Question, I finally have Nitrate's starting to show BUT...

  • Thread starter Jules2012
  • Start date
  • Thread starter
  • #1

Jules2012

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Hello again, I'm still cycling my tank, its been a long long while and I've posted two threads, one was during my introduction here as a newbie, and then another regarding my hard time with cycling. So I finally saw some nitrates but no nitrites still. I have never seen my nitrites over 0 ppm. So for nearly 3 months of cycling, I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. I use only Reverse Osmosis water, as explained in another thread due to the town I live in is a copper mining town and there is sledge in the water. But so then I purchased Dr Tim's Ammonia to at least get the ammonia going in this fishless cycling, I then waited and waited and still no nitrites. Meanwhile I was doing the API master testing, adding bacteria etc.. I went and purchased Start Fresh for the heck of it, even though I was using Seachem products already, and believe it or not, a week in I'm finally seeing some change, but its only my Nitrate, I'm still at 0 Nitrites and 2ppm Ammonia. So I'm not sure of what is going on now. Is it possible that my tank was already cycled and I had a bad batch of the API Test Kit solutions for Nitrite. Can you have Nitrate without any Nitrites at all, the Nitrites have never once rose up. Also my Ammonia has not changed at all since I used Dr Tim's Ammonia, its still 2 ppm. My PH is around 7+. Thanks for listening and any help or suggestions.
 
  • #2

BigBeardDaHuZi

Active Member
Member
Messages
418
Did you only apply Ammonia that one time? Or have you been dosing regularly?
Nitrates have to come from somewhere and since you use RO water it is not coming from your tap. That suggests cycling.
You say you have 2ppm ammonia right now, how long has it been 2ppm?
 
  • #3

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
14,027
Since you are using RO water I do have to ask if you have either Equilibrium or Replenish now and have added the necessary minerals? I have to think this cycle will continue to struggle without one or the other added.

If I am understanding correctly you have only added ammonia once and what you added is still there. I am not sure where the nitrates are coming from if the tank isn't processing any of the ammonia you have added. Did you have some other kind of ammonia source before you started using the Dr. Tim's? If so that could be where they are coming from or they may have come from the bottled bacteria. The problem with using bottle bacteria we can never predict exactly what is going to happen.

More than once folks have reported never seeing a nitrite spike when they are using some of the bottled bacteria's. I have to wonder if the cycle just skips it or it happens so quickly we just miss it.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

Jules2012

New Member
Member
Messages
8
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Did you only apply Ammonia that one time? Or have you been dosing regularly?
Nitrates have to come from somewhere and since you use RO water it is not coming from your tap. That suggests cycling.
You say you have 2ppm ammonia right now, how long has it been 2ppm?
Hi there thanks for responding, I'm a bit late getting back to you but I only dosed once because all the blogs and advice off here said to keep it at approximately 2 ppm, which its been at but I did just purchase Equalibrium and Seachem's FreshTrace, its not here yet but I'm hoping as you said that maybe it will push it along. So, yes your are right, when I mentioned I added the ammonia once, but suddenly I have a small amount of Nitrates but have never seen any Nitrites yet, WEIRD but true. But I did add Fresh Start recently, then within a week I saw the Nitrates but no Nitrites. So its been odd to say the least. At the beginning of this fresh tank though I did use Prime and Stability and all that. I never noticed any change, it was at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates for this whole time so that's why I added Dr Tim's. Then I read somewhere that 4 ppm is more appropriate and not 2 ppm. But I have the minerals on the way, and I'm hoping it does something.
 
  • #5

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
14,027
If all you added for a while was prime and stability your tank was just sitting there waiting for food. Without an ammonia source the cycle couldn't even start growing.

Now that you have ammonia and will soon add the necessary minerals I have a feeling you will start seeing some forward progress. When did you start this cycle? If it has been close to a month I will recommend you start with fresh water with minerals added and then add enough ammonia to get it up to about 3ppm. This should kick this cycle into high gear.
 
  • #6

Frank the Fish guy

Well Known
Member
Messages
536
Please test the KH of your water. I have seen a few folks try to cycle a tank with 100% RO water and the cycle stalls. When they test the KH they see that it is 0.

The cycle will stall at KH=0. The bacteria literally consume the KH to convert the ammonia.

To increase KH, all you have to do is a add some baking soda (carbonate) to buffer the water. It is the carbonates that are needed for the cycle. The standard formula is to add 1 tsp per 50 liters to raise the KH by 4 degrees. At 4 degrees, your cycle will go.

In aquarium terms, we use GH to measure salts, and KH to measure carbonates.

If you used 100% RO then we can probably assume that your KH is zero, and you should be buffering the water to make the cycle go.
 
Top Bottom