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Old 09-18-2014, 05:07 PM   #1 
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Nitrogen cycle question

I am 2.5 weeks into my 20 gallon Tall's cycle with live plants and pest snails. I recently tested and the nitrites were at 0, I was in disbelief but the test kit doesn't lie. I put in around 2.5 ml of ammonia and waited 24 hours and it was at 0. Then I did the big 80% water change, I let it sit for 24 hrs and tested. The nitrite was way up and nitrates were also up there. The question is, is this because of my live plants, pest snails or even an error from my API master kit? I was very disappointed as I was excited about stocking the tank. Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #2 
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Your readings should be 0.0ppm ammonia, 0.0ppm nitrite and a slight rise in jitrate between water changes. I knoiw from what you've written that you know this, so...

Patience. You're reading nitrite, that's a good sign.

It would be nice if we had the actual readings to compare.

Unless the tank is heavily planted, your plants aren't contributing that much.

Check your test technique, but API is close enough for hobby aquariums.

Don't change water during a fushless cycle unless the readings go off the chart.

It takes a lot longer than 2.5 weeks to cycle a tank --two to >5 times as long. But, I think you know that too.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:33 PM   #3 
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Sorry I probably didn't give enough information. After the first week nitrites had gone way up and I added ammonia every day as it dropped near 0 and the after a week of that is when I got the 0 nitrite reading. From every site read off of that was the exact thing that should have happened. It sounds like you thought I hadn't gotten nitrite readings "yet". All signs show I had completed the cycle. I think I will just restart the cycle as it appears my bacteria colony has been wiped out:(
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20 gal tall, cycling, water parameters

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