Cycle question, ammonia and nitrate but no nitrites?

yanni

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Hey everyone!

I set up my waterbox 20 a few days ago, and added dr tims ammonia and one n only to start the cycle. I dosed ammonia to 4ppm, and have been testing daily. I'll attach a screenshot of my excel spreadsheet with test results. I've been recording ammonia and nitrates from day 2, but very minimal nitrate. nitrite showed up, but has yet to show up again. upon today's testing, it showed up as 0.05ppm, but it was extremely hard to read the colour, (using Red Sea test kits).

My filtration consists of a filter sock, that I've removed as I've added bacteria for 48hrs, two sponges, one bag of activated carbon, and one bag of black media balls that came with the tank.

Is it weird I'm not reading any, to extremely low nitrite. I know it's early on in the cycle, but I want to make sure I triple check everything.

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taricha

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Is it weird I'm not reading any, to extremely low nitrite. I know it's early on in the cycle, but I want to make sure I triple check everything.
ammonia is going down, NO3 is going up, and some amount of NO2 was detected.
These are sufficient signs that things are moving correctly.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I agree. Also, the nitrate may be false high due to the presence of the levels of nitrite recorded, assuming they are accurate.

Just keep monitoring the ammonia. :)
 
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yanni

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I agree. Also, the nitrate may be false high due to the presence of the levels of nitrite recorded, assuming they are accurate.

Just keep monitoring the ammonia. :)
beautiful, thank you so much. just to clarify, I'm looking for the big drop in ammonia, and ultra high nitrates to signal the cycle is complete?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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beautiful, thank you so much. just to clarify, I'm looking for the big drop in ammonia, and ultra high nitrates to signal the cycle is complete?

Look for the drop in ammonia. Nothing else really matters for cycle monitoring.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Then big water change after ammonia drop?

Not necessarily. Depends on how high the nitrate is. If you add ammonia several times, nitrate
can be significant and worth lowering.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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So instead, just see how high nitrates are for whether or not I water change?

I would, and if using that approach, you must be sure no nitrites are present or the nitrate may read way false high.
0.1 ppm nitrite can read as 10 ppm nitrate.
 
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yanni

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I would, and if using that approach, you must be sure no nitrites are present or the nitrate may read way false high.
0.1 ppm nitrite can read as 10 ppm nitrate.
Oooh wow I didn’t know that. Thanks for the explanations mate, really helped me out in this stressful time
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Oooh wow I didn’t know that. Thanks for the explanations mate, really helped me out in this stressful time

You're welcome.

The reason that happens is that a nitrate kit works by converting a small fraction of the nitrate to nitrite, then chemically detecting the nitrite (nitrate is hard to quantify directly), and then multiplying back up to get the final value. if there is nitrite there at the start, it all gets detected too, and also gets multiplied up.
 

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