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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure that paitence is the answer. But I was just wondering what typical timing is for the ammonia to get to zero?

I spiked a 20 gallon tank 5 days ago with ammonia to 3 ppm and have not seen a siginificant reduction in the ammonia. I added a used filter from a friend's tank in hopes to get a boost in bacterial growth and temp is 83 degrees.

Should I bump the ammonia up to 5 ppm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
O ppm nitrate and nitrite
pH 8.2
 

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Took me exactly a week to go from 5ppm ammonia to 0ppm. Then took me 2 weeks to see my nitrites go to 0.

So 3 weeks to complete the cycle.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So it is Day 9 and still ammonia is not at zero about 1 ppm. It has gone down slightly so something is happening. No nitrite yet and a less than 5 ppm nitrate? Is the nitrate a false positive? When is it ok to start doing water changes?
 

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podenbeck said:
So it is Day 9 and still ammonia is not at zero about 1 ppm. It has gone down slightly so something is happening. No nitrite yet and a less than 5 ppm nitrate? Is the nitrate a false positive? When is it ok to start doing water changes?
When I fishless cycled my tank my ammonia didn't drop until day 14, and it coincided with a nitrite spike. Granted, I went from scratch without seeded media.

You don't really need to do any water changes during the cycling process just make sure you do enough to get the nitrates down at the end before adding fish. If you choose to do water changes, the point to doing them is to keep nitrites and nitrates lower to avoid needing to do a nearly 100% water change at the end to get the nitrates out. Whether or not water changes of different sizes at different points of the cycle help or hurt is a debatable point but IME I didn't notice water changes during or immediately after cycling having a negative effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cool thanks. Never had great patience. It is a small tank 20g so a mega water change is not a big deal at all.
 

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Keep adding ammonia and getting that up to 1-2ppm until ammonia and nitrite readings are 0 within 24 hours. Then you're good to go.

The nitrate is probably from source water/maybe the filter media already had quite a bit of that type of bacteria.
 

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I just started another fishless cycle. Last Tuesday I added 5ppm of ammonia and this morning, not even a week later, there was almost no ammonia but the nitrites are 0 too?

Last time it took a week for my ammonia to go to 0 and my nitrites were 5ppm+. Not sure why the nitrites are 0? If the ammonia is gone I should have nitrites.
 

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I cycled my current tank a little over a year ago, I had ammonia but never measured nitrites, even as I saw the ammonia head down, my nitrites stayed at zero, and my nitrates went up. The only thing I could determine is that I had sufficient nitrite consuming bacteria and it was being readily consumed as the ammonia was converted. My ammonia went down rather slowly for several days in a row at the beginning and maybe that's why the nitrites never showed?

Upon adding fish I saw a small bump in ammonia (between .25ppm and .5ppm, I changed a little water). Within 2 days ammonia was zero and nitrites were always zero during the whole cycle. I did use gravel that was previously in an aquarium, had been out a while but was still wet (and disgusting).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Question did either of you guys add Bio-spira or anything like that as well?
 

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I did not use any additives, but I am sure they wouldn't hurt. I was just saying it is possible to cycle a tank and see little or no nitrite during the process. You did borrow a friends filter, I had used gravel. I like what dielikemoviestars had to say, add some ammonia (1-2ppm) if it's gone in a day with no nitrites, your good to go.

If your ammonia is going down and you don't see any nitrites, don't worry that's a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah it appears that the bacteria that consume nitrite maybe more hardy. Whatever the case it is obvious now that others have made these observations and that I just need to wait for the ammonia to hit zero in a 24 hour after (spiking with ammonia) and no nitrite as well.
 
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