3 Gallon Tank Not Cycling

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by oneleaf, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. oneleafNew MemberMember

    Hi there,
    I have a 3 gallon tank that has undergone a fishless cycling process for 3 weeks now with no drop in ammonia.

    I have the following:
    3 gallon tank at 81 degrees
    pH at 7.6
    Ammonia at 2 ppm
    Nitrite/Nitrates 0 ppm
    Water treated with Seachem Prime
    API Test Kit
    Azoo Mignon 60 filter with Aquaclear Foam and BioMax media
    Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride

    After 3 weeks without any changes, I am wondering if there is something wrong or whether I just need to stay patient? I am testing every 2-3 days and Ammonia has not changed.

  2. FlutterFish

    FlutterFishWell Known MemberMember

    Stay patient. If you're really impatient, crank up the temperature to 86F and add SeaChem Stability.
  3. bgclarke

    bgclarkeWell Known MemberMember

  4. Josh SummersValued MemberMember

    It took me close to 3 months to completely cycle my new tank so it's 100% stable. when I first got it years ago. Maby your filter doesn't have enough surface area to grow enough bacteria for your ammonia levels. More surface area u can pass eater through mean more area bacteria can grow and also. Also don't clean your filter at all while your cycling unless it gets clogged. I had trouble doing my first cycle. And I kept cleaning my tank too much. Just do water change. U can over clean especially when the tank isn't established. I would stay away from anything that eliminates ammonia if your doing fishless cycle. Some stuff converts ammonia to ammonium and it's safer foe the fish. But I believe bacteria can't grow from it. My cycle kept stalling until I finally just walked away and did absolute nothing as far a cleaning let the tank do it's thing and be patient. If your doing fishless cycle you don't need ammonia removing products. Once u get cycled slowly add fish or you'll get a spike again. I way over feed my fish but I worked up to it slowly so my filter could handle the bio load. You'll only grow enough bacteria to eat what ammonia is present. So if u have 1 fish theirs only gonna be enough bacteria to handle 1 fish even on a giant filter. Low bio load. Low bacteria. High bio load high bacteria. Cause I over feed I can add fish without a spike I just add my fish then slow down on feeding for a fee days till the cycle can catch up again
  5. -Mak-

    -Mak-Well Known MemberMember

    Are you adding bacteria? If not it's going to take a really long time.
  6. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    Aside from what others have said, 2ppm ammonia is a bit high for that sized aquarium. Maybe drop it down to one.
  7. jonahdoughNew MemberMember

    The best thing to do to hurry it along would be to borrow/take some filter media from another already-cycled tank (maybe from a friend). That would have the necessary bacteria to cycle your tank.
  8. OP

    oneleafNew MemberMember

    I have not added any bacteria; maybe I will ask a local fish store for some.

    Is there any validity to this? I assumed, since ppm is volume agnostic and that as long as a filter is sized correctly for the tank (which I assume my HOB with biomax is more than enough), 2 ppm should work just fine.
  9. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    That's not the reason why. Unless you stock heavily, you won't need 2ppm ammonia for a 3g. I don't have clear evidence of this, but personally, I think it just slows your cycling time, the higher the ammonia.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  10. OP

    oneleafNew MemberMember

    Ah got it, thanks. Yea, in that case, I suppose no reason to have it so high. I actually thought fishless cycling often used upwards of 4ppm, so I thought 2ppm was already on the low side. But if lower will cycle faster, I can bring it down to 1ppm.
  11. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    I've done fish-in cycle while testing bottled bacteria products and find that I can cycle within a week (using TSS+), while people who add ammonia tend to take much longer. I have noticed it takes days to reach even 1ppm ammonia, if at all. Usually I cycle by that time, which is around .5ppm. Not trying to say fish-in is better than fishless. Just that, maybe people tend to add too much ammonia, which also creates stalled cycles, which I hear a lot of. Just one man's experience.
  12. jl_1005

    jl_1005Valued MemberMember

    Just adding to someone else's post above, make sure you're not rinsing the filter in tap water, or adding un-conditioned water in your tank.
  13. OP

    oneleafNew MemberMember

    Thanks guys!
    I actually have never washed the filter (and if I do, I'd use water from the aquarium). And when I top up the aquarium with water, I always use some Seachem Prime on the new water before introducing it.

    I did have a sponge filter lying around, so I added it to it last time along with the HOB. Hopefully it will help!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  14. bgclarke

    bgclarkeWell Known MemberMember

  15. OP

    oneleafNew MemberMember

    Oops, I meant Prime (just fixed it). Good catch!

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