Ammonia still high in tank

IsabellaRomona

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This is my first ever community tank and its a 20 gal. I only had small betta fish aquariums when I was younger and I never thought twice about cycling a tank. After some research I saw that I had to do the nitrogen cycle. Btw this tank is a tropical tank. I started the tank by adding the ammonia into the tank (I read off of a website to do this), I think I added to much because the testing shows that there is 8 ppm. I did one 15% water change and then a 25% water change the next day because the ammonia test showed that it didn't drop at all. I added it on day one and now its day 13, almost two weeks in and its around 4 ppm. Is that normal?

I just tested the water today and the testing said that the nitrite is at 5 and the nitrate is at 40. Will the ammonia quickly drop and the nitrite spike?

Thanks, Bella
 

Momgoose56

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IsabellaRomona said:
This is my first ever community tank and its a 20 gal. I only had small betta fish aquariums when I was younger and I never thought twice about cycling a tank. After some research I saw that I had to do the nitrogen cycle. Btw this tank is a tropical tank. I started the tank by adding the ammonia into the tank (I read off of a website to do this), I think I added to much because the testing shows that there is 8 ppm. I did one 15% water change and then a 25% water change the next day because the ammonia test showed that it didn't drop at all. I added it on day one and now its day 13, almost two weeks in and its around 4 ppm. Is that normal?

I just tested the water today and the testing said that the nitrite is at 5 and the nitrate is at 40. Will the ammonia quickly drop and the nitrite spike?

Thanks, Bella
Your nitrite IS spiking if it's at 5. Your ammonia should keep dropping as it is oxidized by bacteria in the tank. Are you adding any ammonia right now? It can take 2-6 weeks to cycle a tank. Your tank is progressing nicely. At this point, 2 weeks after start, with your ammonia at 4ppm, nitrite at 5 or more and nitrates at 40 I would just keep an eye on levels and once ammonia drops to 0-1 ppm add enough more carefully to raise it to 2 ppm. Repeat this as necessary until nitrite drops to 0. When added ammonia (2ppm) drops to 0 within 24 hrs after added and nitrites stay at 0 it will safe to add fish after a good water change.
 
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IsabellaRomona

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Momgoose56 said:
Your nitrite IS spiking if it's at 5. Your ammonia should keep dropping as it is oxidized by bacteria in the tank. Are you adding any ammonia right now? It can take 2-6 weeks to cycle a tank. Your tank is progressing nicely. At this point, 2 weeks after start, with your ammonia at 4ppm, nitrite at 5 or more and nitrates at 40 I would just keep an eye on levels and once ammonia drops to 0-1 ppm add enough more carefully to raise it to 2 ppm. Repeat this as necessary until nitrite drops to 0. When added ammonia (2ppm) drops to 0 within 24 hrs after added and nitrites stay at 0 it will safe to add fish after a good water change.
Ok thank you!!! Just to make sure I understand, I am adding the little bit of ammonia to see if the good bacteria will eat up the ammonia and then if the ammonia is gone after 24 hours, that means that my aquarium is ready to go?
 

Utar

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While I totally agree that when the tank is fully cycled, it is safe to add fish. But for me I don't, not until the tank as aged awhile. Its a funny thing that happened to me two years ago after cycling my 29 gallon. I felt is was safe to add fish, added them and soon after they started dying. I only added a few at a time. But after a few months the new fish thrived and lived. I have most of them today. After the cycle had finished all the water parameters looked could. I just couldn't understand why my fish died. So I decided aging the tank made it safer for my new fish.
 
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IsabellaRomona

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Utar said:
While I totally agree that when the tank is fully cycled, it is safe to add fish. But for me I don't, not until the tank as aged awhile. Its a funny thing that happened to me two years ago after cycling my 29 gallon. I felt is was safe to add fish, added them and soon after they started dying. I only added a few at a time. But after a few months the new fish thrived and lived. I have most of them today. After the cycle had finished all the water parameters looked could. I just couldn't understand why my fish died. So I decided aging the tank made it safer for my new fish.
I’m really not paitent we enough to wait a month after the cycle but I’ll wait 3 days to a week to make sure that the cycle is finished. I am going to have about 13-16 fish in my tank and I’m going to add 1-2 fish in every week so that their waste won’t cause the ammonia to spike.
 

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