Ammonia Won't Drop Below 0.25

Franco

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Hello All! After about a month, my 10 gallon freshwater tank is nearly cycled. Just today, the nitrite levels have dropped to 0 ppm and the nitrates are at about 10 ppm. My ammonia, however, seems to be hovering around 0.25 ppm. I just tested the tap water out of the faucet and the ammonia is between 0 ppm and 0.25 ppm (but closer to 0 ppm). I'm wondering why the ammonia levels in the tank haven't dropped close to 0 ppm? I am doing a fishless cycle with fish food. I'm thinking maybe the decomposing fish food is still producing too much ammonia for the bacteria to effectively convert it completely into nitrates? Should I stop "feeding" the tank with fish food now? How should I proceed?

Thanks in advance!
 

mattgirl

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If it were me I would clean all the build up of fish food out of there, add a dose of prime to neutralize that ammonia and add a fish. One fish should produce enough ammonia to complete the cycle.

Or clean out the fish food and add pure ammonia until the cycle completes. With bottled ammonia you can better control how high the ammonia gets up too. In this case Prime should be added to top off water but since no lives other than the bacteria are at stake there's in no need to dose the full volume of the tank.

You can grow more bacteria if you dose the tank up to at least 2ppm. You want as big a bacteria colony as possible before adding your fish. Having more than you need when the fish are introduced should prevent a minI cycle. Any extra will just eventually die off without enough food (ammonia) to sustain them.
 

appcontrol

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Franco said:
Hello All! After about a month, my 10 gallon freshwater tank is nearly cycled. Just today, the nitrite levels have dropped to 0 ppm and the nitrates are at about 10 ppm. My ammonia, however, seems to be hovering around 0.25 ppm. I just tested the tap water out of the faucet and the ammonia is between 0 ppm and 0.25 ppm (but closer to 0 ppm). I'm wondering why the ammonia levels in the tank haven't dropped close to 0 ppm? I am doing a fishless cycle with fish food. I'm thinking maybe the decomposing fish food is still producing too much ammonia for the bacteria to effectively convert it completely into nitrates? Should I stop "feeding" the tank with fish food now? How should I proceed?

Thanks in advance!
I did fishless cycle with fish food and I added just 2-3 times in first 20 days just 2-3 flakes and after that I added 2 nerita snails and after a week I start adding small school fishes but like 2-3 at once and it all worked. So I would say stop adding fish food it relise ammonia until it is full gone.
Plus you have ammonia in water so it gives you some readings use prime when you do wc.
And when you get to the point where you are 0,0,5-20 then add fish small number just few but don't wait a week to get them or your bacteria will starve and die.
 
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Franco

Franco

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mattgirl said:
If it were me I would clean all the build up of fish food out of there, add a dose of prime to neutralize that ammonia and add a fish. One fish should produce enough ammonia to complete the cycle.

Or clean out the fish food and add pure ammonia until the cycle completes. With bottled ammonia you can better control how high the ammonia gets up too. In this case Prime should be added to top off water but since no lives other than the bacteria are at stake there's in no need to dose the full volume of the tank.

You can grow more bacteria if you dose the tank up to at least 2ppm. You want as big a bacteria colony as possible before adding your fish. Having more than you need when the fish are introduced should prevent a minI cycle. Any extra will just eventually die off without enough food (ammonia) to sustain them.
Thank you!! The one thing I worry about is disrupting the bacteria on the gravel if I were to vacuum the fish food up. Do you think there is enough bacteria on the filter media to prevent this disruption?

appcontrol said:
I did fishless cycle with fish food and I added just 2-3 times in first 20 days just 2-3 flakes and after that I added 2 nerita snails and after a week I start adding small school fishes but like 2-3 at once and it all worked. So I would say stop adding fish food it relise ammonia until it is full gone.
Plus you have ammonia in water so it gives you some readings use prime when you do wc.
And when you get to the point where you are 0,0,5-20 then add fish small number just few but don't wait a week to get them or your bacteria will starve and die.
Thanks! I currently have Tetra AquaSafe... but now realize that doesn't detoxify the ammonia like Prime does. I will be sure to invest in a bottle of Prime!
 

mattgirl

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Franco said:
Thank you!! The one thing I worry about is disrupting the bacteria on the gravel if I were to vacuum the fish food up. Do you think there is enough bacteria on the filter media to prevent this disruption?
Since your nitrites have gone up and now back down to zero your cycle is almost complete so there should be enough bacteria on your filter media to keep your cycle safe. Some bacteria does live on every surface in the tank but it is attached to the surfaces so vacuuming the gravel shouldn't affect your cycle at all.

Once vacuumed up though you still need an ammonia source to continue feeding your cycle (bacteria). Either add more fish food, your fish or pure ammonia. You don't want your ammonia to go to zero and stay there for any length of time. Right now your cycle isn't firmly established so keeping it fed is critical.
 
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Franco

Franco

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mattgirl said:
Since your nitrites have gone up and now back down to zero your cycle is almost complete so there should be enough bacteria on your filter media to keep your cycle safe. Some bacteria does live on every surface in the tank but it is attached to the surfaces so vacuuming the gravel shouldn't affect your cycle at all.

Once vacuumed up though you still need an ammonia source to continue feeding your cycle (bacteria). Either add more fish food, your fish or pure ammonia. You don't want your ammonia to go to zero and stay there for any length of time. Right now your cycle isn't firmly established so keeping it fed is critical.
Sounds good! Thank you! On Tuesday, I will retest the water parameters with my fingers crossed that the ammonia drops down to 0 ppm. Either way, I will vacuum the tank that day, do a hefty water change (50%), and add a fish to keep the cycle going.
 

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