No nitrites but have nitrates

Goldynewb

My son won a gold fish at the carnival. The next day we ran to Petco and picked up a 10gal tank kit ( I realize now this tank will soon be too small). I have never kept fish before so I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew it needed a bigger space with a filter and bubbles. One week in I switched out the carbon filter in the hob filter with ceramic rings and put a sponge on the in the intake tube In the tank. One week after that I purchased the api freshwater master test kit. I have consistently registered .05 ppm ammonium .00ppm Nitires and 5.0ppm. It has been 6 weeks since we put the fish in the tank and started this journey. Any idea why I have never registered Nitrites. I am under the impression my tank is not cycled since I regularly register ammonium
 

MyFishAddiction

Welcome! You are correct, you're tank isn't cycled, but I don't know why it's not showing nirites. I'll tag mattgirl, maybe she'll know why.
 
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Dunk2

My son won a gold fish at the carnival. The next day we ran to Petco and picked up a 10gal tank kit ( I realize now this tank will soon be too small). I have never kept fish before so I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew it needed a bigger space with a filter and bubbles. One week in I switched out the carbon filter in the hob filter with ceramic rings and put a sponge on the in the intake tube In the tank. One week after that I purchased the api freshwater master test kit. I have consistently registered .05 ppm ammonium .00ppm Nitires and 5.0ppm. It has been 6 weeks since we put the fish in the tank and started this journey. Any idea why I have never registered Nitrites. I am under the impression my tank is not cycled since I regularly register ammonium

What is your pH and have you tested your tap water for nitrates?

Have you used bottled bacteria in your tank?
 
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Goldynewb

PH is 7.2. My tap water has Nitrate of about 20ppm. Our first fill was tap water. But now I use bottle spring water that does not register any Nitrates when doing water changes.
 
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Azedenkae

My son won a gold fish at the carnival. The next day we ran to Petco and picked up a 10gal tank kit ( I realize now this tank will soon be too small). I have never kept fish before so I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew it needed a bigger space with a filter and bubbles. One week in I switched out the carbon filter in the hob filter with ceramic rings and put a sponge on the in the intake tube In the tank. One week after that I purchased the api freshwater master test kit. I have consistently registered .05 ppm ammonium .00ppm Nitires and 5.0ppm. It has been 6 weeks since we put the fish in the tank and started this journey. Any idea why I have never registered Nitrites. I am under the impression my tank is not cycled since I regularly register ammonium

How often have you been doing water changes?

The ceramic rings you used, did they come from an established media mayhaps? Or just new, unused rings?
 
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Goldynewb

The rings are from topfin so no establish bacteria.
 
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Dunk2

PH is 7.2. My tap water has Nitrate of about 20ppm. Our first fill was tap water. But now I use bottle spring water that does not register any Nitrates when doing water changes.

Your pH should be fine for cycling your tank.

Depending on how much water you’ve changed since using tap water, it’s possible that nitrates still remain from your first fill?

Being that you replaced the carbon cartridge with other media, the cycling process really just started or restarted 5 weeks ago, which is in the 4 - 6 week window for a typical cycle.

Unless I missed it, you didn’t answer my question about bottled bacteria.

What temperature is your water and does your tank have substrate in it?
 
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jdhef

It sounds like you did some water changes with the bottled water. That would explain the nitrates being lower than what is in your tap water. When you remove water that has nitrates and replace it with water with no nitrates, you are lowering the average so to speak.
 
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Goldynewb

As for water changes I was doing 50% every 2-3 days but I read I may be stalling they cycle by doing that so I have seen doing 1 25%a week for the past two weeks
It sounds like you did some water changes with the bottled water. That would explain the nitrates being lower than what is in your tap water. When you remove water that has nitrates and replace it with water with no nitrates, you are lowering the average so to speak.
Right, but I still have never registered Nitrites and my ammonia has for the past 3 weeks constantly been .05ppm. My concern is I can’t cycle my tank without nitrites.
 
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Dunk2

As for water changes I was doing 50% every 2-3 days but I read I may be stalling they cycle by doing that so I have seen doing 1 25%a week for the past two weeks

Water changes will not stall your cycle.

With a fish-in cycle and to protect your fish, water changes need to be done to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites at or below 0.50 ppm.

Edit to add: Are you shaking the test bottles before using them and doing the tests according to the instructions?
 
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Goldynewb

Water changes will not stall your cycle.

With a fish-in cycle and to protect your fish, water changes need to be done to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites at or below 0.50 ppm.
That’s what I read, so when the ammonia level went down to .05ppm I stopped doing them as often. To note I do use seachem prime to protect the fish.
Water changes will not stall your cycle.

With a fish-in cycle and to protect your fish, water changes need to be done to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites at or below 0.50 ppm.

Edit to add: Are you shaking the test bottles before using them and doing the tests according to the instructions?
Yes. But I do feel like there is a bit of human error going on. It’s like Groundhog Day. My number don’t really ever change.
Your pH should be fine for cycling your tank.

Depending on how much water you’ve changed since using tap water, it’s possible that nitrates still remain from your first fill?

Being that you replaced the carbon cartridge with other media, the cycling process really just started or restarted 5 weeks ago, which is in the 4 - 6 week window for a typical cycle.

Unless I missed it, you didn’t answer my question about bottled bacteria.

What temperature is your water and does your tank have substrate in it?
That’s what I read, so when the ammonia level went down to .05ppm I stopped doing them as often. To note I do use seachem prime to protect the fish.

Yes. But I do feel like there is a bit of human error going on. It’s like Groundhog Day. My number don’t really ever change.
We added seachem stability almost 2 weeks ago. The directions said to add then continue to add daily for 7 days.
the water temp stays around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
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mattgirl

You said you have switched to bottled water. What kind of bottled water are you using? Some bottled water doesn't contain the necessary minerals such as distilled or RO water. If you are using regular drinking water it should contain the minerals normally present in our tap water. Lack of minerals can affect the cycling process.
As for water changes I was doing 50% every 2-3 days but I read I may be stalling they cycle by doing that so I have seen doing 1 25%a week for the past two weeks
Water changes are not going to stall the cycle as long as you add your water conditioner when using tap water with chlorine in it. Since you are using bottled water I have to assume there is no chlorine to have to deal with. Water changes when doing a fish in cycle are critical to the health of the fish so don't be afraid of doing them daily if needed.
Right, but I still have never registered Nitrites and my ammonia has for the past 3 weeks constantly been .05ppm. My concern is I can’t cycle my tank without nitrites.
Just for general information. Not seeing nitrites isn't causing your tank not to cycle. Nitrites are normally part of the cycling process though. Given enough time I suspect the nitrites will eventually show up.

Doing a fish in cycle takes time, water changes and lots of patience. Get and keep the ammonia down to no more than .25 and just give the cycle time.
 
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Goldynewb

You said you have switched to bottled water. What kind of bottled water are you using? Some bottled water doesn't contain the necessary minerals such as distilled or RO water. If you are using regular drinking water it should contain the minerals normally present in our tap water. Lack of minerals can affect the cycling process.

Water changes are not going to stall the cycle as long as you add your water conditioner when using tap water with chlorine in it. Since you are using bottled water I have to assume there is no chlorine to have to deal with. Water changes when doing a fish in cycle are critical to the health of the fish so don't be afraid of doing them daily if needed.

Just for general information. Not seeing nitrites isn't causing your tank not to cycle. Nitrites are normally part of the cycling process though. Given enough time I suspect the nitrites will eventually show up.

Doing a fish in cycle takes time, water changes and lots of patience. Get and keep the ammonia down to no more than .25 and just give the cycle time.
The bottle water is just regular grocery store”spring water”. Because our tap water has higher nitrates and who knows what else they add in. The bottle water is not distilled or RO.
 
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mattgirl

The bottle water is just regular grocery store”spring water”. Because our tap water has higher nitrates and who knows what else they add in. The bottle water is not distilled or RO.
This water should be fine then. How many times have you done water changes with the bottled water? I am wondering if you have changed enough to get all the nitrates you started with out of there. If so it will tell us this tank in producing nitrates. If you've just done a few small water changes the nitrates we are seeing may be left over from the original water.

Quite often the filters that come with the kits are barely enough to handle the bio-load of a couple of small fish. Goldfish are pretty heavy waste producers. I have found it is sometimes difficult to fully cycle a tank if there isn't enough filtration. I hate to spend other peoples money but you may want to consider upgrading the filter to one rated for a much bigger tank if at all possible. We can never have too much filtration. sometimes too much water movement but never too much filtration.

I suspect you will be upgrading the tank size before to much longer so you may want to consider getting a filter rated for a 40 or 50 gallon tank and run it on this one. Once you upgrade the tank size the bigger filter should be able to handle the bigger tank.
 
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Goldynewb

At least a doz water changes ranging from 50% to 20%. I will get a bigger filter. When adding a filter am I correct to assume that I should take all off the ceramic rings from my existing filter and just add more to what is needed for the new size? Should I rinse the filter medium in my “dirty” water when I do a water change and then add to the new filter.
 
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mattgirl

At least a doz water changes ranging from 50% to 20%. I will get a bigger filter. When adding a filter am I correct to assume that I should take all off the ceramic rings from my existing filter and just add more to what is needed for the new size? Should I rinse the filter medium in my “dirty” water when I do a water change and then add to the new filter.
In that case it looks like this tank may be producing nitrates. That is a very good sign that things are moving forward. I suspect upgrading the filter will help the bacteria clear out the ammonia. I wouldn't be overly concerned if you never register any nitrites. The bottled bacteria you added may have helped you skip this spike. It does happen from time to time.

Yes, move everything from the smaller filter over to the new one and add extra. If water is still running through your media I wouldn't bother to rinse it before putting it in the bigger filter. There will be bacteria on the mulm on the media so don't rinse it off.
 
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Goldynewb

Thank you so much for all your help!!
 
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