Help Ongoing Nitrogen Cycle

JKwan0304

New Member
Member
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Good day!

I'm new here at Fishlore. I'm currently starting over with my almost 10 gal planted tank.

It's my 6th day with fishless cycle and I would just like to check with you guys if I'm doing good so far.

Ammonia = 1ppm
Nitrite = 0.025(0.25)ppm??? I had a test earlier today and forgot which is which with the measurement.
Nitrate = not tested yet
pH = Around 7ish

I've read articles from google that I should keep the ammonia at a stable 3ppm for the cycle to go smoothly. I've been dropping fish flakes/pellets every now and then. Also, is it necessary to do water changes at stage 1 & 2 of the cycle?
 
Best Answer - View mattgirl's answer

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,811
Reaction score
12,685
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Welcome to Fishlore. :)

Did you add any kind of bottled bacteria or filter media from a cycled tank? You said you are starting over. Does that mean it was cycled and lost or had the cycle remove recently.

The reason for these questions is the fact that you are seeing some nitrites just 6 days into the cycling process. 3ppm ammonia is an arbitrary number. The amount of ammonia processed determines how much bacteria there will be in the tank. The size of the tank, type and number of fish will determine how much bacteria is needed to handle the tanks bio-load.

As long as you are getting an ammonia reading you will know there is food to feed and grow the bacteria so the 1ppm you are seeing is sufficient for now. Since you are using fish food as your ammonia source you will want to feed a small pinch daily. You are basically ghost feeding the tank. The fish food is producing the ammonia the fish would be producing if there were any fish in there.

Let the numbers guide you as to whether or not to do water changes. For now they are not necessary. Should your pH start dropping it will be time to do one to keep it up to at least the 7 you are seeing right now.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
J

JKwan0304

New Member
Member
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
mattgirl said:
Welcome to Fishlore. :)

Did you add any kind of bottled bacteria or filter media from a cycled tank? You said you are starting over. Does that mean it was cycled and lost or had the cycle remove recently.

The reason for these questions is the fact that you are seeing some nitrites just 6 days into the cycling process. 3ppm ammonia is an arbitrary number. The amount of ammonia processed determines how much bacteria there will be in the tank. The size of the tank, type and number of fish will determine how much bacteria is needed to handle the tanks bio-load.

As long as you are getting an ammonia reading you will know there is food to feed and grow the bacteria so the 1ppm you are seeing is sufficient for now. Since you are using fish food as your ammonia source you will want to feed a small pinch daily. You are basically ghost feeding the tank. The fish food is producing the ammonia the fish would be producing if there were any fish in there.

Let the numbers guide you as to whether or not to do water changes. For now they are not necessary. Should your pH start dropping it will be time to do one to keep it up to at least the 7 you are seeing right now.
Thanks for the response!

1. Didn't add any bottled bacteria. And by starting over, I mean, new substrate and a cleaned tank. I have ceramic rings as a filter media topped with a sponge and some mesh (using a hang on the back filter).

2. I was curious earlier today and I took a nitrate test for my tank and it read 80ppm. Quick google search means if I want to lower it down I need to do a small water change. Is it necessary though or should I just wait for all of it to die down. I've also noticed some algae forming on the leaves of my anubias.
 

Utar

Well Known
Member
Messages
641
Reaction score
490
Location
Texas
Experience
4 years
I am just thinking out loud here

I guess when cycling a new aquarium or starting over there is no set rules for how it all goes and when it will finish. The two colonies of beneficial bacteria have a relationship in that one depends on the other for food, (I think). So it stands to reason that Nitrosomonas (which eats ammonia NH3 converting it to nitrite NO2) would colonize first then Nitrobacter (which eats nitrite NO2 converting it to nitrate NO3).

While this may be the case, it doesn't have to follow as set in stone. It is possible that Nitrosomonas could get a colony going producing lots of nitrite then start to die off usually from lack of food (ammonia). Then Nitrobacter starts to flourish until there is no nitrite left to eat and then it too would start to die off.

Then the cycle continues back and forth until it levels out and completes. That is why I beileve that liquid ammonia is the best way instead of fish food, etc. It is much more dependable and easier to measure. And faster in that you don't have to wait for fish food, etc to decompose to produce ammonia.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,811
Reaction score
12,685
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
JKwan0304 said:
Thanks for the response!

1. Didn't add any bottled bacteria. And by starting over, I mean, new substrate and a cleaned tank. I have ceramic rings as a filter media topped with a sponge and some mesh (using a hang on the back filter).

2. I was curious earlier today and I took a nitrate test for my tank and it read 80ppm. Quick google search means if I want to lower it down I need to do a small water change. Is it necessary though or should I just wait for all of it to die down. I've also noticed some algae forming on the leaves of my anubias.
Since you are seeing nitrates this high and seeing some nitrites this soon I have to think there was still bacteria in there from somewhere. That is a good thing. I don't think a water change needs to be done just yet. You don't want to remove the accumulated ammonia.

If you were using liquid ammonia I would be more inclined to recommend a water change because you could just add more. When using fish food you have to wait for it to decompose to form the ammonia. Removing what's in there now could be detrimental to the bacteria you have already grown.

If algae is starting to grow you may want to shorten the time you have your light on. Algae loves light.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
J

JKwan0304

New Member
Member
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
mattgirl said:
Since you are seeing nitrates this high and seeing some nitrites this soon I have to think there was still bacteria in there from somewhere. That is a good thing. I don't think a water change needs to be done just yet. You don't want to remove the accumulated ammonia.

If you were using liquid ammonia I would be more inclined to recommend a water change because you could just add more. When using fish food you have to wait for it to decompose to form the ammonia. Removing what's in there now could be detrimental to the bacteria you have already grown.

If algae is starting to grow you may want to shorten the time you have your light on. Algae loves light.
I did a full water test today as it's the first week. I've noticed all the parameters are going down.

Ammonia = between 0.5 & 1
Nitrite = 0.01 from 0.025
Nitrate = more or less 0. (using api on this one and the water color is goldish)
pH = from 7 to 6.6
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
J

JKwan0304

New Member
Member
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
mattgirl said:
Since you are seeing nitrates this high and seeing some nitrites this soon I have to think there was still bacteria in there from somewhere. That is a good thing. I don't think a water change needs to be done just yet. You don't want to remove the accumulated ammonia.

If you were using liquid ammonia I would be more inclined to recommend a water change because you could just add more. When using fish food you have to wait for it to decompose to form the ammonia. Removing what's in there now could be detrimental to the bacteria you have already grown.

If algae is starting to grow you may want to shorten the time you have your light on. Algae loves light.
I did a full water test today as it's the first week. I've noticed all the parameters are going down.

Ammonia = between 0.5 & 1
Nitrite = 0.01 from 0.025
Nitrate = more or less 0. (using api on this one and the water color is goldish)
pH = from 7 to 6.6
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,811
Reaction score
12,685
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
JKwan0304 said:
I did a full water test today as it's the first week. I've noticed all the parameters are going down.

Ammonia = between 0.5 & 1
Nitrite = 0.01 from 0.025
Nitrate = more or less 0. (using api on this one and the water color is goldish)
pH = from 7 to 6.6
I have to think either your first nitrate test or this one is wrong. Nitrates don't work like that. Nitrates are the result of ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. Very simply put. Ammonia poops nitrites and nitrites poop nitrates. Nitrates are removed with water changes in most cases.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
J

JKwan0304

New Member
Member
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
mattgirl said:
I have to think either your first nitrate test or this one is wrong. Nitrates don't work like that. Nitrates are the result of ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. Very simply put. Ammonia poops nitrites and nitrites poop nitrates. Nitrates are removed with water changes in most cases.
Thanks for the insight. I'll do another test.
 

PaprikaFish

Active Member
Member
Messages
130
Reaction score
67
Experience
Just started
You have to shake the nitrite bottles vigorously for 30 secs, and then you have to shake the 5 mL of water for 1 minute (use a paper towel as it may leak). Then you have to wait 5 minutes for color to develop. This ensures accurate results, but correct me if I'm wrong :)
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
213
Guests online
3,184
Total visitors
3,397

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom