Do I Keep Adding Ammonia?

  1. Phillip J. Fry

    Phillip J. Fry New Member Member

    I've had my 20g high fishless cycling for a little over a month now. My tank is going through 2ppm in 24 hours. I did a PWC to get nitrates under 40ppm and when I took out the filter to check on it, I dropped it in my bucket of tank water...now I have a spike in nitrites. I guess I messed with it too much... Do I continue to treat this like a re cycling tank and keep adding ammonia till the nirites go to zero? I don't have fish yet and I now have to put that off for another week or so. So I'm unsure which way to approach this.
    I have 4 marimo balls, Java moss, and a baby fern I put in there a few days ago. As of this morning:
    Nirates-160ppm
    Nitrites-2ppm
    Ammonia-0
    Ph-7.2
     
  2. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    Something else must be going on because dropping the filter in tank water shouldn't have caused your nitrites to come back. I am just assuming that you have previously had nitrites and they dropped down to zero. If that isn't the case then having nitrites now is a normal part of the cycling process.

    But to answer your question, Yes, you need to keep feeding your cycle ammonia or it will die.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Phillip J. Fry

    Phillip J. Fry New Member Member

    I used tetra safe start and kinda skipped nitrites part and just started getting nitrates. I did do a rather large water change... That might have been a reason. When I'm ready to get fish how do I go about getting the nitrates down? It's already a red as the reading can get...
     


  4. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    You get them down with water changes. Have you checked your tap water for nitrates? Some folks have a problem getting their nitrates down because they have them in their tap water.

    If you are just now seeing nitrites your tank hasn't finished its cycle. A fully cycled tank will have no ammonia, no nitrites and some nitrates. I think it was just a coincidence to start registering nitrites after your water change and dropping your filter in the tank water.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Phillip J. Fry

    Phillip J. Fry New Member Member

    My tap water has no issues. I've been cycling since April 14. why am I seeing nitrites now? My tank was going through 2ppm in 24 hours the nitrites showed up after the water change a few days ago when I tried to get the nitrates under 40 to get ready for fish. Needless to say I'm holding off on fish
     
  6. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    I can't answer that question :) I suppose your cycle could have stalled and is just now completing the cycle. It is strange that it is processing the ammonia and producing all those nitrates though.

    I could be completely off base here but I attribute a lot of the cycling problems to bottled bacteria. I know some folks have had good results using it but I have read about other folks having the same results you are having.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Phillip J. Fry

    Phillip J. Fry New Member Member

    I suppose it wouldn't hurt to point out that I probably didn't use the bottled stuff right. I was unaware that you have to keep the ammonia up to starting lvl. I was adding ammonia when it reached .25. so I probably "starved" that stuff. Once I started keeping the ammonia at 2ppm I actually started seeing a rise in nitrates instead of it being stuck at 5ppm. Once it started to go through ammonia at a little over 24 hours, I added the plants. Water change was some time after. I probably did it too soon.
     
  8. Ms rose

    Ms rose Well Known Member Member

    i think you will be fine within a few days, instead of doing one large water change, try doing muliple small ones this may help
     
  9. Hunter1

    Hunter1 Well Known Member Member

    Relax, take a deep breathe, you are almost there.