I started a fishless cycle on 5th December, I got my first nitrite reading on 17th December which was 0.25. I've just done a test now and it's at 3ppm, I thought it was too early to do a nitrate reading but decided to do it anyway and it's at 30ppm. Is this normal to get these readings this early? My tank isn't new, I've had it for 6 years but it's been off for a year and just started it back up again. I've helped it by having the temperature at 26 degree's and I've got 2 wave makers and a spray bar creating plenty of surface agitation. I'm using the API liquid test kit which was bought brand new on the day I started the cycle and I've been bashing and shaking them before use just in case. My readings are below:
Yes, test daily and top up the ammonia whenever it drops close to 0. When you find both ammonia and nitrite are 0 within 24 hours of dosing your cycle is complete and you can do a large water change to reduce nitrate before buying fish.
Hi, I'm still going through the cycle, and im still getting the same results. It's been 3 weeks since I posted this topic and my ammonia drops to 0.25 after 24 hours so that's converting pretty well, but the Nitrite has been at 2 and nitrate changes between 20 and 30. Is my cycle stalling? Should I not add ammonia and wait for the nitrites to convert first?
These are my test results today, and I've also attached a picture of the results for nitrate from my tap water and tank water. The darker one is my tank
It looks to me as though nitrite is at 5ppm, which means, in reality, it may be considerably higher as that's the limit of the test. Nitrate in the tank is higher than the tap water so some nitrite conversion is happening. This will continue, slowly at first but then more rapidly as the colony of nitrite eating bacteria expands. You may not see a drop in nitrite on the test as it will take a while to get down below 5ppm, but nitrate should continue rising to give an indication that things are proceeding. I would estimate you have about a week to go.