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Old 04-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #1 
wystearya
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Can a cycle stall?

I've been cycling my 5 gallon tank for about 4-5 weeks now. The ammonia stage seemed to pass quickly, but the nitrites are just dragging their feet!

Last week I had a nitrite spike, and did a partial water change. But for several days now (with no water changes) the nitrites have been at 0.25 and the nitrAtes are a steady 5ppm. The 5ppm is from my tap water.

I'm just wondering if there is something going wrong? I would have thought the nitrates would start coming up, but they have not. :/

I have a sponge filter, ran off an air pump. There is plenty of flow. I am just unsure why the cycle seems to be at a standstill. >> I should add that I have a couple of sword plants and a bit of duckweed.

Thanks for any help!!

PS - I have a Betta in this tank, so any suggestions need to be fish friendly! I know a fish-in cycle can take longer. But it is odd to me that it has stalled.

Last edited by wystearya; 04-04-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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It is possible that your duckweed is sucking up the ammonia before the nitrifying bacteria can utilise it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #3 
Micho
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I'm pretty sure the live plants are the things stalling your cycling process.

Maybe the reason why you're not getting any ammonia readings is because the live plants are doing their job which is sucking up the ammonia before the beneficial bacteria have a chance to their job, and convert all the way to nitrAtes.

Don't worry the plants are doing their job, but the problem with this is that we use nitrAte levels to tell when we finished the cycling process.

I don't know how to identify when a silent cycle is complete, it's best to talk to OFL, she explained this to me once when I was cycling my 10g.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:05 AM   #4 
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Honestly I don't have a lot of duckweed yet. Maybe 30 leaves of it..? I started with just a couple of stray leaves from when I purchased the two sword plants.

Maybe your right, but when I began the cycle, I had some ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. Then the ammonia came down and I saw the nitrites. I just don't know how I would have seen the nitrites at all if the plants were sucking up all the ammonia..?
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:09 AM   #5 
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Just bumping this up in the hopes someone will know more about this.

Last night I tested the water again, same results. About 0.25 nitrite, 0 ammonia, and about 5ppm nitrate (again, the nitrate is in my tap water).

Thanks!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #6 
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I documented a fish-less cycle in my 5g tank. The link for it is in my signature. It's not fish-in, but I have all of my water testings posted, concerns, questions. It may be good for you to read. :)
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #7 
ao
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If the plants eat you ammonia, they should absorb the nitrite and nitrate too, especially when there is no ammonia left, maybe it's time to blame the test kit?
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #8 
wystearya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
If the plants eat you ammonia, they should absorb the nitrite and nitrate too, especially when there is no ammonia left, maybe it's time to blame the test kit?
I have the API Freshwater test kit. It is supposed to be the best one out there. I don't think I am getting poor results from it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:01 PM   #9 
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Ive read somewhere that you have to shake the bottles reaaaaly well to get accurate reading :) and believe me there are faulty test kits even if its API brand. I was watching this youtube video where this guys test kit shows that his amonia levels are skyrocketing, yet his fish were absolutely fine :)

I did do an experiment with an elodea. one of my ghost shrimp died. and I placed his body in a glass bottle with a 5in elodea (anacharis?) and clean water, I sealed the bottle cap and left it on the window sill. after a week the shrimp had completely degraded. The elodea also stopped growing at around the same time, it grew a new 2in sprout. which is to say that plants suck up ammonia pretty quickly and thistranslates into new grownth...

With you duck weed multiplying from a couple to a 30 leaf cluster, they probably sucked in all the ammonia. not to mention your other plants ;) best of luck! and give those test kits a good whack :D

You should keep feeding your biofilter by the way, incase they die of starvation.

Last edited by ao; 04-07-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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