Confused With Fishes Cycle, Nitrates On Day 6?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by blindfaith429, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. blindfaith429Valued MemberMember

    First off, this is a somewhat long post, I apologize.

    As you guys know, I am cycling a 10 gallon tank with hardware store ammonia. I am on day 6 so far. I did NOT seed the tank with any BB from another tank. All new stuff.

    I set up the tank on Saturday 1/5 and filled the tank with water, and added Aqueon water conditioner per the instructions for 10 gallons. I have well water, not city.

    On Sunday 1/6, I put in my driftwood that had been soaking overnight. The water was still clear and the wood had sunk right off the bat, so I added it into the tank.

    Also on sunday, after adding the wood, I added 1/2ml of the ammonia. I swished the water around for a few minutes using a fish net, to get it mixed into the water. Then I did an ammonia test, and it showed 1ppm, so I figured 1/2ml = 1ppm in my tank.

    Water was tested with an API master test kit, not strips.

    After the water test, I added 2ml of ammonia to the water to bring it up to 5ppm (did not water test again to confirm).

    Day 2 - Monday the 7th - Measured 2ppm ammonia, so I added 1.5ml into the tank (3ppm)

    Day 3 - Tuesday the 8th - Measured 4ppm ammonia, added 1/2 ml ammonia to the tank. On this day, I also measured for Nitrites, and found 0

    Day 4 - Wednesday the 9th - Measured 4ppm ammonia, added 1/2ml ammonia to the tank

    Day 5 - Thursday the 10th - Measured 4ppm ammonia, added 1/2ml ammonia to the tank

    Day 6 - Friday the 11th - Measured 4ppm ammonia. I also measured the Nitrites at the same time, and this time I found .25ppm. Now that Nitrites are present, I am supposed to reduce the amount of ammonia that I add according to the site I am reading (build your aquarium dot com).

    At this point, I figured I'd measure Nitrates for haha's, not expecting any. However, after doing the test (yes, I followed instructions on shaking the bottle and the test water), I came up with 5ppm of Nitrate.

    Now I'm scratching my head, as I thought I wouldn't see Nitrates until much later on. The only thing I can think of is that possibly my well water has nitrates in it, or my cycle just went really fast.

    I will check my tap water tomorrow and see if this is true.

    Is it possible that my cycle is on a fast track? Could it possibly be what i have in my filter for media? I am not using the "filter cartridge", I swapped it out for sponge and Fluvial Spec BioMax media.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Forgot to add that my water has been about 80 degrees, not sure if that matters.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
  2. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    If when you test your tap water and find no nitrates then yes, I would say your tank in on a fast track. There are no hard and fast set in stone number of days it takes to cycle a tank. Lot of things come into play. It is possible that your well water contains a bacteria that agrees with your tank and that is why your cycle is moving faster than we usually expect to see.
  3. Gourami36Well Known MemberMember

    Higher temperature (80) makes the cycle happen faster
  4. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    I agree with all the above. LUCKYYYY!

    But you said "Now that Nitrites are present, I am supposed to reduce the amount of ammonia that I add according to the site I am reading (build your aquarium dot com)."
    How much did they say to reduce the ammonia? I wouldn't reduce it any more than to get ammonia to 2 ppm daily if you want to immediately fully stock your aquarium after it's cycled. Just sayin...
  5. blindfaith429Valued MemberMember

    The site says to do 5ppm until Nitrites show up, then half it (making it 2.5ppm). It then says that once Nitrates show up, go to 1/4 of the original 5ppm (making it 1.25ppm).

    Here's a link to the process I'm following:

  6. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    A side note. If your on well water it doesn't have chlorine/chlorimine so a dechlorinator isn't needed unless You are treating it yourself. I have a well too and my tanks always seem to cycle faster then someone on city water. I think its the treating process that kills off all the stuff in the water rendering it steral.
  7. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

  8. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Naaah to what?
  9. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    That will work. Just do it that way. Even if you fully stock your tank right after it's cycled, you don't suddenly have a bunch of ammonia in there, the poop has to 'ferment' awhile lol! So cutting down like that is fine.
  10. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Ooooops! I was texting and looking on this site on a split screen ROFLOL! I gave you the text message instead of my sister! Bwaaaaaahahaha! Sorry!:emoji_laughing:

    I was going to ask you dug your own well and your well water tested by the state for bacteria. I was wondering if maybe some peoples well water had some of the bacteria that breaks down ammonia and nitrites.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
  11. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Well was already here when I bought the house. Replaced piping and pump though. That particular bacteria the labs don't test for. I send a sample out every 2 years. It's ground water. The stuff labeled in stores as raw water but mines safe. Lol. I'm sure there is whatever naturally occuring non harmful bacteria is in it since I don't use chlorine or uv on it.
  12. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    I was thinking maybe that might be part of the reason well water seems to cycle faster too. Thanks!
  13. blindfaith429Valued MemberMember

    Well, false alarm. I just checked my tap water, and it gave me the exact same readings for Nitrate as last night. So it looks like I have the first BB growing (converting ammonia to nitrite), but not the second BB yet (converting nitrite to nitrate).

    On a side note, is it okay that my tap water has Nitrates? It's very low, reading 5ppm from the tap.

    Is there some kind of nitrate neutralized I can put into my tap water prior to adding it to my tank during my water changes?

  14. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Nitrates that low in your source water shouldn't cause a problem so there is no need to do anything to remove them at this point.
  15. Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Agree with mattgirl. If you're going to have live plants they also help lower nitrates a little.