BIG nitrite and nitrate spike while cycling

VisibleClownage

Hi, i'm cycling a pico 5 gallon tank, and yesterday i tested my water and noticed that nitrites and nitrates were waaaay off the charts and the test kit didn't even have those colors. I used the digital test reader and it gave me this:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 10
Nitrate: 250?

just a week ago i registered 1 ppm nitrite, 10 ppm nitrate, 0.5 ppm ammonia

I swear, and am pretty sure that nothing weird fell in the tank, and i haven't added any products; I only recently added a flow pump.

Could it be that I somehow overfed ammonia and all of it was trapped somewhere, then because i added the pump it got out and turned into nitrate? Yea seems pretty improbable

My test kit isn't flawed, I took some water and took it to be tested at my lfs and they gave me the same results.

+ my ammonia was stalled at 0.5-1 for a few weeks, so i think the fact that all of it is gone now has something to do with it.


All the analysis aside, now the important question: do I do a big water change now or should i wait until the nitrite become nitrate, so I can do a water change after that? (would be more convenient) I'm afraid all of that nitrate might stall the cycle.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

It is time to do a water change to get the numbers down to more reasonable levels. Don;t be afraid of changing out close to 100% of it. Do it quickly though. You don't want anything in the tank to dry out. Should be easy enough with just a 5 gallon tank. Be sure you add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in the tank. Once refilled wait about 30 minutes and then run your tests again. Nitrites and nitrates should both be down to very low levels.

If both are down go ahead and get the ammonia back up to 1ppm. That should be enough to test out the cycle in this size tank. That 1ppm ammonia should be gone within 24 hours. If it is then your cycle will be done.
 

Azedenkae

Hm.

Can I ask a few clarifying questions first? You mentioned you have not added any products. How have you been introducing ammonia though?

Any type of soil or whatever you reckon may be releasing ammonia or a nitrogenous compound into the water?

Any water changes yet?

Can I ask what type of digital test? Do you mean something like a Seneye or more like Hanna?
 

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