Nitrite won't go down

PlainWhiteT92

Member
Currently doing a fishless cycle (about 4 weeks in) and my ammonia goes from 2ppm to 0 in 24 hours. My nitrites however have been off the charts for about 2 weeks. I did a large water change to bring the levels down and dosed ammonia again but nitrites were back to over 5ppm the next day. Should I keep doing water changes or just ride it out? And should I keep adding ammonia?

temp is 80 ph is 7.4
 

RayClem

Member
it sounds like you have plenty of the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite, but now need to develop the bacteria t;hat convert nitrite to nitrate. That could take another couple of weeks, maybe more.

As long as the ammonia drops to zero overnight, keep dosing 2 ppm ammonia until you start to see the nitrites come down and the nitrates go up. However, make sure you do not dose more than 2 ppm ammonia. Once you get to 2ppm, it becomes somewhat difficult to read the ammonia color chart. Since your nitrites went up to 5 ppm, I suspect you may be dosing more ammonia than you think you are adding.
 

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