Cycling question- Nitrites not dropping.

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by dino_aus, May 16, 2018.

  1. dino_aus

    dino_aus New Member

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    Hi all,

    just a quick question about my 120L tank I am cycling with Live Rock. It has been cycling for 35 days now and I seem to have some issues with My nitrites not dropping. The most recent test I did showed the below. Just wondering if I should give it a bit more time for the nitrites to dissapear or look to do a water change? All other parameters seem fine.

    Ammonia- 0.25 mg/L
    Nitrites- 4ppm mg/L
    Nitrates - 30ppm mg/L

    Thanks
     
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  2. RobZilla04

    RobZilla04 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You can try a water change. There are products (Niteout comes to mind) which claim to help reduce nitrites, although I'd stick with a natural water change first. Which test kit are you using? Occasionally, especially the API kit, will show color on the nitrite test kit which are really just elevated nitrates (+20ppm).
     
  3. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Hey @dino_aus ! #WelcometoR2R !

    I believe your results are expected at this time and you can continue on. While you still have ammonia present, it will continue to convert to Nitrite. Are you dosing Ammonia often as part of your tank cycle?

    General rule of thumb is that your tank should be able to process 1ppm ammonia in 24 hours or less after dosing it. Typically, Nirtite will also be 0 when your tank is able to process this quickly. Once you get to the point that ammonia is not present and the tank can handle 1ppm in 24 hours, you can begin slowly adding livestock. I'd suggest 1 fish at first for a few weeks and then another.
     
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  4. dino_aus

    dino_aus New Member

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    Thanks for the replies,

    I am putting in fish food every other day but that is all I am putting in. I might just give it a Bit more time and see how it goes. It's my first saltwater tank so want to make sure it's cycled properly before adding any fish.
     
  5. recess62

    recess62 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member

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    Give it time. Took my 90 6 weeks for its cycle to complete. Hang in there
     
  6. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    A good quality live bacteria might be worthwhile if you haven't already added one. Not required though.
     
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  7. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Valuable Member

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    Agreed. I would chuck the API kit in favor of something like Salifert or Red Sea. Among my list of complaints: The occasional false positive for ammonia, nitrate color chart where you can't tell the difference between 10-20, 40-80, caps on the vials that don't seal properly and leak all over the place when you shake them, skinny vials that are a pain to clean out properly, no syringe included to measure test sample, the 5mL mark on the vials isn't actually 5mL, and the fact that the color chart is on the back of the instruction manual and not at all water proof (which in light of the aforementioned leaky caps is a real problem).
     
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  8. Cody @ChaosAq

    Cody @ChaosAq Member

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    I would be a little cautious as to adding in fish food when there is not any fish in the tank yet. I agree with some of the other members in that you should definitely be doing some water changes and possibly adding nite-out which I used religiously for a while.
    The issue with adding the fish food is that it will rot in the tank and continue to jack up your nitrates. It sounds like you are on the right track for now though! Keep us posted on your levels when you get the chance!
     
  9. PatW

    PatW Well-Known Member

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    You are getting significant nitrates so you are well on your way. You really are not done cycling until both ammonia and nitrites are 0. The API test can give a low reading of ammonia even when it is zero. So if you are using API, you might want to confirm the result by taking a sample to your LFS.

    As said before, a robust system should be able to convert 1 ppm of ammonia to 0 and 0 nitrites and just nitrates left in 24 hours.
     
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  10. dino_aus

    dino_aus New Member

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    Hi all thanks for all the replies very much appreciated. Time did the trick and over the weekend my Nitrites dropped to 0 and my test kit was still showing slight ammonia so i bought a different brand and it showed 0. I then did a 60% water change to bring down the Nitrates and yesterday added two clown fish and a hammer coral and all seem to be going well.
     
  11. 00Barracuda00

    00Barracuda00 Member

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    This is really helfpul and you kept me from making another thread. So I take it that all test kits are not created equally?? I've done months of homework into gear and accessories for a new tank, but I haven't given much thought to testing equipment....
     
  12. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I know I'm a rarity that way, but I really like the API test kits for what they are. Cheap and easy. For cycling, exact values aren't very important. Either ammonia is 0ppm or it isn't. The only caveat there is that an API test of 0.25ppm should be treated like a 0ppm reading. Nitrites are easy to tell if they are a non zero reading.

    Also keep in mind that if you have any nitrites in your system, the nitrates will read higher than they actually are. That is true of any test kit.
     
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