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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recap.
75 G set up 4 weeks ago yesterday. 4 black skirt tetras and 2 white skirts were added to cycle the tank. (It was my grandmothers idea, I know not ideal but the tank is at her house) Also 2 small anubias, 2 bunches of hornwort, and one amazon sword. For the sake of the fish I have been doing about 25% water changes when ammonia reaches .50. For four weeks the ammonia has not gotten over .50 and I still have never had a positive test for nitrites. Nitrites are about 5 ppm which is close to what they test out of the tap. She also feeds the fish once a day. Should I add a few more fish to up the bio load or is something else going on? I don't think I have enough plants in the tank to be affecting the cycle. What would you all do if this was your tank. The fish and plants all seem to be doing fine. I noticed a pond snail increase this week so she might be overfeeding however I have not seen a big ammonia spike. So I told her to feed every other day. Using API master test kit.
My main concern is that I have been told that the nitrite portion of the cycle will usually take about twice as long as the ammonia stage. If this is true I am looking at at least 8 more weeks, and that's if I start seeing nitrites now. I keep telling her to be patient but she used to have tanks thirty years ago and thinks I am crazy with all my voodoo testing and water changes.*n1
 

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You may be experiencing a "silent cycle" in the tank. If the bioload is small enough,the plants will keep up with it nicely and you will never see any nitrites or nitrates develop. You do have a very small fish load so the plants might be capable of absorbing all of the ammonia as plant food if they are growing well. I would give it a while longer before upping the biological load, just in case it is not the plants doing the trick for you.
 

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Your load is insufficient to cause a major impact on the system. With the plants you have in the tank (mainly the hornwort), it is keeping everything in check during the cycling. Continue with your partials to keep the ammonia at bay and you should be fine.
 

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You may be experiencing a "silent cycle" in the tank. If the bioload is small enough,the plants will keep up with it nicely and you will never see any nitrites or nitrates develop. You do have a very small fish load so the plants might be capable of absorbing all of the ammonia as plant food if they are growing well. I would give it a while longer before upping the biological load, just in case it is not the plants doing the trick for you.

Based upon my experience It is very possible to have an immediate bump up of nitrates. Because the plants are getting all their nitrogen from the ammonia being produced. Nitrates can come from other sources then the aerobic bacteria cycle such as the substrate for instance.

But this is no real problem as the "silent cycle" is still very safe for the fish.

I hesitated to post this but then thought you may start worring if you saw nitrAtes but no ammonia or nitrItes. Just don't worry about that. In a few weeks nitrAtes will drop down meaning the "cycle" is competed and things are balanced out.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I went today and did a water test.(I did a 25% water change on Sunday) and the ammonia was down a little. (Close to .25) The nitrites were still at 0 however the nitrates were about 10. All other test have been 5 on the nitrates. I was going to ask if it was possible to start seeing nitrates and never see nitrites? but from the responses above it looks like that is possible. I am feeling a little better after today seeing the ammonia down a little and nitrates up a little. I guess as long as the ammonia drops and the nitrates are getting established it would be better for the fish in the long run if they never get exposed to nitrites during the cycle.
 
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