Trouble with nitrogen cycle ?!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by bus927, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. bus927Valued MemberMember

    Alright guys I still can't bring my nitrites down.. Ammonia is 0ppm, nitrites are between 2ppm and 5ppm I can't tell between the color purple, no matter what it's high.. And nitrates are 10-20ppm would live plants help this ? I just did a 25% water change dosed with prime and I'm not understanding how to get these pesky buggers down. I have two hob filters one from my 10 gallon that filters 90 gph, my other is a penguin 150 so obviously 150 gph. So combined 240 gph.. Two cartridges in my penguin.. My old one with all my BB and a brand spankin new one in front of the old one.. LFS said maybe live plants would help lower these nitrites.. All the fish are swimming and acting fine no signs of disease or anything.. I just want these gone and to have a normal cycle in this tank. It's a 20 gallon tank by the way. I don't over feed.. A pinch of flakes once every other day.. Please, any suggestions are appreciated !
    Thanks in advance..

  2. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    I mean live plants could help lower nitrites but they won't really help your tank cycle any faster.

    How long has this been running?

  3. bus927Valued MemberMember

    Over two months.. I originally had a 10 gallon that was cycled and I bought a 20 to give the fish more room so I literally picked up everything from one tank and into the other no washing no nothing. Just a move of everything over :/

  4. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    That's crazy. I'm not sure what's up with that. I assume you're properly conditioning water and not washing the cartridges in tap water. What's your stock?
  5. bus927Valued MemberMember

    A little over conditioning the water and no I would clean my cartridges with the water I get from my water changes. Two platys 4 guppies a DG and 3 Corys
  6. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Are any of these fish new additions? I would do larger water changes to bring that nitrite down. You'll have to do this daily until you're cycled. You could also use Seachem Stability to help. Also, have you ever tested your tap for nitrite?
  7. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello bus...

    Cycling such a small tank would be a problem for anyone beginner or experienced. The problem is there's not enough water in the tank to keep the water chemistry stable for very long. Even a small amount of dissolving fish waste can change the water drastically in no time. Unstable water conditions will stress even the hardiest fish and kill most before the tank is anywhere close to being established.

    The only thing you can do is test the water a couple of times a day and if you have a trace of ammonia or nitrite, change out roughly 4 gallons of the water and replace it with treated tap water. Keep the chemicals out of the mix other than the standard water treatment to remove the chlorine and chloramine.

    Use some floating plants to help keep the water reasonably clean between water changes..Water sprite, Hornwort and Anacharis (common water weed) are all good.

    Just test the water and perform a water change when needed. Patience is needed, because the cycling process can easily take a month or longer. The job would be easier if you had a larger tank.

    Keep pluggin'

  8. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    IMO, a 20g is big enough for the fish that the OP has.

    Secondly, bacteria supplements contain live bacteria not a chemical and have been proven to successfully cycle tanks.
  9. TheKiwiValued MemberMember

    I wonder...... If you're able to test the pH and KH of your water..?
  10. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    On the past I have seen CindiL suggest a test on diluted water... I wonder if you could do that. 50% tank water 50% tap water (if I recall correctly you have 0 nitrites in your tap). Then multiply the results by 2 to get the total level just a thought. I think in a previous thread back to back 50% water changes were recommended. What were the numbers after doing 2-3 of these? Did they go down at all? If I am mis-remembering your situation then you may want to try that.
  11. tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    Have you tested your tap water? If your tap is reading 0 0 0 this is what you need to do:

    Do a 50% water change. Wait an hour and retest. If nitrites are above 1ppm do another 50% water change. Dose prime for the entire volume of the tank.

    Retest tomorrow and if nitrites are above .50ppm do another 50% water change. Retest in an hour and do another water change if above .50ppm.

    Once it's under .50ppm nitrites dose prime every 24hrs and test every 24hrs. Stop doing daily 50% changes and switch back to your regular weekly waterchange schedule. Once nitrites is at 0 no need to dose prime daily.
  12. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I agree to do some very large back to back water changes.

    Something had to have changed for you to be seeing these nitrites. That's a very large cycle bump. Did you move the water over? I am not saying you should have but am wondering if the water in your tap is different then the water that was in your tank regarding ph. Did you let the tank run for 24 hours before moving the fish over? Would you test your tap and tank for ph and post them? would you also test your tap for nitrites?

    I agree to check every 24 hours but tend to stick to a different formula (though similar) due to the fact that prime when dosed for the full volume of the tank will detoxify ammonia + nitrites up to 1.0.

    If ammonia + nitrites is less than 1.0, dose prime for the full volume of the tank and re-check in 24 hours.
    If ammonia + nitrites is 1.0 or greater, do a very large water change and dose prime for the full volume of the tank.

    You could get a bottle of Seachem Stability as mentioned and put in 1/2 bottle at once and then another 1/2 bottle 24-48 hours later to re-seed your filters.
  13. tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    I completely agree with this formula. I mentioned just the nitrites because they said they have 0 ammonia ;)

    I also use stability when I have a mini cycle or new tank.
  14. bus927Valued MemberMember

    imageimage almost all the way there guys! Ammonia is 0 nitrites are .25 and the nitrates are btwn 10-20 ppm now ! I changed out roughly 8 gallons and did a hardcore gravel vac and it brought everything down great ! Everyone's happy my water has never been clearer and my tap water had no nitrites in it I'll keep posted until I'm officially cycled which I'm hoping is soon !
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  15. bus927Valued MemberMember

    image I have never been able to see through my tank this easily and clear before ! Sorry for double posting I'm just excited !
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  16. tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    I'm glad you're showing progress! I'm having to do daily 50% changes myself on my 5.5g hospital tank. Who knew 1 red cherry shrimp could cause such a HUGE ammonia then nitrite spike?! I'm talking 5ppm...
  17. bus927Valued MemberMember

    That's what mine was reading on the master test kit then I took it to petsmart and they said it was close to 10ppm at one point.. My situation puzzled everyone in every store I went to.. No one could figure out why my nitrites were so high and I had nitrates and 0 ammonia everyone I talked to referred me to someone else who knew "a little bit more" and so on and so forth ! Lol very frustrating ! And that's rough stuff Tokio I was doing that for awhile !
  18. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I just poured a whole 8oz bottle into my pond tonight! Hoping it takes care of the less then .25 nitrites that have been on-going :)

    Great news, now just keep up with the water changes, pick up some stability and you'll catch up before you know it.
  19. bus927Valued MemberMember

    So stability.. When should I be doing water changes now ? How much ? And when should I add the stability ?
  20. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    My routine for cycling with stability and prime is so,

    Test every 24 hours or so. Do a water change (with prime of course) whenever over 1ppm of ammonia or nitrite. I try to keep the ammonia and nitrite at about 1ppm so the bacteria can eat it. If it's at 1 or below I just dose prime straight into the tank that day.

    With stability, you can do one dose a day, until cycled. Simple as that. If you have to do a water change that day then dose stability AFTER the change so that all the dosage stays in the tank.

    If you like, you can overdose prime. It says it's safe up to 5x the normal dosage. You can also overdose stability, as there is zero harm from it (technically you could pour the whole bottle in, although I don't recommend that, just saying, you can't harm your fish with stability.) I have done this to success before. My nitrite was 2ppm. I did a triple dose of prime and a double or triple dose of stability. Next day the nitrite was .25ppm

    I think this routine works VERY well. I hope I explained it well enough. Good luck!

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