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:dunno:
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.
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.
i did test my tap water it is at 0.0ppm
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.
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.
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.
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