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Old 10-01-2012, 01:40 AM   #11 
Hallyx
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I know Prime converts ammonia into harmless ammonium, but I never heard of it doing anything to nitrites. Maybe someone reading this knows?

Live plants will keep nitrate down. Not much for nitrite. With lots of plants, you may never get >40ppm nitrate. That's good, too.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:10 AM   #12 
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Hmmmm. I think maybe before bed I'll try the other test tube to see if its because the sample keeps leaking out when I shake the tube. I can never shake it for the full 30 seconds the instructions say to do without losing most of it, so that might be why I can't get a reading.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:32 PM   #13 
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Day 4

Yesterday after my water test I added enough ammonia to bring it JUST up to 2.0ppm (3 drops total).

Today's result:
Ammonia: About 1.5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 40ppm

I'm about to do a partial water change and I'm crossing my fingers hoping that won't stall the cycle! I've waited too long for this! I'm also gonna try to bump up the water temp a little to see if that helps keep things on course.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:00 AM   #14 
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There is very little bacteria in the water column. Water changes do not measurable effect the cycle.

Not sure what you mean by a leaky test tube. They should all seal air-tight wit the plastic cap.

Do you have an airstone or waterfall-style (HOB) filter?

I'm amazed that you're generating that much nitrate so soon. Sounds like it's working, though. Good you're being cautious about this. New territory for me, too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #15 
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Ah, when I say they're leaky I mean 2 of the caps/tubes that came with the kit seem to be defective, because the caps just won't sit on the tubes right. The other 2 tubes are fine, but the defective ones just get water EVERYWHERE when I try to shake them, and its definitely from the sample because the water level inside will be substantially lower.

I have a waterfall style, and its been left unbaffled while I cycle.

Day 5

After taking out about a gallon of water last night, I didn't add anything else like Prime or ammonia, not until I was sure everything was settled again. Today my levels are:

Ammonia: 0.50ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 15ppm

I'm wondering what to do now. Should I just wait until the ammonia goes all the way back down to 0 or should I add enough to bring it back up to 2ppm?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #16 
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My nitrite spike in my bucket cycle using SafeStart (filter now moved a 55g tank) lasted less than 24 hours.. I was testing morning and evening (and any other time I just couldn't resist).. it was off the charts (not just purple, but almost a dark maroon) as quickly as it was back to reading 0 again.. and it happened VERY fast, one afternoon/evening I had nitrites off the chart and then in the morning they had dropped a lot, and by lunchtime they were 0. If I had stuck to testing once a day I probably would have missed it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #17 
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Good eye, Sarah. I've had nitrire spikes last a couple of days. I'd forgotten that they can be very fast, too.

Yeah, Roxie. I think it's a good idea to see the ammonia go to 0.0ppm. Change out the nitrate (50%) . Then dose 2.0pppm ammonia again and see what you get.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #18 
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Day 6

I'm getting pretty excited! Just did my tests for today and came back with:

Ammonia: <0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: ~10ppm

Since the nitrate fell I'm also taking this as a sign my plants aren't dead, which is fantastic news considering I have issues keeping even land plants alive!

I hope the cycle finishes soon. My new betta keeps staring at the tank with a look in his eyes that says simply:
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:36 AM   #19 
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When you can dose 1.0ppm ammonia and have it go back to 0.0ppm in 24 hours along with 0.0ppm nitrite and measurable nitrate, you're ready to go.

Like any day now.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #20 
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Day 9

So after bringing the ammonia back up to 2.0 two days ago it seems my cycle stalled, because the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels haven't budged since then.

Ammonia: 2.0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: ~10ppm

Not sure what's going on but I hope it sorts itself out soon.
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