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Old 01/22/2020, 08:56 PM   #1
tazdvl100
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High nitrites

Hello everybody,

Looking for a little help. I just setup a 125 gallon tank about 2 weeks ago. Started the cycle with a piece of shrimp. Left the shrimp for about 3 days and then pulled it. Have been watching parameters for the 2 weeks. Ammonia came and went. Nitrites are testing at 5ppm. Nitrates around 10 to 20ppm.

No lights have been on. No add ins at all.

So here is my issue

I have had the water tested by 3 different LFS.

I test with API as does one of the LFS. Both test were pretty much identical.

Another LFS tested with salifert. They came up with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and about 10 ppm nitrate.

The 3rd LFS tested with tetra ( i know probably not the best). Their results were 0 ammonia, .5 to 1ppm nitrite. 10 to 20 ppm nitrate.

My question is.....is there something i am doing wrong or missing??

Tank has 100lbs live sand. Also 100 pounds of base rock and 2 good size pieces of life rock.


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Old 01/22/2020, 09:29 PM   #2
ohashimz
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Originally Posted by tazdvl100 View Post
Hello everybody,



Looking for a little help. I just setup a 125 gallon tank about 2 weeks ago. Started the cycle with a piece of shrimp. Left the shrimp for about 3 days and then pulled it. Have been watching parameters for the 2 weeks. Ammonia came and went. Nitrites are testing at 5ppm. Nitrates around 10 to 20ppm.



No lights have been on. No add ins at all.



So here is my issue



I have had the water tested by 3 different LFS.



I test with API as does one of the LFS. Both test were pretty much identical.



Another LFS tested with salifert. They came up with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and about 10 ppm nitrate.



The 3rd LFS tested with tetra ( i know probably not the best). Their results were 0 ammonia, .5 to 1ppm nitrite. 10 to 20 ppm nitrate.



My question is.....is there something i am doing wrong or missing??



Tank has 100lbs live sand. Also 100 pounds of base rock and 2 good size pieces of life rock.
This is the longest most painful path for cycling. Why do not you kock start the cycle with something like dr.tim bacteria?

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Old 01/22/2020, 09:32 PM   #3
tazdvl100
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I have done it this way before and never had this issue. May have to try something different for sure.


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Old 01/23/2020, 12:40 AM   #4
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I think the tank is fine, but the hobbyist testing equipment we use can be questionable. I'd wait for a week of zero ammonia, and then add some cleanup crew or a small, hardy fish.


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Old 01/23/2020, 05:45 AM   #5
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I have done it this way before and never had this issue. May have to try something different for sure.
Is the issue the difference in the test kits or the fact you think those nitrate levels are high? (They most certainly aren't for a cycling tank)..
Sounds like a totally normal new tank mid cycle to me and typical results from hobby test kits..

Typically the process takes 4-6 weeks.. Just wait another 2 weeks then start doing water changes to drop nitrates to acceptable levels and begin slowly stocking the tank..

You put an ammonia source (shrimp) into a tank with little to no nitrifying bacteria and little to no denitrifying bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria starts to get established fairly quickly to process ammonia into its lesser toxic forms (nitrites/nitrates).. The denitrifying bacteria can take months or more to really get established and start processing the nitrates into nitrogen gas where it can escape the tank and you have nothing else that will consume it..


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Old 01/23/2020, 09:07 AM   #6
Vinny Kreyling
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Personally not an API fan, I use NYOS for Nitrate only because the yellow color is easier to distinguish. The new thinking is -0- is not the # you want on any parameter.
Nitrates between 5-10 are acceptable.


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:23 AM   #7
tazdvl100
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Just so we are clear here. I am talking about high NITRITES.
Not nitrates


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:33 AM   #8
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Just so we are clear here. I am talking about high NITRITES.
Not nitrates
Then this is normal and the expected. After the no2 spike no3 spike will follow.


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:37 AM   #9
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Then this is normal and the expected. After the no2 spike no3 spike will follow.


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How long should the NO2 cycle last?? Going on 2 weeks now


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:42 AM   #10
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Typically the process takes 4-6 weeks.. Just wait another 2 weeks then start doing water changes to drop nitrates to acceptable levels and begin slowly stocking the tank..
.



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Old 01/23/2020, 12:06 PM   #11
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How long should the NO2 cycle last?? Going on 2 weeks now
It's hard to know exactly because it depend on your volume, substrate and how much nutrients(in your case the shrimp) added to your ssystem.i do not believe in absolute times lines in such method because, while you might start seeing no3 which indicate presence of the final stage of the nitrafying bacteria, it is possible that the nutrients that feed these bacterial population (carbon and amino) will not be enoyght to sustain the bacteria where after a short while you go through what is called mini circle where bacteria population decrease once carbon is consumed.
Eventually the biological filtration is an equilibrium of bacteria population adapted to the ammount of bacterial nutrients (carbon and amino) going in to the system.
As I said the way you are cycling, while it's not wrong, it's the longest and relatively the most blind way since you are leaving nature taking care of it and it will depen on what I described before.
- Once you start adding fish you will start importing more nutrients and your biological filtration will grow stronger and steonger.
- Once you add skimmer you start reducing bacterial population (skimmer remove 90% of the bacterial population in tank compared to natural sea water)
- once you add carbon you reduce nutrients but also include more surface for bacteria to grow
Am not saying do not add skimmer or carbon, am just explaining how the system will have to adjust to your condition and eventually reach equilibrium.

Just be patient, add fish once you see a slight no3. Turn off skimmer until you add the first fish, do not add carbon until you see no3 presense. And just be patient.



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Old 01/23/2020, 12:32 PM   #12
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I will test everything tonight and post results.


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Old 01/23/2020, 01:27 PM   #13
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- Once you add skimmer you start reducing bacterial population (skimmer remove 90% of the bacterial population in tank compared to natural sea water)
Thats a bit of a misleading statement.

A skimmer has been shown to remove up to ~90% of bacteria in the water column.
Total bacterial counts are FAR greater on the surfaces of a tank (on and in rocks/glass/sand,etc...) than in the water column.
While you may remove 90% of water column bacteria you may only reduce the total bacterial counts by a very small percentage.

Thats why one can typically eliminate the cycling process by utilizing "live rock" from an existing system. The same cannot be said by utilizing just the water from an existing system.


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Old 01/23/2020, 01:35 PM   #14
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Thats a bit of a misleading statement.

A skimmer has been shown to remove up to ~90% of bacteria in the water column.
Total bacterial counts are FAR greater on the surfaces of a tank (on and in rocks/glass/sand,etc...) than in the water column.
While you may remove 90% of water column bacteria you may only reduce the total bacterial counts by a very small percentage.

Thats why one can typically eliminate the cycling process by utilizing "live rock" from an existing system. The same cannot be said by utilizing just the water from an existing system.
https://youtu.be/WCY12icEfcE

Min 17: our aquariums have 1/10 the bacterial population in natural coral habitats due to our mechanical filtration especially skimmer and activated carbon

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Old 01/23/2020, 01:40 PM   #15
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I highly recommend people to watch that video about bacteria and cycling by Dr.tim
Very informative..

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Old 01/23/2020, 02:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ohashimz View Post
https://youtu.be/WCY12icEfcE

Min 17: our aquariums have 1/10 the bacterial population in natural coral habitats due to our mechanical filtration especially skimmer and activated carbon

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Yes.. Exactly.. Here is the article..
https://www.advancedaquarist.com/201...ure#section-21

Its 1/10th the bacterial population in the water column not total bacterial populations.. To say that skimming removes 90% of the bacteria in a tank is incorrect. It can remove ~90% of the water in the water column only.
Far higher bacterial counts are present on surfaces of the tank than are removed via skimming.

And a quote from the article..
Quote:
Of course, bacteria export by skimming requires that the bacteria actually reside in the water column and not as a film on a solid support



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Old 01/23/2020, 02:19 PM   #17
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Yes.. Exactly.. Here is the article..
https://www.advancedaquarist.com/201...ure#section-21

Its 1/10th the bacterial population in the water column not total bacterial populations.. To say that skimming removes 90% of the bacteria in a tank is incorrect. It can remove ~90% of the water in the water column only.
Far higher bacterial counts are present on surfaces of the tank than are removed via skimming.

And a quote from the article..
When the study and dr. Tim say total bacteria in the water they are comparing reef in nature to reef in aquarium system.
Bacteria on the substrates will continue to be on substrate whether in natural reef on the rocks or in aquariums on the rocks.
We can only assume that bacterial population on the rocks in a system is even less than on the rocks in the sea.

The main message from the study and what dr. Tim was trying to convey is that our aquariums already at a disadvantage with bacteria and one of the reasons he attributed it to the mechanical filtration.

In any event, the study and the tech talk is there. Maybe it's open to interpretation. The substance of the statements in my eyes stands..
" mechanical filtration reduce bacteria"
"Our aquariums inherently deficient in becteria"

Thanks

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Old 01/23/2020, 08:59 PM   #18
tazdvl100
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Well, i was going to post a pic of my test results, but i can't seem to get the pic to upload.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate 30 to 40 ppm


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Old 01/23/2020, 10:40 PM   #19
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Well, i was going to post a pic of my test results, but i can't seem to get the pic to upload.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate 30 to 40 ppm
Did you watch the YouTube vid I posted?
Make sure you watch it and understand the cycling process.

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Old 01/23/2020, 11:41 PM   #20
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Nitrite will confuse most or all nitrate test kits, so I wouldn't worry about that measurement just yet. I am not sure whether that test result is correct, but if it is, I might do a series of 30% water changes to lower the nitrite level a bit. High nitrite levels might inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria, but I am not sure on that. I wouldn't put a lot of effort into it, since the tank will be fine given some time. I might try testing some distilled or freshly-mixed saltwater, to see whether the nitrite kit is doing its job properly.

The bacteria that process ammonia in our tanks live on the substrate. I don't see any evidence that a skimmer will cause a problem in a tank, or affect the ammonia cycle much. Lots of people have run skimmers off and on and not had much of an issue, although it's hard to be sure what's happening.


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:52 PM   #21
tazdvl100
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Did you watch the YouTube vid I posted?
Make sure you watch it and understand the cycling process.

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I did. Very interesting.


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:52 PM   #22
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Nitrite will confuse most or all nitrate test kits, so I wouldn't worry about that measurement just yet. I am not sure whether that test result is correct, but if it is, I might do a series of 30% water changes to lower the nitrite level a bit. High nitrite levels might inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria, but I am not sure on that. I wouldn't put a lot of effort into it, since the tank will be fine given some time. I might try testing some distilled or freshly-mixed saltwater, to see whether the nitrite kit is doing its job properly.

The bacteria that process ammonia in our tanks live on the substrate. I don't see any evidence that a skimmer will cause a problem in a tank, or affect the ammonia cycle much. Lots of people have run skimmers off and on and not had much of an issue, although it's hard to be sure what's happening.
Just to be clear we are not saying skimmer will cause problems. It's just a fact that skimmer remove many if the bacteria in the water column. Skimmer and mechanical filtrations are important.

Turning off skimmer when you start a new tank cycle absolutely move the cycle faster. It help bacteria establish bit faster and reduce nutrient outake at that important phase that you need nutrients to kick in the cycle since there is no fish or feeding.
But once you add fish it is recomended to start skimmer

Hope that clarify more..

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Old 01/23/2020, 11:54 PM   #23
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Nitrite will confuse most or all nitrate test kits, so I wouldn't worry about that measurement just yet. I am not sure whether that test result is correct, but if it is, I might do a series of 30% water changes to lower the nitrite level a bit. High nitrite levels might inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria, but I am not sure on that. I wouldn't put a lot of effort into it, since the tank will be fine given some time. I might try testing some distilled or freshly-mixed saltwater, to see whether the nitrite kit is doing its job properly.

The bacteria that process ammonia in our tanks live on the substrate. I don't see any evidence that a skimmer will cause a problem in a tank, or affect the ammonia cycle much. Lots of people have run skimmers off and on and not had much of an issue, although it's hard to be sure what's happening.
I did test my rodi water just to make sure. It tested 0ppm.
Would it be beneficial to put a couple hardy fish in to kinda jumpstart the cycle??


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ohashimz View Post
Just to be clear we are not saying skimmer will cause problems. It's just a fact that skimmer remove many if the bacteria in the water column. Skimmer and mechanical filtrations are important.

Turning off skimmer when you start a new tank cycle absolutely move the cycle faster. It help bacteria establish bit faster and reduce nutrient outake at that important phase that you need nutrients to kick in the cycle since there is no fish or feeding.
But once you add fish it is recomended to start skimmer

Hope that clarify more..

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I haven't been running a skimmer at all.


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Old 01/23/2020, 11:56 PM   #25
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Btw did I read this correctly that you do not have lights on?
Nitrafying bacteria needs light.
Turn on all your supporting equipments and add carbon once you add fish...
And just be patient.

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