Cycle Stalled?

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
Wondering if high nitrites stalled my cycle. They have been at least 2 for 10 days and have not moved. Salifert is telling me my ammonia is at about .15 for the last week, but API and red sea both are showing at least 2. No movement and I also added a bunch of bacteria to my tank. Tank is kept at 79 degrees.
 
Lazys Coral House

RandyC

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
632
Reaction score
969
Location
Bay Area, California
The time for nitrobacter (bacteria responsible for converting nitrites to nitrates) takes 2.5x the amount of time than nitrosomonas to double their numbers in optimal conditions (7 hours vs 15-20 hours). So getting rid of nitrites just seems to have "stalled" the cycle, but it's just that that particular bacteria takes longer to replicate. Be patient is good advice.

Source: http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
The time for nitrobacter (bacteria responsible for converting nitrites to nitrates) takes 2.5x the amount of time than nitrosomonas to double their numbers in optimal conditions (7 hours vs 15-20 hours). So getting rid of nitrites just seems to have "stalled" the cycle, but it's just that that particular bacteria takes longer to replicate. Be patient is good advice.

Source: http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html
Yeah I heard nitrites take much longer, but what is also weird is my nitrates are at least 160ppm. So that means they're being converted but nitrites are still super high, which I don't understand. Also is nitrosomos the bacteria that turns ammonia into nitrites?
 

RandyC

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
632
Reaction score
969
Location
Bay Area, California
Yeah I heard nitrites take much longer, but what is also weird is my nitrates are at least 160ppm. So that means they're being converted but nitrites are still super high, which I don't understand. Also is nitrosomos the bacteria that turns ammonia into nitrites?


Yes, nitrosomonas convert ammonia to nitrites. It could be that the nitrobacter are present, but are not in sufficient numbers yet to process all the nitrites in the water in a timely manner.

Are you continuing to provide some source of ammonia?
 
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
Yes, nitrosomonas convert ammonia to nitrites. It could be that the nitrobacter are present, but are not in sufficient numbers yet to process all the nitrites in the water in a timely manner.

Are you continuing to provide some source of ammonia?
Yes fritz ammonium chloride
 

RandyC

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
632
Reaction score
969
Location
Bay Area, California
Yes fritz ammonium chloride

I'd prolly stop adding the ammonium chloride for now. You have plenty to get the cycle going. Wait until all the ammonia is processed to nitrates. If you want to confirm cycle is complete after everything is processed to nitrates, dose ammonium chloride to 2ppm. Bacteria should be able to process that amount to nitrates in under 24 hours (usually under 18 hours actually).
 
Last edited:

lapin

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
7,469
Reaction score
14,712
Location
Austin
After 2 weeks dosing ammonia, you have plenty of food in your tank for the growth of bacteria. You are dosing it, so expect to see it in your testing. You should stop dosing it. Let your Nitrite go to "0". Once it does, that follow Randy advice above. Ammonia to nitrite to nitrate in 24 hours.
 
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
After 2 weeks dosing ammonia, you have plenty of food in your tank for the growth of bacteria. You are dosing it, so expect to see it in your testing. You should stop dosing it. Let your Nitrite go to "0". Once it does, that follow Randy advice above. Ammonia to nitrite to nitrate in 24 hours.
I stopped dosing 4 or 5 days ago. Still my ammonia is not dropping according to red sea, just tested again today and it's still at 2. Not dropping at all, something has to be wrong.
 
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
I'd prolly stop adding the ammonium chloride for now. You have plenty to get the cycle going. Wait until all the ammonia is processed to nitrates. If you want to confirm cycle is complete after everything is processed to nitrates, dose ammonium chloride to 2ppm. Bacteria should be able to process that amount to nitrates in under 24 hours (usually under 18 hours actually).
Don't you agree though, the ammonia should be dropping at this point. Been at 2 ppm for 4-5 days with no drop. That can't be normal with all the bacteria/matrix I have in this tank.
 

deadhead_45yrs

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
9
Location
Ranchos De Taos
I am a newbie but have been going through this same process. The Dr. Tim's page also says that the cycle can stall if the ammonia level gets above 5 ppm. Since the Red Sea Kit only reads to 2 ppm max you may need to do a water change and see if that drops the ammonia and raises your pH.
 
Maxout
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
I am a newbie but have been going through this same process. The Dr. Tim's page also says that the cycle can stall if the ammonia level gets above 5 ppm. Since the Red Sea Kit only reads to 2 ppm max you may need to do a water change and see if that drops the ammonia and raises your pH.
Yeah I've read that high ammonia can stall, but at one point my ammonia was 8 and it dropped to 2
 
OP
K

Kasey Grohowski

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
382
BTW - I had the same problem with a Salifert test kit (reading a low ammonia level for weeks). There may be a bad batch out there. Expiration on mine is 06-2020 got it from BRS.
Yeah I think I got mine from amazon, anyway I would just use the API, same results as red sea and also cheaper and easier to use
 

RandyC

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
632
Reaction score
969
Location
Bay Area, California
Don't you agree though, the ammonia should be dropping at this point. Been at 2 ppm for 4-5 days with no drop. That can't be normal with all the bacteria/matrix I have in this tank.

Nothing is odd to me in this hobby. If you're concerned that ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates are too high and stalling your cycle, nothing bad will happen from a 50% WC. I've done a WC in the past when my nitrites shoot above 5ppm during a cycle. Whether it helped moved the cycle forward or not, who knows, but it definitely didn't harm it.
 
Fritz

Are you currently running a reactor and media on your reef tank?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 152 38.6%
  • NO but I run media from time to time

    Votes: 121 30.7%
  • NO I don't use filter media

    Votes: 111 28.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 2.5%

Online statistics

Members online
1,786
Guests online
5,760
Total visitors
7,546
Legendary
Top