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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my 75 gallon tank with heavy rocks and at least 10 plants I cannot get my nitrites or nitrates in line even though the fish have been there for several months . I do probably 5-10 gallons a week in sucking the gravel and at least 20-30 gallon water change and still with products it's still high . But have a 20 gallon tank for my girls with 10 fish and after a week and only with carbon on the HOB the nitrates and nitrites are zero....... so confused.
 

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Sounds like the 75G is partly cycled, but the 20G has not had time to develop nitrates or nitrites yet.

How did you cycle the tanks? A cycle averages six weeks and can take longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 75 over 3 months with all the best chemicals that money can buy ...the 20 gallon with 3 neons for a week with a toAlvin 20 HOB .....
 

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If nitrites are not zero the tank is not cycled.
 

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Forget the carbon

I have cycled several tanks now and found changing approx 20 percent of the water every 1-2 days actually speeds the cycle up. If you do this religiously the tank will definitely cycle.

There is a misconception that by doing frequent water changes your taking out beneficial bacteria.
The nitrifying bacteria that are trying to populate your biological filter require oxygen in addition to ammonia (or nitrite) and water to survive.

Granted putting in mature media is the best way to kick start it, but if you've not got this - small water changes very often always worked for me.

What are your ammonia levels..?
 
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