Nitrogen cycle

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Borngemini, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Hello, well I found out my tank is cycling after making a mistake and starting up not knowing about a cycle (feel guilty because of dead fish)
    Yesterday my tank was half way through the cycle but today changes are weird and I don't understand them
    Is this cycling the right way?

    Ph 7.0 1st January
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0.3ppm
    Nitrate 20 ppm. Half way through cycling

    Ph 7.0. 2nd January
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0.8ppm
    Nitrate 10 ppm

    Has my cycle messed up?
  2. ayladWell Known MemberMember

    What are you using to test the water? Test strips often give inaccurate readings; liquid test kits like the API Freshwater Master Test Kit are much better (and cheaper in the long run, although you won't believe it at first ;)).

    What is currently in the tank? Any fish or other animals? What about live plants?

    What chemicals are you adding to the water?

    EDIT: I see that you have over 40 posts, which probably means you have already answered at least some of these questions on another thread. I'll go look for that now. :) If you'll fill out (and keep updated) your aquarium profile, you won't have to answer those questions so often. ;)
  3. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Did you do any water changes between yesterday and today? I don't think nitrates should have dropped unless you did... or you have an inaccurate reading, one of the two.
  4. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    I'm using an api freshwater master test kit and the results I am testing twice to make sure there accurate,
    I thought it was unusual for nitrites to rise but nitrates to drop was a normal part of the cycle as it was half way through yesterday
  5. ayladWell Known MemberMember

    Good job on getting the API. I saw on your other thread that it was pretty expensive over there, but it's worth it!

    The thing with the API is that you really have to bang bottle #2 on the nitrate test around before testing. If you don't, you might get an inaccurate reading.

    The only other thing that might bring nitrates down in your tank, other than a water change, is live plants.

    What is your ammonia source? Are there still live fish in the tank?
  6. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    While you are cycling the amount you get for nitrates does not deeply matter, I read somewhere that having nitrites actually makes the nitrate test less accurate because the two are interrelated. Also the nitrate test liquid bottle really needs to be banged hard for a long time to get accurate results. But while cycling do not worry about nitrates at all. Your goal right now is to get to ammonia 0 and nitrite 0, that's what will determine that you are done cycling. It looks like you are in the nitrite phase, and your nitrites climbed from one day to the next, that's normal. The nitrite part of cycling often takes a longer time than the ammonia part, and you cannot really say that you are half way through cycling because the cycle could get stalled and then continue and that happens. Be patient - and I know how hard that is! Just when you think that your tank will never be cycled, you will test one day and will get ammonia 0 and nitrite 0.
  7. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    When I was cycling one of my tanks, it took a good month for the last bit of ammonia to leave, so I also wouldn't say you're "halfway through." You can't really quantize a cycle like that; they're very finicky ;) I would also like to emphasize that you really need to shake the bejeesus out of the second nitrate bottle. It's composed of crystals suspended in a liquid, and the crystals sink to the bottom and sort of solidify, so to get an accurate reading you need to really bonk it to break up the crystals.
  8. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    I'll try shaking it more next time I did shake a little but didn't give it a bonk Lol! I have no ammonia in my tank and yes I have live fish as I was unaware of the cycle that happens (bad I know)
  9. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Well...if you have a fish that still in there, think of it as a sacrafice to the cycling Gods...just like how the Mayans did it, except they all died from disease and the conquistadors...

    Ok bad analogy...

    You'll just have to wait until the tank is ready. Do some changes of water if you have a fish in there and continue to test.
  10. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

  11. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    You should probably be doing daily or every other day large water changes to keep the nitrites low enough for the fish to survive and stay healthy enough. Alternatively, if you can either buy a product called Tetra Safe Start (and then do not do any water changes for two weeks) or get some filter media from an already established tank to speed the cycle along.
  12. Samurai Jack 77Valued MemberMember

    I disagree. DO NOT Add any products. The product mentioned above isn't safe. (Tetra Safe Start).

    All you need to do is small water changes to keep the nitrites from killing the fish, and giving everything a little more time. You are almost there. :)
  13. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Why do you say Tetra Safe Start isn't safe? Many people have used it very successfully.
  14. Samurai Jack 77Valued MemberMember

    I have done some extensive research on the product and found that Some people say it works and some people say it doesn't. It seems that the people who keep adding it in say it works. However what the product fails to do is actually create the right bacteria. It ads bacteria that is "land" based form and isn't designed to sustain under water habitats. Eventually the bacteria dies off and you have to keep adding it in. In the long run its much more cost effective to allow nature to run its course.
  15. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Well nothing works 100% of the time. Many members on this site have used the product successfully. No one says it "doesn't" work, just that sometimes it doesn't fully cycle a tank. Your statements about the strain of bacteria are completely false. Other products like StartZyme do indeed contain terrestrial strains of the bacteria, but TSS contain the aquatic form. If it didn't, then there would be a ZERO success rate, or you'd have to continually add the product every week when the bacteria died off, like with StartZyme.
  16. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    I'm sorry but that is incorrect for Tetra Safe Start. It does you the correct bacteria, this is proven. Now, there are a bunch of other bacterial additives that don't use the right bacteria. TSS is not one of those. Usually when it fails, there is some degree of user error.

    I have personally used TSS on more than one occasion with good success, as well as Many members here on the forum.
  17. Samurai Jack 77Valued MemberMember

    I retract my previously said statements then. Thank you for letting me know. :) When I was starting out it was un proven and as far as we all understood it was just like the rest of the "Jumpstart" additives.
  18. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    I do agree that the majority of the biological additives are a waste of money. It's kind of crooked for the companies to produce products like that.
  19. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I think it's pretty much the only one accepted to work consistently. Some people have had success with another one called "Nite-out" or something like that, but much lower levels of success than TSS. TSS is the only product that's recommended on here. :)

    I find it easier to pack my canister with extra media, so I always have some on hand if I need to set up another tank :p
  20. soarlValued MemberMember

    Nothing like doing it the au-natural way and just letting nature take it's course imo!