Has my tank cycled without nitrites spiking?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by bigdognj, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. bigdognj

    bigdognj New Member Member

    I have been cycling my new 45g tank with fish in for about 3 weeks. I started it with Safestart and 5 giant danios. I have been testing the water daily and did 2 water changes when total ammonia levels reached .50ppm according to my API MTK. I now have detectable levels of nitrate (about 5ppm) and total ammonia is less than .25ppm and dropping (actually at .125ppm according to my Seachem ammonia test disks. Same test shows free ammonia level at 0.0ppm). I never saw any detectable level of nitrites, though.

    Is it possible the Safestart bacteria took care of the nitrites without my seeing a spike? Has the tank cycled, or should I wait to see the nitrite level rise and drop before assuming the natural cycle has taken hold?
  2. Gordinian

    Gordinian Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to fishlore!

    Many people cycle without seeing nitrites, just make sure your ammonia is 0 before you get more fish :)
  3. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I've cycled many tanks, and have never once seen a nitrite reading :) Once the ammonia is 0ppm, I would wait a but longer, to ensure the bacterial colony is stable.
  4. OP

    bigdognj New Member Member

    Thank you for the quick responses. Love Fishlore.
  5. Jaysee

    Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to the forum

    I would wait until you see nitrate production, as that's the final stage of the cycle. Once you're nitrates start climbing, it's time to do a water change and add some fish.
  6. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Have you tested your tap water to be sure you didn't start out with 5ppm nitrate?

    But as others have said, it is not unheard of to not see a nitrite spike, so if you are indeed producing nitrates...congratulations!
  7. S

    SentientMeat New Member Member

    When I cycled my tank I got a significant nitrite spike, but it was only present for about 48 hours. Dropped to 0 and havent seen it since. May have just missed the show...

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