Ammonia won't go down, nitrites keep spiking

Kikomii
Member
I have not been able to find an answer for this anywhere, so hopefully someone here can help me.
I've been doing a fishless cycle for my freshwater 30 gallon tank for about a month and I've run into an issue.

For about two weeks I've seen nitrites spike, along with nitrates. The nitrites go back down to .25-0ppm but the ammonia won't go below 1.0.

I think oh okay, the ammonia should go back down now that the nitrites are at 0, but it doesn't. Then the nitrites spike AGAIN, to a dark purple color. Test the nitrites again tomorrow and they've have gone back down to .25, ammonia still at 1.0-2.0.

Here's some stats about my tank if needed

pH lvl: 7

Temp: 72 ish degrees Fahrenheit

What's going on here? Is my testing kit bad? Or is my tank stalled somehow? How do I fix it?

Thank you to anyone who can help me!!
 
fallfever
Member
What is your ammonia source and are you doing water changes?
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
fallfever said:
What is your ammonia source and are you doing water changes?
My ammonia source was sprinkling some fish food in for about three days until I saw nitrites appear. I've done one water change (25%) about a week ago because this is what the fish store told me to do when I told them about my issue. After the water change there was no change in the test readings after a couple days.
 
fallfever
Member
You are still within the normal time range for cycling a tank, which is the good news. I'm not a fan of using fish food, but you'll need to do it at least twice a day and do partial water changes weekly just like you would if you had fish. You may also add Tetra Safestart, Seachem Stability, or a similar product to jump start the process. I and others have had success with them, though I still avoid putting fish in for a couple of weeks. Increasing the temperature in the tank would be a good idea as well. That should give you some tangible options.
 
mattgirl
Member
Welcome to Fishlore Kikomii

What kind of tests are you using to test your water? Normally we don't see nitrites acting this way. They should spike and then go down to zero never to be seen again.

If I am understanding correctly you just added fish food when you first started this cycle. For bacteria to grow it needs a constant supply of food. It takes a few days for it to decompose enough to produce ammonia. If you are only using fish food for your ammonia source I will recommend you add a tiny pinch every third day. Buy doing this you will be giving the bacteria a constant supply of food.

I would raise the temp in this tank up to at least 80. Bacteria grows quicker at higher temps.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Welcome to Fishlore Kikomii

What kind of tests are you using to test your water? Normally we don't see nitrites acting this way. They should spike and then go down to zero never to be seen again.

If I am understanding correctly you just added fish food when you first started this cycle. For bacteria to grow it needs a constant supply of food. It takes a few days for it to decompose enough to produce ammonia. If you are only using fish food for your ammonia source I will recommend you add a tiny pinch every third day. Buy doing this you will be giving the bacteria a constant supply of food.

I would raise the temp in this tank up to at least 80. Bacteria grows quicker at higher temps.
The water kit I'm using is called API freshwater master test kit. This is why I've been concerned of having a bad kit or something since I haven't seen anybody else have this issue and its so strange.
I wanted to keep the water cooler since I planned on keeping axolotls in the tank, is there anyway I can warm it now and make it cooler later without having to buy a chiller since they're pretty expensive.
 
tapwater
Member
Kikomii said:
The water kit I'm using is called API freshwater master test kit. This is why I've been concerned of having a bad kit or something since I haven't seen anybody else have this issue and its so strange.
I wanted to keep the water cooler since I planned on keeping axolotls in the tank, is there anyway I can warm it now and make it cooler later without having to buy a chiller since they're pretty expensive.
I think you could just heat it up now (idk what heater you use, so either just plug it in or adjust it to be higher temperature), then when you want it to cool down just either unplug or turn down the heat and let it dissipate naturally, or you could put water in a plastic water bottle and freeze it then once its frozen put it in.
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
The water kit I'm using is called API freshwater master test kit. This is why I've been concerned of having a bad kit or something since I haven't seen anybody else have this issue and its so strange.
I wanted to keep the water cooler since I planned on keeping axolotls in the tank, is there anyway I can warm it now and make it cooler later without having to buy a chiller since they're pretty expensive.
I don't think it is a problem with the kit. I and many here use it and it is fairly reliable. I know the instructions don't tell us to do so but go ahead and shake all the bottle before each use. Of course pay more attention to the one bottle they do recommend shaking well.

What about the amount of food you've added to this tank up to this point. You may not be adding enough to keep a constant supply of ammonia.

tapwater is correct. Once the tank is cycled you can just remove the heater and allow the water to cool naturally or the water changes you will need to do once the cycle is complete can help cool it down.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
How long should I add ammonia for? Should I add it multiple times a day like the previous person said or once every three days?
 
tapwater
Member
Kikomii said:
How long should I add ammonia for? Should I add it multiple times a day like the previous person said or once every three days?
I think this depends on what you're using as your ammonia source. Are you using flakes or bottled ammonia?
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
tapwater said:
I think this depends on what you're using as your ammonia source. Are you using flakes or bottled ammonia?
Fish food flakes
 
tapwater
Member
Kikomii said:
Fish food flakes
Once every three days then, I think, since it takes time for it to release ammonia. So, putting some in every three days will give your bacteria a steady supply of ammonia to eat afaik.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
tapwater said:
Once every three days then, I think, since it takes time for it to release ammonia. So, putting some in every three days will give your bacteria a steady supply of ammonia to eat afaik.
Okay, thank you all so much I'll try some of the things mentioned here! Hopefully I'll see some improvement! <3
 
tapwater
Member
Kikomii said:
Okay, thank you all so much I'll try some of the things mentioned here! Hopefully I'll see some improvement! <3
Glad I could help! Let us know how it goes. <3
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
tapwater said:
Glad I could help! Let us know how it goes. <3
I do have one more question sorry ^^' For how long should I continue to feed fish food to my tank? Is there something I'm looking out for specifically?
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
I do have one more question sorry ^^' For how long should I continue to feed fish food to my tank? Is there something I'm looking out for specifically?
You want to see an ammonia reading, at some point you will see nitrites and then will see nitrates. When both ammonia and nitrites have risen, then they both zero out and all you see are nitrates your cycle will be done.

When I say you will see, I mean you will see in your test tube since we really can't see bacteria. Continue adding a pinch of fish food every third day up until you see 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
You want to see an ammonia reading, at some point you will see nitrites and then will see nitrates. When both ammonia and nitrites have risen, then they both zero out and all you see are nitrates your cycle will be done.

When I say you will see, I mean you will see in your test tube since we really can't see bacteria. Continue adding a pinch of fish food every third day up until you see 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
Oh okay that makes sense! I was confused and worried I would always see ammonia from the fish food breaking down. Thank you again!
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
I've been doing the fish food sprinkles for over a week and I'm still having the same issue. I'm shaking the bottles really well, my temp is around 85-90f yet my ammonia is staying the same, and my nitrites keep going up and down. Going from a bright purple to a light blue the next day with my kit.
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
I've been doing the fish food sprinkles for over a week and I'm still having the same issue. I'm shaking the bottles really well, my temp is around 85-90f yet my ammonia is staying the same, and my nitrites keep going up and down. Going from a bright purple to a light blue the next day with my kit.
First, turn the temp down. There is no need for it to be this high. Somewhere closer to 80 is high enough. Are you doing a water change to lower the nitrites and do they do this without a water change?

What is your ammonia, nitrate and pH readings. All of this works together so having all the numbers may help me see something that we can do something about.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
First, turn the temp down. There is no need for it to be this high. Somewhere closer to 80 is high enough. Are you doing a water change to lower the nitrites and do they do this without a water change?

What is your ammonia, nitrate and pH readings. All of this works together so having all the numbers may help me see something that we can do something about.
They do this without water changes, my ammonia is 2.0ppm, nitrate is around 5.0-10ppm, and my pH is 7.0-7.2
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
They do this without water changes, my ammonia is 2.0ppm, nitrate is around 5.0-10ppm, and my pH is 7.0-7.2
How long has it been since you've done a water change? If the ammonia has been holding at this level for a week or more a water change may need to be done.

Help me out here. When did you start this cycle? What you are seeing may be perfectly normal but I need a timeline.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
How long has it been since you've done a water change? If the ammonia has been holding at this level for a week or more a water change may need to be done.

Help me out here. When did you start this cycle? What you are seeing may be perfectly normal but I need a timeline.
It's been two weeks since I've done a water change since I didn't want to do too many things at once and risk messing up the cycle even more. I've been cycling for a month and a half by this point
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
It's been two weeks since I've done a water change since I didn't want to do too many things at once and risk messing up the cycle even more. I've been cycling for a month and a half by this point
Has the ammonia been holding at this level for the whole 2 weeks since the last water change? If I am remembering correctly during the first part of this cycle you weren't adding a constant supply of fish food. If that is correct it is possible the cycle wasn't doing much during the first few weeks. It may have actually only started moving forward once it got a constant supply of food.

The first thing I would do is lower the temp. Somewhere around 80 should be plenty warm enough. I don't know if the higher temp is causing problems but it is possible.

As long as you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water you aren't going to hurt or remove any of the bacteria you have grown. It isn't free floating in the water. You will be removing some of the ammonia but as long as you continue adding more even that isn't going to be a problem.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Has the ammonia been holding at this level for the whole 2 weeks since the last water change? If I am remembering correctly during the first part of this cycle you weren't adding a constant supply of fish food. If that is correct it is possible the cycle wasn't doing much during the first few weeks. It may have actually only started moving forward once it got a constant supply of food.

The first thing I would do is lower the temp. Somewhere around 80 should be plenty warm enough. I don't know if the higher temp is causing problems but it is possible.

As long as you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water you aren't going to hurt or remove any of the bacteria you have grown. It isn't free floating in the water. You will be removing some of the ammonia but as long as you continue adding more even that isn't going to be a problem.
My ammonia has been at this level since I started cycling pretty much ( I wasn't aware that you had to dechlorinate the water before adding it in the tank, so the water from the beginning was water straight from the tap )
I have come across something but I don't know if it affects my situation at all. I tested my tap water and it also has the same ammonia as my tank (2.0ppm)
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
My ammonia has been at this level since I started cycling pretty much ( I wasn't aware that you had to dechlorinate the water before adding it in the tank, so the water from the beginning was water straight from the tap )
I have come across something but I don't know if it affects my situation at all. I tested my tap water and it also has the same ammonia as my tank (2.0ppm)
If you have chlorine or chloramines in your tap water you have to use a water conditioner to remove it. Since you have ammonia in your tap water I have to think your water company adds chloramines. Your tank is struggling to cycle if either chlorine or chloramines are being added to the tank during water changes and top offs.

Both chlorine and chloramines are added to our tap water to kill some things including bacteria. I will also kill the bacteria in our tanks. Chlorine will gas off so after a couple of days it will be gone. I don't think that is the case with chloramines. It has to be removed with a water conditioner.

We don't normally see ammonia that high in tap water but I guess it can depend on how heavy handed your water company is when adding chloramines. If so then you are going to have to be heavy handed with your water conditioner.

At this point all I can suggest is you get some water conditioner and add it to the water already in the tank and to any water you pour in this tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
If you have chlorine or chloramines in your tap water you have to use a water conditioner to remove it. Since you have ammonia in your tap water I have to think your water company adds chloramines. Your tank is struggling to cycle if either chlorine or chloramines are being added to the tank during water changes and top offs.

Both chlorine and chloramines are added to our tap water to kill some things including bacteria. I will also kill the bacteria in our tanks. Chlorine will gas off so after a couple of days it will be gone. I don't think that is the case with chloramines. It has to be removed with a water conditioner.

We don't normally see ammonia that high in tap water but I guess it can depend on how heavy handed your water company is when adding chloramines. If so then you are going to have to be heavy handed with your water conditioner.

At this point all I can suggest is you get some water conditioner and add it to the water already in the tank and to any water you pour in this tank.
Should I continue with the fish food, or do water changes after doing this?
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Should I continue with the fish food, or do water changes after doing this?
If I am understanding what is happening I would go ahead and change out most of the water. I would siphon out some of the food you have been adding if there is getting to be a buildup of it in there. Once done I would refill the tank with water no warmer than 80 degrees and with water conditioner already added to it.

You need to continue adding the fish food. The bacteria needs a constant supply of ammonia.

Do you have a water conditioner now? If so which one do you have? I noticed you were reading the thread about the difference between water conditioner and dechlorinater. There is no difference. A water conditioner is designed to dechlorinate, meaning it removes chlorine/chloramines from our tap water.

If I say something you don't completely understand Please feel free to ask me for a clarification. I will do my best to help you understand.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
If I am understanding what is happening I would go ahead and change out most of the water. I would siphon out some of the food you have been adding if there is getting to be a buildup of it in there. Once done I would refill the tank with water no warmer than 80 degrees and with water conditioner already added to it.

You need to continue adding the fish food. The bacteria needs a constant supply of ammonia.

Do you have a water conditioner now? If so which one do you have? I noticed you were reading the thread about the difference between water conditioner and dechlorinater. There is no difference. A water conditioner is designed to dechlorinate, meaning it removes chlorine/chloramines from our tap water.

If I say something you don't completely understand Please feel free to ask me for a clarification. I will do my best to help you understand.
We just purchased the prime water conditioner since that seems to be everyone's go to. Once we pull everything out, are we starting fresh? Like will we have to reintroduce stability and add it to the new water as if it were a fresh tank? Sorry about all the questions I just want to do it right this time
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
We just purchased the prime water conditioner since that seems to be everyone's go to. Once we pull everything out, are we starting fresh? Like will we have to reintroduce stability and add it to the new water as if it were a fresh tank? Sorry about all the questions I just want to do it right this time
Great. I both use and recommend Prime. It is very concentrated so isn't going to take as much of it as it would of some other brands. If you've not opened it yet I want you to be prepared for the smell. It doesn't smell very good. Thankfully the smell goes away once it goes in the water.

What do you mean by pulling everything out? The only thing you need to be removing is the water and excess food if there is a lot in there. Normally the buildup of fish food can be removed with your gravel vac. You just siphon out the buildup along with the water.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Great. I both use and recommend Prime. It is very concentrated so isn't going to take as much of it as it would of some other brands. If you've not opened it yet I want you to be prepared for the smell. It doesn't smell very good. Thankfully the smell goes away once it goes in the water.

What do you mean by pulling everything out? The only thing you need to be removing is the water and excess food if there is a lot in there. Normally the buildup of fish food can be removed with your gravel vac. You just siphon out the buildup along with the water.
Haha sorry I meant like siphoning the water, would it be like starting from scratch? Would I have to use stability again like I did when it was a fresh tank
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Haha sorry I meant like siphoning the water, would it be like starting from scratch? Would I have to use stability again like I did when it was a fresh tank
Gotcha If you have grown any bacteria in this tank it should still be there after the water change. Before adding any bottled bacteria I would give it at least a week to see if the ammonia starts going down. If it does then we will know there is some bacteria and you shouldn't have to add any from a bottle.

I know some folks think we have to add bacteria in a bottle but until I joined this forum I didn't even know there was such a thing. Bacteria is everywhere. When we give it what it needs in our tanks it will start growing and multiplying.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Gotcha If you have grown any bacteria in this tank it should still be there after the water change. Before adding any bottled bacteria I would give it at least a week to see if the ammonia starts going down. If it does then we will know there is some bacteria and you shouldn't have to add any from a bottle.

I know some folks think we have to add bacteria in a bottle but until I joined this forum I didn't even know there was such a thing. Bacteria is everywhere. When we give it what it needs in our tanks it will start growing and multiplying.
Okay! Thank you so much we’ll be doing the water change today, and I’ll keep you updated!
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
Kikomii said:
Okay! Thank you so much we’ll be doing the water change today, and I’ll keep you updated!
So we removed most of the water, refilled it with water dosed with prime and I tested the water (after 24 hours of dosing prime). Nitrites are at 0, nitrates are 5-10 but ammonia has skyrocketed it seems. Looks around 4.0, should I start doing water changes? Do you think my filter isn’t able to keep up?
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
So we removed most of the water, refilled it with water dosed with prime and I tested the water (after 24 hours of dosing prime). Nitrites are at 0, nitrates are 5-10 but ammonia has skyrocketed it seems. Looks around 4.0, should I start doing water changes? Do you think my filter isn’t able to keep up?
Since this is a fishless cycle there is no need to do another water change. Now is one of those times where you need to dig deep for lots of patience. Give the bacteria time to work now. Now that you are using a water conditioner this cycle should move forward.

Be sure to add your prime to top off water before pouring it in the tank. Since this is a fishless cycle any of the many water conditioner would work just as well but since you have it you may as well use it. The only time you need to use it though is when doing water changes or top offs.

What kind of filter do you have? Since this is a 30 gallon tank I highly recommend you run a filter that should be for a tank up to twice that size. Sadly the makers of filters highly over rate their filters ability to keep up with the needs of the tank. I actually run a HOB filter rated for an up to 35 gallon tank on my tiny 5.5 gallon tank. There is no way this filter would do any good on a 35 gallon tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Since this is a fishless cycle there is no need to do another water change. Now is one of those times where you need to dig deep for lots of patience. Give the bacteria time to work now. Now that you are using a water conditioner this cycle should move forward.

Be sure to add your prime to top off water before pouring it in the tank. Since this is a fishless cycle any of the many water conditioner would work just as well but since you have it you may as well use it. The only time you need to use it though is when doing water changes or top offs.

What kind of filter do you have? Since this is a 30 gallon tank I highly recommend you run a filter that should be for a tank up to twice that size. Sadly the makers of filters highly over rate their filters ability to keep up with the needs of the tank. I actually run a HOB filter rated for an up to 35 gallon tank on my tiny 5.5 gallon tank. There is no way this filter would do any good on a 35 gallon tank.
Oh really?? I bought the top fin 29 gallon kit so it came with the filter I have which I assume it the one that goes with it. I should look into getting a new filter then? Most likely when my cycle is complete and stable?
Thank you for all your help by the way!!
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Oh really?? I bought the top fin 29 gallon kit so it came with the filter I have which I assume it the one that goes with it. I should look into getting a new filter then? Most likely when my cycle is complete and stable?
Thank you for all your help by the way!!
You are so very welcome.

Quite often the filters that come in the kits aren't as good as they should be. I would be replacing it or even better adding an additional filter and running both of them. It is never a bad idea to run more than one filter on our tanks. To me it is simply insurance. If one quits the other one is still doing its job until a replacement can be bought. If you would rather not have to buy another HOB filter right now you may want to consider adding a sponge filter. I do think extra filtration will help this cycle along.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
You are so very welcome.

Quite often the filters that come in the kits aren't as good as they should be. I would be replacing it or even better adding an additional filter and running both of them. It is never a bad idea to run more than one filter on our tanks. To me it is simply insurance. If one quits the other one is still doing its job until a replacement can be bought. If you would rather not have to buy another HOB filter right now you may want to consider adding a sponge filter. I do think extra filtration will help this cycle along.
Ah that’s smart thinking, a sponge filter is what I would need anyways since I’ve heard they’re really good with filtration and I plan on having an axolotl which are very messy
What size should I get for a 29 gallon tank?
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Ah that’s smart thinking, a sponge filter is what I would need anyways since I’ve heard they’re really good with filtration and I plan on having an axolotl which are very messy
What size should I get for a 29 gallon tank?
I would probably go with this one. Aquarium Co-Op Coarse Sponge Filter I would go with the large one for this size tank and a messy water pet.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
Al
mattgirl said:
I would probably go with this one. Aquarium Co-Op Coarse Sponge Filter I would go with the large one for this size tank and a messy water pet.
Alrighty! I’ll make sure to add that and stick it in when it arrives with an air pump. Sorry for all the questions, you were very helpful!
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Al

Alrighty! I’ll make sure to add that and stick it in when it arrives with an air pump. Sorry for all the questions, you were very helpful!
Please don't apologize. I am happy to help
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Please don't apologize. I am happy to help
Ever since I last messaged I’ve been just letting the tank do it’s own thing, my ammonia still isn’t going down by this point and even starting to rise.
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
Ever since I last messaged I’ve been just letting the tank do it’s own thing, my ammonia still isn’t going down by this point and even starting to rise.
Did you get and are now running the sponge filter along with the original filter? This cycle really didn't get to going good until you started using a water conditioner. Since you apparently have chloramines in your tap water your water changes and top offs were killing off most of the bacteria you may have grown up to that point so you were basically starting over each time.

Stop adding fish food until the ammonia starts going down. At this point you may want to consider adding an appropriately sized bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus to this tank. If you choose to do so don't do anything to the tank other than check the ammonia level for 2 full weeks.

You may need to do top offs due to evaporation during these 2 weeks. If you do, add your Prime to the water you need to replace before pouring it in there. You don't want to add untreated water to this tank at any time. The ammonia in your tap water isn't going to be a problem. It will just be more food for your bacteria.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Did you get and are now running the sponge filter along with the original filter? This cycle really didn't get to going good until you started using a water conditioner. Since you apparently have chloramines in your tap water your water changes and top offs were killing off most of the bacteria you may have grown up to that point so you were basically starting over each time.

Stop adding fish food until the ammonia starts going down. At this point you may want to consider adding an appropriately sized bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus to this tank. If you choose to do so don't do anything to the tank other than check the ammonia level for 2 full weeks.

You may need to do top offs due to evaporation during these 2 weeks. If you do, add your Prime to the water you need to replace before pouring it in there. You don't want to add untreated water to this tank at any time. The ammonia in your tap water isn't going to be a problem. It will just be more food for your bacteria.
My Nitrites have also spiked to the point where they're unreadable. I'm super confused on what's going on
 
Catappa
Member
I haven't the time at the moment to read through all the replies, so maybe someone else has already posted this info. If you are using bottled bacteria, you shouldn't add it to the water until at least one day after using Prime. Then don't use Prime for another two weeks. The Prime will destroy ammonia which is a food source for the bacteria, so the bacteria will die off. I wouldn't do any water changes until after the two weeks. Please note that this is in the instructions from Tetra Safe Start. It should probably apply to other brands of bottled bacteria as well.
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
My Nitrites have also spiked to the point where they're unreadable. I'm super confused on what's going on
This is good news. Your tank is now cycling. The waste from the ammonia eating bacteria is nitrites. This means you now have ammonia eating bacteria. Please run all the tests, pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates and let me know what they are.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
This is good news. Your tank is now cycling. The waste from the ammonia eating bacteria is nitrites. This means you now have ammonia eating bacteria. Please run all the tests, pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates and let me know what they are.
I'm so sorry I didn't see your message ;; !
Here are my tests in order from left to right
pH, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
I'm so sorry I didn't see your message ;; !
Here are my tests in order from left to right
pH, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates
It is hard for me to tell but if both nitrites and nitrates are pegging out the chart you may want to consider changing out half the water to get both down to readable levels. If the 50% doesn't lower them to where they are lower than 5 for nitrites and 160 for nitrates you may need to do another water change.

Am I seeing it correctly? Your ammonia looks to be going down. If so then I have to think this cycle will soon be done.

Are you still adding fish food? If not you may want to go to adding a pinch every third day. We need to keep the bacteria fed. By adding a pinch every third day it should be getting plenty of food.

You can know just how high both nitrites and nitrates are be running dilution tests. Start with half tank water and half tap water in the test tube and run the test on that mixture. If the results come up back on the chart you will know the 50% water change should lower both to the numbers you saw in the test tube.

This water change will not only lower the numbers but will also replenish the minerals that can be depleted by the cycling process. Be sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
It is hard for me to tell but if both nitrites and nitrates are pegging out the chart you may want to consider changing out half the water to get both down to readable levels. If the 50% doesn't lower them to where they are lower than 5 for nitrites and 160 for nitrates you may need to do another water change.

Am I seeing it correctly? Your ammonia looks to be going down. If so then I have to think this cycle will soon be done.

Are you still adding fish food? If not you may want to go to adding a pinch every third day. We need to keep the bacteria fed. By adding a pinch every third day it should be getting plenty of food.

You can know just how high both nitrites and nitrates are be running dilution tests. Start with half tank water and half tap water in the test tube and run the test on that mixture. If the results come up back on the chart you will know the 50% water change should lower both to the numbers you saw in the test tube.

This water change will not only lower the numbers but will also replenish the minerals that can be depleted by the cycling process. Be sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there.
At least we have progress qq
Also yes, the ammonia has gone down! Yesterday it was at 0, today was the first day it has been higher than 0 in about a week.
I'll do a 50% water change and run some tests to see what I get.
mattgirl said:
It is hard for me to tell but if both nitrites and nitrates are pegging out the chart you may want to consider changing out half the water to get both down to readable levels. If the 50% doesn't lower them to where they are lower than 5 for nitrites and 160 for nitrates you may need to do another water change.

Am I seeing it correctly? Your ammonia looks to be going down. If so then I have to think this cycle will soon be done.

Are you still adding fish food? If not you may want to go to adding a pinch every third day. We need to keep the bacteria fed. By adding a pinch every third day it should be getting plenty of food.

You can know just how high both nitrites and nitrates are be running dilution tests. Start with half tank water and half tap water in the test tube and run the test on that mixture. If the results come up back on the chart you will know the 50% water change should lower both to the numbers you saw in the test tube.

This water change will not only lower the numbers but will also replenish the minerals that can be depleted by the cycling process. Be sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it in there.
Also! The fish food tends to make the tank dirty, if we wanted to use pure ammonia instead, how should we go about doing that?
 
mattgirl
Member
Kikomii said:
At least we have progress qq
Also yes, the ammonia has gone down! Yesterday it was at 0, today was the first day it has been higher than 0 in about a week.
I'll do a 50% water change and run some tests to see what I get.

Also! The fish food tends to make the tank dirty, if we wanted to use pure ammonia instead, how should we go about doing that?
Liquid ammonia would be a lot less messy. Lots of folks get some Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. Others buy ammonia from Ace hardware or a janitorial supply company. You just have to make sure nothing is in the bottle but ammonia and water. Shake it and if it foams a foam that doesn't almost instantly go away, don't use it because it has some kind of soap in it.

If you've not already done your water change you may want to vacuum out as much of the food as you can while doing one. Once the water change is done you may find this cycle moving forward quickly and getting the ammonia may not be necessary.
 
  • Thread Starter
Kikomii
Member
mattgirl said:
Liquid ammonia would be a lot less messy. Lots of folks get some Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. Others buy ammonia from Ace hardware or a janitorial supply company. You just have to make sure nothing is in the bottle but ammonia and water. Shake it and if it foams a foam that doesn't almost instantly go away, don't use it because it has some kind of soap in it.

If you've not already done your water change you may want to vacuum out as much of the food as you can while doing one. Once the water change is done you may find this cycle moving forward quickly and getting the ammonia may not be necessary.
Sorry for the lighting quality, it's raining outside and the lights in our house are yellow so I didn't want it to affect the colors
Here is my Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates after the 50% water change we did last night
 

Latest threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Find a Guru

Top Bottom