Fishless Cycle, Nitrite problem

Betta Splendid 1

Member
This is my first fish less cycle and it's been about 3 weeks and for the past 2 weeks nitrites are so high they are unreadable ammonia is fine but I think I am overwhelming my bacteria now what do I do.
 

Dom90

Member
Did you use a bacteria product like TSS?


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
No I did not
 

Gekco

Member
You could add a bottle of TSS, that might help finish your cycle.


 

Dom90

Member
Do you have a bottle of Prime or similar water conditioner? If you use TSS, you'll have to wait 24 hours for the effects to wear off before using. From my understanding on Seachem website, you can use Seachem Stability 30 minutes after using Prime.


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member

Dom90

Member
It dechlorinates your tap water. Chlorine in tap water kills bacteria, including the bacteria you are trying to grow. Bottle of Stability is pretty cheap, $10 at most.


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
I have already Dechlorinated the water prior to cycle, the bacteria for breaking down ammonia is fine it's just the nitrite problem but I might just buy some seachem stability but I have a question. Isn't seachem stability used when your starting a cycle and not in the middle of one?
 

Gekco

Member
You can still use it to add to the BB, it never hurts to add BB to a tank even when it's cycled.


 

Dom90

Member
Yes but it can help expedite the bacteria catch up if you are going through a minI cycle.


 

Bluestreakfl

Member
I think the original issue is getting kinda sidetracked. With sky high nitrites, that's what's slowing down your cycle. You can add bottled bacteria, but if your nitrites are that high, it may be a waste. Do large back to back water changes until you have readable nitrites. This is the easiest way to rectify huge nitrite spikes. You want to keep your nitrite at or below 2.0 ppm. Also as long as you know your tap doesn't have nitrates, you can test for them to get an idea whether or not nitrites are being converted.

By getting your nitrites into a readable range, it will help the bacteria work more effectively. It may take several very large water changes, but its the most effective way to get over this phase.
 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
@ but wouldn't all those water changes kill most of my bacteria. And my tap water naturally has 5ppm of nitrates.
 

Bluestreakfl

Member
Bacteria lives on surfaces, not in the water column. Mainly in the filter, and some in the substrate as well. Water changes won't harm your bacteria at all. Just make sure you use a dechlorinator anytime you add new water into the tank.
 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
I know they do not live in the water column and mainly in the filter but during draining the tank wouldn't some surfaces would not be surrounded ny water killing the bacteria and the filter would be off in this big of a water change
 

Bluestreakfl

Member
About 95% of your bacteria is in the filter. I generally leave my filters on for smaller water changes. For larger ones, I put my media into a small container with tank water while changing. Also if you're using TSS and need to do a water change, treat the new water and then let it sit for at least 24 but preferably 48 hours before using it for a water change so that the binding effect of the prime wears off.


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
How large of water changes do I need to do each time. When you talked about back to back water changes to lower nitrite
 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
Should I do 70% water changes until nitrite is readable than use seachem stability and go as a normal fishless cycle. That is what I think I should do but what do you think.
 

Dom90

Member
Yes you can try it. Once you have nitrites under control, I would only dose 1 ppm of ammonia daily, to let the second set of bacteria to catch up.


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member

Dom90

Member
Right, only way I would do a fishless cycle. Forget calculating how much fish food or guessing how many raw shrimp, they're both inaccurate methods that cause a big headache.


 
  • Thread Starter

Betta Splendid 1

Member
And thanks for all the support all of the people in this this thread have given I think this really helped thanks Everey bodyx
 

Bluestreakfl

Member
Glad to help, anytime! Regarding how large of water changes, the larger you can do the better. For example say your Nitrites are at 5.0ppm, a 50% change will bring them to 2.5, another 50% change would bring them to 1.25. An 80% change on the other hand would bring them to 1.0 in a single water change. I agree with Dom90 on going easy on your ammonia dosing, it will get your Nitrite bacteria a chance to catch up to speed.
 

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