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Restarting Tank

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Offline barneyadi

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Restarting tank
« on: January 27, 2018, 11:38:47 AM »
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Hi all

Will be restarting tank in the next couple of days and just checking best way to do it. My thoughts are to put sand and water in, take sponges out of water and back into filter, decoration in and then restart the tank.
Then after 24 hours put in 2ppm ammonia and test as per normal fishless cycle.

Anything I have missed or could do differently?

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 12:00:10 PM »
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That sounds fine. Though if the tank will be fully stocked as soon as possible, use 3 ppm ammonia  :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 01:36:11 PM »
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Thanks Sue

I wasn't fully stocked when I shut tank down so thought 2ppm might be better but could always do 3ppm

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 01:58:38 PM »
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It depends on how well stocked the tank will be in the future, and how quickly you will go to that stocking level. If you want to under stock again, 2 ppm is fine. If you want to fully stock but take it slowly, 2 ppm is fine. It's only if you intend to fully stock and do this quickly that you need 3 ppm

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 07:05:24 PM »
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Hi Sue

Ok, will add 3ppm and see how things go. Do i need to follow the fishless cycle instructions as you list them or can I check every day for instance as hopefully the bacteria will wake up fairly quick?

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 07:25:05 PM »
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I would check every day, but if the bacteria do seem to take a time to wake up, only add ammonia as per the instructions - as if you were only testing every thrid day

Offline Matt

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 10:26:45 PM »
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I might be misunderstanding your first post here... apologies if i am...  but Ijust wanted to highlight that you don't want to put the filter media in water which hasn't been dechlorinated yet as this could kill the filter bacteria  :vcross:

Good luck completing your cycle.  Hopefully it will go quite quickly if there are some bacteria already waiting to get multiplying.  :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 10:43:37 PM »
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I might be misunderstanding your first post here... apologies if i am...  but Ijust wanted to highlight that you don't want to put the filter media in water which hasn't been dechlorinated yet as this could kill the filter bacteria  :vcross:

Good luck completing your cycle. 
Hopefully it will go quite quickly if there are some bacteria already waiting to get multiplying.  :)

Thanks Matt. I did wonder about that but just dechlorinated the water as I added it in each bucket.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 03:42:07 PM »
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Well no ammonia drop after 24 hours but expected as been nearly 3 weeks since tank was running. I have temperature at 26c, would turning it up higher maybe help?

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 04:35:12 PM »
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Yes. The bacteria multiply faster at 29 to 30 deg C.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 07:58:15 PM »
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Thanks Sue.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 02:40:44 PM »
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So day 2 and ammonia has dropped from 3.05ppm to 2.78ppm so hopefully a sign the bacteria is waking up.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 02:58:42 PM »
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Day 3 and ammonia down slight to 2.30ppm. A little slower than I was hoping but at least it seems to be decreasing every day.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 10:12:12 PM »
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The bacteria will be both reawakening and multiplying, I think things will speed up in a few days.  Good luck with it  :D

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 04:08:23 PM »
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Well seems a good drop today, down to 1.47ppm so hopefully things are looking good.

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2018, 04:16:03 PM »
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What is your nitrite doing? If you added 3 ppm ammonia, and you've lost ~1.5 ppm, that should turn into ~ 4 ppm nitrite. Or if you have enough nitrite eaters alive and 'awake' to process all the nitrite as soon as it's made, that same 1.5 ppm ammonia should end up as ~5 ppm nitrate.

Unless the tank is well planted of course, in which case the plants are using all the ammonia that's disappeared.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 04:30:31 PM »
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Well Nitrite is 0.10ppm. When I tried a cycle last time Nitrite was always low, not sure why.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 07:10:00 PM »
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Just tested Nitrate and it is 8.5ppm. Is that anything to worry about?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 07:14:42 PM »
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How much is in your tap water? It could be all from your tap water or some could be being made by the bacteria.

Nitrate is toxic to fish but not as much as the other two. As long as you can keep it below 20 ppm when you have fish, that's fine.



Just out of curiosity, how did you get 8.5 ppm? With the tester I used to have I could only say over 5 but less than 10.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 07:17:27 PM »
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How much is in your tap water? It could be all from your tap water or some could be being made by the bacteria.

Nitrate is toxic to fish but not as much as the other two. As long as you can keep it below 20 ppm when you have fish, that's fine.



Just out of curiosity, how did you get 8.5 ppm? With the tester I used to have I could only say over 5 but less than 10.

Forgot to test out the tap for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. to be honest. Will check tomorrow.

I have a Colorimeter which gives the exact figure.

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2018, 07:23:16 PM »
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Ah, that's much more accurate  :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2018, 04:19:38 PM »
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Ok have checked tank today and have following results

Ammonia 0.14ppm (0 to naked eye)
Nitrite 0.25ppm
Nitrate 12.28ppm

So my main question is should I top ammonia back up to 3ppm and test again in 24 hours?

Checked tap water as well and only reading was Nitrate at3.20ppm.

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 04:48:46 PM »
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Since your tap nitrate has gone up, you do have both ammonia and nitrite eaters at work  :)

Yes, add 3ppm ammonia and test after 24 hours.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 05:54:41 PM »
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If, when I check it tomorrow, it is 0ppm for ammonia does that mean tank is cycled?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2018, 06:36:28 PM »
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Yes. Whenever it is that you reach the point where 3 ppm ammonia is cleared to zero ammonia and zero nitrite in 24 hours, that's when it is cycled. Then just do a water change to get nitrate down to tap level, and buy fish.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2018, 07:12:17 PM »
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Yes. Whenever it is that you reach the point where 3 ppm ammonia is cleared to zero ammonia and zero nitrite in 24 hours, that's when it is cycled. Then just do a water change to get nitrate down to tap level, and buy fish.

Ok, but if I cant get fish the same day, how much ammonia should I add to keep things ticking over? Also how much stock can I add. Is it best to take it slow?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2018, 07:22:35 PM »
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If your tank can remove 3 ppm completely in 24 hours, you can theoretically add the whole proposed stock at once, provided you haven't gone over the top with the amount of fish  :) In practise, there may well be some species that do better when added to a mature tank, a mature tank being one which has grown a whole host of micro-organisms and not just filter bacteria. A tank is reckoned to be mature when it has been running trouble free for 4 to 6 months. Personally I would aim for slightly less than all the fish you intend once the tank is cycled just to give some wiggle room.
Taking it slow is for when you don't know how many bacteria you have grown (eg using fish food instead of ammonia; doing a fish-in cycle) or you are doing a silent cycle with plants and you can't be sure just how much ammonia the plants will take up.


If you can't go fish shopping straight away, add 1 ppm every 3rd day then do the big water change and go shopping. But if it will be at least a couple of weeks, I would still add the 1 ppm then do 3 ppm 2 days before you can go shopping just to make sure it can still be cleared in 24 hours.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2018, 03:38:33 PM »
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So checked ammonia and is at 1.41ppm from the 3ppm I added yesterday. Should I leave things until ammonia is zero and then add 3ppm again or should I top up ammonia until zero after 24 hours?

Offline Sue

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2018, 04:07:42 PM »
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Test every day until the day ammonia is below 0.25 and nitrite is below 1.0. Then add another 3 ppm ammonia and continue testing every day. Continue like this till they are both zero 24 hours after adding ammonia.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2018, 04:18:38 PM »
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Test every day until the day ammonia is below 0.25 and nitrite is below 1.0. Then add another 3 ppm ammonia and continue testing every day. Continue like this till they are both zero 24 hours after adding ammonia.

Perfect, thanks Sue.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2018, 07:09:15 PM »
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Ammonia was down to 0.20ppm and nitrite was 0.5ppm so added 3ppm ammonia and see what it is like tomorrow.

One quick question. Once tank is cycled do I think of tank as new or as it had been running for 10 months before my house move is it more a mature tank?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2018, 07:19:35 PM »
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I would think of it as a new tank. There are thousands of other micro-organisms that contribute to a mature tank. These live everywhere in the tank and as yours has been empty quite a while there will be few of them still surviving.

Besides, where the lives of fish are concerned it is always better to be over-cautious.

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2018, 03:35:30 PM »
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Ok, seem to have had a Nitrite bloom as was 1.56ppm today. Ammonia was 0.33ppm. With Nitrite as it is, should I be considering a water change?

So no new ammonia today. When the nitrite drops below 0.50ppm and I add in the ammonia again, do I add back to 3ppm or just add 3ppm?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2018, 04:20:35 PM »
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You only need to worry about nitrite when it reaches the top if the scale because with that reading it could be exactly that level or anything above. As long as the reading stays somewhere on the scale you don't need to do a water change.

By the time nitrite drops below 1.0 ammonia will probably be zero so add 3 ppm  - which will also top it up to 3 ppm  :)

Offline barneyadi

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2018, 03:04:39 PM »
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In case it helps anyone else, both ammonia and nitrite were down to zero today so added 3ppm ammonia and will check again tomorrow.

In my new second hand tank did the first check today and ammonia has dropped to 2.59ppm from 3ppm, so that is a good sign. Was going to add some sponge from other tank but have decided to leave things as they are and try and fishless cycle the new tank.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2018, 02:52:52 PM »
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ok, i'm slightly confused but it probably is very straightforward. Checked ammonia and was down to 0.45ppm from 3ppm yesterday but my nitrite has gone back up to 1.50ppm. Am I still in the nitrite blooming stage? I wont add any ammonia until tomorrow as long as nitrite is back down but wondering if same might happen the day after.

Any ideas?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2018, 04:17:55 PM »
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You now have a lot of ammonia eaters which can eat almost 3 ppm in 24 hours (2.55 ppm to be precise). They have turned this 2.55 ppm ammonia into 6.8 ppm nitrite.
The reason your nitrite is going up is because you have only enough nitrite eaters to eat 6.8 - 1.5 = 5.3 ppm nitrite in 24 hours.

Nitrite eaters always lag behind ammonia eaters because they can't start multiplying till the ammonia eaters have made some nitrite, and nitrite eaters multiply slower than ammonia eaters.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2018, 07:41:05 PM »
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Thanks Sue

Thought it was something like that but it makes sense now.

Thanks

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2018, 03:53:24 PM »
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Back to zero for both Nitrite and Ammonia so topped back up for 3ppm ammonia. Here's hoping the Nitrite fellows get their act together.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2018, 03:10:25 PM »
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Starting to hate my tank at moment. Ammonia nil, but Nitrites seem stuck on 1.42ppm after adding 3ppm ammonia.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2018, 03:23:24 PM »
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Patience is not my strong point, and tank cycling is the thing that that frustrates me the most.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2018, 07:16:42 PM »
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Patience is not my strong point, and tank cycling is the thing that that frustrates me the most.

I think it is the lack of progress sometimes. The ammonia bacteria seem to be working and so are some nitrites but they don't seem to be multiplying, seems the same results over the last 6 days.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2018, 04:12:04 PM »
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Well as expected ammonia and nitrite down to zero so more ammonia added. Think I will have to give the nitrite bacteria the sack if they don't improve soon!!! ;D

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2018, 04:31:27 PM »
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Try giving them a stern talking to, that might help.  ;)

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2018, 03:09:09 PM »
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Ok, rather concerned today as Nitrite is 1.76ppm which is an increase from previous tests and cant understand why as would have thought they would have multiplied to some degree.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2018, 03:58:54 PM »
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Have you added any more ammonia in the last couple of days?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2018, 04:03:27 PM »
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Hi Sue

These are my readings from last Sunday

Sun 0.25 ammonia (added 3ppm)
Mon 0.33 ammonia 1.56 Nitrite
Tues 0 ammonia 0.11 Nitrite (added 3ppm)
Wed 0.55 ammonia 1.5 nitrite
Thur 0.2 ammonia 0.1 nitrite (added 3ppm)
Fri 0.15 ammonia 1.42 nitrite
Sat 0.08 ammonia 0.11 nitrite (added 3ppm)
Today 0.43 ammonia 1.77 nitrite

Does that give you any clues?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2018, 04:34:20 PM »
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Ah, you did add ammonia. That explains the increase in nitrite.

You added 3 ppm ammonia , added to the 0.08 which was already there, and you have 0.43 ppm left after 24 hours. That is, 2.65 ppm ammonia have been converted into nitrite, and that amount of ammonia makes 7.1 ppm nitrite. You have enough nitrite eaters to drop the nitrite level from 7.21 (the amount made plus what was already there) to 1.77 in 24 hours.

You just need to grow a few more.

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2018, 04:41:50 PM »
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Ah, you did add ammonia. That explains the increase in nitrite.

You added 3 ppm ammonia , added to the 0.08 which was already there, and you have 0.43 ppm left after 24 hours. That is, 2.65 ppm ammonia have been converted into nitrite, and that amount of ammonia makes 7.1 ppm nitrite. You have enough nitrite eaters to drop the nitrite level from 7.21 (the amount made plus what was already there) to 1.77 in 24 hours.

You just need to grow a few more.

Ok, slightly confused. On Thursday I had 0.2 ammonia and added 3ppm ammonia which after 24 hours nitrite had dropped to 1.42. So why, after adding 3ppm ammonia to .08 ammonia, has the nitrite eaters should have brought nitrite down to 1.42ppm at least instead of 1.77ppm as seems to me I have lost some nitrite eaters?

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Re: Restarting tank
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2018, 04:54:18 PM »
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The trouble is that our test kits are not totally accurate. It is very difficult to get the volume of test water exactly the same every time, and drop sizes can also vary. And the dose of ammonia could also be slightly different every time.
If you were just using the colour charts by eye, the zero colour would be a definite blue, but any amount of nitrite up to 0.25 would just look pale purple. If you were just measuring nitrite by eye, all these readings would look the same. It's only because you are using a colorimeter that you can see such tiny differences. It is quite likely that the rest of us have the same thing happen, it's just that we can't tell with a test kit read by eye.

I would just wait a bit longer. On average it takes at least twice as long to grow enough nitrite eaters as it does ammonia eaters. You may have had some ammonia eaters survive since the tank last had water, but not as many nitrite eaters survive.

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