High Nitrites during cycle

Swagdas

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Hey everyone, cycling my first tank (20 gallon nano cube). First of all want to say I’m grateful for any feedback I get. I know this is prob a common question and I have looked through the threads but wanted to just asked based on my parameters.

I used dr Tim’s one and only and dr Tim’s ammonia chloride and I just wasn’t thinking and added a little too much ammonia not accounting for sand and rock. I did multiple water changes and got the ammonia under control. I’m seeing my ammonia go down close to .2 but nitrites are still above 1ppm.

My main questions are do I do another 33-50% water change? Also do I need to add ammonia to keep ammonia consuming bacteria alive because it seems like ammonia is quickly approaching zero while nitrites are high.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Your cycle is ready, bottle bac are this good. It doesn’t matter if you change water or not, the bac has the cycle controlled.
We can tell by the lowering of ammonia

nitrites dont factor in updated cycling rules whatsoever, factor only the ammonia performance.


though you might be told by others nitrite matters and they link you studies from fish production facilities on toxicity, those aren’t reef tanks. No reef tank display cycle will be affected by nitrite, it’s why all the working examples of fear are not using reef tank examples, they have so much surface area there is not any concern. No reef tank on the Internet past or future has nitrite problems they’re all just various degrees of testing accuracy issues.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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None of that info matches anything the cycling scientists have put out lol admitted. But then again they didn’t give us any permission to make pico reefs either, in fact all of them but Eric Borneman said pico reefs couldn’t work.


so web bio hackers can still get it right occasionally even though everything they post is anecdote


there are now two million anecdotal pico reefs running :)

at last count we are up to twenty or so nitrite-positive starts here just the same:



and by 2030 I bet we are up to two mil nitrite positive starts
 

Azedenkae

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I used dr Tim’s one and only and dr Tim’s ammonia chloride and I just wasn’t thinking and added a little too much ammonia not accounting for sand and rock. I did multiple water changes and got the ammonia under control. I’m seeing my ammonia go down close to .2 but nitrites are still above 1ppm.
Just a quick question - so you did water changes to reduce ammonia concentrations to a low enough level, but then the subsequent decrease in ammonia is through nitrification right?
 

Rob.bucek

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I agree with @brandon429 , nitrites aren't deadly in saltwater like they are in freshwater. Most test kits have more than 1ppm range of error anyhow. In cycling all you really need to watch for is your ammonia levels. Processed ammonia will turn into nitrates. Manage these levels through water changes in the beginning as needed.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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What I found neat was Jon Malkersons measure of how quickly out of the gate Dr Tims lowered ammonia it was truly active out of the bottle


most posters are waiting many days longer than Jon showed it takes for the action mechanism to kick in, really most of these bacteria will skip cycle given the dilution and low practical bioload of a couple clownfish, the most common arrangement.


it’s not actually burning or harming the fish to bottle bac skip cycle, that’s tested on seneye it’s safe if the bottles weren’t killed in shipping again pretty rare occurrence.
 
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Swagdas

Swagdas

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Just a quick question - so you did water changes to reduce ammonia concentrations to a low enough level, but then the subsequent decrease in ammonia is through nitrification right?
That is correct checked the day after dosing and was way higher than 2ppm, did a 50% change. Checked and saw that they were still well above 2 the day after and did a 33% change after that they were still well above two but now decreasing now to almost no ammonia. I am at day 14 of the cycle and noticed the ammonia decreasing on its own on day 10. I did test for nitrates and they are present so I know at least some of the nitrites are being converted.
 

Azedenkae

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That is correct checked the day after dosing and was way higher than 2ppm, did a 50% change. Checked and saw that they were still well above 2 the day after and did a 33% change after that they were still well above two but now decreasing now to almost no ammonia. I am at day 14 of the cycle and noticed the ammonia decreasing on its own on day 10. I did test for nitrates and they are present so I know at least some of the nitrites are being converted.
Oh sweet then. ^_^

Yeah just wanted to confirm that it is the nitrifiers are handling the ammonia.

Are you following Dr. Tim's guide? If so I'd suggest keep on following it. No more water changes needed, and when you dose ammonia, try dosing less than the recommended amount and see how much ammonia is read. Then dose more as appropriate to get to 2ppm.

While nitrite indeed is non-toxic to marine fish even at what we consider high levels, at least in the short term, well the other consideration is ammonia. I subscribe to the idea that the nitrifiers should be able to handle 2ppm ammonia a day. If the microbes are capable of that, then you'd be safe to stock as you wish (until you reach max bioload), rather than having to carefully add one fish at a time and hoping additional fish don't break the system.
 
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Swagdas

Swagdas

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Oh sweet then. ^_^

Yeah just wanted to confirm that it is the nitrifiers are handling the ammonia.

Are you following Dr. Tim's guide? If so I'd suggest keep on following it. No more water changes needed, and when you dose ammonia, try dosing less than the recommended amount and see how much ammonia is read. Then dose more as appropriate to get to 2ppm.

While nitrite indeed is non-toxic to marine fish even at what we consider high levels, at least in the short term, well the other consideration is ammonia. I subscribe to the idea that the nitrifiers should be able to handle 2ppm ammonia a day. If the microbes are capable of that, then you'd be safe to stock as you wish (until you reach max bioload), rather than having to carefully add one fish at a time and hoping additional fish don't break the system.
Thanks for the guidance. I am following the the Dr Tim’s guide. I will dose a little more ammonia to see how the nitrifiers react since I am reading very close to 0 at this point. The plan is to add a pair of clowns at that point. I do not planning anything else for at least a couple weeks to month after that and that will be clean up crew.
 
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Swagdas

Swagdas

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A little bit of update and question. I added ammonia to 2ppm and was down to 0 when i checked after about 30 hours. Nitrites still above 1ppm and Nitrates rising. I’m on board with concept of Nitrites not being marine fish especially after doing some more research and reading this article:


I do have a question, I bought two clowns that are being quarantined at my LFS. Will prob not be available until next week. Should I continue to dose ammonia to keep the nitrifying bacteria alive?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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You can't starve bacteria in a cycle in an open topped home reef. We cycle complete tanks in sixty days adding nothing, merely the wait alone cycles the system from natural inputs and these same inputs prevent starvation


Dr Reef was able to stall cycling bac by not feeding them initially in a sealed experiment jar but the standard cycle is fed and open topped and that will self-feed in a home setting.
 
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Azedenkae

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A little bit of update and question. I added ammonia to 2ppm and was down to 0 when i checked after about 30 hours. Nitrites still above 1ppm and Nitrates rising. I’m on board with concept of Nitrites not being marine fish especially after doing some more research and reading this article:


I do have a question, I bought two clowns that are being quarantined at my LFS. Will prob not be available until next week. Should I continue to dose ammonia to keep the nitrifying bacteria alive?
If it's a week, dosing ammonia is not necessary. It's only more so if you're gonna have to leave it empty for a month or more. There's a lot of research on this and the general consensus on how long nitrifiers can go ammonia-starved is 'it depends', but basically pretty much all agree a week of ammonia starvation is perfectly fine.

If you want to be super sure, you can dose 2ppm two days or so before you get your fish and make sure the ammonia is consumed, just to confirm the nitrification capability is still there.
 
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Swagdas

Swagdas

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You can't starve bacteria in a cycle in an open topped home reef. We cycle complete tanks in sixty days adding nothing, merely the wait alone cycles the system from natural inputs and these same inputs prevent starvation


Dr Reef was able to stall cycling bac by not feeding them initially in a sealed experiment jar but the standard cycle is fed and open topped and that will self-feed in a home setting.
Thanks, appreciate the advice!
 
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Swagdas

Swagdas

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If it's a week, dosing ammonia is not necessary. It's only more so if you're gonna have to leave it empty for a month or more. There's a lot of research on this and the general consensus on how long nitrifiers can go ammonia-starved is 'it depends', but basically pretty much all agree a week of ammonia starvation is perfectly fine.

If you want to be super sure, you can dose 2ppm two days or so before you get your fish and make sure the ammonia is consumed, just to confirm the nitrification capability is still there.
Thanks for the advice, will do that!
 
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