Ammonia when nitrites are high? - Page 2

Olivia Janae

So I keep getting mixed advice and I’m not sure which way to go. So I thought I’d poll it out.

I’m about 5 weeks into cycling. My ammonia is 0 ppm within 24 hours of dosing it to 2 ppm. My nitrates run about 5.0, but it’s a planted tank. However, my nitrites have been about 5.0 for weeks. Might even be higher, because it’s not so purple as it is fuchsia. Some people say dose the tank to feel the ammonia, some say don’t until nitrites come down.
which do you think?
 

Dechi

Dechi, I really want to thank you for being there so much. You are an awesome human. Thank you for taking the time.

You’re very welcome ! Just so I understand, you added 35 drops yesterday to bring it up to this 2 ppm this morning ?

If that’s the case, next time we decide to add more, add a little less. Target more around 1.0-1.5 ppm. This will shorten the time to finish cycling.

Also, now that you’ve added a little bit of food, I wouldn’t add anymore. Once is enough in my opinion, especially since you’re leaning towards the end of the cycle.
 
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Dechi

Olivia Janae no news = good news ?
 
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Olivia Janae

Honestly, no news is me just waiting in dejection. My ammonia processes in about 10 hours now but my nitrites are SKY high. So I’m just waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
The plus side is that my nitrates are also going up, just very very very slowly.
 
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Dechi

Honestly, no news is me just waiting in dejection. My ammonia processes in about 10 hours now but my nitrites are SKY high. So I’m just waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
The plus side is that my nitrates are also going up, just very very very slowly.

Can we recap what happened ? Your nitrites were at 2 ppm and you added a pinch of food last time we heard from you. This in itself must have brought the ammonia up.

Then what happened from there ? Did you go with the plan and not add more ammonia ?

What are your test results now ?
 
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Olivia Janae

I went with the idea of adding drops each time that it comes down and a pinch of fish food every other day. This is it (having had a dose and a pinch this morning)
Ph: 7.4
ammonia: 0.25
Nitrates: 10
Nitrites: ??!!!! So purple it’s fuchsia

I figure more bacteria can only be a good thing.
Though I admit the tank is looking kind of gross. There’s this brown stuff forming. I’m wondering if I’m adding too much fish food. mattgirl

I’m figuring I’m just waiting at this point. It’s been six weeks, I suppose a few more
 

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mattgirl

The brown eyesore is normal in a new tank so although unsightly it isn't affecting the cycle. Only running the light for a few hours each day should slow down the growth of it.

I know sometimes we think the nitrites will never drop and then almost like magic we will run the test and see that beautiful sky blue in the test tube. Instead of every other day just add the tiny pinch of fish food every third day. Meaning skip 2 days between feedings. Remember just a flake or two of fish food is enough.

Add ammonia each time it drops down to zero or very close to it. Don't add it any more often than every 24 hours though.
 
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Dechi

I figure more bacteria can only be a good thing.
Though I admit the tank is looking kind of gross. There’s this brown stuff forming. I’m wondering if I’m adding too much fish food. @mattgirl

I’m figuring I’m just waiting at this point. It’s been six weeks, I suppose a few more

Well, it isn’t supposed to take so long.

I suggest you go with one plan, and only plan, and follow it.

You have added, again, too much ammonia, when the purpose was to lower it and give the bacteria a chance to keep up.

The white fuzzy stuff is food rotting. I would remove that with a turkey baster or a fish net, but don’t vacuum the substrate.

Adding food in my opinion is not necessary and shouldn’t be done systematically. I believe it can help but in very small quantities, at the beginning of the cycle. And once only. Maybe twice.

This will never end if you keep adding more and more ammonia.

Here is what I would do and recommend. It’s up to you if you want to follow it or not.

Start by doing a big water change to get your nitrites to 1-2 ppm max.

Then :
- Get rid of the fuzz
- No more fish food
- No more ammonia for now
- When the nitrites go down to 1 ppm, wait another 24 hours to see how much they decrease
- then report here and we will see what we do

That’s it ! Right now, less is more.

mattgirl I’m going a different way than you are but we were almost there and the addition of ammonia isn’t helping in my opinion.

I think it’s confusing to the OP to have two people helping so I will stop giving advice if Olivia Janae prefers to go your way, because even though both methods would work, they can’t work if they are used together at the same time.
 
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Olivia Janae

I admit, I don’t know what to do, guys. Will one method make a stronger cycle over the other? You both clearly know what you’re talking about!
Also the plants in my tank are starting to not look so great. Should I be worried? They are literally all starting to develop brown spots
 
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Freshfishguy

I admit, I don’t know what to do, guys. Will one method make a stronger cycle over the other? You both clearly know what you’re talking about!
Also the plants in my tank are starting to not look so great. Should I be worried? They are literally all starting to develop brown spots
Are you adding fertilizer? Also, I’m sorry if this has been asked, but have you added any bacteria starter like Tetra Safe Start since the most recent water change?
 
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Dechi

I admit, I don’t know what to do, guys. Will one method make a stronger cycle over the other? You both clearly know what you’re talking about!
Also the plants in my tank are starting to not look so great. Should I be worried? They are literally all starting to develop brown spots

At this point you go with what you feel works better for you. No, there is no method that will make a cycle stronger. Bacterias are bacterias. It’s either a 0 or a 1. The amount of ammonia you add will play on the amount of bacteria in the end. But you’ve added so much already, when you’re done you should have a big colony.

As for plants, since your aquarium is new, and plants as well, melting is to be expected. Parts of the plant die and whatever parts survive will then start growing nicely, providing they have the nutrients they need. Finish your cycling and then you can concentrate on the plants. But melting will happen no matter what.

Remove all dead leaves or stems as they will cause nitrates to rise. But leave the rest of the plant as it will probably recover

I wish you the best. Hang in there, you can do It !
 
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