Also, what kind of test kits are you using? Have you done any water changes at all since adding the fish? If so, how much each time and how often, and did it include any gravel vacs? And... what kind of filtration do you have running on this tank?
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
Can you tell me how many of each species of fish is in the tank? How often you're feeding them, how much each time, and what foods? Also, what kind of test kits are you using? Have you done any water changes at all since adding the fish? If so, how much each time and how often, and did it include any gravel vacs? And... what kind of filtration do you have running on this tank?

I have 2 comets and 2 paradise fish in there. I feed them crisp flakes once a day in the morning like a pinch (they all disappear in under a minute). I use the API liquid test kits. I have done a few small 20% water changes once in a while,maybe like once a week.I've been relying mostly on Prime to keep ammonia levels down because there is ammonia in the tap water. I do water changes with a gravel vac. I have a Aqueon filter in the tank for up to 30 gallons and it has a single carbon catridge, nothing else. No sponges or anything like that.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
 
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How big are the fish?

Last edited by bettababy; 04-10-2011 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
 
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How big are the fish?
Oh they're no bigger than an inch each, mouth to end of tail. They're all about the same size.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
 
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Ok I was hoping perhaps there was an error I did with testing and that I'd test again and it'd be fine but that isn't the case :( Still the same amount of ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. I'm really hoping someone can tell me if this is normal cycling behavior.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
 
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It sounds as if something is hanging up your cycle...
When ammonia is present and being depleted before it converts fully to nitrite, it will slow down the growth of the bacteria colony and also the amount of conversion happening.
What water conditioner are you using? What filter media? Any water changes since your first post?
The trick is going to be in finding what is interrupting the cycle... I will do what I can to help you sort it out and get it fixed.
Also, how old are your test kits?
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
It sounds as if something is hanging up your cycle...
When ammonia is present and being depleted before it converts fully to nitrite, it will slow down the growth of the bacteria colony and also the amount of conversion happening.
What water conditioner are you using? What filter media? Any water changes since your first post?
The trick is going to be in finding what is interrupting the cycle... I will do what I can to help you sort it out and get it fixed.
Also, how old are your test kits?

I learned that lower pH can hinder the cycle and my pH has went down to 6.0 so I think that's what happened. All along the pH was 6.8-6.4 but when it tested 6.0 that's when the nitrite reading disappeared. I use Prime as a water conditioner because we have ammonia in the tap water. As for the filter it's an Aqueon with just a single carbon catridge, no sponges or anything. I do 20% water changes like once a week. The API kits are brand new, I got them when I set up the tank 6 weeks ago. Right now I'm considering getting plants in there for the ammonia.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
 
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Things make a little more sense now. Using the Prime to eliminate the ammonia in the tap water is also going to help eliminate it in the aquarium. If the Prime is handling the ammonia then there isn't anything left for the bacteria to convert. As the week progresses and the ammonia begins a slow climb (likely ammonia beyond what the Prime is handling) then the cycling process will begin, just in time for you to do another water change, add more Prime, and deplete the ammonia again.
I am concerned about your dropping pH. That is not normal or safe for the animals, especially if it happens frequently. What dose are you using of the Prime? What is the ammonia reading that shows up in your tap water? Any nitrite or nitrate in the tap water?
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
Things make a little more sense now. Using the Prime to eliminate the ammonia in the tap water is also going to help eliminate it in the aquarium. If the Prime is handling the ammonia then there isn't anything left for the bacteria to convert. As the week progresses and the ammonia begins a slow climb (likely ammonia beyond what the Prime is handling) then the cycling process will begin, just in time for you to do another water change, add more Prime, and deplete the ammonia again.
I am concerned about your dropping pH. That is not normal or safe for the animals, especially if it happens frequently. What dose are you using of the Prime? What is the ammonia reading that shows up in your tap water? Any nitrite or nitrate in the tap water?
Dawn, if I may ask a question here, so that I understand correctly... Prime detoxifies ammonia by changing it to ammonium (so Seachem told me when I asked them) and nitrosomonas bacteria will use ammonium and ammonia, so that part of the cycle should not be affected. But Prime also detoxifies nitrite, by binding it somehow; would this make it "zero" with the API nitrite test?

Byron.
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