Question Cycling a freshwater 125 gal tank

buddybetta

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I have a new 125 gal tank that I started cycling about 10 days ago with Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride solution and seachem stability. This is my first fishless cycle. I’ve cycled my 5 other tanks with fish in them. I test for ammonia every day and nitrite every other day. So far, my ammonia has steadily been going down from 1-2 ppm to 0.50-0.25 ppm in 2-3 days, and I kept adding more ammonia to bring it to about 1.5 ppm but I see no nitrites. Other than dosing stability for 9 days, I haven’t added anything else (except the water conditioner when I first set up the tank) so I have no ammonia removers in the water or in my filters. I do not see any nitrates either. I have no live plants to take care of them so they were most likely never present. Should I discontinue adding stability? Where is my ammonia going if there are no nitrites?
 
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mattgirl

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buddybetta said:
I have a new 125 gal tank that I started cycling about 10 days ago with Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride solution and seachem stability. This is my first fishless cycle. I’ve cycled my 5 other tanks with fish in them. I test for ammonia every day and nitrite every other day. So far, my ammonia has steadily been going down from 1-2 ppm to 0.50-0.25 ppm in 2-3 days, and I kept adding more ammonia to bring it to about 1.5 ppm but I see no nitrites. Other than dosing stability for 9 days, I haven’t added anything else (except the water conditioner when I first set up the tank) so I have no ammonia removers in the water or in my filters. I do not see any nitrates either. I have no live plants to take care of them so they were most likely never present. Should I discontinue adding stability? Where is my ammonia going if there are no nitrites?
Are you sure you are following the instructions for the nitrate test. There are a couple of steps not required for all the other tests. If they are not done you won't get a true reading. It is very important to shake bottle number 2 really well before dispensing drops from it. The test tube needs to be shaken a full minute after adding drops from both bottles and then wait for a full 5 minutes for the results.
 
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buddybetta

buddybetta

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mattgirl said:
Are you sure you are following the instructions for the nitrate test. There are a couple of steps not required for all the other tests. If they are not done you won't get a true reading. It is very important to shake bottle number 2 really well before dispensing drops from it. The test tube needs to be shaken a full minute after adding drops from both bottles and then wait for a full 5 minutes for the results.
Yes, I’ve done all of the above. My other 10 gal just finished a fish in cycle and I have been getting nitrate readings for quite a few days now.
 

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buddybetta said:
yes. I got 0 ppm
A constant increase of nitrate signifies a cycled tank, so I would give it time to cycle as it may take longer than usual.
 

mattgirl

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buddybetta said:
Yes, I’ve done all of the above. My other 10 gal just finished a fish in cycle and I have been getting nitrate readings for quite a few days now.
Good job then. If I had 5 other cycled tanks I would take some media from each of them to help jump start this cycle. It will do a much better job of getting this tank cycled than anything from a bottle. I am not sure where the ammonia is going but you are experienced enough to know that it is going down. If you don't have any nitrate absorbing media in this tank then, like you, I am at a loss as to where the ammonia is going since it isn't going to nitrites or nitrates. .
 
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buddybetta

buddybetta

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mattgirl said:
Good job then. If I had 5 other cycled tanks I would take some media from each of them to help jump start this cycle. It will do a much better job of getting this tank cycled than anything from a bottle. I am not sure where the ammonia is going but you are experienced enough to know that it is going down. If you don't have any nitrate absorbing media in this tank then, like you, I am at a loss as to where the ammonia is going since it isn't going to nitrites or nitrates. .
Since I’m running 2 hang on power filters, I placed some sponge media in my older tanks 2 months prior to getting this one, so both of the filters on the 125 gal have that sponge in them. I just did another test and my ammonia was at 2 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, and it looks like nitrate is at about 0.5-1 ppm (the color was a faint orange, not close enough to 5 ppm but not yellow enough to be 0) so I’m guessing my nitrate is building up slowly and I’m just missing all of my nitrite spikes.
 
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buddybetta

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mattgirl said:
With both seeded media and bottled bacteria it is possible you won't get a nitrite spike. If ammonia goes down and nitrates go up I wouldn't be overly concerned about not seeing nitrites.
okay, great. thanks!
 

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