15 Gallon Tank No Ammonia No Nitrite Trace Nitrate

Smilla325

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I’ve been cycling a 13 gallon freshwater tank for a little over two weeks adding API QuickStart for the first week and about a pinch or two of flakes every day about twelve hours apart. I have plastic plants a rock and three small marimo moss balls.

I have been testing the water every other day never showing any nitrites or nitrate for the first week or so. I took the water to the store to have it tested twice and they have never show ammonia.

The second time I brought it in to the store was because at home my test all of a sudden showed nitrate! I was confused so I went to double check - sure enough no ammonia, no nitrite, but a small amount of nitrate.

Is this even possible? What could be happening here? Am I good to go and maybe my tank has just already cycled?

Thank you!
 

jamesw6810

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It’s possible - I’d dose up the ammonia to around 2ppm and wait for it to drop to be sure, as it drops test for nitrite/trate, a trace of nitrate probably at this stage isn’t an indication of a strong cycle

The moss balls may reduce the nitrates a bit

What’s your stocking post cycle?

Cheers
 

kallililly1973

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A good investment is your own water testing kit API freshwater kits are economical and usually very accurate when the directions are followed to a tee. Also always be sure to test your source water to be sure it isn't giving you false readings. A cycle usually takes 4-8 weeks so it seems you may still be in the early stages although i've never used a bottled bacteria so can't say for sure.
 
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Smilla325

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I would dose some more ammonia and see if it disappears in 24 hours to be doubly sure.
Would you recommend I switch to pure liquid ammonia then instead of flakes?

It’s possible - I’d dose up the ammonia to around 2ppm and wait for it to drop to be sure, as it drops test for nitrite/trate, a trace of nitrate probably at this stage isn’t an indication of a strong cycle

The moss balls may reduce the nitrates a bit

What’s your stocking post cycle?

Cheers
Thanks for the reply! Would you recommend I switch away from flakes and move to pure ammonia dosing then? Still unsure of stocking. Would love sole Khuli Loaches or Cory Cat for the bottom for sure. Undecided on centerpiece fish and middle table schoolers. Maybe some shrimp too?
 
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Smilla325

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The directions on quick start say you can add fish immediately. The fish waste would be the ammonia source.

So go ahead and start stocking slowly?

image.jpg
Here’s the set up/scape I have now.
 
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