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nickie73

Question About My Cycle

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My cycle just started a few days ago. I have nitrates out of my tap of 5. However, what I am noticing is that while I hardly have any ammonia or nitrItes, my nitrates are rising very rapidly! This is not normal in a newly cycling tank is it?

I have been keeping a diary of my water params and this is the pattern that has been going on since I first noticed the cycle. As an example:

2-9-08 11:17am

Ammonia: Very close to zero

Ph: 7.8

NitrIte: 0-.25

NitrAte: 5-10

Salt: .1%

I did not do a wc yesterday, but added Prime to the tank

2-9-08 10:00pm

Ammonia: Close to zero

NitrIte: 0-.25

NitrAte: 8-10

ph: 7.8

KH: 89.5

2-10-08 10:38am

Ammonia: Almost zero

NitrIte: 0-.25

NitrAte: Almost 20

ph: 7.8

Salt: Still at .1%

Why are my nitrates climbing faster than the nitrites? I though the nitrites were supposed to come first? Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Hi Nickie! :)

I would think that if your Nitrites are close to 0 and the Nitrates are climbing, your tank is close to cycling.

The tap is still 5.0 Nitrate, right?

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Yes, the tap is still 5 on the nitrates. I wonder if I may have had some BB's on that bio-pad that I transferred to my new filter from my old one and maybe that helped? It is so weird to me because (as far as I could tell) I had no cycle going at all and then BOOM, my cycle starts. Now, the nitrites are barely climbing at all and the nitrates are getting higher. This has only been a few days!!!

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Yes, the tap is still 5 on the nitrates. I wonder if I may have had some BB's on that bio-pad that I transferred to my new filter from my old one and maybe that helped? It is so weird to me because (as far as I could tell) I had no cycle going at all and then BOOM, my cycle starts. Now, the nitrites are barely climbing at all and the nitrates are getting higher. This has only been a few days!!!

I took the noodles out of my 20 gallon and dumped it into my 50 gallon and almost instantaneously the tank cycled. It cycled so fast that I neve saw Nitrites. It must've appeared and turned into Nitrates overnight because the next morning the Nitrites were zero and the Nitrates appeared and the tank had cycled.

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JoH, that happened because there was still the same fish load in the 50 gl than it was in the 20 gl. The bacteria adjusts and grows to the number of fish and waste, not to the size of the tank. The bacteria doesn't automatically multiply because you have a bigger tank now - they do however grow if you'd add another fish, to accumulate that new fish's needs of waste removal. :)

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JoH, that happened because there was still the same fish load in the 50 gl than it was in the 20 gl. The bacteria adjusts and grows to the number of fish and waste, not to the size of the tank. The bacteria doesn't automatically multiply because you have a bigger tank now - they do however grow if you'd add another fish, to accumulate that new fish's needs of waste removal. :)

The 20 gallon that I took the noodles out is a fully cycled tank that has 2 fishes in it. The 50 gallon only has one fish in it right now.

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Well, that explains it then - the media went from a 2-fish tank to a 1-fish tank. Less waste to deal with. Are the two fish joining the little one in the 50 gl soon? :)

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Well, that explains it then - the media went from a 2-fish tank to a 1-fish tank. Less waste to deal with. Are the two fish joining the little one in the 50 gl soon? :)

Yes the 50 gallon will be the home for my 3 goldies. :):):)

Andrea, the tank cycle literally went full throttle overnight with the noodles being dumped into that super understocked 50 gallon tank. :D

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I just wish I could figure my situation out. I mean, I went from having no nitrites and ammonia at about .50 everyday to having barely any nitrites or ammonia and 20 nitrates almost over night (within a few days).

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I just wish I could figure my situation out. I mean, I went from having no nitrites and ammonia at about .50 everyday to having barely any nitrites or ammonia and 20 nitrates almost over night (within a few days).

As long as the 20 nitrates did not come from the tap, 20 Nitrates and the diminished amm/nitrite should mean that your tank is almost cycled.

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Thanks JOH! Nope, the nitrates in the tap are still at 5. They are raising in the tank. The funny thing is, the nitrites have not gotten above .25 yet and the ammonia is almost non existant (sp?).

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Thanks JOH! Nope, the nitrates in the tap are still at 5. They are raising in the tank. The funny thing is, the nitrites have not gotten above .25 yet and the ammonia is almost non existant (sp?).

The ammo, nitrite, & nitrate can co-exist for a while before the tank fully cycles. I would think that for the Nitrate to hit 15(20-5), the tank is closing in on the final stages of cycling.

I know this is hard to believe Nickie and you may even be in denial, lol but your tank will cycle eventually. Trust me on this. :rofl

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Thanks JOH! Nope, the nitrates in the tap are still at 5. They are raising in the tank. The funny thing is, the nitrites have not gotten above .25 yet and the ammonia is almost non existant (sp?).

You seem close Nickie! Seems the KH was a big part of your problem! If your tank has gotten some of the 2nd-type (nitrite->nitrate) bacteria, then its not really all that funny that your nitrates have started to rise without your nitrites ever jumping much. As soon as the nitrites form, they immediately start being converted into nitrates.

In fact you may find out that these 'almost zero' number are actually zero. I've found that depending on the quality of light, etc, the zero color on the color cards may be a tiny bit off from the color you see. Technically, most instructions say you should pick the 'closest color', and not average as we humans naturally do. If the closest color is definitely the zero, and it stays that way for a while, it may just be zero.

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Thanks JOH! Nope, the nitrates in the tap are still at 5. They are raising in the tank. The funny thing is, the nitrites have not gotten above .25 yet and the ammonia is almost non existant (sp?).

The ammo, nitrite, & nitrate can co-exist for a while before the tank fully cycles. I would think that for the Nitrate to hit 15(20-5), the tank is closing in on the final stages of cycling.

I know this is hard to believe Nickie and you may even be in denial, lol but your tank will cycle eventually. Trust me on this. :rofl

I hope your right!!! I do trust you! LOL!

Thanks JOH! Nope, the nitrates in the tap are still at 5. They are raising in the tank. The funny thing is, the nitrites have not gotten above .25 yet and the ammonia is almost non existant (sp?).

You seem close Nickie! Seems the KH was a big part of your problem! If your tank has gotten some of the 2nd-type (nitrite->nitrate) bacteria, then its not really all that funny that your nitrates have started to rise without your nitrites ever jumping much. As soon as the nitrites form, they immediately start being converted into nitrates.

In fact you may find out that these 'almost zero' number are actually zero. I've found that depending on the quality of light, etc, the zero color on the color cards may be a tiny bit off from the color you see. Technically, most instructions say you should pick the 'closest color', and not average as we humans naturally do. If the closest color is definitely the zero, and it stays that way for a while, it may just be zero.

Thanks so much! I guess the only thing I can do is keep an eye on the params and PRAY!!!

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hey Nickie my tank did the same thing I have had nitrates(.5 from tap 20ppm in tank) from the very begining I thought my cycle was almost done and it wasnt my nitrite showed up 5 days in ,the highest it ever got before dropping was .5 and I saw decline 16 days in I wondered if the nitrates I had were taking nitrites and keeping them from spiking through the the roof I dont know if this is so but it may have helped :)

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