What's causing my high nitrate levels?

tarheel96

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That's good news. It's probably a false negative reading for the nitrate test. The ammonia and nitrite tests are easy (aassuming this is the API kit). Only the nitrate test gives trouble.

Shake nitrate solution 2 like crazy for two minutes tapping the bottom edges of the bottle on something. Shake test tube for 1 minute and let sit for 5 minutes waiting for color to develop.
 

BarnacleBoy

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That's good news. It's probably a false negative reading for the nitrate test. The ammonia and nitrite tests are easy (aassuming this is the API kit). Only the nitrate test gives trouble.

Shake nitrate solution 2 like crazy for two minutes tapping the bottom edges of the bottle on something. Shake test tube for 1 minute and let sit for 5 minutes waiting for color to develop.
Thank you for your help
 
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BarnacleBoy

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This is my tank btw! Small for now because I live in an apartment. But once we get our house I'm going bigger. My cat loves it.

20181018_184245.jpg 20181018_184236.jpg
 

markstrimaran

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The great value is a little less concentrated. You can run a test trial with a gallon milk jug. If you like.

If you add too much you will just end up doing a lot of water changes to bring nitrates back into the orange, after the tank cycles.

Its 0.02 ml per 1ppm, I told you 2 ml
My bad, 15417207116352949142171062032688.jpg
 

BarnacleBoy

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Although bottled bacteria can hasten the cycle, bottled bacteria are in a dormant state, and need time to become non-dormant and start to divide into a large enough, and robust enough population to handle the fish load. They may handle a few small fish, but if you jump right in with a large group of fish, you are probably pushing the envelope.
I believe (as a former microbiologist) many of the claims made of instant cycling are over optimistic.
In all my sumps, I keep extra containers filled with media (old filters, floating bio-wheels, rocks, junk, anything else that bacteria will grow on to start a cycle in new set ups).
You can often get seasoned media from members of a local aquarium club or society that are much more effective than dormant bacteria that's been sitting a long time in bottles.


.
Thank you
 

BarnacleBoy

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The great value is a little less concentrated. You can run a test trial with a gallon milk jug. If you like.

If you add too much you will just end up doing a lot of water changes to bring nitrates back into the orange, after the tank cycles.

Its 0.02 ml per 1ppm, I told you 2 ml
My bad, View attachment 1343370
Alright I got the ammonia in the tank to 2.0ppm. How long should it take for my bacteria to convert it? Assuming my bacteria are already non-dormant and actively converting it.
 

markstrimaran

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Well at about 80'F. The bacteria can double their population about every 15 minutes.

I spiked my system to 8 ppm by accident and it took about 2 days. Cleaning residue in a 55 gallon drum..

I would expect in less than 3 days. If your system is good, you should see a bump on the nitrites, and then nitrates should turn the api test orange.
 
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skjl47

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Well at about 80'F. The bacteria can double their population about every 15 minutes.
Hello; While 15 -20 minutes cycle for bacterial reproduction is not at all unusual, it seems that the bb we wish to cultivate takes longer. See the link I included. It seems that around seven hours under good conditions is perhaps a best expectation. Apparently under some conditions it can take 15 hours or more for one bacterium to reproduce. This may be part of why it can take weeks to "cycle" a new setup.

(Note - I had problems getting a quote to function. I could not quote a line and had to quote the whole message and then delete the stuff I did not need.)
 
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