Ammonia and nitrate but no nitrite?

Mii

Day 5 of cycling w/ bottled bb, I had to test my tap water to get a control and make sure I'm not just imagining the test is slightly orange, but yep, definitely seeing nitrate :D For some reason I'm seeing nitrate, still got ammonia, but no nitrite, only nitrate. Which is weird because don't you usually see nitrite before you get nitrate?
 

WRWAquarium

Are you using any seeded media or decor/substrate from an established tank?
 

MacZ

I had to test my tap water to get a control and make sure I'm not just imagining the test is slightly orange, but yep, definitely seeing nitrate
Wait, are you saying your tap contains Nitrates or not? I read this sentence as a positive for Nitrates in the tap, but then asking wouldn't make sense, wouldn't it.

Otherwise there are only 2 explanations:
a. The composition of the microfauna is different from the usual and you have bacteria and archaeans in there that are able to metabolise Ammonia to Nitrates without the Nitrite stage. But that would require low pH (< 6.5) and takes longer to establish than 5 days.
b. Are any testing and user errors ruled out?
 

mattgirl

Day 5 of cycling w/ bottled bb, I had to test my tap water to get a control and make sure I'm not just imagining the test is slightly orange, but yep, definitely seeing nitrate :D For some reason I'm seeing nitrate, still got ammonia, but no nitrite, only nitrate. Which is weird because don't you usually see nitrite before you get nitrate?
When adding bottled bacteria we never know what we are going to see. Without bottled bacteria we first see ammonia. (either we or the fish add it) Over time we start seeing nitrites. As they start going down we start seeing nitrates. It isn't unusual to see all 3 at the same time. Eventually ammonia will drop to zero and some time after that so will nitrites and we are left with only nitrates.

When using bottled bacteria we don't know what to expect. Some folks have reported never seeing nitrites.
 

Mii

Wait, are you saying your tap contains Nitrates or not? I read this sentence as a positive for Nitrates in the tap, but then asking wouldn't make sense, wouldn't it.

Otherwise there are only 2 explanations:
a. The composition of the microfauna is different from the usual and you have bacteria and archaeans in there that are able to metabolise Ammonia to Nitrates without the Nitrite stage. But that would require low pH (< 6.5) and takes longer to establish than 5 days.
b. Are any testing and user errors ruled out?
No I'm saying I tested my tap water to see what the "no nitrates" looks like and compare it to the color of the test I ran on my tank water. As a control. I know my tap water has no nitrates so by comparing the color of the tap water test to the color of the tank test I was able to confirm that the tank has just a little bit of nitrate.
 

Azedenkae

Day 5 of cycling w/ bottled bb, I had to test my tap water to get a control and make sure I'm not just imagining the test is slightly orange, but yep, definitely seeing nitrate :D For some reason I'm seeing nitrate, still got ammonia, but no nitrite, only nitrate. Which is weird because don't you usually see nitrite before you get nitrate?
It just means the rate of nitrite oxidation is equal to or greater than the rate at which nitrite is produced. Can occur.
 

Mii

It just means the rate of nitrite oxidation is equal to or greater than the rate at which nitrite is produced. Can occur.
So I guess I just wait for the ammonia to go away and then it's cycled?
 

Dunk2

No I'm saying I tested my tap water to see what the "no nitrates" looks like and compare it to the color of the test I ran on my tank water. As a control. I know my tap water has no nitrates so by comparing the color of the tap water test to the color of the tank test I was able to confirm that the tank has just a little bit of nitrate.
At least in my experience, it’s not unusual to “skip” the nitrite phase when using bottled bacteria.

What kind of bottled bacteria did you use? Seeing nitrates after only 5 days is unusual if you didn’t use some sort of media from an established tank.
 

Mii

At least in my experience, it’s not unusual to “skip” the nitrite phase when using bottled bacteria.

What kind of bottled bacteria did you use? Seeing nitrates after only 5 days is unusual if you didn’t use some sort of media from an established tank.
AquaVitro Seed.
 

Mii

Thanks, I’m not familiar with that.
Pretty sure AquaVitro is a brand by SeaChem.
 

Dunk2

So I guess I just wait for the ammonia to go away and then it's cycled?
Yes, the tank is cycled when the targeted or dosed ammonia level is processed to nitrates in 24 hours (no ammonia or nitrites but some level of nitrates).

What size tank and how much ammonia are you dosing?
 

Mii

Yes, the tank is cycled when the targeted or dosed ammonia level is processed to nitrates in 24 hours (no ammonia or nitrites but some level of nitrates).

What size tank and how much ammonia are you dosing?
It's 20 gallons and I'm dosing the amount of ammonia 4 black neon tetras make.
 

Mii

I’m not sure what that means? This is a fish-in cycle?
Yes I'm fish in cycling with black neon tetras. Once it's done cycling I'm going to get more black neon tetras. Currently I have to do a lot of water changes to keep ammonia down.
 

Dunk2

Yes I'm fish in cycling with black neon tetras. Once it's done cycling I'm going to get more black neon tetras. Currently I have to do a lot of water changes to keep ammonia down.
My bad. . . Not sure why I assumed this was a fishless cycle.

You probably already know this, but stock additional fish slowly once you’re cycled.

And yes, fish-in cycles can be a lot of work!
 

Mii

My bad. . . Not sure why I assumed this was a fishless cycle.

You probably already know this, but stock additional fish slowly once you’re cycled.

And yes, fish-in cycles can be a lot of work!
They are a lot of work but water changes are easier than staring at an empty tank.
 

Azedenkae

So I guess I just wait for the ammonia to go away and then it's cycled?
Depends on how you define a cycled tank. If just a matter of ammonia and nitrite going away after a single dose of ammonia, then yes.

I personally prefer to define it as determining that the aquarium can fully convert 2ppm ammonia to nitrate within 24 hours.
 

Dunk2

They are a lot of work but water changes are easier than staring at an empty tank.
Can’t disagree with that! :)
 

Mii

Depends on how you define a cycled tank. If just a matter of ammonia and nitrite going away after a single dose of ammonia, then yes.

I personally prefer to define it as determining that the aquarium can fully convert 2ppm ammonia to nitrate within 24 hours.
I'm not gonna put 2ppm ammonia in my tank that will give my tetras ammonia burn.
 

Dunk2

I'm not gonna put 2ppm ammonia in my tank that will give my tetras ammonia burn.
Agreed. You’re doing everything right to keep your fish safe and get your tank cycled. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep us updated.
 

Azedenkae

I'm not gonna put 2ppm ammonia in my tank that will give my tetras ammonia burn.
Sorry, I missed your reply on the fish-in cycling. In that case, yes once both ammonia and nitrite hits zero, your tank is cycled.

My bad, I should really have been more vigilant and checked rather than assuming.
 

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