3 weeks into fishless cycle and still no nitrites! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-25-2019, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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3 weeks into fishless cycle and still no nitrites!

I started cycling my tank 3 weeks ago, I’ve been testing my water everyday since and still haven’t seen nitrites. It is a 10 gallon tank with an Aquaclear power filter, and I have been using Dr Tims ammonia and Seachem Stability to cycle it.
Day 1: Dosed ammonia to just under 4ppm and added a full cap of Stability as directed.
Days 2-7: Tested and added a half a cap of Stability everyday as directed.
Days 8-17: Tested everyday, and my ammonia levels gradually dropped to around 2ppm.
Day 18: Tested and found out my pH was too low, raised it to 7.8-8.0.
Days 19: Tested and no change in the levels
Day 20: Tested again, the levels hadn’t changed but i noticed that the ammonia test was taking longer to turn green and I noticed that the water was now looking a bit hazy.
Now on Day 22 my readings are as follows:
Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 0ppm
pH: 7.8-8.0
So my question is, is it normal to still not see any nitrites? Did I do something wrong? Could the slightly hazy water be a sign of a bacteria bloom?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-25-2019, 03:30 PM
Raising the pH probably wasn't a good idea, it changes the ammonia to an inorganic compound. You probably would have had a normal cycle. Sounds like algae bloom too. I'd start over using only 2ppm ammonia this time. Bottled bacteria will start to go bad once the bottle is opened. Better off just adding the whole bottle/amount needed total a day or so after treating the water with a dechlorinator. Make sure the tank is warm enough for the bacteria 77F and higher. Any plants in the tank? I never chemically alter the pH as it's a good indicator as what is going on in the tank and it's too unstable. A natural buffer, like some rocks, are a better idea for long-term stability fyi. Dr. Tim's site has a great video on how they fishless cycle. Should only take a week or two.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-25-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Everything I looked up said to raise the pH. My pH was so low that it had probably stalled my cycle which is why I raised it. Also it couldn’t possibly be an algae bloom, the tank is in a dark room and the light is never on.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-26-2019, 09:55 AM
Algae can use O2 in the absence of light increasing the CO2. CO2 drops pH. You have algae bloom. I would start over (ie full water change) using half the ammonia as Dr. Tim only recommends 2ppm. I always use his fishless method and it is the best.
read the instructions on the back of the bottle. They changed from 4ppm to 2ppm a few years back. You can wait this out, but it will be awhile before it cycles and the algae will be a headache. With only a 10gal that's what I would do.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought I should update everyone. I restarted my tank and tested the pH which was at 7.2 so I’m not sure what happened the first time but this time it was perfect. 2 weeks later, these are my test results:
Ammonia: 0.5ppm
Nitrites: 2ppm
What is the next step? Am I supposed to keep the ammonia above 1ppm now?
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-14-2019, 02:27 PM
No more ammonia, just wait and you should have nirtrates soon. The video above should explain it.
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