Originally Posted by twinkey
I did a large wc last nite 90%...to bring my ph back up..I redosed ammonia to 2.0ppm...just tested my water this morning...ammonia...0ppm...nitrite...0ppm..nitrate s...80ppm..now is it common to see a change like that after a large wc....i redosed ammonia back to 2.0ppm..now sit back and wait and see it is cycled..hopefully it is..
Hey Twinkey! Looks like things are going great over there! I'm a beginner, too, but one thing about the cycling process that you've probably noticed is that it's a very up and down kind of thing. First your ammonia spikes - in a fishless cycle, it's you that's adding the ammonia and causing the spike. Next, as the bacteria starts to form, you probably saw your nitrItes spike, and as those bacteria took care of the ammonia and dropped the ammonia levels back down again. . . the third and final phase of the nitrogen cycle as we can see it seems to be where you are right now - the nitrAte spike. As your nitrates took care of the nitrIte, they flourished. At 80 ppm, my guess is that you're at the peak of this third spike, and it will start to fall back now.
One thing to note - YOUR CYCLE IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOU HAVE A STABLE READING FOR NITRATE! It's supposed to be there, though nitrIte and ammonia should rest at 0. It is odd for nitrate to go from 0 - 80 after such a high water change, and I suspect that the test may have been done incorrectly (its easy to do!!!) Make sure you shake the heck out of your #2 nitrate bottle, and test your TAP water to make sure that it isn't showing nitrates. If it isn't, just chalk it up to a mistake, and continue testing as you have been
You aren't quite ready to add fish yet, but you should be close. Keep your ammonia steady at 2.0, and continue monitoring until the nitrate levels drop down and stabilize. The nitrAtes usually seem to stabilize somewhere around 20ppm, but this number varies depending on a number of factors, and with ammonia being dosed at only 2ppm, it may be lower for you. When the Nitrate seems to have found it's spot, do a 50% water change, dose the ammonia back up again, and monitor things to make sure that you are back at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and whatever your 'normal' nitrate level is within a 24 hour time period. Then one last water change, and you're ready to add fish!
I DO recommend adding plants, but not until AFTER
your cycle has completed, and you've done the necessary research to ensure that you have the proper lighting and ferts for them to thrive. At this point they'd only be confusing things by taking in the ammonia that you're using for cycling as nutrients, and they could be harmed by the ammonia being added at high levels to the tank.
Again, I'm not nearly an expert, just cycled a few tanks over the last several months! I hope this helps - good luck to you!