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I've been cycling my system for about 10 days. I have only added ammonia the first day. It has been holding steady at 2 - 4 ppm. Nitrites are at 5.0. PH is holding at 6.4 and my nitrates are at 80 ppm. Nitrites and nitrates are so high but my ammonia is not going down. Is there something wrong or am I just being paranoid.

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Mariam - You are doing nothing wrong.  Fishless cycling takes time.  It took my system 5 weeks to cycle.  It probably wouldn't hurt to raise your pH to 7 as the bacteria you're trying to grow like a more alkaline environment.  However, not a huge concern.  Patience.  I know it's hard, but your fish will be much happier once everything is stabilized to their liking.

Thanks. I'm new at this and I just want to be sure I'm doing the right thing. I'm so excited to get this going. The Taurus in me can't wait.



Roger said:

Mariam - You are doing nothing wrong.  Fishless cycling takes time.  It took my system 5 weeks to cycle.  It probably wouldn't hurt to raise your pH to 7 as the bacteria you're trying to grow like a more alkaline environment.  However, not a huge concern.  Patience.  I know it's hard, but your fish will be much happier once everything is stabilized to their liking.

How much ammonia, and of what concentration, did you add? It is possible that very high concentrations of ammonia may fool the test and appear much lower, or even read zero.

80 ppm of nitrates is high for only 10 days of cycling. Just for comparison, test your source water and let's see what you start out with.

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