Did I miss my cycle?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by Arvind, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

    Well everyone. I got the dr tims ammonia and added it. Ammonia is 4.0 nitrite is 0 and nitrate is 0

    Lets see what happens when I test tomorrow. I do have live sand in the tank so I hope this feeds them. Hopefully nitrites start to show up

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  2. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member


    Ammonia dropped from 4'to 2 overnight. Nitrite spiked high about 3 to 4. Nitrate showing at about 20ppm

    The ammonia I added sure kick started the cycle

    Hopefully in the next week or so I can get the levels down to 0

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  3. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

    OK friends something really bizarre had happened I'm attaching a picture from this afternoon my nitrites have dropped but my nitrates have also dropped big time despite me doing only a 10 gallon change last night. my nitrates or probably over 100 so I did the 10 gallon change. This is distressing

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  4. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member


    This is from yesterday you can see high nitrate and nitrite


    This is from this afternoon. I did a 10 gallon wc last night but did not expect nitrate to almost disappear!!! What is going on?

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  5. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member


    Sorry ignore the first picture this picture has the nitrate in it

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  6. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Your photos accompanied by your text are confusing to me. But if I take your last photo as the "true" one with nitrate, I don't see the problem. Nitrate looks like it's around 40, nitrite around 2? Ammonia still high.

    Does it matter that you're using a freshwater kit?

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  7. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

    Oh sorry I know my post was quite confusing.

    My LFS told me that it shouldn't make a difference what Kit you're using because the test for the same stuff

    Anyhow I just dosed more ammonia to get it back up to 2ppm

    This should keep the good bacteria fed and to keep the colony growing

    I'll check tomorrow am to see what's up

    I just can't believe doing a 10 gallon change dropped my nitrate so much

    Last night it was easy over 100ppm

    This afternoon it was about 20ppm

    I always thought that nitrates drop in proportion to the amount of water you remove and change, so I was expecting about a 20% drop

    Not that much! I mean hell im not complaining at 20ppm but it's not done cycling yet

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  8. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Photos / lighting is always hard to tell with these kits. To me, your nitrAtes are still looking pretty high. That looks more like 40ppm or higher to me.

    The ammonia and nitrItes look pretty high too, maybe more than 2ppm. I would stop dosing ammonium chloride for a couple days and see if ammonia and nitrites drop down to about 1.0ppm. As long as you still have ammonia, your bacteria has more to eat. You're borderline looking like you're overdosing, and that will stall the cycles (or so I've heard).

    I overdosed on ammonium chloride from Dr. Tim's because the recipe he gave me was wrong. Bottle said 4 drops per gallon, but I tested it and it was actually 1 drop per gallon for the 2ppm of ammonia. I had to restart my cycle with 90% water change, and my cycle was totally weird for 3 weeks after that (no ammonia change, no nitrites). It only finally started dropping in ammonia when I added BIO SPIRA and it finally looked like my cycle was going somewhere.

    What other filtration do you have in your tank right now? Maybe something else is taking up the nitrates.

    Also, have you tested your test kits with any control solutions? I haven't used API kits before, so I'm not too sure. My Salifert kits come with a control sometimes, (like the ammonia test) and I could tell if it was totally off or not.

    I also try to test each parameter twice if I get some weird reading just in case. Always rinsing with ro/di and fully drying between each test.
  9. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Your LFS was sort of right. Reagents are the same, however, the color charts are different for freshwater vs saltwater. I can take a picture of the cards when I get home to show you the differences. I believe you can contact API and get saltwater cards. API is fine for your cycle, but they aren't great test kits. I'd look to get something else once you're up and running (Hanna, Salifert, Red Sea).
  10. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Kinda hard to discern color shades from this picture, but...

    - pH is obviously different since they're different ranges.

    - ammonia has a darker tone in the mids and is darker by 8ppm

    - nitrite color is the same

    - nitrate is lighter in shade throughout and is more bright red by 160ppm vs the more maroon 160ppm of freshwater.

    Also, your nitrates could have dropped because of the bacteria in a bottle. There is denitrifying bacteria in there after all.

  11. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Having Nitrites will affect the nitrate test. That’s why you saw high nitrates then low nitrates when your nitrites dropped.

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  12. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    That makes sense. When my nitrites were high, my nitrates were high. My nitrites went to almost undetectable and my nitrates dropped considerably as well.
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I've only ever dosed the ammonia at the beginning of the cycle to get it started. Dose it up to 2.0 once and that's it. You don't need to continue to dose the ammonia throughout the cycle. Once you have 0.0 ammonia and 0.0 nitrites do your water change to bring down the nitrates. If you want to double check to make sure your cycle is complete you can dose it once more up to 2.0 ammonia and in 24 hours the bacteria should have converted it all into nitrate but I think this is optional.
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