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Hi,

New to the forum - just starting my first Malawi tank and I have a question about cycling.

My mbuna-soon-to-be tank is in a middle of the second week of cycling. Ammonia is nicely going down from 2ppm to 0 within 24h and I am topping it up. Nitrite showing above 1. I noticed some green and brown algae so cutting down on lighting. Temp 27C, pH 8.2.

The issue I have is Nitrate reading. Water from the tap has ~20ppm, after first week of cycling it went up to 40ppm (as expected) but I checked today and it dropped to ~5ppm. How would this be possible? Could plants or algae consume the Nitrates? Any other way the Nitrates could go down without water change?

Considering partial water change to remove some algae and possibly boost cycling. Makes sense or should I just leave it for now?

Cheers
M
 

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Most nitrate kits reduce nitrate to nitrite and measure the level of the nitrite. So if your aquarium water contained nitrite, as it should in your cycling phase, that would give you false high readings from your nitrate test, because you'd be getting combined nitrate and nitrite levels. Then as your nitrite goes down, your nitrate would appear to also diminish. Also, your source water likely has variable levels of nitrate, so don't assume that 20 ppm is steady.
 

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Thalas_shaya said:
Most nitrate kits reduce nitrate to nitrite and measure the level of the nitrite. So if your aquarium water contained nitrite, as it should in your cycling phase, that would give you false high readings from your nitrate test, because you'd be getting combined nitrate and nitrite levels. Then as your nitrite goes down, your nitrate would appear to also diminish. Also, your source water likely has variable levels of nitrate, so don't assume that 20 ppm is steady.
+1

I would keep the lights off while cycling. No need to invite algae problems.
 
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