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No nitrites/nitrates after 8weeks?

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Hello everyone! This is my first post and I’m new to the hobby so please bear with me.


I’m worried about the lack of nitrites showing up in my tank, it’s been almost 8weeks and I just want to check if I’m doing something wrong or whether I am at least on the right track.


Admittedly my first mistake was NOT doing a fishless cycle – lesson definitely learned, I will never do a fish-in-tank cycle again! Argh!


Secondly, I have an over stocked tank. :doh11:  :doh11:  :doh11: 


Here is what I’m working with:

37 Gallon Aquarium

2x Aquaclear 50s

-foam filter and 1 bag of ceramic media and activated charcoal each

3x 3inch Oranda goldfish

1x 2inch Telescope goldfish

1x 3inch Black Moor


I plan on upgrading to a 75 gallon tank early next year :D Excited!


Oct 3rd: Oranda goldfish added to new tank.


Immediately started doing 50-80% WC every few days, Ammonia stayed under 0.5ppm


Oct 13th: Black moor goldfish added


Oct 25: Nitrites first appeared!

Amm: 0.5ppm

Nitrites 0.25ppm




Nitirates 0.5ppm



By the 28th I was reading 0.25ppm Nitrites AND 5ppm Nitrates

*Replaced sand substrate with a fine pebble substrate b/c my filters were sucking up the sand and making terrible grinding sounds and just plain not working properly.



Amm 0.5

Nitrite: 0.5ppm

Nitrate: 10ppm

80% w/c


Oct 31st: Telescope goldfish added



Amm 0.5ppm

Nitrite: 0.25


85% w/c



Amm: 0.5ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 0ppm


3rd: Last time NitrATES have ever shown up

Amm: 0.5

Nitrite: 0.25ppm

Nitrate: 5.0

90% w/c




Ammonia: 1.0ppm


7th:Ammonia 0.25ppm


8th: Ammonia 1.0ppm & 80% w/c


9th : Ammonia: 1.0ppm & 80% w/c


11th: Ammonia 1.0ppm

Nitrites: 0.25ppm & 75% w/c *The last time Nitrites have ever shown up.


***FYI I continued to check Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels (both reading ZERO) every time***


12th: Ammonia: 0.5ppm

13th: Ammonia: 1.0ppm & 75% w/c

14th: Ammonia 0.5ppm

15th: Ammonia: 1.0ppm & 70% w/c

16th: Ammonia: 0.5ppm

17th: Ammonia: 1.0ppm

*At this point I started to think that I was doing w/c too often and in too large amounts. I was also rinsing out the AC foam filter at each w/c and the ceramic biomedia every other w/c  so I figured that I was cleaning them too much and washing away the bacteria.

18th: Ammonia: 2.0ppm & 50% w/c

19th: Ammonia: 2.0ppm & 60% w/c

20th: Ammonia: 2.0ppm & 70% w/c

21st: Ammonia: 1.0ppm

22nd: Ammonia: 2.0ppm & 70% w/c

pH: 7.0 *started testing pH again

23rd: Ammonia: 4.0ppm & 75%w/c

25th: Ammonia: 4.0pppm & 75% w/c


26th: Ammonia: 4.0ppm & 50% w/c

pH: 7.0 – 7.2


27th: Ammonia 4.0ppm *80%w/c

pH: 7.6!!

*cleaned AC foam filter in tank water

*After w/c: ammonia: 0.5ppm & pH: 6.8


29th: Ammonia: 4.0ppm


I hope this all makes sense? I started to think about the times I have changed the balance of my tank, ie. Adding two more fish, replacing the substrate and then changing the contents of the filter.


What are all of your thoughts?  How often should I be doing water changes, and how high can I actually allow the Ammonia to levels to get?


Thank you in advance. Please let me know if you need any more information! :Jig: 


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:hi and welcome  :D


What is your tank temp?  Do you know your KH and GH?


What water conditioner are you using?

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Hello :) Thank you for your reply!

Unfortunately I do not know what my gH or kH levels are...

I've used the following water conditioners :

- Nutrafin aqua plus tap water conditioner

- Aqueon water conditioner

*currently using

- Fluval water conditioner: total protection

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Current tank temp is 82

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Get Seachem Prime water conditioner.  This will protect your fish from up to 1 ppm ammonia.  


What are you using to test the water?  


Did you add any kind of bacterial product?


Please do the following:


Test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH and report your results.


Test your tank for the same before doing a water change and report your results.  Tell us when you did your last water change and how much you changed.


Cut the amount you are feeding in half.  You should always underfeed fish during cycling.  


Either you have a very warm house or you heat your tank.  If the latter, lower the temperature, preferably to room temperature.


There is no such thing as too much water changed unless your tap and tank water differ substantially.  


Rinsing your filter medium should only present a problem if you wash it in untreated water.

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