Trying to cycle new aquarium....

Hannah1064

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So I started cycling my new ten gallon aquarium about a week and a half ago. I used tetra safe start plus and some liquid ammonia. I dosed 5ppm the waited till it got to 0. Then I dosed to 2-3ppm and waited till it got to 0. The ammonia now goes from 3 ppm to 0ppm in less then a day. I'm pretty sure this means it's cycled? I just tested the water:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 1ppm (it is extremely hard to tell with this one)
Nitrate: 80-160ppm (also hard to tell)
PH: 7.6

What do I do now? I know the only way to remove the Nitrates is through water changes but what about the Nitrite? Should I keep doing the ammonia back up to 2ppm? Do I just wait til the Nitrite level goes down? Will my bacteria die if I stop the ammonia?
 

Argos

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Nitrite also has to go to zero in 24 hours to be completely cycled.

My advise would be to wait until you see the nitrites go down to add more ammonia. The bacteria will not die. Once Nitrites hit zero, re-dose ammonia to about 2ppm then see if both go to zero in 24 hours. The bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrites seem to take longer to colonize than those responsible for the first step in the nitrogen cycle. It might take several weeks to be fully cycled.

That being said, adding more ammonia won't necessarily hurt the process (to an extent) but it won't help the cycles establish any quicker. If the bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrites can't convert 1ppm Nitrite, they still won't be able to convert larger readings, say 3ppm. (which you get if you add more ammonia)
 

LightBrownPillow

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It seems like all the bacteria are there, you just want them to grow more to handle everything within 24 hrs like Argos said. Do a big water change to remove the high nitrates whenever you feel like, and keep dosing 2-3ppm ammonia when the nitrite levels hit 0.

You'd *probably* be ok to add one or two small fish at this point, but always better to fully complete the cycle and get everything stable first. Especially since the tank is less than a month old overall. Giving that more time will help all kinds of algae/bacteria grow to get things more stable beyond the nitrogen cycle.
 

Donthemon

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Large water change . Check parameters and add a few fish. Safestart gives weird readings for a while due to whatever is in it.
 

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