question about lvls
im at week 6 of my "with fish" cycle
ammonia lvl is 0 ppm
nitrite lvl is 5 ppm
and nitrate lvl is about 15 ppm
my question is.. i thought w/ nitrate present in my tank that my nitrite lvls should be low or 0ppm , is that wrong info?
im headed to do a 20% water change now to get those nitrite lvls down a bit
thanks in advance for any help
Its very normal to still have nitrites with nitrates present. Think it takes a while for the nitrates to get busy and catch up to the nitrites.
the fish seem to be happy and healthy, should i just leave the nitrite lvls high to help "feed" the bacteria?
No, I would do a water change. During my fish cycles, I have always done water changes to try and keep my nitrites and ammonia under .25 ppm.
I do not feel my fish cycles with water changes took any longer to cycle than my fishless cycles with no water changes.
I wouldn't do a water change for the nitrite (if it really is 5), that may make it worse--unless the fish are stressed. The biological cycle has to establish itself naturally, the nitrobacter bacteria in this case have to multiply to handle the available food (nitrite) produced by the nitrosomonas bacteria, and you don't want to be removing them. As you say, better to leave them to fe the bacteria. I would recheck that nitrite.
As for nitrate, it is almost always present in a biologically established tank. Nitrates are produced by the nitrobacter, and then usd by the plants (if you have plants) and removed (kept in check) through the weekly water changes. Nitrates are only toxic to fish at high levels, most aquarists consider a nitrate reading above 40 to be dangerous, but if the system is balanced and you are doing regular (weekly) partial water changes, and don't overload the biological system with overfeeding, too many fish, dead fish, etc., you should never see nitrate problems.
i actually did the nitrite lvl check twice. the water lvl is a little low right now due to evaporation, so ill top it off and re-check
ill post those results after i get them
well, i topped off the water and tested the nitrites again. me, my wife, and sister in law all agree that the color of the water matches up w/ 5ppm
I have read that it can take from 2 to 8 weeks to fully cycle a tank, but a nitrite readng of 5 sems high to me. When did you first notice the ammonia at 0?
about a week ago was when i was told my nitrites were high and to do a 20% water change
today i went out and bought my own test kit so i can do daily testing w/o having to drive all the way to the store
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