3ppm ammonia after huge water change - follows fishless cycle - Help!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by LadySamsara, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. LadySamsaraValued MemberMember

    I started a fishless cycle the beginning of July. I got the ammonia up to 3PPM and was monitoring it until I unexpectedly became hospitalized the first week of July. The third week of July when I was released, the ammonia was still showing as 3PPM and no nitrites...I wasn't sure if I missed the nitrite spike when I was hospitalized. I waited a week or so and tested again - this time it showed zero nitrites but slight nitrates. This led me to believe the tank was cycled. Saturday I did a huge water change as directed and waited 24 hours. The ammonia is STILL 3PPM....????? How? I used fresh, treated water. I have had fish for years but have never attempted a fishless cycle, so this is over my head. I cannot figure out how there is so much ammonia if I changed out most of the water. Again when I check, it looks like slight nitrates and no nitrites. I have a Betta and 2 snails that are waiting for this tank. I would appreciate any assistance in getting this ammonia down. Thank you!
  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Are you using a water conditioner? I would suggest picking up a bottle of Seachem Stability at Petco or Petsmart to speed up the cycling process.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  3. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Do you know what your local water utility used to disinfect water? Your spike in Ammonia may have been the result of chlorine in chloramines in your water having been neutralized by a water conditioner and leaving behind ammonia.
  4. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    The nitrite munchers can start up as soon as ammonia starts to trickle through, while the ammonia munchers take their time, what little nitrite is being produced can go straight to nitrates without you noticing. That's the nitrate your seeing.

    Seems like your ammonia munchers are having trouble starting... what are the pH, KH and temperature?
  5. LadySamsaraValued MemberMember

    Thank you to all who responded. I did treat the water with API Stress Coat and checked the treated tap water I am using for ammonia - Nothing. Now today the ammonia is down to .5 - what a difference! Hampalong, the other stats are as follows, everything was right down the middle: Acidity - 7.2 - Neutral / Alkalinity 80 - Moderate / Hardness 75 - Soft / Nitrites - 0 / Nitrates - barely readable but slightly there.

    Am I going in the right direction with the ammonia dropping so much in 3 days? Now do I wait until the ammonia is zero and then the cycle is complete?

    I am happy I didn't cycle with my little Half Moon but this sure has been a test of patience! :) Thanks again to all who responded!
  6. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    When the ammonia has all been turned to nitrates, and you redose ammonia to check it all goes to nitrates within a day, you're cycled.

    You're using test strips? I don't believe any of your readings, that's how inaccurate they are. The liquid kits are much safer... :)

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