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post #1 of 8 Old 08-04-2012, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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nitrates..fishless cycle

i been cycling my tank about 3 weeks now..i added some seeded media to my filters on sunday july 29th and the past few days my nitrates are around 7.0ppm...my ammonia is down from 5.0ppm to 3.0ppm and there are no nitrites...seems odd i would see nitrates before nitrites...whats going on..lost
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-04-2012, 08:12 AM
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With ammonia that high, the nitrate test is useless until the Nitrites appear. I would not test for Nitrate until the ammonia is being converted into Nitrite.

The cycle can take 6-8 weeks and the fact the ammonia is going down means something is happening. Patience is the key until it progresses more.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-04-2012, 08:20 AM
Have you tested your source water? - it may be high in nitrates. I live across the road from a 95 acre farmers field and have very high nitrates in my well water. I got water from a neighboring municipality only to realize the nitrates in that water was 20ppm.
So testing your source water for ammonia and nitrates is an important base line.

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post #4 of 8 Old 08-04-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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i did test my tap water it is at 0.0ppm
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkey View Post
i been cycling my tank about 3 weeks now..i added some seeded media to my filters on sunday july 29th and the past few days my nitrates are around 7.0ppm...my ammonia is down from 5.0ppm to 3.0ppm and there are no nitrites...seems odd i would see nitrates before nitrites...whats going on..lost
Sounds odd to me too. Let's look at the ol' graph:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...-cycle-101698/

With ammonia falling and nitrate showing, there should be nitrite showing. Nitrite takes longer than ammonia to run it's course, normally, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to cycling a tank, you can't have nitrate without having had nitrite. Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer, but I would re-test after a few days or longer and see what you get - hopefully ammonia will be down to zero and you will see some nitrites. Apparently you are seeing nitrates so maybe you had a very small nitrite peak, equal to or less than the amount of nitrate showing.

Is seeded media "bacteria in a bottle" or media that has been in another tank? If you're saying media from another tank, that will speed things up a great deal and could possibly handle all of the ammonia and nitrites. "b-in-b" helped my cycle speed up and stabilize also.

I'm curious about your fish out cycle - are you dosing ammonia or something else? If you're dosing ammonia, I have read that you only add enough to get to 3ppm.

Hope you get some good results.

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish View Post
Sounds odd to me too. Let's look at the ol' graph:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...-cycle-101698/

With ammonia falling and nitrate showing, there should be nitrite showing. Nitrite takes longer than ammonia to run it's course, normally, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to cycling a tank, you can't have nitrate without having had nitrite. Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer, but I would re-test after a few days or longer and see what you get - hopefully ammonia will be down to zero and you will see some nitrites. Apparently you are seeing nitrates so maybe you had a very small nitrite peak, equal to or less than the amount of nitrate showing.

Is seeded media "bacteria in a bottle" or media that has been in another tank? If you're saying media from another tank, that will speed things up a great deal and could possibly handle all of the ammonia and nitrites. "b-in-b" helped my cycle speed up and stabilize also.

I'm curious about your fish out cycle - are you dosing ammonia or something else? If you're dosing ammonia, I have read that you only add enough to get to 3ppm.

Hope you get some good results.

You can still have a nitrate reading if the water used to cycle is already high in nitrates. Have you tested the source from your tap?

I would not actually test for Nitrate until you see the ammonia dropping off, until this occurs the nitrate test can give false results.

Dosing to 3-4ppm ammonia is about a good figure, some use more depending on the size of the tank, (example I dosed to 5ppm on my 180g tank when I cycled that), anything above 5 and the tank can crash as the level is rather high to sustain the ammonia eating bacteria..it can kill them off with ammonia burn.

I would be patient and test the water for Nitrite, and not Nitrate at the moment, the cycle can take 6-8 weeks and the nitrite spike can come and go quickly.

If the ammonia dose is being fully converted in 24 hours then you are good to go, if not then be patient and monitor the Nitrite.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
You can still have a nitrate reading if the water used to cycle is already high in nitrates. Have you tested the source from your tap?

I would not actually test for Nitrate until you see the ammonia dropping off, until this occurs the nitrate test can give false results.

Dosing to 3-4ppm ammonia is about a good figure, some use more depending on the size of the tank, (example I dosed to 5ppm on my 180g tank when I cycled that), anything above 5 and the tank can crash as the level is rather high to sustain the ammonia eating bacteria..it can kill them off with ammonia burn.

I would be patient and test the water for Nitrite, and not Nitrate at the moment, the cycle can take 6-8 weeks and the nitrite spike can come and go quickly.

If the ammonia dose is being fully converted in 24 hours then you are good to go, if not then be patient and monitor the Nitrite.
the nitrate reading from the tap is 0.0ppm..these are my readings now..couldnt really tell if it was 2.0ppm or 1.0ppm ammonia if its 1.0ppm should i redose back up to 4.0ppmSANY0195.JPG

Last edited by twinkey; 08-05-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 07:04 PM
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I would leave it as it is for now and see if the reading is going down after a day or two. If it is then re dose it to back to 4ppm. Keep checking the Nitrite though if the ammonia is going down, there should be a rise in the Nitrite reading.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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