I Thought My Cycle Was Done..

Kirby86

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I recently started a 5 gallon planted tank and ran it through a fishless cycle(although a few physella acuta snuck in)
I accidentally overdosed on ammonia at the start and got stuck in a Nitrite spike, but finally after a long wait all my ammonia and nitrite levels came back down.
As was recommended to me when a cycle is done, I did a big water change to take out nitrates and then dosed my ammonia back up to around 2.0 to ensure it can all be processed in 24 hours
My ammonia has dropped back down to 0, however my nitrites are once again stuck.
I thought I was cycled, but it seems I have more waiting ahead.
Any ideas what could be wrong?
 

Skavatar

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how long did it take the nitrites to come down the first time? the nitrite phase usually lasts 3 weeks unless you used bottled bacteria aka TSS.
 
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Kirby86

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I have been using bottled bacteria, and my initial nitrite stage lasted about 13 days.
I was under the impression that after my nitrites were eaten the first time(ie once my nitrobacter had established) that ammonia and nitrites should be removed within 24 hours
 
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Kirby86

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Thank you for your advice! I’ll be patient for now.
If I continue to add ammonia, won’t it overload my system with nitrite? I’ve heard that too much Nitrite can stall a cycle(this is what I had thought got me stuck the first time).
 

eljajkeo22

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keep dosing ammonia every 2-3 days to keep your ammonia bacteria fed, but keep doing partial water changes to keep your nitrite below 5ppm to avoid stalling process.

Also dont forget to add your dechlorinator - my cycle was done (like done done) and I did a 30% WC and forgot to add prime until the next night. I pretty much wiped out my nitrite bacteria and it took a good week to get them back to normal levels. (the ammonia colony seemed to survive though)
 
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Kirby86

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Posting an update.
I have continued to dose ammonia at ~2ppm, which still drops back to 0 overnight. My little nitrosomonas are still hard at work .
Nitrobacter however, still seem to be struggling to catch up. I'm convinced they are present due to high nitrate levels, but not enough to get nitrite readings down.
Here are my nitrite readings today: They all look pretty dark to me... I'm planning on doing some small water changes over the next couple days, maybe 10-20% tops
 
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Kirby86

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Nitrites have finally dropped from ~2.0 to 0.0 last night!
Looks like I'm finally done! Thanks all for the advice
 
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