High Nitrates On 29 Gallon Cycling For Three Weeks

MicheleRRT

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I am sure this has been asked many times.....Been cycling my 29 gallon with a fair amount of plants, driftwood, rocks for three weeks now. Threw in two small items from my cycled 10 gallon gallon tank and occasionally would squeeze the sponge filter water into the tank from my 10 gallon. I didn't really have any established media to put in my canister filter. My ammonia goes away pretty fast now for past week, nitrites read about 0.75 to 1 and my natrATES are really high at between 80 and 100. I know my tank is not fully cycled, but getting there. Should I change some water with that high nitrates? Obviously my plants are not eating it. (I also found some snails last week that I take out. Probably from one of the plants.) My PH got really high too. 8.6ish. Used a combo of RO water and filtered tap water. My tap water has a high ph around 8.4. Thanks!
 

Dechi

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What’s your water change routine ? While cycling, it should be quite frequent, depending on your parameters, and around 50%.
 

Dechi

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Been regularly adding ammonia during cycling. I read don't do a water change while cycling but a few say yes if the nitrates get really high.
Is this a fish-in clycle or fishless ?

In any case, if you’re fertilizing, it will most probably raise nitrate levels quite a bit.
 

Dechi

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Fishless and yes using fertilizer. Hmmmmm.
Ask the maker of your product how many ppm of nitrates their product will add to your water. Mine adds 4 ppm per full dose. So if you had used it for 4 weeks without water change, there would be 28 ppm more nitrates. Double that if you went with two full doses per week as it says on the bottle, so 56 ppm. That’s a lot !
 

jdhef

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Since you have no fish in the tank, you can just let your nitrates rise without ill-effect to your cycle.Squeezing the sponge filter into the new tank, will just add dirty water to your tank. The bacteria clings to the media really well and doesn't come off when squeezing. And that's good, else how would you be able to clean your sponge media without resetting your cycle.
 

mattgirl

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If your ammonia continues to go down quickly I think you can wait a while longer before doing a water change. If it slows down it will be time to do one.
 
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MicheleRRT

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Got it with the dirty sponge. Makes sense. Not sure I understand the ammonia comnent. Added ammonia at 5pm yesterday to 1.5 parts approximately. Today gone with no nitites eithe . I think my tank may be cycled. Testing it out again today with a little more ammonia. How many people chase ph? Lol Ideally I would like 7.2 which as mentioned my water is 8.4. Going for the standard community fish tank.
 

jdhef

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Generally, unless your trying to raise pH so that a tank can cycle, you're usually better off not trying to alter your pH.
 
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