A fishless cycling question

blushrimp1

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I'm sure you guys get a lot of questions on this topic! I've searched around here some and haven't found an answer to my cycling question, so here goes:
I'm cycling a 10 gallon to house blue shrimp. I started on October 17. My nitrites are going down now, they're at about 1.5, down from 3.0. Nitrate is at 20. Ammonia seems to be going down I think, but oh so slowly. On Nov 20 I added 30 drops of ammonia and the reading went from 1.5 to 2.0, where it remains today. I am not sure if this is all on track. Should I keep adding ammonia or leave it alone, and let it meander down to zero?
Thanks
 

Heron

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Keep adding sufficient ammonia to return it to 2.0 until the ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 after 24 hours. As you are fishless don't do water changes until the cycle is complete. Then try reducing the nitrates with water changes.
It sounds like you have good parameters for a cycle that's on its way, shouldn't be that much longer.
 
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blushrimp1

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Excellent, thank you for the replies. That is all very reassuring! I like to read all I can about this, and anything aquarium related, so I can become more knowlegable.
 

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blushrimp1 said:
Excellent, thank you for the replies. That is all very reassuring! I like to read all I can about this, and anything aquarium related, so I can become more knowlegable.
Hope you tapped the “This” in mattgirl reply. She is the go to member for cycle issues.
 
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blushrimp1

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Fljoe said:
Hope you tapped the “This” in mattgirl reply. She is the go to member for cycle issues.
That's a great article! I did-- I think my tank is going along as it should!
 

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blushrimp1 said:
That's a great article! I did-- I think my tank is going along as it should!
Hopefully you have done a water change now if you've not done one since starting this cycle. It could very well help to get your ammonia going down quicker. At this point in your cycle it should be back to zero 24 hours after adding it.
 
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blushrimp1

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No, I haven't done a water change yet. I wasn't sure about that. So, I do a water change, then add more ammonia to get it up to 2.0?
 

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blushrimp1 said:
No, I haven't done a water change yet. I wasn't sure about that. So, I do a water change, then add more ammonia to get it up to 2.0?
Yes. Quite often the water change will get the cycle moving forward again. The article I linked you to didn't all apply to what you are experiencing but the part about doing a water change does.
 

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mattgirl said:
This may give you some insight into why what is happening, is happening or should I say, not happening. Not exactly what you are experiencing but may help you get to moving forward again.
Well reading your "this" answered my question that I was about to post. I've been cycling since 11/3 and able to process 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. Your post answered my question as to why the nitrite is still not going down and nitrates are reading 5. Thank you. and great question by the OP.
 

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JROD84 said:
Well reading your "this" answered my question that I was about to post. I've been cycling since 11/3 and able to process 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. Your post answered my question as to why the nitrite is still not going down and nitrates are reading 5. Thank you. and great question by the OP.
This same senerio happens so often I felt it was time to post a "How to fix it" thread. I am very happy to hear that it helped you :)
 
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blushrimp1

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Well, yesterday I did a water change of about 60%, and then brought the ammonia back up to 2.0. I just tested again: ammonia looks to be about 1.5 or so, and nitrites are zero. I think I must just keep on keeping on? Dosing ammonia back up to 2.0 daily until it reads zero after 24 hours?
 

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mattgirl said:
This same senerio happens so often I felt it was time to post a "How to fix it" thread. I am very happy to hear that it helped you :)
It was very informative post. Once my incision on my back heals, I'll try it and hopefully get the cycle to finish so I can stock my daughters tank with Peacocks. It's a birthday/Christmas present for my 4 year old daughter. She is probably losing patients faster than I am. She asks me every day if her tank cycled yet. I tell her no and she will look at the tank and tell it to hurry up. Lol, silly little girl. But, hopefully knowing what I learned from your post, I can speed it up.
 

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blushrimp1 said:
Well, yesterday I did a water change of about 60%, and then brought the ammonia back up to 2.0. I just tested again: ammonia looks to be about 1.5 or so, and nitrites are zero. I think I must just keep on keeping on? Dosing ammonia back up to 2.0 daily until it reads zero after 24 hours?
Now that your nitrites are reading 0 you may never see them again and that is a good thing. That is what we want to see happening. I would let the ammonia get down to no higher than .25 before adding any more. You are looking to see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates within 24 hours of adding ammonia. At that point your cycle will be done.
 
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blushrimp1

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Thank you again. It sure is nice to be able to get info so fast, it really helps to know so quickly what you're doing!
 
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blushrimp1

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My tank is going backward now in its cycle, not forward!
Nitrites were at zero for several tests, so I stopped testing for it.
Ammonia continued to go down but really slowly, and never did it go down to zero, but almost...until I did a massive water change. Then it was zero! After that I added more ammonia, so it read at approx .25. Still, it crept down slowly, and again never reached zero.
My tap water is high in nitrates, so it is consistently reading at about 30. I have added a lot of plants, including duckweed and a rooty philadendron sticking out of the water. These haven't made a difference in nitrates yet.
I ordered my blue shrimp, since I thought I could just water-change the ammonia out when they arrive tomorrow.
Today I decided to check for nitrites. Up to .25, and this is after a 1/4 water change!
I was expecting no nitrite, and hopefully no ammonia since I haven't added any for 3 days. Ammonia was low, but still there...
So, I'm at a loss, kind of discouraged, and confused as to what the heck is going on with this cycle.
I feel like the shrimp are just going to die in a toxic soup.
 

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blushrimp1 said:
My tank is going backward now in its cycle, not forward!
Nitrites were at zero for several tests, so I stopped testing for it.
Ammonia continued to go down but really slowly, and never did it go down to zero, but almost...until I did a massive water change. Then it was zero! After that I added more ammonia, so it read at approx .25. Still, it crept down slowly, and again never reached zero.
My tap water is high in nitrates, so it is consistently reading at about 30. I have added a lot of plants, including duckweed and a rooty philadendron sticking out of the water. These haven't made a difference in nitrates yet.
I ordered my blue shrimp, since I thought I could just water-change the ammonia out when they arrive tomorrow.
Today I decided to check for nitrites. Up to .25, and this is after a 1/4 water change!
I was expecting no nitrite, and hopefully no ammonia since I haven't added any for 3 days. Ammonia was low, but still there...
So, I'm at a loss, kind of discouraged, and confused as to what the heck is going on with this cycle.
I feel like the shrimp are just going to die in a toxic soup.
If you don't already have it get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It will protect your little guys once you get them while this cycle finally settles down.

What kind of filter are you running on this tank? What is the PH? It needs to be up to at least 7 The cycle has been known to slow down to a crawl when the PH is much lower than 7
 
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blushrimp1

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I'm using only a sponge filter. The tank's PH is 7.55.
Last night in an admittedly desperate attempt to get nitrates down, I dosed the tank with Prime. Ten drops. My tank is a ten gallon. The dosing made no impact on the nitrates, and ammonia still read a very faint, faint green in the test tube.
 

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blushrimp1 said:
I'm using only a sponge filter. The tank's PH is 7.55.
Last night in an admittedly desperate attempt to get nitrates down, I dosed the tank with Prime. Ten drops. My tank is a ten gallon. The dosing made no impact on the nitrates, and ammonia still read a very faint, faint green in the test tube.
Prime isn't going to remove nitrates or ammonia. It will detox low levels of ammonia though. Your tests will still show it if there is any in there but it will be detoxed so will protect your little guys from its damaging affects.

PH is good. Maybe your sponge filter isn't big enough for this tank. I know bacteria grows on every surface in our tanks but we still need enough filter media for the bacteria to grow on too. The strongest colony of bacteria is going to be where the most water movement is happening. The sponge filter is pulling the water with ammonia in it through the sponge thus feeding the bacteria that is growing on it. It is possible that there isn't room for enough bacteria to totally remove all of it from your water or there is not enough water movement. Is it possible to add another filter to this tank? Even another sponge filter should help.

BTW: How high are your nitrates?
 

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