Nitrates disappeared mid cycle

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Bldgengineer

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My tank has been cycling for a little over 4 weeks now. This time last week my ammonia finally disappeared with nitrites at over 5ppm and nitrates hovering around 20ppm. I dosed the tank up to 1ppm ammonia to see how fast it would process it and it went away after around 36 hours. That was Thursday so I dosed it to 1ppm again and it only took around 24 hours this time. Nitrites still unmeasurable with the kit. I tested again today and nitrites are still over 5ppm(API test kit. It turns dark purple right away) but my nitrates are gone. I tested it again just to make sure I didn't screw anything up and got the same result. I've never had this happen before. Any ideas as to what might be going on? I'm thinking either my nitrite or nitrate test kit is bad.

It's a 10g tank setup with all BRS reefs aver dry rock and dry sand.
 
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Bldgengineer

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Wanted to check the test kits so I tested the wife's freshwater tank that I setup several months ago. I got the results I expected. 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 40 nitrate (she's due for a water change like I suspected). I'm thinking I should do the same on my tank. I like to at least be able to read my nitrite level lol
 
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Bldgengineer

Bldgengineer

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So I did a 50% wc last night and another 50% this morning. Let it run for about an hour and tested nitrites. First test showed no change but it didn't look as dark as it has been the past week so I retested with a 4:1 ratio (4 parts distilled water:1 part tank water) and got a reading of 0.5ppm. According to my math that's 2ppm. The api kit is so horrible between 2-5ppm that I thought this would be a better way of figuring out exactly where I am.

I'm thinking about leaving it where it is for now and testing again in a couple of days. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for all of the help!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Elysium

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I just cycled a 29g and had the same trends. Ammonia gone after 3 weeks and processing within 24 hours. Nitrates dropping from 50 to 10 ppm from week three to four. Nitrites over 1ppm throughout.

After reading the article Randy posted above and his handy parameters sticky, I stopped caring about the nitrites. :D
 

David Cher

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after reading this , this is my 15th day of cycling , the no2 is still at 2 ppm , do i still wait for the figure to drop ?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I'd wait longer. Sometimes nitrite take a lot longer than ammonia. If you are in a hurry, you could look to add one of the bacteria boosting products such as Dr Tim's.
 
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