Nitrogen Cycle Parameters Randomly Dropping To Zero

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hithere1234

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Hi there, i am an experienced freshwater hobbyist. i have established the nitrogen cycle easily with several other setups... i am having a problem with my current one... i add and maitnain ammonia to 4ppm-8ppm for several days straight , then randomly one day the ammonia, nitrites, AND nitrates all read 0 ..there is no problem with my api freshwater test kit as when i measure the nitrates of another tank with fish in it before a water change will read 20ppm..
 

Ohio Mark

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Welcome aboard!
 

Dawn Michele

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Welcome to Fishlore!!!
 

mdjrnc

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I typically just set up a tank with the full scape during the cycle and I include plants in all scapes. I also add snails and my tanks cycle in a month. The easiest way to do it is to get already cycled biological media. Such as the little fluval rings. If you take already cycled media and put it in your filter your cycle should be done in 5 days or less. Rather than adding ammonia.
 
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hithere1234

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i am using seachem matrix , has worked 8 times before. any reason that i'm adding ammonia to maintain 4ppm - 8ppm daily and then randomly one day ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0. can anyone explain why and how this is possible?

mdjrnc said:
I typically just set up a tank with the full scape during the cycle and I include plants in all scapes. I also add snails and my tanks cycle in a month. The easiest way to do it is to get already cycled biological media. Such as the little fluval rings. If you take already cycled media and put it in your filter your cycle should be done in 5 days or less. Rather than adding ammonia.
how much cycled media do you need? can i take a pinch out of an already established tank ?
 

mdjrnc

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hithere1234 said:
i am using seachem matrix , has worked 8 times before. any reason that i'm adding ammonia to maintain 4ppm - 8ppm daily and then randomly one day ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0. can anyone explain why and how this is possible?
I didnt mean any offense, I was just saying what I do to cycle. I cannot explain why the ammonia and other tests would go to 0 though. Only thing I could think of is maybe the test for ammonia and nitrite is not working and that your nitrates haven't started increasing yet. I have had faulty test kits where my ammonia kit would read 0 no matter what.

hithere1234 said:
how much cycled media do you need? can i take a pinch out of an already established tank ?
You wouldn't need much to start the colony. If you have upcycled media it should cycle quick. I would say with a few bio balls you could cycle a tank in a week or 2 at the longest
 

Coptapia

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It isn’t possible, and has to be the fault of the test kits. They can work on one tank and not another when they’re faulty.
 

mattgirl

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With enough seeded media a tank can be instantly cycled. It does depend on a few important things though. Media from a tank that has only one or two fish will take a lot of time to help cycle another tank.

An example of an instantly cycled tank. Last year I needed to set up a 10 gallon tank for some molly fry. I run 2 dual sponge filters in my fully stocked 55 gallon tank all the time. I put 2 dual sponge filters in the 10 gallon tank. I pulled one sponge from each of the dual sponge filters in my big tank and replaced them with new sponges. I put one new and one well seeded sponge on each of the 2 filters in the small tank. I added the molly fry as soon as I had the tank set up. I never got an ammonia or nitrite spike in this tank and was reading nitrates within a week or so.

The amount of bacteria on the media depends on the bio-load in the tank you are pulling the media from. The higher the bio-load the more bacteria there will be on the media and the more likely it is that one can instantly cycle another tank with it.

I don't know where your ammonia went. It is strange that it went from 4/8ppm all the way to zero without also seeing either nitrites and/or nitrates. Is this a heavily planted tank? If I understand it correctly plants will eat ammonia so if heavily planted that could be what is happening.
 
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hithere1234

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mattgirl said:
With enough seeded media a tank can be instantly cycled. It does depend on a few important things though. Media from a tank that has only one or two fish will take a lot of time to help cycle another tank.

An example of an instantly cycled tank. Last year I needed to set up a 10 gallon tank for some molly fry. I run 2 dual sponge filters in my fully stocked 55 gallon tank all the time. I put 2 dual sponge filters in the 10 gallon tank. I pulled one sponge from each of the dual sponge filters in my big tank and replaced them with new sponges. I put one new and one well seeded sponge on each of the 2 filters in the small tank. I added the molly fry as soon as I had the tank set up. I never got an ammonia or nitrite spike in this tank and was reading nitrates within a week or so.

The amount of bacteria on the media depends on the bio-load in the tank you are pulling the media from. The higher the bio-load the more bacteria there will be on the media and the more likely it is that one can instantly cycle another tank with it.

I don't know where your ammonia went. It is strange that it went from 4/8ppm all the way to zero without also seeing either nitrites and/or nitrates. Is this a heavily planted tank? If I understand it correctly plants will eat ammonia so if heavily planted that could be what is happening.
there's 2 airstones, black sand and driftwood
 

Donthemon

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Weird. Really the only way to get rid of nitrates is water change. So if you are using ammonia and it obviously went to nitrites then next would be the nitrates. But where did they go????
 

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how long has the tank been running?

are all the items in the tank new?

did you use any bottled bacteria?
 

RSababady

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hithere1234 said:
Hi there, i am an experienced freshwater hobbyist. i have established the nitrogen cycle easily with several other setups... i am having a problem with my current one... i add and maitnain ammonia to 4ppm-8ppm for several days straight , then randomly one day the ammonia, nitrites, AND nitrates all read 0 ..there is no problem with my api freshwater test kit as when i measure the nitrates of another tank with fish in it before a water change will read 20ppm..
Very strange.......Either you are getting something mixed up when testing or this tank is funky
On a more serious note - is there anything else you are doing with the tank? WCs? The only reason your nitrates can suddenly drop to zero is if you have a lot of plant growth - it has to be growth and not just good looking plants, as plant growth consumes nitrates at an incredible rate. Is this a heavily planted tank?
 

mattgirl

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hithere1234 said:
there's 2 airstones, black sand and driftwood
By this I am assuming you are saying that there are no live plants. If that is the case then I am at a total loss as to where your ammonia went.
 
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