Help Off The Chart Nitrites (update)

Caffee

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Okay, so in my last thread i was asking about how my nitrites werent going down and i guess im back with the same issue. If you didnt see my last thread, i am cycling a 5.5 gallon shrimp tank without fish. Im using doctor tims ammonia and API quick start as my bacteria supplementation. My problem was that after 4 days i was stuck with 0.25 ammonia, 5.0 nitrites, and 10 nitrates. I ended up doing a 75% water change and spiked my ammonia back up to 2ppm. Next day i still had the same issue with my nitrites being incredibly high so i did another 75% water change and spiked my ammonia back up again. Next day, still had extremely high nitrites but i decided not to do another water change and just added my ammonia and spiked it back up to 2ppm. I did this for another two days and saw no progress and my nitrates were not forming. At this point i had stopped adding my bacteria, but i decided to add my bacteria to see if it would eat up those nitrites. Well, it didnt and for the first time my ammonia did not go down in 24 hours. That is today. Today my levels were ammonia 2ppm, nitrites 5ppm (or off the chart), and nitrates 5ppm. I did add 15ML bacteria but after i did that i just decided to do a big water change of around 90%. At this point i believe this excessive amount of nitrites is causing my tank to stall. My plan now is to wait a few hours and test my water again to see if those nitrites went down at all. If not, i may wait till the next day to do another water change.

So i guess im just looking for others thoughts on this so far. Im honestly getting pretty frustrated with it.

Heres my daily notes to give a more clear visual on my progress.

Day 17: ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 2.0-5.0ppm, nitrate 10ppm, PH 7.6.

4pm: did 75% water change. added 15 drops ammonia. Spiked ammonia back to 2ppm

Day 18: ammonia 1ppm, nitrite 5.0ppm, nitrate 10ppm. Did 75% water change and added 15 drops ammonia.

12:17pm: ammonia 2ppm, nitrite 5ppm, nitrates 5ppm

Day 19: ammonia 0.5ppm, nitrites 5.0ppm, nitrates 0ppm. Added 10 drops ammonia, spiked back to 2ppm

Day 20: ammonia 0ppm, nitrites 5.0ppm, nitrates 5ppm. Added 15 drops ammonia. Spiked back up to 2ppm.

Day 21: ammonia 0.5ppm, nitrites 5.0ppm, nitrates 5ppm. Added 10 drops ammonia. Spiked back up to 2ppm then added 10ML bacteria

Day 22: ammonia 2ppm, nitrites 5.0ppm, nitrates 0ppm. Added 15ML bacteria. Did 90% water change.
 

MrBryan723

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Sounds like you're on the right track? You can probably cut back on the ammonia a tiny bit and that will help the nitrites not get so high so fast, but since you're seeing nitrates some, give it a good 8 days and see where you are at. Cut back a bit on your water changes too.
 
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Caffee

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Sounds like you're on the right track? You can probably cut back on the ammonia a tiny bit and that will help the nitrites not get so high so fast, but since you're seeing nitrates some, give it a good 8 days and see where you are at. Cut back a bit on your water changes too.
I read that if the nitrites get above 5ppm, then the tank can stall so im doing the huge water changes to see if i can flush them out a bit. But yea, i planned to not add ammonia until i start to notice them go down. Do you think i should continue to add bacteria?
 

MrBryan723

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You should probably throw it away like the garbage it is imho. Do something like a 25-50$ water change then add 2 drops of ammonia. Repeat again tomorrow and for the next few days then check your levels again.
 
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Caffee

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You should probably throw it away like the garbage it is imho. Do something like a 25-50$ water change then add 2 drops of ammonia. Repeat again tomorrow and for the next few days then check your levels again.
I already did a 90% today so i’ll probably wait till tomorrow if anything. Also, i just checked my nitrites again and even after that 90% change my nitrites are still 5ppm (or off the charts). I think im just gonna avoid adding ammonia until i see a drop in my nitrites.
 

JenC

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What's the substrate in the tank?

If nitrites are still off the chart I'd change the water.

If you haven't already, you might want to test your tap water. Just so you know what you're working with, in case it's a source of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
 

Faytaya

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I've heard the nitrite spike can be the longest part of a cycle. Maybe a hands off approach is advisable at this point?
 
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Caffee

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What's the substrate in the tank?

If nitrites are still off the chart I'd change the water.

If you haven't already, you might want to test your tap water. Just so you know what you're working with, in case it's a source of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
The substrate is small gravel. Also i already did a water change today with no luck, my nitrites still are sky high. I’ll do a quick test on my water.
 

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in my experience, the nitrite phase takes 3 weeks. and they don't gradually come down, its all of a sudden one day nitrite testing over 5ppm, then the next day 0ppm.

keep dosing the ammonia, don't stop. when you put in your shrimp, they're not going to stop producing ammonia. your nitrites will be above 5ppm guaranteed. just do 50% weekly water changes like you would if it had fish in it.
 
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Caffee

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I've heard the nitrite spike can be the longest part of a cycle. Maybe a hands off approach is advisable at this point?
I think i wont mess with it very much. At this point im gonna not add ammonia back until i see a drop in my nitrites and stop adding bacteria.
 
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