Question About My Nitrogen Cycle

ChristianYK

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I am currently at the end of my first week of a fishless cycle in my 20 gal high. I use Seachem Prime, Dr. Tim's ammonia, and Tetra SafeStart. Have been testing daily with api master kit. I made sure to shake the Nitrate bottle #2 well. However, when testing today, I got results that confused me. I had roughly 1 ppm ammonia, no nitrites, and 5-ish ppm of nitrates. What does this mean? (Sorry for the weird camera angle)
 

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Momgoose56

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I am currently at the end of my first week of a fishless cycle in my 20 gal high. I use Seachem Prime, Dr. Tim's ammonia, and Tetra SafeStart. Have been testing daily with api master kit. I made sure to shake the Nitrate bottle #2 well. However, when testing today, I got results that confused me. I had roughly 1 ppm ammonia, no nitrites, and 5-ish ppm of nitrates. What does this mean? (Sorry for the weird camera angle)
Most of the time when you use Tetra Safe Start (TSS), you will see ammonia, then nitrates and never see nitrites. This is because apparently, the TSS has a lot of the bacteria, Nitrobacter, that oxidizes nitrites and converts them to nitrates. So the nitrites are being processed as fast as they are produced. This is how the TSS helps speed up your cycling. Now, you keep dosing to 2 ppm ammonia and wait for the Ammonia oxidizing bacteria, Nitrosomonas, to catch up. That will take another 2-3 weeks usually.
 

jdhef

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@Momgoose56, I posted this question a long time ago (long before you were a member) and ever got answer:

If you have a tank with a pH of 6.0, all ammo is will be ammonium. It is claimed that ammonium is far less toxic than ammonia or even nontoxic.

So if that is the case, if you have a low pH, do you even need to cycle a tank? Would regular water changes to keep the ammonium level down be sufficient?
 

Momgoose56

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@Momgoose56, I posted this question a long time ago (long before you were a member) and ever got answer:

If you have a tank with a pH of 6.0, all ammo is will be ammonium. It is claimed that ammonium is far less toxic than ammonia or even nontoxic.

So if that is the case, if you have a low pH, do you even need to cycle a tank? Would regular water changes to keep the ammonium level down be sufficient?
You can probably get away with not cycling a tank at that pH and just doing regular water changes. However, I wouldn't advise it. Fish still produce waste, thre are still bacteria converting ammmonium to nitrites etc.
 
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ChristianYK

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I'm nearing the end of my fourth week of cycling. Ammonia is consistently at 0.25 ppm after dosing up to 1. Nitrate is somewhere from 10-40 ppm depends on the day. Today, it was 20-40 ppm. However, my nitrites are still stuck. They are consistently from 2-5 ppm and have been there for 2 weeks. I have a little bit of diatoms/brown algae in my tank. I feel like nitrites should have decreased by now. What should I do?
 

Momgoose56

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I'm nearing the end of my fourth week of cycling. Ammonia is consistently at 0.25 ppm after dosing up to 1. Nitrate is somewhere from 10-40 ppm depends on the day. Today, it was 20-40 ppm. However, my nitrites are still stuck. They are consistently from 2-5 ppm and have been there for 2 weeks. I have a little bit of diatoms/brown algae in my tank. I feel like nitrites should have decreased by now. What should I do?
Try doing a 50% water change. You may need some fresh minerals and nutrients in the tank.
 
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