Ammonia won't go down, nitrites keep spiking - Page 2

Kikomii

I have not been able to find an answer for this anywhere, so hopefully someone here can help me.
I've been doing a fishless cycle for my freshwater 30 gallon tank for about a month and I've run into an issue.

For about two weeks I've seen nitrites spike, along with nitrates. The nitrites go back down to .25-0ppm but the ammonia won't go below 1.0.

I think oh okay, the ammonia should go back down now that the nitrites are at 0, but it doesn't. Then the nitrites spike AGAIN, to a dark purple color. Test the nitrites again tomorrow and they've have gone back down to .25, ammonia still at 1.0-2.0.

Here's some stats about my tank if needed

pH lvl: 7

Temp: 72 ish degrees Fahrenheit

What's going on here? Is my testing kit bad? Or is my tank stalled somehow? How do I fix it?

Thank you to anyone who can help me!!
 

mattgirl

Sorry for the lighting quality, it's raining outside and the lights in our house are yellow so I didn't want it to affect the colors
Here is my Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates after the 50% water change we did last night
Much better. now we just wait for the ammonia to drop down to zero. The water change alone wouldn't have dropped the nitrites this low so I have to think your nitrite eating bacteria is working over time. This is a very good sign that the cycle is moving forward well.
 

Kikomii

Much better. now we just wait for the ammonia to drop down to zero. The water change alone wouldn't have dropped the nitrites this low so I have to think your nitrite eating bacteria is working over time. This is a very good sign that the cycle is moving forward well.
If ammonia needs to be added what should I be looking for? Another spike in nitrites?
 

mattgirl

If ammonia needs to be added what should I be looking for? Another spike in nitrites?
Maybe not. Normally once nitrites spike and then drop to zero we don't see them again. What should happen if you add more ammonia is the ammonia goes down and nitrates go up.
 

Kikomii

Maybe not. Normally once nitrites spike and then drop to zero we don't see them again. What should happen if you add more ammonia is the ammonia goes down and nitrates go up.
So would you think that Ammonia needs to be added?
 

mattgirl

So would you think that Ammonia needs to be added?
How high is it in the tank right now? I have a difficult time telling numbers from the colors on the screen. If it is .25 or lower then yes, go ahead and get it back up to about 2ppm. If it is already higher than .25 just wait until it drops that low. If it doesn't drop in a day are so go ahead and get it up to 2ppm.

If the 2ppm ammonia goes down to zero and the nitrites hold at zero after 24 hours of adding the ammonia then the cycle is finally finished. :)
 

Kikomii

How high is it in the tank right now? I have a difficult time telling numbers from the colors on the screen. If it is .25 or lower then yes, go ahead and get it back up to about 2ppm. If it is already higher than .25 just wait until it drops that low. If it doesn't drop in a day are so go ahead and get it up to 2ppm.

If the 2ppm ammonia goes down to zero and the nitrites hold at zero after 24 hours of adding the ammonia then the cycle is finally finished. :)
The tank is at .25ppm right now! So I'll go ahead and buy some pure ammonia and try it up to 2ppm, thank you so much!
 

mattgirl

The tank is at .25ppm right now! So I'll go ahead and buy some pure ammonia and try it up to 2ppm, thank you so much!
I had to read back through the thread to see what we have done up to this point and realized we have been using fish food as our ammonia source. It is very possible that you will not need to buy and add liquid ammonia. Since you used fish food as your ammonia source we can't know how much bacteria we have grown but since this tank is only going to have the one water pet I have to think we have grown enough.

I really don't think you need to buy and use ammonia. Now that the nitrites have finally settled down and acted like they are supposed to I don't think you will have to test it out by adding liquid ammonia. Just continue adding fish food every third day until the ammonia drops to zero. At that point this cycle will be done.

When that happens you will want to siphon excess food out of there. This will also lower the nitrates and this tank should be ready for your little guy.
 

Kikomii

I had to read back through the thread to see what we have done up to this point and realized we have been using fish food as our ammonia source. It is very possible that you will not need to buy and add liquid ammonia. Since you used fish food as your ammonia source we can't know how much bacteria we have grown but since this tank is only going to have the one water pet I have to think we have grown enough.

I really don't think you need to buy and use ammonia. Now that the nitrites have finally settled down and acted like they are supposed to I don't think you will have to test it out by adding liquid ammonia. Just continue adding fish food every third day until the ammonia drops to zero. At that point this cycle will be done.

When that happens you will want to siphon excess food out of there. This will also lower the nitrates and this tank should be ready for your little guy.
This is what my Ammonia and Nitrites look like from last night, is this worrisome?
 

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mattgirl

This is what my Ammonia and Nitrites look like from last night, is this worrisome?
Did you start adding liquid ammonia? If not then I have to wonder why the nitrites went back up.
 

Kikomii

Did you start adding liquid ammonia? If not then I have to wonder why the nitrites went back up.
No I have not, I was going to wait until today to add fish food since you said pure ammonia wasn't necessary
 

mattgirl

No I have not, I was going to wait until today to add fish food since you said pure ammonia wasn't necessary
Gotcha, I do have to wonder why the nitrites are spiking again. That really isn't making sense to me. Normally once they spike and then drop we don't see them again.

I have to wonder if something in this tank is causing what we are seeing. At one point I was helping a young lady that was having trouble with nitrites. No matter what we did up to and including 100% daily water changes to get them down and over night they would jump back up off the chart. I finally had her remove a couple of pieces of decor and like magic the nitrites were gone never to be seen again.

Both of the resin pieces were supposed to be aquarium safe but apparently something about them was causing what we were seeing. What do you have in this tank? Decor? substrate?
 

Kikomii

Gotcha, I do have to wonder why the nitrites are spiking again. That really isn't making sense to me. Normally once they spike and then drop we don't see them again.

I have to wonder if something in this tank is causing what we are seeing. At one point I was helping a young lady that was having trouble with nitrites. No matter what we did up to and including 100% daily water changes to get them down and over night they would jump back up off the chart. I finally had her remove a couple of pieces of decor and like magic the nitrites were gone never to be seen again.

Both of the resin pieces were supposed to be aquarium safe but apparently something about them was causing what we were seeing. What do you have in this tank? Decor? substrate?
I have two moss balls, and a lot of decor that I bought off of amazon. As for substrate it's CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand
While I try to find the exact decor we put in it I know for a fact we got this from PetSmart Top Fin® Greenery Asian Temple Aquarium Ornament | fish Ornaments | PetSmart
 

mattgirl

I have two moss balls, and a lot of decor that I bought off of amazon. As for substrate it's CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand
While I try to find the exact decor we put in it I know for a fact we got this from PetSmart Top Fin® Greenery Asian Temple Aquarium Ornament | fish Ornaments | PetSmart
You may want to consider taking it out and see what happens. When you take it out put it in some fresh dechlorinated water. See if by any chance you see any nitrites in the container it is in over time and see if the nitrites in the tank finally go down and stay down.
 

Kikomii

You may want to consider taking it out and see what happens. When you take it out put it in some fresh dechlorinated water. See if by any chance you see any nitrites in the container it is in over time and see if the nitrites in the tank finally go down and stay down.
I removed my decor other than my moss balls the the temple I showed you earlier and my nitrites went back down to zero D: That's really saddening we spent a lot of money on those, I don't know which one was causing the issue but I don't want to go through and try each and every item to see what was the problem lol
 

mattgirl

I removed my decor other than my moss balls the the temple I showed you earlier and my nitrites went back down to zero D: That's really saddening we spent a lot of money on those, I don't know which one was causing the issue but I don't want to go through and try each and every item to see what was the problem lol
I am both happy and sad that taking them out helped. Maybe you can test them out over time to find out which one was causing the problem. It may just be one piece and if so you will still be able to use the rest. Once upon a time it was safe to use decor made and sold for aquarium use but it seem some folks don't pay attention to what they make them out of or what they paint them with and this is what happens. :(

hopefully we can finally finish up this cycle or it may very well already be done and ready for fish.
 

Kikomii

I am both happy and sad that taking them out helped. Maybe you can test them out over time to find out which one was causing the problem. It may just be one piece and if so you will still be able to use the rest. Once upon a time it was safe to use decor made and sold for aquarium use but it seem some folks don't pay attention to what they make them out of or what they paint them with and this is what happens. :(

hopefully we can finally finish up this cycle or it may very well already be done and ready for fish.
Yeah they should definitely have standards for what they can sell it really sucks! I might've been here forever and not been cycled if I didn't pull them out :(
 

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