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TOPIC: Cycle problem

Cycle problem 3 months 1 day ago #71837

  • madhatter6907
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So I have a 75 gallon tank that has been cycling for about a month now. I have had no ammonia for a couple weeks now, but now I have high nitrites and about 20 ppm nitrates. I have done an 80% wc twice hoping to get rid of the nitrites and complete the cycle but every day my nitrites are still off the charts. Any suggestions on how to get this tank to complete it’s cycle?
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Cycle problem 3 months 1 day ago #71839

  • beretta96
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Leave it alone......it's working perfectly.

The beneficial bacteria that "eats" the ammonia expels nitrite into the tank water. The nitrite expelled by the ammonia eating bacteria usually gets to levels that are off the charts. Nature provides another type of bacteria that "eats" the nitrite and expels nitrate.

The colony of bacteria that "eat" the nitrite will eventually grow to be large enough to completely remove the amount of nitrite your tank produces in a 24 hour period. Once your ammonia and nitrite readings are at 0ppm for two successive 24 hour periods, you can consider your tank fully cycled.

When I cycle a tank, I never do a water change until the tank is fully cycled (I only do fishless cycling). Once you have the two successive 24 hour periods of 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, your nitrate readings will be off the charts and not healthy for fish. I then do a 100% water change (including any water that's in the filters as it's also at Chernobyl like nitrate levels) and then add my fish.
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Cycle problem 3 months 1 day ago #71841

  • beretta96
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madhatter6907 wrote:
...I have done an 80% wc twice hoping to get rid of the nitrites and complete the cycle but every day my nitrites are still off the charts....

By removing the water that contains the nitrites, you're removing the "food" source for the beneficial bacteria that "eats" the nitrite. Without that food source, you'll not be able to grow the colony to handle the nitrite load being placed upon the tank.....thus taking longer to build the needed bacterial colony and lengthening the time for your tank to fully cycle.

In my opinion, as a general rule, if you're doing a fishless cycle, water changes are unnecessary.
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Cycle problem 3 months 1 day ago #71842

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Ok, so I will leave it alone then. I was thinking that once I had nitrate readings that my nitrite reading should have been minimal. I am still new to all this, lol. Trying to do everything the right way so my fish are as healthy and happy as possible
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Cycle problem 3 months 1 day ago #71843

  • beretta96
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madhatter6907 wrote:
....I am still new to all this, lol. Trying to do everything the right way so my fish are as healthy and happy as possible

It sounds like you are....keep plugging away and asking questions, you'll have all of this down in no time!!
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