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Hey guys I'm having a bit of a nitrite spike. My system was nearly cycled when I added my goldfish. My nitrite levels were dropping and my nitrate levels were on the rise. I added seven channel catfish I caught a few days ago and ever since then my nitrite levels have been off the scales. My ammonia levels are non existing and my nitrate levels are staying around 5ppm. Any help would be apriciated. I've got to do something quick or I'm gonna lose my fish.

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Well as of this morning my nitrates are still high but my nitrites are dropping quickly. Thats with me doing nothing but not feeding and a partial water change so maybe its balancing out.
Ok so nitrites are almost gone and nitrates are slowly dropping. What is the optimal nitrate level I need to look for to tell e the system is done cycling?

You can't tell by looking at the nitrates...

Erik Phillips said:

Ok so nitrites are almost gone and nitrates are slowly dropping. What is the optimal nitrate level I need to look for to tell e the system is done cycling?
Well how do I know then?

A system is done cycling when ammonia levels are at zero 24 - 36 hours after dosing. You didn't do fishless cycling so you are going to have to play it by ear. Start feeding lightly at first to make sure ammonia and nitrites don't go out of control and then slowly increase feed rates as you go.

Will do

What does "dosing" mean?

It means adding ammonia to bring up the ammonia present in the water so that the bacteria can feed on it.

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