Help needed with cycling. High nitrites but good nitrate and ammonia

Rdoran88

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A few weeks ago I started a nano tank with ATM colony bacteria and some tetras but unfortunately the tetras didn't make it due to a case of white spot. The aquarium has since been fully water changed after 2 weeks at 30 degrees and ich treatment. The tank is now back down fo 26 degrees and my test kit has shown the following readings

ammonia = just over 0 but under 0.25 the colour is mainly yellow (api test kit)

nitrite = between 2 & 5ppm as they colour is so close to both I'm saying 5ppm to be safe

nitrate = between 10/20 ppm

do I wait and let the nitrites come down in a cycling process or would a large water change assist? I am new to this and have read up a lot of varying things so wanted to ask the community.
 

essjay

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Are there any fish left in the tank? If yes, you need to do water changes as often as necessary to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero.

But if there are no fish left, you would be better continuing by doing a fishless cycle. As you have nitrite, the tank is partially cycled so it won't take much longer.
I would add some ammonia and follow this method - but as the cycle is already well under way, test daily rather than every 3 days at the beginning.
 
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Rdoran88

Rdoran88

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Are there any fish left in the tank? If yes, you need to do water changes as often as necessary to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero.

But if there are no fish left, you would be better continuing by doing a fishless cycle. As you have nitrite, the tank is partially cycled so it won't take much longer.
I would add some ammonia and follow this method - but as the cycle is already well under way, test daily rather than every 3 days at the beginning.
Hi and thank you for your quick reply. No there are no fish in the tank and that's been the case now for around 16 days.

ammonia is reading close to zero and nitrates are good from what I can see. Nitrites are through the roof but luckily with no fish it's of no harm. so by adding ammonia will this aid with the development of bacteria or add more nitrites and nitrates
 

essjay

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There are two types of bacteria, the first eats ammonia and turns it into nitrite, the second eats nitrite and turns it into nitrate.
You already have some ammonia eaters but there may or may not be enough to remove the waste from a tankful of fish, so adding a 3 ppm dose of ammonia will tell you that. If the ammonia reading is zero after 24 hours, there are enough, and you just need to wait till there are enough nitrite eaters. But if ammonia is not zero, you need to grow some more ammonia eaters and more nitrite eaters.

Adding a dose of ammonia won't harm anything but it will tell you where you are in the cycle - whether you need to grow more of both bacteria types or just more nitrite eaters.
 
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