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Ammonia and NitrAtes but no Nitrites?


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  • Supporter

So as I mostly expected my cycle seemed to pretty much crash when I set up my new tank (I was adding two new filters and my other filter was off for a whole day, although the media was kept wet) Anyway I've been testing the water fairly frequently, adding prime, the ammonia never got past 1ppm and I never showed Nitrites or Nitrates until today (I didn't test yesterday or the day before though, I just added Prime)

Today when I tested I got .5 ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 10 Nitrate. I redid the Nitrate test incase I messed it up some how but got the same result.

From my (basic/limited) Understanding of the cycle, Nitrites should show up before Nitrates? Or was this just a bump and my cycle is getting back on track?

My tap Water Readings for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are all 0

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  • Regular Member

I would think that it was a cycle bump, but please do keep testing to make sure. 1 day isn't enough to kill all of your BBs, especially if they stayed wet. BBs are much heartier than that. We can even send them in the mail and be fine.

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  • Regular Member

Apparently your cycle bump only affected the ammonia oxidizers. The nitrite oxidizers continued to the their job. This situation should resolve itself quickly. This is actually rather unusual. It's quite common for a cycle bump to only affect the NOBs (nitrogen oxidizing bacteria) so you get nitrites, but no ammonia and little nitrate. That takes longer to resolve.

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  • Regular Member

I actually had this happen to me recently, after adding 2 fish from QT. I was anticipating a slight cycle bump so I was testing the water regularly. I got 0.25 ppm ammonia and 5 ppm nitrate, but no nitrite. Shortly after, I got 0.25 ppm nitrite before everything went back to normal the next day (which for me is 0/0/0 - I believe my tank contains bacteria that consume nitrate). So I would keep an eye on it; nitrite may follow. [emoji4]

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