Fishless Cycle, Nitrite Spike Question.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Algonquin, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    So I seem to be mid-cycle with my new 10 gallon tank. I'm using pure ammonia, and dosing up to 3 ppm daily, now that my ammonia is being processed to 0 in 12 hours. I'm on about day 7 of the Nitrite spike. I'm using the API liquid test kit, and it tops out at 5, so I don't know what the actual Nitrite reading is, but it's been reading 5 for 7 days now. Tonight, I'll try diluting it to see if I can get a more accurate reading. My Nitrates are about 5, although I've only been testing every other day, I don't think they'll go much higher until the Nitrite drops.

    My question is this - how do I know if I should do a partial water change? I've read conflicting info online, including on Fishlore about this. The directions I'm following for the fishless cycle say to dose to 4ppm Ammonia and wait (from Fishlore). Some threads say leave the water alone, eventually the Nitrites will just drop. Others say if they are too high, it will stall the cycle. So... is there a tipping point that I should be looking for? Over a certain reading, do a water change?

    My Ammonia took approx 12 days to drop to 0, so I gather the Nitrite should drop (on it's own) in about double that time - is that correct? So about another 17 days? The wait is killing me, but I'm doing my best to be patient. I just want to be sure the high Nitrites aren't going to mess this up, since my ammonia is being processed really quickly now, so I have to keep adding it.
  2. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    are you using bottled bacteria? if not, you can test where your nitrites are at by doing a 50% pwc.

    I used stability. I let my nitrites spike for a week then did a 75% pwc and boom - nitrites .25. I simply added triple the recommended dose of stability daily & the nitrites would disappear in 12 hours, re appear, dose stability, disappear. that took less than a week to settle & I was cycled.

    most of the threads that say don't do pwc involve bottled products like TSS & Dr Tim's.

    nitrites can get stuck & stall cycles. but if you do a large pwc & there's no drop, you're probably not stalled. you just need to give it more time :)
  3. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    No I'm not using any bottled bacteria.
    I'm thinking though that the bacteria that will convert the Nitrites to Nitrates needs to have a certain level of Nitrites as 'food'. If I take too much out, that could affect the cycle? Just trying to figure out how high is too high that it could impair the cycle...
  4. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    What I've read is that above 5ppm can stall your cycle. if you're at 5ppm, a 50% pwc will drop it to 2.5ppm. plenty of food for nitrobacter :)
  5. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    I just did a test about an hour ago... hard to read the Nitrite, but I think it might be just under 5... Looks different tonight somehow. AND... my nitrite reading was up to 40 or 50! Will give it anither day or so and see where things are at. If no more drop in Nitrite, ill maybe do a pwc. Make sense?
  6. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    I think you meant your nitrAte reading is 40?? if so YAY! give it another 72 hours tops and i reckon your nitrites will start halving and then disappear.

    nitrobacter take longer to grow but still grow exponentially. so they'll start to double & your nitrates spike & nitrites plummet. I'm excited for you! :;bananagirl
  7. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, oops - NitrAte was up to 40/50! I was so excited to see that! I can hardly wait to test tonight!
    And thanks for being excited for me, my family thinks I'm slightly nuts for cheering on my Nitrates :D

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