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After ammonia and nitrite levels have zeroed out. How do you get the nitrate levels down to acceptable levels
 

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Nitrates can be limited through water changes or using nitrate consumers like live plants.
 

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Hello j...

Perform a water change and add some kind of a floating plant. Pondweed is a good one or any other floating plant will quickly use the nitrates.

M
 

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Thank.. ok now that we have ammonia at 0 and nitrites at 0 and nitrates at say 10 ppm. He w does the cycle start again. What do I need to do to continue this? Here is my take.. please let me know if I have it wrong...
Tank cycled
Do a 10% water change to get nitrates down.
The wait until an ammonia spike? Then what ?

Sorry for the rookie questions
 

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Thank.. ok now that we have ammonia at 0 and nitrites at 0 and nitrates at say 10 ppm. He w does the cycle start again. What do I need to do to continue this? Here is my take.. please let me know if I have it wrong...
Tank cycled
Do a 10% water change to get nitrates down.
The wait until an ammonia spike? Then what ?

Sorry for the rookie questions
Under the assumption that you are doing the same thing, the ammonia and nitrite will remain unmeasurable but nitrate could continue to rise. The bacteria will continue to consume ammonia and nitrite keeping those at unmeasurable levels. But nitrate could continue to rise until some steady state is reached through water changes.

Using live plants nitrates will also drop to unmeasurable levels as the plants start to consume the nitrates. Plants prefer to consume ammonia directly so if ammonia is low due to plant action nitrates will rise. But as bacteria consume more and more of the ammonia, then the nitrates will drop.

my .02
 

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Jim...

With most types of cycling, you test the water daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. If you have a trace of either, you perform a 30 percent water change. When you have several daily tests with no trace of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. You add a few small fish and feed them a little every day or two and continue to test the water to make sure the bacteria is working.

M
 

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agree with manytankkeeper. That is the classical bacteria driven cycling methods.

I just use plants which is another method.

With live plants it is entirely possible to have no ammonia spike because the plants are consuming the ammonia. So when I start a new tank I do no testing. I have a few times in the past and confirmed there is no ammonia spike with a small short nitrite spike and an initial nitrate spike (30ppm or so) that lasts for a few weeks. Along with an almost immediate (few days max.) increase of pH to over 8.0+ with the api high range test kit.

my .02
 
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