6 weeks into my cycle;is my cycle stalled?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by jaydee1106, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. jaydee1106New MemberMember

    So I have a 20L gallon tank that has been fishless cycling for over 6 weeks now. 2 weeks ago my tank finally had a breakthrough on the ammonia breakdown process. I was dosing ammonia up to 4 ppm daily and 2 weeks ago it went down to 0 within 24 hours. Shortly after I had a huge nitrite and nitrate spike and it's been this way since. Yesterday, my water parameters were:

    -0 ppm ammonia (still dosing to 2 ppm daily)
    -nitrites were of the chart-deep Magenta color
    -nitrates were of the charts- over 160 ppm
    -ph over 7.6

    So to disclose, this is a fishless cycle so the only thing I have in my tank is an Amazon sword and 2 anubias plants. I use Prime when performing waste changes and dose Flourish Excel for the plants. I already tested my tap and everything looks great other that my tap having 0.5 ppm of ammonia which is not a problem anymore.

    I read another article yesterday and someone mentioned that my tank is stalked and that I need a 90% water change in order to break the steal and that parameters should be readable after 24 hours. So I did the 90% water change and here are my parameters today:

    -ammonia is 0 ppm
    -nitrites are a bit lighter Magenta but still of the charts
    -nitrates are readable now at 80 ppm
    -ph is now readable at 7.6 ppm

    I'm stuck here and need help. What should I do? Do I just wait for nitrites to stop naturally? Do I stop dosing ammonia to lower the nitrite conversion? Any help would be great.
  2. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Don't stop, but you can reduce the ammonia dose to about 2ppm. You can change water until it's in the readable levels, too.
  3. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    When your nitrite levels get too high, it can stall the cycle. So you may want to try doing another water change to get those nitrites down to a readable level. But you definitly need to keep adding ammonoa. If you stop feeding ammonia, your ammonia converting bacteria will start starving off, since ammonia is it's food source.

    I would think that you don't have too much longer before the tank finishes cycling, so hang in there. Waiting for a tank to cycle can really test your patients!
  4. jaydee1106New MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice. Jdhef you say to perform another water change but in the past 2 weeks I did 4 50% water changes and did a 90% water change yesterday. Do you really think I need to do another water change? Or should I sit tight? I will continue to dose at 2 ppm for ammonia.
  5. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If your nitrites are still off the chart, I would say that another water change would be needed. As mentioned, having nitrites at too high a level could stall the cycle.
  6. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    I agree. Change until you can at least tell where they're at. Just be sure to bring the ammonia back up to where it belongs when you're done.

    I once had a nitrite spike so high that it took three complete water changes (and I gave up the third time and rinsed the sand) to get it to a readable level. Crazy, huh?! I tested after each time.
  7. jaydee1106New MemberMember

    Ok so I did a water change earlier today and just retested. The parameters are still high.

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