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Skylar.grey

Tank Cycle — No Nitrites?

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Skylar.grey

So I’m new at both fish keeping and shrimp keeping. Now I have 2 - 5 gallon fish tanks (one with a Hillstream loach, 4 Danios, a couple moss balls and some hornwort. The other has 1 male betta, 2 mystery snails, a moss ball and some hornwort) and 1 - 29 gallon tank that I’m currently trying to cycle (right now it has hornwort, java moss and some spiderwood in it but no fish/snails/shrimp)

 

I’ve been testing my water in all my tanks about once a week. I started my two other fish tanks out of an impulse almost... I saw my betta at Pet Supplies Plus had a tank in my basement and decided I had to take him home... so I hadn’t cycled my 5 gallon tanks before I stuck anything in. I know it’s not good but I hadn’t done any research so I didn’t know better. Now I do.

 

But my question is: I haven’t had ANY nitrites in any of my tanks. My ammonia and nitrates are there... my ammonia hasn’t gotten over 1 ppm and my nitrates haven’t gotten over around 40 ppm in ANY tank that I have. But why am I not seeing any nitrites? Is it Bc my tanks have plants in them?

 

Thank you for reading this super long post and thanks in advance for any advice/answers you can give😊

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jayc
21 minutes ago, Skylar.grey said:

But my question is: I haven’t had ANY nitrites in any of my tanks. My ammonia and nitrates are there

How have you seeded the new tank? ie. how have you started the bacteria colony in the new tank?

Did you, for example, use the now matured filter media from the 5 gals? 

 

If that is the case, then you have seeded  the new tank with millions of bacteria. Enough Nitrite consuming bacteria to not see any Nitrites. These Nitrite bacteria can convert nitrite fast enough into Nitrates that you don't detect any with test kits.

 

Edited by jayc
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Skylar.grey

I seeded with Imagitarium Biological Booster (bought at petco) in all three tanks. It was a little after the tanks had been set up. The 2 - 5 gallons had fish in it already. The 29 was up and running but I hadn’t added any ammonia source yet. After I added the bacteria to the 29 I added an ammonia source.

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jayc
1 hour ago, Skylar.grey said:

After I added the bacteria to the 29 I added an ammonia source.

Is your ammonia reading coming down since adding it to the tank?

This particular bacteria booster product does not cycle the tank, nor does it contain beneficial bacteria that cycles the tank. It only assists in the cycling process by neutralising the ammonia and nitrites. Instead the product is tricking your test kits into a false reading.

How long has your 5 gal tanks been running for? Or are all 3 tanks the same age?

If the 5gal tanks have been running for a month or more, a better way of boosting the 29gal cycle is to squeeze the filter media from the 5gals into the 29gal filters. And do a vacuum of the 5gal gravel and pour that dirty water straight into the 29 gal tank. Yes, the 29 will look dirty but only for a while. The 29gal instead will be seeded with LOTS of beneficial bacteria.

If however, your tanks are of the same age and you don't have any gunk in the filter media or gravel, then you might be able to ask a friend who has an old tank to squeeze some of that gunk from their filter. Or you could ask your LFS.

Edited by jayc

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