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MBilyeu 11-25-2008 12:29 AM

Help! 6 weeks and still no nitrites
I am new to the hobby, and set up my tank before I started really researching into the nitrogen cycle. So I am stuck with doing the cycle with fish. I have 3 Danios and two male guppys(there were a couple more, but they died) in a 30 gallon tank. The first week or so I did not have a test kit, but as soon as I got one I started doing tests every three days or so. It took about two weeks before anything started showing up, then ammonia started rising like expected. Right now the numbers are:

Ammonia 3.0
Nitrites 0.0
Nitrates 0.0

It has been like this for almost two weeks with the ammonia staying between 2 and 3. Also in the last two weeks algae has started growing rapidly, and it is really making my tank look horrible. I have tried to keep my tank light off except for just a few hours a day to prevent anymore algae growth. So my questions are what can I do to get my tank to complete the cycle, and what is the best way to remove the algae? Is there something linked between the two? Is it because of the algae that the nitrites are not showing up? Please help! Thank you.

Flashygrrl 11-25-2008 02:35 AM

You've got to do a large water change, I'm afraid. Everything over .25 is toxic. The high amount of ammonia is actually also causing the algae. Probably scrape it off and do the water change.

What testing method are you using? Also, what kind of water conditioner?

Tyyrlym 11-25-2008 07:04 AM

Do a fifty percent (15 gallon) water change today and every day until the ammonia reads under 0.25 ppm. It'll probably take five days or so. Then do a 30% (10 gallon) water change any time after that that the reading goes over 0.25ppm.

Scraping the algae is your best bet. Do it right before a water change so that you suck as much out as you can during the change.

1077 11-25-2008 07:38 AM

+one for what Ty said. I would also be careful to not overfeed which can cause ammonia levels to become lethal. ALWAYS use a good dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ and be sure and add this to the new water BEFORE you pour the new water into the tank.

MBilyeu 11-25-2008 06:14 PM

Ok, I will do a 50% water change today, as well as scrape the algae. The reason I wasn't concerned before was because I read that it was normal for ammonia to rise to between 2 and 3ppm before nitrites will show up. I am using the API Master Freshwater test kit, which I bought because it looked like the most complete kit. I am also using the API tap water conditioner/dechlorinator. So after I scrape the algae and do the water change, what can I do to get the nitrites to show up and continue with the cycle? Thanks to all of you for your help so far.

MBilyeu 11-25-2008 06:17 PM

Also, I will be going by petsmart/petco tonight if there is something at one of those places I need to pick up. I don't really have a true lfs close to me.

MBilyeu 11-25-2008 08:12 PM

Ok, I scrubbed my tank and got quite a bit of the algae off of everything. I then did a 50% water change, and re-tested my water. My readings were:

Ammonia - ~1.0
Nitrites - 0.0
Nitrates - 0.0

So I am planning to do another major water change tomorrow, and hopefully get the ammonia down even further, but my concern is that with the ammonia down extremely low, how will the nitrites be created? I really need to know what the next step is. What do I need to look for, and what (if anything) do I need to add/take away?

andulrich4all 11-25-2008 08:46 PM

What kind of substrate (gravel, sand?) are you using?

MBilyeu 11-25-2008 10:34 PM

I am using the rough gravel, and there used to be glass rocks as well, but they were covered with algae, so I took them out earlier tonight. Also I have a couple fake plants which I would like to replace with real ones, but I know that the task at hand is to get the tank cycled.

iamntbatman 11-26-2008 01:36 AM

You could also try introducing some filter media to your filter(s) from an established tank. This could help speed up your cycle a bit.

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