Did I just ... restart my cycle? ...

REtrop

ok ...
been struggling with a new planted tank ... 3 almost 4 weeks into the cycle ...
this'll be a lil long, so buckle up (those that are going to read) ...
20gal long heavily planted (30 species of plants being grown from trims/clippings with a few full plants ...
to make this verily much shorter I will skip heavy details but will supply when asked...
daily tests with master kit for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate ... 3-5 flakes of fish food every day ... med-low lights full spectrum on 3 cycles of 3.5 hrs on 4.5 hrs off ... after 3 days I did a 50% water change ... 6 days later I did a 30% water change ... 6 days later I did a 30% water change ... at this time ammonia was showing at .25 and 0's elsewhere ... almost a week later and just before my next water change my test results jumped to 1. amm, 1. nitrite, and 5.nitrate ... I hit up the forums and got the advice to do a 90% WC ... I did ... next day the tests showed .5 amm, .5 nitrite, and still 5. Nitrate ... I did 30% changes the next 3 days ... and each following day showed same results for the tests ... so i did a 50% WC yesterday ... the tests after showed .25 amm, .25 nitrite, and just lighter than 5. Nitrate ... today (this morning) showed .25 ammo, 0 nitrite, and 1/2 between 0 and 5. nitrate .... I just did a test 10 minutes ago and got results in between 0 and .25 for ammo, 0 nitrite, and just a smidge darker than 0 nitrate ...

I'm nervous that I somehow capped out my BB with that last 50% WC ...
ideas?
 

Nate32

As long as you didn't add untreated water with chlorine in it, change out your filter media or add too much "liquid CO2" the BB should be fine. I have heard about it a cycle stalling before, I'm no expert but I let my ammonia stay at at 1 ppm as long as there's no fish or inverts in the tank. My last cycle took about a month. The plants themselves will put off ammonia as they melt and adjust to your water too. I never even put fish food or anything in my 20 just some really sad looking plants from a big box petsore. They melted even more and provided my ammonia for me. They've really taken off now. Haha
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

If this is a fishless cycle I would hold off on the water changes and allow the bacteria to grow. Since you are using fish food as your ammonia source you don't want to be removing it with water changes.
 
Upvote 0

jtjgg

water changes aren't needed until nitrite maxes out over 5ppm on the test or nitrate goes over 80ppm. high nitrite or nitrate (can't remember which one can stall the cycle).

and your plants are also consuming the nitrogenous waste, your parameters are too low for fishless cycle water changes.
 
Upvote 0

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