Ammonia gone in 24hrs BUT...

clark12

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Fishless wish pure ammonia but have plants, if that matters. I can dose 1ppm ammonia and it will be back to 0 in less than 24 hours. Nitrites go to around 2ppm and nitrates hang at 5ppm. So i dose ammonia back to 1ppm (i wanted to start small and build up) and again its back to 0 in less than 24 hours. Now nitrites are at 5+ppm and nitrates still at 5ppm. Im imagining its because the plants are consuming the nitrates. It takes a 50% and a 75% water change to get nitrites back to 0. Nitrates believe it or not still have some color in the test tube, maybe 2ppm. Oh, API master kit and history is current with a list of plants. All low tech and maybe 30% of the tank is plant covered. Now back to it, i dosed ammonia back to 1ppm and same its gone in 24hrs and nitrites are back to 2ppm and nitrates are 5ppm. Ok now should i not dose ammonia for a few days and just let it all sit and see what happens? I paid a decent amount for all of these plants and didnt know if the high nitrites would ruin them? This is the most patient i have ever been in this hobby!
 

Inner10

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I'd dose 1ppm, leave it and see if the nitrites go to 0 by the following day, then check again the next day. If it takes more than a day to process nitrites I'd say the bacteria is still establishing itself.
 

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Your heading down the right track but definitely keep dosing enough to keep the bacteria fed but don’t over do it. Otherwise a lot of the time tour Nitrites get so off of the charts that even though your tank is processing them, you will never register it. Give the tank some time to catch up.
 

tfreema

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clark12 said:
Are the high nitrites ok for the plants?
Yes, it is ok. Only do water change when nitrites get over 5ppm. Otherwise, just keep dosing up ammonia to 1-2ppm as it hits zero and let the cycle complete. You are in the nitrite spike which is perfectly normal.
Check ph or kh to make sure those are not dropping. That drop can stall your cycle.
 
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clark12

clark12

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tfreema said:
Yes, it is ok. Only do water change when nitrites get over 5ppm. Otherwise, just keep dosing up ammonia to 1-2ppm as it hits zero and let the cycle complete. You are in the nitrite spike which is perfectly normal.
Check ph or kh to make sure those are not dropping. That drop can stall your cycle.
Great thanks
 
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clark12

clark12

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tfreema said:
Yes, it is ok. Only do water change when nitrites get over 5ppm. Otherwise, just keep dosing up ammonia to 1-2ppm as it hits zero and let the cycle complete. You are in the nitrite spike which is perfectly normal.
Check ph or kh to make sure those are not dropping. That drop can stall your cycle.
Update: From a huge water change and peram's at almost 0, I am getting rid of 1ppm ammonia in way less than 24 hrs, then nitrites go to 2ppm and nitrates to 10ish. So if i dose 1ppm ammonia back then in less than 24 hrs i am at 5+ ppm nitrites and still around 10ppm nitrates. So at this point i should do a 50% wc. Now back to 2ppm nitrite and still 10 maaaybe 5 nitrate.
So heres what i did, dosed to 1ppm ammonia. 24 hrs and i was at 5ppm nitrites and 10ppm nitrates. I decided to let it sit over night instead of a wc. About 16 hrs after that reading i checked and had 2ppm nitrites and 20 nitrates.
Should i just let it go or dose ammonia back to 1ppm? If so I usually reach 5ppm nitrite at this point but hear to not let nitrites go above 5ppm. After 2ppm it all looks the same.

Thoughts?

Almost there!

Sincerely,
Most Impatient
 

tfreema

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Try dosing ammonia up without doing a water change and see where you are after 24 hours. If it is OVER 5ppm nitrites then do a water change. You are in the nitrite spike stage. It can seem to take forever so hang in there. It is getting really close.
 
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clark12

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tfreema said:
Try dosing ammonia up without doing a water change and see where you are after 24 hours. If it is OVER 5ppm nitrites then do a water change. You are in the nitrite spike stage. It can seem to take forever so hang in there. It is getting really close.
I didnt see this post until this morning. I ended up just leaving it alone and...NO nitrites this morning!!!!! I just dosed back to 1ppm ammonia and we will see if im fully cycled tomorrow. I dont have any fish in there or any plans just yet. Thats why im only dosing ammonia to 1ppm. Im going to try and figure these plants out for a bit and probably a few nerites before i get a stocking list together. This is my "start over" tank. I went through a bacteria battle that i couldnt fix. I tried so many different approaches and things just progressed. It got a bit costly with meds and the amount of fish that were affected. Thats another topic.

Thanks for all the help and i will update again.
 
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clark12

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4/10/20 I wont do this daily but heres the new direction.
this morning was:
ammonia- 0
no2- 0.25
no3- 20

now im going to bump my ammonia to 2ppm. now i will see if starting at only 1ppm ammonia was worth it or not. i figured it would be easier to start a small colony of each bacteria and then they multiply faster. maybe not. doesnt matter because im not stocking fish for a while. maybe some nerites and a couple mystery snails while i get a handle on these plants.

what would be a sufficient amount of ammonia turn over be for 5 olive nerites and 2 mystery snails? 2ppm? 75 gal, history is current
 

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2ppm is sufficient to sustain some snails.

When you do add fish, add slowly so as not to overwhelm the cycle.
 
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clark12

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4-11 so i dosed the 2ppm ammonia and to my surprise it was gone in about 12hrs. my ammonia indicator is doing awesome. i dont go by its numbers but when its back to yellow... i check my levels. so in one day i doubled the ammonia consumption!!!
nitrites were at 2+ and nitrates were at 20. again, i wont add ammonia immediately. i will let it sit today and see how my nitrite guys guys do. i am starting to see some sort of algea on my wisteria, maybe black beard. i hope this hurries up so i can put some snails or shrimp in. first i need to find out who eats black beard

once nitrites drop i will dose 3ppm ammonia. if things keep moving this fast then maybe i should get to 4ppm before anyone gets added
 

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Some shrimp or snails may eat BBA. The only thing Ive heard is small Siamese Algae Eaters. I have some and they cleaned it up awesomely. They do get big and some say dont eat BBA anymore when adult. Mine are still keeping it at bay for now.
 

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Panda garras are my new fav for eating algae and supposed to eat bba. Got some in quarantine to try out.
 
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clark12

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CYCLED!!!!!!!!! feeling accomplished. Ive always done fish-in cycle and its a whole different feeling doing a fishless.

So, i can convert 2ppm ammonia to nitrates (0-0-20 currently) in less than 24 hours. My plans are 4 nerites and 2 mysteries and 1 assassin (I do have pest snails from plants.) I eventually want my stock to look something like this:
3 German blue rams
10+ Black Noen tetras or Penguin tetras
10+ Cardinals
Mabye a couple amano shrimp

Heres my question now... Im not sure when i will stock fish, probably just snails for the moment. I was thinking if i had my ammonia up to 4ppm that if i didnt have the stock to feed that bacteria that it would just die off. Do you think this is correct?

Its kind of hard right now considering the pandemic we are living in to get all of that, so i was thinking concentrate on the plants and decor then some snails for a minute until things calm down
 

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