Did I stall, whats the next steps?

Van Eternal

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
10
Location
London
Hi reefers,
Im on day 17 of my cycle, I did the fishless cycle using Dr Tims. It took 15 days to ammonia drop to 0, however thats not my concern. I've started noticing nitrite levels increase since day 3 and they have been steadily increasing and ammonia slowly decreasing as expected, but as of now my nitrites are very close to 8ppm(which is presumably high) and been around 8ppm for couple of days now, ammonia is 0 and nitrates is off the charts, but it could be giving a false reading due to nitrites being present. Therefore, do you think I should do a water change, or leave it until the nitrites decrease by itself below one and then perform water changes? There's also signs of diatoms on the sand and dry rock, which was probably triggered by the sunlight as it only appeared on one side of the tank which gets little sunlight.

Whats your thoughts on this?
 
RAP Orlando

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
1,376
Reaction score
1,305
Location
Chicago
Hi reefers,
Im on day 17 of my cycle, I did the fishless cycle using Dr Tims. It took 15 days to ammonia drop to 0, however thats not my concern. I've started noticing nitrite levels increase since day 3 and they have been steadily increasing and ammonia slowly decreasing as expected, but as of now my nitrites are very close to 8ppm(which is presumably high) and been around 8ppm for couple of days now, ammonia is 0 and nitrates is off the charts, but it could be giving a false reading due to nitrites being present. Therefore, do you think I should do a water change, or leave it until the nitrites decrease by itself below one and then perform water changes? There's also signs of diatoms on the sand and dry rock, which was probably triggered by the sunlight as it only appeared on one side of the tank which gets little sunlight.

Whats your thoughts on this?
Nitritie oxidizers grow more slowly than ammonia oxidizers, so this is probably just time for you to wait for nitrites to decrease. You can do a water change to lower nitrites to at most 5ppm, as according to Dr. Tim 5ppm nitrite can inhibit nitrification.

Then again for my most recent aquarium nitrite rose to 12ppm and it was still processed. I did use FritzZyme Turbo Start 900 though, so may be different species/strains of nitrifiers.

By the way though, nitrite has to be very high to be toxic to marine fish. Like probably a lot higher than 8ppm. So even now that nitrite level is actually okay for marine fish.

Personally though, I like to know my nitrifiers can fully process nitrite before calling the cycle done. Peace of mind effectively.
 
OP
V

Van Eternal

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
10
Location
London
Nitritie oxidizers grow more slowly than ammonia oxidizers, so this is probably just time for you to wait for nitrites to decrease. You can do a water change to lower nitrites to at most 5ppm, as according to Dr. Tim 5ppm nitrite can inhibit nitrification.

Then again for my most recent aquarium nitrite rose to 12ppm and it was still processed. I did use FritzZyme Turbo Start 900 though, so may be different species/strains of nitrifiers.

By the way though, nitrite has to be very high to be toxic to marine fish. Like probably a lot higher than 8ppm. So even now that nitrite level is actually okay for marine fish.

Personally though, I like to know my nitrifiers can fully process nitrite before calling the cycle done. Peace of mind effectively.
Great ,/)thanks for the reply. Do you think i should add ammonia to feed the bacteria ? Even though the nitrites are high? Or wait for nitrites to decrease and then see if the ammonia will be processed?
 

Unthinkable

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
84
Reaction score
95
Location
St. Louis
I'd recommend a heavy dose of patience. It took 5 weeks for my 120G tank to cycle. Wait for Nitrites to read zero and do a large water change. You might be able to lessen your cycle time, but why rush it? It's free to wait. It will cost money and effort to try to save a week or 2. I'd recommend setting up a QT tank while you wait and be ready for when you are ready to buy fish. Diatoms are fine and will starve themselves out as they consume all the silicates from your rock/sand.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
1,376
Reaction score
1,305
Location
Chicago
Great ,/)thanks for the reply. Do you think i should add ammonia to feed the bacteria ? Even though the nitrites are high? Or wait for nitrites to decrease and then see if the ammonia will be processed?
Wait for nitrite to be processed first, and then once nitrite is low enough then dose ammonia.
 
OP
V

Van Eternal

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
10
Location
London
Hi ,
Quick update the nitrites sre still reading high around 8 ppm, not adding any ammonia. But considering a 30%wc. Since the ammonia has been 0 for about 10 days, do you think the bacteria could starve or even die ?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
18,083
Reaction score
14,822
Location
tejas
No it cannot starve or die your cycle is done, youve exceeded the time on the label of the bottle of bac

Nitrite has no factor at all in your start date it used to matter, but no longer does and cannot harm any aspect of a cycle even though Dr Tim says it can on videos.


it cannot. We have hundreds of nitrite-positive reef start threads available for tracking with several months later updates too, that’s the source for our findings.
like Cell said above can begin


another source for claims
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
18,083
Reaction score
14,822
Location
tejas
Your cycle was done ten days after you added the bac, when ammonia first dropped. You paid for that ability and have now waited long enough you’d be equally cycled if you’d dosed nothing and simply waited for a free, unassisted natural cycle.

this is why cycles can never ever starve one set, we can cycle a tank just by adding water and letting nature get in if we wait this long, see any cycling chart. Those are from eighty years ago before we had bottles of bac to sell. A cycling chart is a time duration reference chart and its reliable

on the chart, what day does ammonia drop :) you have good test kits too it seems...your ammonia trending matches any cycling chart and we don’t care about the other two params.
 
Last edited:
AS
OP
V

Van Eternal

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
10
Location
London
To be fair my lfs confused me alot. As they told me to wait for nitrites to drop to 0.5 ppm , so therefore i waited. As was told that a fish going from a 0 ppm to an 5 ppm nitrite tank can struggle to adapt and might not survive.

@brandon429 so your saying that the cycle was completed after ammonia dropped, even though the nitrites are high and I shouldnt worry about them ?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
18,083
Reaction score
14,822
Location
tejas
Yes. The lfs is following common rules


they mean well. Web forum nerds generate the new rules though lol and that takes time to trickle down. Here’s one of the study threads, click on a any nitrite positive link here and message the keeper asking them if we got the call right or wrong:

 

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
1,376
Reaction score
1,305
Location
Chicago
Hi ,
Quick update the nitrites sre still reading high around 8 ppm, not adding any ammonia. But considering a 30%wc. Since the ammonia has been 0 for about 10 days, do you think the bacteria could starve or even die ?
Very unlikely, ammonia oxidizers can go for a very long time ammonia-starved. Of course it varies between species, but generally it seems to be weeks or months, not 10 days.

Here's one study on one species: https://aem.asm.org/content/aem/71/3/1276.full.pdf

After ten days of ammonia starvation, Nitrosospira briensis returned to 100% immediately after addition of ammonia.
To be fair my lfs confused me alot. As they told me to wait for nitrites to drop to 0.5 ppm , so therefore i waited. As was told that a fish going from a 0 ppm to an 5 ppm nitrite tank can struggle to adapt and might not survive.

@brandon429 so your saying that the cycle was completed after ammonia dropped, even though the nitrites are high and I shouldnt worry about them ?
Your LFS is incorrect, nitrite needs to be very high to be toxic to marine fish: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php. Even going from a 0 to 5ppm nitrite environment, it is highly doubtful that the fish would ever struggle to 'adapt' because well, what are they even adapting to? It's not like they are going into a different environment where the change in parameters normall would actually affect them short term.

As for the cycle, yes you can consider it done once ammonia dropped to 0. It is my personal opinion that nitrite should also drop to 0, and then both ammonia and nitrite needs to be able to read 0 every time after adding 2ppm ammonia. However that is my personal view on cycling, and it does take longer than others. While nitrite should be non-toxic at low levels, 1. we don't really know the long term effects, and 2. If the tank is not cycled I just worry nitrite can reach high enough levels to actually start being toxic. Both cases seem to be unlikely, but I personally just like to be sure.

My recommendation is to choose one of the two school of thoughts and stick with it. Either way has other processes involved and will reach an end goal, just different ways of approaching the same problem.
 
OP
V

Van Eternal

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
10
Location
London
Very unlikely, ammonia oxidizers can go for a very long time ammonia-starved. Of course it varies between species, but generally it seems to be weeks or months, not 10 days.

Here's one study on one species: https://aem.asm.org/content/aem/71/3/1276.full.pdf

After ten days of ammonia starvation, Nitrosospira briensis returned to 100% immediately after addition of ammonia.

Your LFS is incorrect, nitrite needs to be very high to be toxic to marine fish: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php. Even going from a 0 to 5ppm nitrite environment, it is highly doubtful that the fish would ever struggle to 'adapt' because well, what are they even adapting to? It's not like they are going into a different environment where the change in parameters normall would actually affect them short term.

As for the cycle, yes you can consider it done once ammonia dropped to 0. It is my personal opinion that nitrite should also drop to 0, and then both ammonia and nitrite needs to be able to read 0 every time after adding 2ppm ammonia. However that is my personal view on cycling, and it does take longer than others. While nitrite should be non-toxic at low levels, 1. we don't really know the long term effects, and 2. If the tank is not cycled I just worry nitrite can reach high enough levels to actually start being toxic. Both cases seem to be unlikely, but I personally just like to be sure.

My recommendation is to choose one of the two school of thoughts and stick with it. Either way has other processes involved and will reach an end goal, just different ways of approaching the same problem.
Thanks for the reply :) I got the same mindset as you , i think i'll wait for the nitrite to drop to 0 before i add any live stock for the peace of mind as it reasures me that the cycle is fully completed. Probably a habit from keeping tropical fishes for many years.
 

Azedenkae

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
1,376
Reaction score
1,305
Location
Chicago
Thanks for the reply :) I got the same mindset as you , i think i'll wait for the nitrite to drop to 0 before i add any live stock for the peace of mind as it reasures me that the cycle is fully completed. Probably a habit from keeping tropical fishes for many years.
No probs. ^_^ And yeah, I totally get ya.

If you want to, you can do the 30% water change to bring nitrite down below 5ppm. It won't harm anything, so that's cool. ^_^
 
Zoanthids

How important is sand sifting or sand stirring livestock to your reef tank?

  • Very important

    Votes: 150 49.2%
  • Somewhat important

    Votes: 89 29.2%
  • Not important

    Votes: 35 11.5%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 26 8.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 1.6%
Reef Brite the professionals choice
Top