crupp29

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I have a planted 10 gallon tank that I have been trying to cycle for over a week now. At first I was adding beneficial bacteria to the tank, but then I got a hold of filter media from an established tank. Before I put the media in the filter, my ammonia was at about 2ppm from dosing a small amount of ammonium chloride just a few days before. I’ve been testing the water for the past couple of days and noticed the ammonia dropped very early on (just about 0ppm). The nitrite was high (around 2ppm) and there was some nitrate present (around 5ppm). Today, I test the water and all three are at 0ppm (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate). Is this possible? If so, what do I need to do next in order to continue/finish the cycle?
 

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To verify if you are cycled, add 2 or 3 ppm ammonia again and then test in 24 hours ....if ammonia and nitrite are 0, you are cycled. Nitrates at that point may be high. So then do a 100% wc and get fish soon after. How many and what type of fish are you planning on getting?
 
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crupp29

crupp29

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I am planning on getting 5-7 guppies (only male). The main reason the test results are confusing to me is because the nitrates are at 0ppm. It was my understanding that the only way to remove nitrates from the tank was through routine water changes.
 

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Nitrate test kits read nitrite as nitrate and give you a false reading if there is nitrite in the water.

You had some nitrite and the nitrate test kit read that and said there was nitrate, but it was simply the kit picking up the nitrite.
 
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Nitrates should be higher at the end of cycling as the nitrites get converted by the BB to nitrate. Do you have any plants in the tank? Be sure you thoroughly shake the test solution bottles before adding to the test tube.
 
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crupp29

crupp29

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Nitrates should be higher at the end of cycling as the nitrites get converted by the BB to nitrate. Do you have any plants in the tank? Be sure you thoroughly shake the test solution bottles before adding to the test tube.
Yes, I have three right now and plan on getting another one. I tested with test strips in addition to the tubes and got the same result.
 

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Plants will generally quicken the time for cycling if they are established and growing.
 
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crupp29

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I added 2ppm of ammonia yesterday so that my levels were at 2ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, and 0ppm nitrate. I tested my water today (about 24 hours later) and saw that the ammonia is at 0.25ppm, the nitrite is at 2ppm, and the nitrate is at 5ppm. I plan on getting fish next weekend if the tank is cycled by then. Also, I added a fourth plant today.
 

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