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new system cycling, please help

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by tomer, May 31, 2017.

  1. tomer

    tomer New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    North Melbourne
    City:
    North Melbourne
    Hi
    I just built a new system and started cycling with gold fish, I have 2 bath tubs, top filled with clay pebbles, bottom full to the top with 4 gold fish inside (started with a few so thing go slowly). also i already planted a full bed of veg, with seedlings which are going ok except growing very slowly and have slight yellowing.
    My question is, My Ammonia seem to be on 0 or very close to 0, my Nitrite is at about 0.5ppm and my nitrate seem to be 0 too.
    the nitrite has been like that for a few days, the others no change either.
    why is the ammonia 0 and nitrite high?
    why cant i see any nitrates yet?

    any help will be much appreciated
    Thank you.
     
  2. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    297
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    ACT
    City:
    Canberra
    Hi Tomer, welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like your system is part way through cycling but not finished yet. There are two types of bacteria that are important here; the first type turns ammonia into nitrite, and the second type turns nitrite into nitrate. Because they don't start breeding/growing into a decent sized colony until they've got the food to support themselves, as a system is cycling you always see a nitrite spike when you get to the point where the first type have established themselves and are turning ammonia into nitrite as soon as the fish produce it, but the second type are still catching up. That's where you are. They'll catch up soon, but it might take anywhere up to a couple more weeks because temperatures are dropping and everything happens slower when it's cold!

    That's also why you're not seeing nitrates; the bacteria that make them aren't up to full strength yet. They're there, and they're making nitrates - if they weren't there at all you'd have a much higher nitrite reading - but right now they're only producing nitrates slowly, and your plants are taking them out of the water as soon as they arrive. Also, because you only have a few fish, even once your system is fully cycled you might not get a nitrate reading at all until you add another couple of fish. The yellowing leaves are probably due to nitrate deficiency (though there are a LOT of things that cause yellow leaves; depending on which leaves are changing colours in what way, you can diagnose a lot of different problems!). Photos will help us see exactly what's going on!
     
  3. tomer

    tomer New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    North Melbourne
    City:
    North Melbourne
    thank you!
    I will attach pictures soon
     

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