Ammonia Not Rising In Fish-in Cycle

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pslagle2012

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hello,

I posted a similar question recently so forgive any redundancy. I have a 29 gallon tank with 3 guppies cycling. I used Tetra SafeStart Plus when I added the fish.

Two days from now will be two weeks since we added the TSS+ and fish. The substrate has a lot of waste on it. I have a few real plants in there too. The entire time our ammonia has stayed at .25ppm. Nitrite and nitrate have remained the same as well: 0 and 5 respectively.

My question is, why is everything staying the same regardless of the waste in the tank or TSS+? My first thought was that the SafeStart simply didn't work but in that case I would expect the ammonia to go up. Any help is appreciated.
 

Pine Tar

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I wouldnt worry about it, the ammonia spike will come. It recently took my 20G 7 weeks to fully cycle with TSS. IMO these bacteria supplements dont really do much.
PT
 

Goldiemom

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hello,

I posted a similar question recently so forgive any redundancy. I have a 29 gallon tank with 3 guppies cycling. I used Tetra SafeStart Plus when I added the fish.

Two days from now will be two weeks since we added the TSS+ and fish. The substrate has a lot of waste on it. I have a few real plants in there too. The entire time our ammonia has stayed at .25ppm. Nitrite and nitrate have remained the same as well: 0 and 5 respectively.

My question is, why is everything staying the same regardless of the waste in the tank or TSS+? My first thought was that the SafeStart simply didn't work but in that case I would expect the ammonia to go up. Any help is appreciated.
What are you testing with?
 

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the waste in the tank
]

Fish gills actually do double duty: they allow the fish to breathe, but they also excrete ammonia. There's actually very little ammonia in their physical waste, but bacteria do convert some of the nitrogen content in it to ammonia.

I think what's happening in your tank is that it's cycling, but at a level that's undetectable by your test kit. As a point of comparison, individual fish produce only a little ammonia. One study conducted using goldfish found that they excreted only 0.07 mg of ammonia per gram of body weight per day (they were fed every day at a rate of 5% body weight with a fish food that had 40% protein content).

There's a lot of ifs and buts, but if you used that as a rough guide and assuming your guppies weighed 0.5 g each, your tank's only producing ~0.105 mg of ammonia per day. In a 29 gallon tank, thats a concentration of 0.0009 ppm.

That's perhaps why your ammonia (apparently) hasn't increased.

As for why it hasn't gone down: not enough bacteria. Most of the bacteria that we need in aquariums grow very slowly compared to most other bacteria. When there's little food (i.e. ammonia for ammonia-oxidising bacteria, nitrite for nitrite-oxidising bacteria), their growth rate will be even slower.

This is why we tend to overdose ammonia at 2 ppm/4 ppm while fishless cycling, even if that's way beyond the total ammonia excretion rate for an appropriately stocked tank, as this allows us to maximise growth of the bacteria.

Soution? Patience. Lots of it.
 
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