Cycling Question Help

  1. ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    I am a little less than a week in. I started off with 8 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm Nitrite & 5 ppm Nitrate. Today I’m at 4 ppm Ammonia, 1-2 ppm Nitrite & 10-20 ppm Nitrate (the two oranges on the sheet look SUPER similar). Should I do a water change to reduce the Nitrate or just let it go?
     
  2. Jenoli42

    Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    Hi, sorry if i've missed other threads? are you doing a fish in cycle or fishless? that dictates what advice you get about water changes.

    the other important thing we'd need to know is if you've used any bottled bacteria or "quick start" product.

    if you're doing fishless, then i'd let your ammonia come down to zero, dose it up to 2ppm again within 24 hours and see if your bacteria process that within about 12 hours. don't change water. your cycle is coming along nicely. does your tap water have nitrates? or did you seed with cycled media?

    if it's fish in, then i have very different advice...but i'm thinking that's unlikely given your numbers?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    I would definitely not do fish in (sorry just assumed it doesn’t really happen anymore lol). I used Dr. Tim’s ammonia & Doctor Tim’s One & Only Nitrifying Bacteria. My tap water does have nitrates. It was 5 ppm right out of the tap & I didn’t use cycled media
     


  4. Jenoli42

    Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    Righto, perfect. I think Dr Tim's says not to do a water change for a period of time on the instructions? Check that out.

    My feeling is that you shouldn't change the water unless your nitrites get to 5ppm and get "stuck" there for 24 -48 hours. at that stage, you may want to consider a 50% pwc and see if they go down. if they don't, you're still cycling and the best advice is to wait. if they do, you're nearly finished cycling and they'll disappear in about 24-48 hours.

    I haven't used dr tim's so if others have they may offer more specific advice for that product :)
     
  5. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    Okay, so today my pH is 7.8, Ammonia is 1-2 ppm, Nitrite is 5 ppm, Nitrate is 20-40 ppm. Just keep waiting it out until ammonia and Nitrite is gone? Then redose ammonia and see if it processes that? Do I do a water change before I add the fish?
     
  6. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    If your ammonia drops to 0ppm and you still have nitrites, you'll need to add ammonia once again, But once your nitrites are 0ppm and you are processing 2ppm of ammonia within 24 hours, you'll be cycled.

    You will then want to do a large water change to get those nitrates as low as possible, before adding fish.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    I’m confused. Today my ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 2-5 ppm & Nitrate is 5 ppm. How did Nitrate go down? Do I need to add more ammonia?
     
  8. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Unless you performed a water change, your nitrates will not decrease....so I'm thinking testing error.

    Yes you need to add ammonia. I would shoot for getting the ammonia level to 2ppm.
     
  9. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

  10. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    I haven't done a water change so that's why I was confused. I've tested the same exact way every day, shaking the bottles and tubes like the directions say to. I don't know what would have changed

    Yes, several. Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias Nana, Anubias Nana Petite, Crypt Wendtii, and Vallisneria Americana
     
  11. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    Plants will use up some of the nitrates which may have caused the nitrate level to drop.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    Okay, that's possible but it just seemed like such a HUGE change in 24 hours, I was very confused
     
  13. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, I doubt they caused that much of a change, but may have contributed a bit.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Well Known Member Member

    I'll just have to test again. Maybe I somehow messed it up last night