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 Post subject: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 07:05 
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Hi All-

The ammonia level in my system has gone from 4 ppm to .25 ppm in the last week and my nitrite test is still at 0ppm. System has been cycling for almost 2 weeks now.

What level should I get the amm level back up to? (I've heard 2ppm and as high as 5 ppm)

Does anyone have a guess as to why the ammonia might be dropping this quickly if there are no nitrites/nitrates? (Haven't had to do any significant water changes)

Also-I know every system is different- but what is the ballpark range for when I should start seeing nitrites (if there is one)?

Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 08:02 
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I've cycled a system without even seeing Nitrites (N02).

The absence of Nitrates (N03) suggests you have plants in the system already... or some algae at least, is that correct?

If you want to add some more Ammonia to test if the system is cycled, there is no minimum... 1.0ppm would be more than sufficient.

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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 08:53 
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I have no nitrates yet (because my system hasn't fully cycled) and no plants in the system. I was going to wait until I get my system cycled before I put in plants and fish.


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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 09:00 
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Plants can go in from day one. Just add 30-45ml of Seasol or Maxicrop per 1000L, per week, until the fish go in.

Your Amm is dissipating but you have no Nitrates and no plants?... is there any algae growing in the system?... it doesn't take much and it will suck up a lot of Nitrate.

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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 09:17 
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No algae, that I can see. The ammonia dropping with no obvious cause is what has me concerned/interested.

Also, my PH right now is sitting at around 8.4 but is holding steady. Will that dropping once my system is cycled? Also, will the plants be ok with that?( I'm thinking of planting broccoli, strawberries, pumpkin, tomato, and lettuce if that helps). Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '14, 09:35 
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I've had a system initially run at that pH for months with good plant growth. Once the system is cycled and the fish are in the pH should begin to drop naturally at some point. You can speed this process up by treating any top-up water with Hydrochloric acid to a pH of 6.0 (and maintaining it there) the day before adding it into the main system.

As you don't have any fish on the system yet you could try adding small amounts of Hydrochloric acid directly into the main system on a regular basis to get a head start on consuming some of the carbonates... not too much though, only drop the pH by a few points each time. It will bounce back within a few hours, then add some more. If you get it to the point where it's coming down and staying down, then I wouldn't drop it below 7.5, the bacteria prefer a higher pH.

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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 19th, '14, 02:15 
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Tests this morning had the following results:

Ph: 8.4
Am: 0.5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm

Should I be concerned that I'm getting nitrates without nitrites?

Above mr. Damage said he cycled without seeing any nitrites, but something seems off with that happening in mine. I also still have ammonia in the system. Should I just wait a few days and see what happens?


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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 21st, '14, 13:07 
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Nitrites are consumes almost instantly. If you get a nitrite reading, your cycle is breaking down or becoming overwhelmed.


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 Post subject: Re: Help With Cycling
PostPosted: Sep 22nd, '14, 11:20 
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Ok great- Thanks for the help


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