No Change In Nitrite Or Nitrate After Water Change

christopherdiehl77
  • #1
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
  • #2
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.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I dose ammonia up to 2ppm daily because in 24 hours it's back down to 0 but nitrites and nitrates never change

Should I go ahead and do s 90% water change now?
 
Tesla
  • #4
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.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok I'll do that. I'll report back when something changes. Thanks.

I just did a 50% water change and the nitrites are still way off. What am I missing?
 
Tesla
  • #6
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.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Yea tap water has 0 nitrates. When should I dose ammonia again?

I don't understand why the nitrites got so high in the first place
 
Tesla
  • #8
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.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Yes I'm using the apI master test kit. I just changed 50% of the water so ill test it in a bit

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
  • #10
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.

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
  • #11
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.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
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?

Actually both tanks I'm cycling are reading 0 0 30. Weird.
 
Ulu
  • #13
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...
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Uea that is crazy!!! So what do I need to do now? Add more ammonia or water change?
 
Ulu
  • #15
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.

If you don't have a fish you could just add a little more ammonia to keep it going until you get a fish.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Do 2/3 water change and dose ammonia? If so dose it up to what ppm?
 
Ulu
  • #17
I would keep it under 2 ppm.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Ok. Thank you so much
 
Tesla
  • #19
Your nitrate is 30ppm, not too crazy - do a 50-60% WC and then add fishes - no more ammonia as you are cycled.
Add fishes slowly - I mean start with a small bioload, I would say 4 batches of 25% of your planned stocking every week else you will have a minI cycle crash and see ammonia and nitrites again. Keep testing water every 2-3 days initially and change water 30-50% when you see nitrates climbing above 20ppm
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Well last night I dosed back up to 2ppm just to be sure and just tested and I'm at 0 0 30 so I'm finally cycled. Now I just need to do some water changes and eventually buy some fish for these 2 tanks. Thanks for the help everyone.
 
christopherdiehl77
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Hey everyone, I just wanted to show y'all the two tanks that you helped me get cycled. Thanks again yall! The little 29 gallon is my shell dweller tank. I'm getting some multies soon. The 39 gallon tall is gonna be home to some endlers and guppies I do believe.
 

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Ulu
  • #22
They're both looking really swell.
 

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