Cycle Confusion Nitrites & Nitrates Stuck Still High

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by LarryS, Nov 5, 2011.

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  1. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    Cycling a 65g since Oct 4 using 57 lbs Pukani rock with lots of detritus. ammonia spike reached about 1.5 fairly quickly.... then dropped fairly quickly as it was 0 by day 12.

    Nitrites spiked to 5 and have not come down.

    Nitrates to 40 and have fluctuated between 20 and 40 ppm.

    So, 5 days ago (day 27), I added a raw shrimp ... to satisfy my curiosity and to prove to myself that there is an active cycle.

    Ammonia spiked from 0 to .25 on day shrimp day 3 and back to 0 by next day 4.

    Day 28 did a minor pwc 8 gal when I installed a skimmer and needed to move the sump tank.

    Yesterday, took a donation of very active live rock from an 8-yr old 90 gal reef tank... lots of coraline pods and such and see now spaghetti worms...and a mini-bud of hammerhead coral seems very happy wide-eyed and open! Included about 3 or so gallons of water too.

    Today is day 32 BUT, the nitrites still 5 and nitrates 40.

    What am I missing? :confused: Time to pwc 20% and add fishes?
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    If it were my tank I would do the water change, and wait a couple days and retest and also double check your test results against another test at the LFS if possible.

    If every thing checks out ( no nitrites and nitrates below 20) a couple days after the water change you should be able to add a couple fish. Just stock slowly and feed appropriately.
     
  4. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    That's a plan. Thank you! :)
     
  5. sticksmith23

    sticksmith23 Giant Squid

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    Like stated before. Take some water to LFS and have it tested. You could simply have some bad test reagents.
     
  6. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nitrites at 5ppm can slow down the cycle as it can kill/ slow the growth of bacteria at that level. Get your nitrites below 5 with water changes and keep it there. It should complete the cycle soon. Follow the recommended stock advice given.
     
  7. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    Water change at this point in time makes prefect sense...especially given the feedback on nitrites. :) I will do that today (do not see a down side). Double-checking the API kit certainly will confirm (or not) the readings.

    That all said, please comment on that elsewhere guys are telling me to add product like Seachem Stability or a Bio-Spira.

    I'm not inclined to take a chemical route (but have heard that public aquariums often do), so putting that debate aside... would a Bio-Spira do any harm...and add on the chance it might actually help?

    Thanks for your patience. :)
     
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  9. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    LFS tested (using their Hagen kit...I'm using API). That said, the nitrites test "off their chart" and the nitrates also very high.

    This seems to confirm my readings. Next post will update on what I've done.
     
  10. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    Update: Nitrites & Nitrates Dropping Without PWC Water Changes

    Here's what I've done over the past few days... a 20% pwc not done only because the nitrites and nitrates are moving in the right direction...down.

    Last tests reported for Day 32.

    Day 32: after reporting tests, obtained a donation from an established reef tank: 2-3 gallons tank water, some refugium fern algae, some live rock with coraline, a mini-frag of green hammerhead (doing very well!), a red grape algae bud, and small amount of substrate (few tablespoons..tank had barely enough to spare).

    Day 34: 8, 0, 2-5, 40+ Also this day added:

    • Chemi-pure filter
    • Approx 10 oz. of sand from established reef tank: contained several feather dusters that seem happy at at work
    • 3 caps of MicroBacter 7
    • "refugium" macroalgae package from a LFS
    Day 35: 8, 0, 2, 40-80 Appears to be a definite decline in nitrites and nitrates. Decided to hold off on pwc to give biological filters time to kick in. MB7 added.

    Day 36: 8, 0, 1-2, 40. MB7 added. Positive trend continues.

    Day 37: 8, 0, .5-1, 20-40 MB7 added.

    That's the update.

    Does anyone disagree about holding off on the pwc... as long as the nitrites and nitrates continue down?
     
  11. brunoboarder244

    brunoboarder244 Torch Coral

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    bio spire i believe isnt a chemical but live bacteria to boost your current colonies
     
  12. LarryS

    LarryS Bristle Worm

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    Correct. And, I appreciate you calling me out on that misstatement.

    It is a nitrifying bacteria product. So is Dr. Tim's Live Nitrifying bacteria "and" MicroBacter 7.

    I opted to use the MB7 (per my previous post) after getting feedback from a source I trust that routinely uses it (but not for helping a cycle!) when doing pwc and whenever he feels he has 'impacted' the ecosystem. He feels that it helps keep things on track.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011