Fish-in Initial Nitrogen Cycle Question about using Purigen and Carbon Bags 180 Gallon Tank

  1. NTICH Initiate Member

    On day 11 of initial Fish-In Nitrogen cycle and still waiting for Ammonia spike. Question is, should I remove my Purigen and Matrix Carbon bags until the tank has cycled? All opinions are appreciated.

    180 Gallon All Glass Aquarium
    12 Convicts
    2 Green Terror’s
    2 Jack Dempsey’s
    2 Blue Acara’s
    60% Driftwood
    25% Holy Rock
    5% Rock i.e slate, assorted flat rock
    10% Artificial Plants
    6ft of Air stone’s on Back Wall (except for water intake)
    Special Blend Cycle Booster.
    FX5 Canister
    Top Level = Bio Filter (Black)
    Mid Level = Mechanical Filter (Blue) w/ Seachem Matrix
    Bottom Level = Mechanical Filter (White) w/ Seachem Purigen Bag and Seachem Matrix Carbon Bag
    PH 8.2 / Ammonia 0.0 / Nitrite 0.0 / Nitrate 0.0 (Day 11)
     
  2. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    I would not remove anything now (the carbon will need to be replaced in a few weeks), but you do not want to see an ammonia spike. Those are bad. You'd be looking for a spike in nitrate.

    Also, cycling with 18 larger fish might be a risky proposition. Hopefully not.
     

  3. NTICH Initiate Member

    Thanks, they are all under 2 inches. Just to be clear I shouldn't be looking for the initial ammonia spike then the nitrite and nitrate spikes to follow? Or are you saying to make sure I use Nite-Out w/ first WC as soon as my ammonia begins to climb from 0.0 to make sure it doesn't reach harmful levels. Appreciate your input.
     

  4. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Right, ammonia will climb as a part of the cycle process. I'm not familiar with Nite-Out, so I can't give a lot of advice with how or when to use it. But I can tell you that when I've done fish-in cycles with the products I'm used to (Prime and TSS), ammonia will rise a little and drop, then nitrite will rise a little and drop, and then nitrate will rise a lot. Then I do a water change to lower the nitrate.
     

  5. NTICH Initiate Member

    Nite-out is used in conjunction with Special Blend, they are both made by Microbe-Lift. Anyway thanks for the info, that's exactly what I needed to hear. Do the first WC after the nitrates climb and just monitor the rest along the way. I will use the Nite-Out in conjunction with the WC to help lower the nitrates. Thanks again.
     
  6. Linwood Member Member

    One confusing factor I had is that as nitrites came up, nitrates appeared to come up as well, but (I am told) it was a false indication as the test kits do not well distinguish. Once nitrites went down nitrates went down, then slowly (correctly) started back up. Advice I got was ignore nitrates until nitrites are gone (this presumes a cycle when you can actually see them because they start at zero, and they end at zero in the cycle, so take that advice with a grain of salt).

    If you were not using a quick start you would look first for ammonia, then nitrites to peak and descend rapidly to zero, followed (with a bit of overlap) by nitrates increasing steadily. With pre-seeded bacteria you might not see the intermediate ammonia or nitrite, or it might be there only briefly -- OR as it was in my case, it still took 30 days before it all worked and cycled. But once fully cycled absent some unusual event you should not see ammonia or nitrite at all, and increasing nitrates reduced only by water changes (well, or conceivably plants if you have a whole lot of them).