Cycle

AustinJ1991

So I’m in the middle of a “cycle” 2.5 weeks in. The last few days I’ve noticed my nitrites were off the scale. And I read that I should conduct a water change as it will slow the cycle down or even ruin the cycle. Ammonia wasn’t going down for over 24 hours which was my main concern which led to water changes. Once my water change was done I dosed ammonia to 3 ppm. Nitrites snot up again. And ammonia went down. I let the tank sit without ammonia or disturbances for 24 hours However yesterday I did a full test. And it shows Ammonia 0ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrates 40ppm. So I dosed ammonia back to 2 ppm. Now my nitrites are between 2-5 ppm ammonia is at 1-2ppm and nitrates are off the scale. I’ve double tested as well. Did I do something wrong ? Is my cycle stalled ?
 

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mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

What size is this tank? If it is a small tank you may be overwhelming it with too much ammonia. Not actually a problem but will give unexpected readings.
 

AustinJ1991

It is a 30 gallon :). At first I did overwhelm it with ammonia I dosed 8 ppm. But just let it do it’s thing as that was the first day and I have nothing in my tank. But since then it has been small doses
 

mattgirl

It is a 30 gallon :). At first I did overwhelm it with ammonia I dosed 8 ppm. But just let it do it’s thing as that was the first day and I have nothing in my tank. But since then it has been small doses
Gotcha. Yes, 2 or even 3ppm in this size tank should be enough. You are still early in the cycle so now it is just a waiting game. Add ammonia each time it drops down to or close to zero but not more often than every 24 hours.
 

AustinJ1991

Gotcha. Yes, 2 or even 3ppm in this size tank should be enough. You are still early in the cycle so now it is just a waiting game. Add ammonia each time it drops down to or close to zero but not more often than every 24 hours.
Ok, thank you for the help !
 

AustinJ1991

Just an update.
Ammonia is still going down slowly. I have 160 ppm nitrates. And nitrites have disappeared again. So I’m hoping that maybe I’m close to being done somehow. Haven’t done water changes unless I over dose ammonia.
 

mattgirl

If this was my tank I would do a 50% water change to get those nitrates down. As long as you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there the water change isn't going to affect your bacteria. It isn't free floating in the water so doing a water change isn't going to be removing any. After the water change get the ammonia back up to at least 2ppm.
 

AustinJ1991

If this was my tank I would do a 50% water change to get those nitrates down. As long as you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there the water change isn't going to affect your bacteria. It isn't free floating in the water so doing a water change isn't going to be removing any. After the water change get the ammonia back up to at least 2ppm.
Okay. I didn’t realize nitrates were a bad thing. Could that be what’s slowing the ammonia consumption down ?
 

mattgirl

Okay. I didn’t realize nitrates were a bad thing. Could that be what’s slowing the ammonia consumption down ?
Not necessarily a bad thing. Even when cycling it is better to try to keep things closer to balanced. If you are seeing 160 they could be even higher than that. Quite often the water change will get things moving forward when they aren't moving as quickly as we think they should. If your nitrites are spiking, then going to zero only to spike again, the water change may stop that. It shouldn't happen like that. The nitrites should spike and eventually drop to zero never to be seen again.
 

AustinJ1991

Not necessarily a bad thing. Even when cycling it is better to try to keep things closer to balanced. If you are seeing 160 they could be even higher than that. Quite often the water change will get things moving forward when they aren't moving as quickly as we think they should. If your nitrites are spiking, then going to zero only to spike again, the water change may stop that. It shouldn't happen like that. The nitrites should spike and eventually drop to zero never to be seen again.
ok cool. Just finished the water change I’ll update tomorrow thank you for the help !
 

AustinJ1991

tank is officially cycled. I added some more filter media to make more room for more bacteria. No sign of ammonia or nitrite for at least 4 days! Quickest cycle yet. But thank you for the help.
 

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mattgirl

tank is officially cycled. I added some more filter media to make more room for more bacteria. No sign of ammonia or nitrite for at least 4 days! Quickest cycle yet. But thank you for the help.
Congratulations. Quite often a water change to balance things out when nitrites and nitrates are so high seems to speed up the cycle.
 

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