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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on day 11 of a fishless cycle on my 125 gallon tank. At the beginning of the cycle I added tetra safe start. I started with 4 ppm ammonia which dropped to 0 in the first few days. I added 4 ppm ammonia again on day 7. Currently ammonia is 0, and nitrite is around 5 ppm. Nitrate is oddly at about 20 ppm. How is nitrate so high without any decrease in nitrite? Also, my pH is 8.4 though my tap water pH is 7.4, why would that be?
 

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Have you tested your untreated tap water?
 

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I have had low amounts of nitrites still present while still showing nitrates present. I did 25% water changes until nitrites read 0. In another tank I was just a little more patient and let the cycle run it's course and in a short time, my nitrites dropped to 0 on their own. Your ph could be affected by your substrate. Do you have any type of buffet, I.e. crushed coral in your filter? That would also raise ph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My tap water doesn't have any nitrites or nitrates in it if that's what you mean. Answering the substrate question, I have pool filter sand, which shouldn't affect pH.
 

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I meant that during my cycle I still had low amounts of nitrites still showing even after nitrates started to appear. Your colony of nitrobacter bacteria is probably in need of a little more time in order to convert all of the nitrites to nitrates. Something else that happened to me was that when my nitrates began to appear, they seemed to get stuck at around 5 ppm, well so I thought. I read some other posts that said to make sure you shake the #2 nitrate chemical for at least one minute, and to bang it against a hard surface to dislodge any crystals inside. I did that, and much to my surprise when I tested again, I was recording 40 ppm. Might be worth a try. Sounds like you are getting close, hang in there.
 
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