High Nitrites After Cycle

Schraufabagel

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I just finished cycling my rock in a trash can. It's been about 3 weeks since I started. The nitrites were sitting at 5 ppm and my Nitrates were at about 20 ppm. I've been doing 25% water changes trying to reduce those. However, each time it still says 5 ppm and 20 ppm for each. If the nitrite was really high and still converting to nitrate, then I would see nitrates rising (which it's not; been stuck at 20). So I just did a 60% water change today and the nitrites are still at 5 ppm.

I'm using the API test kit, so I'm not sure if it's just cause they suck. I'm wondering what I should do next though? The rock is cycled since the ammonia level hit 0 before I did my first water change (following the Dr. Tim's schedule for ammonia chloride dosing). I just want the nitrites to be 0 and nitrates to be lower by the first week of June. That's when I am moving and will be moving the cycled rock to my new tank. I suppose it's not a huge problem (since I could just do a 100% water change and move the cycled rock and sand in). But it would be nice to save some of the water if I can.

Also, I did make sure my RODI water was 0 TDS prior. Salinity was mixed to 1.025 (34 ppm)
 
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BlennyTime

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If you have a LFS nearby, you could take some water to them to test. They should do it for free or for a few dollars.
 

fachatga

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I don’t think nitrate tests are accurate if you have nitrites present. If you are testing right after a 60% water change and nothing changes I would first think the tests are not accurate.
 
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Schraufabagel

Schraufabagel

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I don’t think nitrate tests are accurate if you have nitrites present. If you are testing right after a 60% water change and nothing changes I would first think the tests are not accurate.
Ok, I'll wait another day or two and test for Nitrites again
 

Azedenkae

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I just finished cycling my rock in a trash can. It's been about 3 weeks since I started. The nitrites were sitting at 5 ppm and my Nitrates were at about 20 ppm. I've been doing 25% water changes trying to reduce those. However, each time it still says 5 ppm and 20 ppm for each. If the nitrite was really high and still converting to nitrate, then I would see nitrates rising (which it's not; been stuck at 20). So I just did a 60% water change today and the nitrites are still at 5 ppm.

I'm using the API test kit, so I'm not sure if it's just cause they suck. I'm wondering what I should do next though? The rock is cycled since the ammonia level hit 0 before I did my first water change (following the Dr. Tim's schedule for ammonia chloride dosing). I just want the nitrites to be 0 and nitrates to be lower by the first week of June. That's when I am moving and will be moving the cycled rock to my new tank. I suppose it's not a huge problem (since I could just do a 100% water change and move the cycled rock and sand in). But it would be nice to save some of the water if I can.

Also, I did make sure my RODI water was 0 TDS prior. Salinity was mixed to 1.025 (34 ppm)
Don't forget that 25% is not much when considering whether something is readable for nitrate. If we presume it actually reads 20ppm, it could be maybe a few ppm less than that to quite a bit higher given the next color is for 40ppm. So if you were at 30ppm and that read as 20ppm-ish, after 2 water changes it'd still be around 17ppm.

But as others said, it's probably not so relevant here, given that you have nitrite present, and nitrite affects the nitrate test.

Anyways, for marine aquariums there are essentially two ways to look at nitrite during cycling - either you want to be absolutely sure all nitrite produced is oxidized, i.e. needs it to be kept at 0, or you believe it'd probably never reach high enough levels during the cycle to be of concern and some people then don't even measure nitrite.

This is because nitrite needs to reach very high levels to be toxic enough to marine fish to kill them: Nitrite and the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

So yeah, a lot of people straight up just don't care about nitrites. One study found that nitrite needs to reach 25ppm to even potentially cause *some* harm to clownfish (ocellaris in particular). So yeah.

You can opt to not fret and just call the cycle done, if you feel comfortable with that.
 
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Schraufabagel

Schraufabagel

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Don't forget that 25% is not much when considering whether something is readable for nitrate. If we presume it actually reads 20ppm, it could be maybe a few ppm less than that to quite a bit higher given the next color is for 40ppm. So if you were at 30ppm and that read as 20ppm-ish, after 2 water changes it'd still be around 17ppm.

But as others said, it's probably not so relevant here, given that you have nitrite present, and nitrite affects the nitrate test.

Anyways, for marine aquariums there are essentially two ways to look at nitrite during cycling - either you want to be absolutely sure all nitrite produced is oxidized, i.e. needs it to be kept at 0, or you believe it'd probably never reach high enough levels during the cycle to be of concern and some people then don't even measure nitrite.

This is because nitrite needs to reach very high levels to be toxic enough to marine fish to kill them: Nitrite and the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

So yeah, a lot of people straight up just don't care about nitrites. One study found that nitrite needs to reach 25ppm to even potentially cause *some* harm to clownfish (ocellaris in particular). So yeah.

You can opt to not fret and just call the cycle done, if you feel comfortable with that.
Awesome. I’ll wait to see if it resolves itself after a few days. I’m hoping the 60% water change helped. If needed, I’ll just replace most of the water once I move
 

brandon429

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This cycle is done and requires no further testing, see this thread:


summary: only ammonia control matters


not nitrite, ever, in any reef


and not nitrate that’s for color tuning in corals
 
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Schraufabagel

Schraufabagel

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This cycle is done and requires no further testing, see this thread:


summary: only ammonia control matters


not nitrite, ever, in any reef


and not nitrate that’s for color tuning in corals
Cool. Thank you!!
 

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