No Change In Nitrite Or Nitrate After Water Change

christopherdiehl77

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I'm almost done cycling (I think). Ammonia goes from 2ppm to 0 in less than 24 hours. Nitrite is off the chart and nitrate is somewhere between 80 and 160 ppm I believe. It's hard to tell. I did a 60% water change and waited about 10 minutes before I retested it. The results show nitrite still off the chart and nitrate between 80 and 160 ppm. Why is that? Shouldn't they have dropped significantly?
 

Tesla

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Most likely your both nitrite and nitrate are off the charts and way higher than the 5PPM and 160PPM kit (assuming you are using API). With 60% water change you are likely to be still higher than the max limit of the test kits. I would recommend 50% water change over next 2-3 days to bring nitrite <2ppm.

If your nitrites are not zero you are not cycled. Nitrites are harmful for fishes and these levels are way too high and most likely stalling your cycle. There are 2 set of bacteria - first converts ammonia to nitrite and the second converts nitrite to nitrate which you keep in check by regular water changes.

Congrats on the first part of cycle, now you need patience and some work Feed ammonia once every 2-3 days and keep doing 30% water change regularly to keep nitrite below 2ppm.
 

Tesla

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I would recommend doing 50% water change daily over next 2-3 days to get nitrites down below 2ppm and then after 3 days start adding ammonia alternate days.
 

Tesla

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Did you check if your tap / water source has nitrates? If not, then probably you need daily WC over next 2-3 days, given your stats you probably would need to push for 70% WC.
 

Tesla

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Good that tap has zero nitrites. It could be due to couple of reasons - too long ammonia converting into nitrites, your first part of cycle is established though second part of cycle could be stalled due to high nitrites so it kept adding nitrites to very high level. I am assuming you are using API master kit for testing not the strips which are unreliable. Keep changing water (70%) and you should start to see a change in next couple of days.
The math would work like - 40ppm nitrite after 50% EC becomes 20ppm, after next change becomes 10ppm, and third would be 5PPM which is still off the chart. You should start to see a change soon imo.
 
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christopherdiehl77

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Just tested and have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5.0 nitrate. What should I do now? I don't want to screw this up again. Oh and did I mention I'm cycling 2 tanks at the same time. Never again. This is the only part of the hobby that makes me want to sell it all and take up bird watching maybe.
 

Ulu

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I would give it a little more ammonia until it hits 0 0 10, then a little more until it hits 0 0 20, and do a 50% water change and put fish in.
 

Ulu

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Those particular numbers aren't exactly important.

What's important is that you are proving the stability of the tank over two or three days before you consider it fully cycled and add the fish.
 

Tesla

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I agree with @Ulu , you can now feed 1ppm ammonia every second day, every time you see nitrite approaching 2ppm do a 30-50% water change.
 
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christopherdiehl77

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Ok so yesterday I did a 60% water change and dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm. I just tested almost 24 hrs later and I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 30 nitrate. What should I do now?
 

Ulu

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No it's not weird at all. You've had the bloom & they cycled.

But I know the weird feeling because I had to move five tanks last week and they all mini cycled because of the agitation.

Last night I tested all the tanks and every one of them had cycled out perfect. All on the same night.

Weird...
 

Ulu

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I would do about a 2/3 water change, and and if it is stable tomorrow, between 0 0 5
and 0 0 10, I'd be adding a fish.
 
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