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45 gallon fishless cycling

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by steelo, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Couldn't help myself and tested nitrites. They have approximately doubled to around .5-1 ppm. Ammonia is still around 3 ppm, so now it's a matter of patience...

     
  2. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Because 1 ppm ammonia is turned into 2.7 ppm nitrite, you will find that nitrite goes up faster than ammonia drops. The frustrating part will be waiting till ammonia drops below 0.75.
     
  3. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Ouch...so, Im between 3-4ppm ammonia. I hope the cycle doesn't overheat if the nitrites get too high. Hopefully nitrates with show up soon.
     
  4. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Tested nitrites tonight - 5ppm and it looks like I have between 1-5ppm nitrates. Will test ammonia tomorrow and add if below .75ppm
     
  5. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Nitrites tonight 5+ ppm (might be off the scale now), nitrates - 5 ppm, ammonia - 2 ppm
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    ignore the nitrate reading now because nitrate test kits will read nitrite as nitrate, and give you a false reading.
     
  7. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Oh, okay...so at this point, I only need to worry about the ammonia and nitrite levels? Do I only test for nitrates when the nitrites have finally dropped to 0?
     
    #52 steelo, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    yes, right now you only need to monitor the ammonia, nitrite & pH.

    when the nitrites come down to 0 then you can start monitoring the nitrates.
     
  9. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Okay, thanks!
     
  10. essjay

    essjay Member

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    When you do start measuring nitrate, don't forget to test your tap water as well. You will need to subtract the tap level from the tank level to see how much nitrate is being made by the micro-organisms in the tank.
    Regardless of whether nitrate is from the tap or made in the tank you should aim to keep the total amount of nitrate under 20 ppm.
     
  11. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Thanks, I am 99% confident the tap water does not have any nitrates. I've shown 0 nitrates in the water I've added for the past 5 weeks. So, if the nitrates exceed 20 ppm would I need to do a partial water change?
     
    #56 steelo, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  12. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    About 1 week after detecting nitrites, the ammonia finally reads under .75 ppm (wife verified that it certainly looks like .25-.5 ppm), nitrites are giving bizarre reading (looks like grape juice) so I assume they are off the scale. Tonight I added just enough ammonia to bring it up to around 2 ppm.

    It now appears that I am at the part of the guide that tells me to wait until I get two consecutive every other day ammonia readings of 0 ppm before adding a 'snack' dose of ammonia. I just want to verify though because it seems waiting 4 days with no ammonia might starve off the bacteria.

    I'm just glad to see progress!
     
    #57 steelo, Jan 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  13. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Had two consecutive every other day reading of 0ppm ammonia so I added a 1/3 ammonia "snack" dose to bring it up to 1 ppm.

    So, I am getting a bit worried...nitrites with a 1/3 dilution test are around 15ppm. Ph is around 7.6-7.8, so I think that's okay...

    Should I do a large water change or wait a week without adding ammonia to see if the levels fall?
     
    #58 steelo, Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  14. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Without precise measuring equipment, dilution tests are only a rough estimate.
    I would wait a week, then if nothing is apparently happening, do a water change. But whether you do a water change or not, wait till nitrite starts to drop before adding any more ammonia.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. steelo

    steelo New Member

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    Thanks, I have read post where folks add 4ppm ammonia every time it drops to 0...and they wonder why nitrites are out of control. I'm really trying to follow the guide to a 'T'. Will the bacteria starve if I don't feed it for a week?
     

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