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Old 10-01-2010, 09:10 AM   #1 
emeltee
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Fishless Cycle Vets- I need some advice

I'm into my 4th week of doing a fishless cycle on my 5 gal tank using the shrimp method. This week, I noticed that while my ammonia has gone down to about 2ppm, my nitrites have spiked to at least 5 ppm. I've done two partial water changes, so the ammonia went down a bit, but the nitrites are still testing quite high. The nitrates were really high, but came down to around 10 ppm after the water changes.

Why did ammonia and nitrate both go down, but no my nitrite?

Is this a problem?

I've come soooo far - just hope that I can finish this cycle within the next few weeks!
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:04 AM   #2 
Ajones108
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The nitrite -> nitrate bacteria take longer to grow than the ammonia -> nitrite bacteria. I cycled my tank fishless in 12 days using Dr. Tim's bacteria and pure ammonia, but you could also use Dr. Tim's with the shrimp as an ammonia source.

My nitrites were high (8.0+) and then overnight one night, they were completely gone, my ammonia was 0ppm, and my nitrates were high. :) Since you didn't add a bacteria source to the tank, it's going to take a little longer for your colony to grow.

When I was cycling my tank, I bumped the temperature up to 86 degrees. It speeds up bacterial growth. When I put my betta in, I took it back down to 80-82. :) You can check out my fishless via pure ammonia and Dr. Tim's from the link in my signature. The same things really apply, just without adding bacteria, your tank will cycle slower. You're on the right track though, don't lose faith! :)
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #3 
Adastra
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Yeah, the nitrite-nitrate bacteria do seem to take longer. As long as the nitrite level stays around 4-5ppm, you don't need to do water changes. If it gets much higher than that it could slow progress, though. You should finish before you know it, though. :) Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #4 
emeltee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
Yeah, the nitrite-nitrate bacteria do seem to take longer. As long as the nitrite level stays around 4-5ppm, you don't need to do water changes. If it gets much higher than that it could slow progress, though. You should finish before you know it, though. :) Good luck!
The problem is that my testing kit only goes to 5ppm, but the color of the nitrites seems really deep in color (like it might be above 5.) I guess only time will tell.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #5 
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If it's really deep in color, you'll want a partial water change. A partial WC never hurts anyway. I had really, really deep readings of purple when I was cycling my tank as well.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #6 
emeltee
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If it's really deep in color, you'll want a partial water change. A partial WC never hurts anyway. I had really, really deep readings of purple when I was cycling my tank as well.
I've done two, and the nitrite reading is still deep purple (but ammonia & nitrate went down.) That was my concern - that the others went down but not nitrite.
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