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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, First time post. I need some advice regarding my fishless cycle. I've just completed a six week fishless cycle as of yesterday. I've adhered to all the necessary steps as advised by the experts. My water reading was Ammonia=0 nitrite=0 and nitrate > 100ppm. I was told that the final step would be to do a 90% water change to get rid of the high concentration of nitrates in the water before I add any fish. After I did this my nitrites spiked and are now reading purple :|. Nitrates are still high. What have I done wrong and what can I do the regulate my cycle and bring down these levels back to 0? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I have done this. the source water consistently gives me a zero reading. I'm of the opinion that the huge water change has nuked all the nitrifying bacteria. I'm just confused as to why I would be advised to do such a large water change if there was a risk of losing the bacteria colony that took such a long time to develop
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If that was the case wouldn't my ammonia levels be affected. My ammonia has been zero for a few weeks. I dose ammonia at about 3-4 ppm daily ever since my cycle started.
 

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Tetra Safe start is not a de-chlorinator. It has some sort of bacteria to help you cycle a tank. With every water change, you'll need to remove chlorine/chloramine from your tap water or else you can kill your fish not just your bacteria.
90% water change at the end of fish-less cycle is a good piece of advice, you are not removing much bacteria since they live on surfaces and very little are floating in the water.
At this point, I would keep on adding ammonia and not do any water change until your nitrites are zero. You did not "sterilized" your tank with a major chlorinated water, hopefully your bacteria will recover in a matter of days.
Go get a bottle of Prime to use next time you do a water change. Will inactivate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tetra Safe start is not a de-chlorinator. It has some sort of bacteria to help you cycle a tank. With every water change, you'll need to remove chlorine/chloramine from your tap water or else you can kill your fish not just your bacteria.
90% water change at the end of fish-less cycle is a good piece of advice, you are not removing much bacteria since they live on surfaces and very little are floating in the water.
At this point, I would keep on adding ammonia and not do any water change until your nitrites are zero. You did not "sterilized" your tank with a major chlorinated water, hopefully your bacteria will recover in a matter of days.
Go get a bottle of Prime to use next time you do a water change. Will inactivate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrites.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I need to make a correction. I did not use tetra safe start. I did in fact use tetra aquasafe aquarium dechlorinator/conditioner for the water change. What I believe happened is that I did too soon a water change as the bacteria that developed was in too fragile a state and as a result most of the bacteria was compromised. This is the only logical conclusion I can come up with because I believe I followed the rules as suggested. Going forward I want to do 20-25% daily water changes so that I can regulate my nitrate levels so that at the end of the cycle such a large water change may not be necessary. I'm very skeptical of such a large water change even though I've been told that it should not kill too much of the nitrifying bacteria. What do you think of this approach? Thanks for your contribution. I appreciate your input
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You will have a hard time to get rid of over 100 ppm nitrates with small, repeated water changes. Needs big ones. At this point it's not a good idea to do any water changes because it will remove the nitrites needed for Nitrospira to develop a "healthy" colony.
It is known that Nitrospira multiply (bacteria style: one becomes two) a lot slower than Nitrosomonas. Don't quote me for this, but I was reading something like 20 minutes for Nitrosomonas and three days for Nitrospira to double in size.
 
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