Help Cycle going nowhere!

anahiii24

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So I am well into the 1 month mark into fish less cycling out tank with pure ammonia as its source.

Throughout the process we have seen the ammonia levers decrease and getting readings on nitrites at about 2.5 weeks into the cycle, nitrates appeared 3 or so days after the nitrites so here are our readings.

April 15

Ammonia: 4ppm
nitrite: 5ppm
nitrate: 50ppm
pH: 7:5

We added ammonia daily to raise it back to 4ppm

April 19
Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrites: 5ppm
Nitrates:10 PPM
pH: 8.2

April 22

Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrites: 2ppm
Nitrates: 5ppm
pH: when added ammonia is 8.2 and when zero ammonia it stays at 7.4

April 24.

Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrites: between 1ppm and .50ppm
Nitrates:5 ppm
pH: 7.4

I am very confused with this. Everywhere I read at this point I'm supposed to have or have had off the charts levels of nitrites and nitrates so that later nitrites will eventually drop along with ammonia and only have nitrates.
But I've never seen my nitrates levels very high in fact they were decreasing.

Can someone help me?
 

antec

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looks to me as your cycle is coming along quite nicely. are you performing WC? if so then that may be the reason for your nitrate levels decreasing. if not, then you may be using test equipment that has expired.
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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antec said:
looks to me as your cycle is coming along quite nicely. are you performing WC? if so then that may be the reason for your nitrate levels decreasing. if not, then you may be using test equipment that has expired.
No water changes and tests are up to date. Already checked that
 

antec

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anahiii24 said:
No water changes and tests are up to date. Already checked that
are you observing any algae growth in the tank? do you have thick substrate (~4inches thick)? is this tank running a sump or refugium?
 

Siggi

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After adding ammonia, how long does it take for the reading to get down again?
You say you added ammonia to get the concentration back to 4ppm - what concentration did you measure before adding ammonia?
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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antec said:
are you observing any algae growth in the tank? do you have thick substrate (~4inches thick)? is this tank running a sump or refugium?
No refugium or sump and I did find algae I believe is blue something algae forming on the suction cup from the power head, ther than that nor the plastic plays or the rocks have any.
There's some green coloration on one of the flat rocks but I believe that's the color of the rock, not sure.
And we have a 2 1/2 "gravel substrate.
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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Siggi said:
After adding ammonia, how long does it take for the reading to get down again?
You say you added ammonia to get the concentration back to 4ppm - what concentration did you measure before adding ammonia?
It takes exactly 4 hours for ammonia to come down from 4ppm to zero.
 

Thunder_o_b

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My last two tanks were cycled fishless. First one cycled in two weeks, the second one cycled in a week. I did use seed medium from very established tanks (8 and 5 years old). I kept the ammonia at over 8 ppm with no water changes. Temp was 82f PH was 7.8, final readings were ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 60 I then did a 90% water change and added fish.

Maybe you should up the ammonia.
 

antec

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anahiii24 said:
No refugium or sump and I did find algae I believe is blue something algae forming on the suction cup from the power head, ther than that nor the plastic plays or the rocks have any.
There's some green coloration on one of the flat rocks but I believe that's the color of the rock, not sure.
And we have a 3 or 4" gravel
ok, depending on the species of algae it may be that the algae is metabolizing some ammonia, some nitrite, and primarily nitrates. I underline 'may be', because a small amount how you described it shouldn't really dent the levels of nitrate but there is still a possibility. blue green algae are very efficient in clearing nitrates but you should be well versed before attempting to do that. I know you didn't purposely grow this algae. my recommendation would be to perform a large water change, around 90% - 100%. clean off any algae growth and wipe down the glass (then do the large WC). don't worry about the bacteria on the surfaces, you will gain those colonies back within two days. don't touch the filter. refill the tank and dose with ammonia to 4ppm.

keep an eye on the water chemistry for the next week. if nothing has changed you could come back and post an update thread.
 

Siggi

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If your ammonia drops to zero and the readind of nitrite are correct (slowly but steadily decreasing) you are cycled!!
As Antec said, it's time to make a 100% w.c.
I wouldn't mess more with ammonia (if it drops to zero by itself), just get the fish in!!
And, of course, keep measuring regularly for nitrites (and ammonia and nitrates).
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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antec said:
ok, depending on the species of algae it may be that the algae is metabolizing some ammonia, some nitrite, and primarily nitrates. I underline 'may be', because a small amount how you described it shouldn't really dent the levels of nitrate but there is still a possibility. blue green algae are very efficient in clearing nitrates but you should be well versed before attempting to do that. I know you didn't purposely grow this algae. my recommendation would be to perform a large water change, around 90% - 100%. clean off any algae growth and wipe down the glass (then do the large WC). don't worry about the bacteria on the surfaces, you will gain those colonies back within two days. don't touch the filter. refill the tank and dose with ammonia to 4ppm.

keep an eye on the water chemistry for the next week. if nothing has changed you could come back and post an update thread.
I just edited the post it's actually 2 1/2 of gravel
 

antec

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anahiii24 said:
I just edited the post it's actually 2 1/2 of gravel
ok, the depth of the gravel didn't concern me because it would have to be very deep. but your's is not so I ruled out a potential possibility.
 
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anahiii24

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Yay!! I'm so exited! I think I'm gonna give it a few days for nitrites to come down to zero and then ill do the water change. Does that sound right?
 

antec

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I'd perform the water change soon; get rid of the algae. fill the water back up and redoes your ammonia - then leave it for a week while monitoring any changes. come back and report your findings.
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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I'm sorry my mistake. Husband says that it takes 12 hours for ammonia to be consumed (huge difference) at some point during the cycle we were adding 4ml of ammonia to raise to 4ppm every 4 hours... So I got confused.
But yes we add ammonia once a day enough to raise to 4ppm
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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Thank you all so much for your help. Here are some pictures I thought I'd share... seems like my cycle IS going somewhere!

374628_187251844759478_533944715_n.jpg401970_187251841426145_1438604504_n.jpg62639_187251838092812_1416824091_n.jpg


We added ammonia this morning around 8-9 ish and I just tested again at 6 and this what I got.
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrites:.25ppm
nitrates: 10 or 20ppm, can't really make out that one
pH:7.4
 

Mamajin

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Do a small water change to bring up the PH (it'll lower the nitrItes too). Don't add any more ammonia. Wait 24 hours exactly and test again. Let us know how it goes!
 
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anahiii24

anahiii24

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Thanks a lot! Husband suggested to give it one more day to nitrites to go down on its own and maybe nitrates to rise and then do a massive water change. Ill keep you all posted!
 

Mamajin

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Keep an eye on your PH. You don't want it to drop below 7 while you're cycling.
 
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anahiii24

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OK, no I am about to cry my eyes out!

we did the water change, 95% and the results just have me so sad...

ammonia 0ppm
nitrites OFF the chart
Nitrates 0-5ppm


EDIT: I forgot to mention that we do have a water temperature change, because we were thinking we were done (that's why the water change) and planned to add the fish on Saturday, we lowered the temperature to 76, so with that being said... Do I up the temperature to 82 as I had it before?
PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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