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I am in the middle of fishless cycling my system.

pH-8      Ammonia- .25      Nitrite- 5      Nitrate-80    kH-3

I am using an API test kit. 

I add ammonia to bump the ammonia level to 1 PPM. It goes back down to .25 PPM in a day.

The Nitrates are creeping up.

The Nitrites are off the charts and it has been that way for 5 days.

I use rain water in my system. 

I read a "Fritz Industry, Nitrifying Bacteria Facts" bulletin.

I quote:

" Micronutrients - All species of nitrifying bacteria require a number of micronutrients.

Most important among these is the need for phosphorus for ATP(Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) production. The Conversion of ATP provides energy for cellular funtions. Phosphorus is normally available to cells in the form of phosphates (PO4). Nitrobacter, especially, is unable to oxidize nitrite in the absence of phosphates. ......If all the above described parameters are within the optimum ranges for bacteria and nitrite levels continue to escalate without production of nitrate, then phosphate block may be occuring.

Now, my nitrate number is slowly creeping up, but I am wondering if a little Phosphoric Acid would help the situation.

Has anyone experienced this?

Thanks in advance.

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N.spira and N.bacter are just slower than N.somonas...if you want them to "catch up" starve the N.somona of an NH4 source for a few days, then cut your dosing in half. that should push you through the "nitrite spike phase" a bit quicker...

Nothing you've described points to phosphate block issues...just pretty 'run-of-the-mill' cycling scenario...

Besides, unless you used RO or rainwater it would be quite remarkable to experience phosphate block, as plenty is normally found in both city drinking water supplies and wells.

Nitrates at 80 is pretty darn good...actually on the 'high-ish' end as it is...not sluggish or 'blocked' :)

That's good to know Vlad, thanks. He had me spooked there. I just added fish to my system after cycling for about 6 weeks. I used filtered/declorinated tap water and Night Out II to build up bacteria.

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