Cycle Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Sean Garland, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    Hello Fello Fishlorians,

    So, I'm relatively familiar with the nitrogen cycle, but I need some confirmation here.

    I set up a dirted tank two days ago
    Filled the water to 3" above the substrate and waited 24 hours
    Drained the tank, planted the tank, filled the tank, and added a filter heater and lights to run for 24 hours.
    Last night after it had been running for 24 hours (the filter spent a week or two on my main tank) I came home to what I'm pretty sure was bacterial bloom.

    When I tested the water I came up with:
    1ppm ammonia
    0 nitrite
    .5 nitrate

    So, I haven't tested my water source yet, but my question is....

    If I have nitrates in my water source I'm at the beginning of my cycle?

    If there are no nitrates in my tap, then I'm most likely at the end of the cycle, but have more of the bacteria that convert nitrite because the filter spent time on my main tank?

    Any help is appreciated :)

    Attached Files:

  2. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    You have some bacteria but not enough to convert all ammonia just part of it. Dirt substrate leach alot of ammonia in the start so even you have partially seeded filter media I would leave the tank at least 10 more days just to be sure about cycle and test it every now and then

  3. SkavatarWell Known MemberMember

    .5 nitrate is negligible. when you get into the 10-20 ppm then your cycle is progressing.

    1ppm ammonia is fairly significant. once ammonia drops to 0, you're cycled.

  4. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    I'm thinking so too. Especially since I went from 0 to 1ppm ammonia in a day and the bloom.

    If they reduce to 0 and nitrate climbs I'm adding a fish. Will keep some bacteria in a bottle on hand just in case
  5. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    Ammonia and nitrite need to be 0 nitrates 10-20 before you add fish
  6. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    That's what I'm saying app.

    The whole reason for the post was I have no nitrites and I thought that was odd. Obviously if they show up I'll wait
  7. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    Update: found the same amount of nitrate from the tap. Going to treat this as the start of the cycle
  8. nikm128Well Known MemberMember

    It's pretty common to miss the nitrite stage, they were there at some point
  9. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    Even if I have the same amount of nitrate in my tap?
  10. nikm128Well Known MemberMember

    Well, we posted at the same time, so I didn't see that part, so in this case probably not. But it's still not unheard of to not notice the nitrite part
  11. Sean GarlandValued MemberMember

    I imagine this cycle will move quickly still, as well filled the tank two days ago, and have a bacterial bloom already
  12. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I am going to jump in here for a moment. Twice already this morning I have read about not going through the nitrite phase. The only time I have seen that happen is when using bottle bacteria and that is usually only with Tetra Safe Start Plus and when well seeded media has been used. If neither of those things were done the tank will go through the nitrite phase. .

    If you aren't using bottled bacteria you should expect the nitrites to rise and then go down before you can consider this tank cycled. It is possible it won't happen if the filter you had running on a cycled tank was seeded well enough though.

    If you see the nitrates rising in a few days, you keep registering no nitrites and if you add ammonia it quickly zero's out you can assume that the filter was seeded enough to jump start this tank and you may be well on the way to cycled. :)
  13. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    I did a dirty tank with the only organic potting mix I could find.

    After 3-4 large water changes to clear out the potting mix that got loose from the sand, I put in 4, well seeded sponge filters. Ammonia was at 8ppm.

    Took a week for the 4 seeded filters to eliminate the ammonia.

    Another dirty tank, different potting mix never showed any ammonia.

    So there are a lot of variables.

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