Cycle seems to be stalled

LiveWell

Hi all, my cycle seems to have stalled. I have a 10 gal I started about 5 weeks ago maybe 6. I have a hob filter with a sponge now for about 2 weeks. the cartridge was starting to back up but left it in the tank. I have a sponge on the intake as well. I have a java fern for about 4 weeks, it has doubled the leaves and a amazon sword for about 3 weeks. It has also doubled its leaves from 6 to 13. I have 1 molly (lost 1 about 2 weeks ago), 2 platys and just put 2 tetras in. all are doing well. Since about 3/22-23. my temp is 76- 78, my Ph runs from 6.8 to 7.2. My amm runs from 0 to .5ppm. my nitrites run from 2 to 5 ppm (which is my concern). My nitrates runs 10ppm. I use the api master test kit.
I have been changing about 1/3 wc every other day. I use API Stress Coat for conditioner. I use API Stress Zyme once a week for bacteria and API leaf zone once a week for fert. I have 3 root tabs around my amazon sword. Am I doing something wrong here? Thanks so much for any help.
 

LanceDog

Adding your tetras, depending on how recently, may be the cause. You added them before the good bacteria was ready for more bioload. Otherwise it looks like it may be close to finishing. Your ammonia is dropping. Your nitrites are spiking. Then they will drop and the nitrates will spike. Then if you have 0 for ammonia and nitrite and whatever your nitrate goal is, you're done. So you are on the way. Be patient and keep an eye on your fish. Seachem Prime will help temporarily detox ammonia and nitrite. If you're impatient, Tetra Safestart could help. I like some API products but Stresszyme I am not too sure of anymore since I first used it over a decade ago. Do not add anymore fish til the cycle is done. In the future, do a fishless cycle for their sake.
 

LiveWell

Thanks Lance for your help. Next time I will do the fishless cycle.
 

mattgirl

I agree with Lance about using Prime as your water conditioner. It works much the same as all the other water conditioners but takes less of it since it is so concentrated. It goes one step farther than other conditioners though and detoxes low levels of ammonia and some say even nitrites.

If it were me I would be changing out no less than 50% of the water daily until your nitrites finally drop to zero. It shouldn't take many daily water changes for the nitrites to drop. It took me 5 days. I have no problem with folks that do fish in cycles. As long as both ammonia and nitrites are kept down to low levels with water changes the fish will not be harmed.

One of the beauties of having a fully cycled tank, with just a bit of preplanning you will never have to go through this long drawn out cycling process again. Run extra media in your cycled tank and just pull it out and put it in another tank to either instantly cycle or at least jump start the cycle.
 

LiveWell

Thank you Mattgirl, I will try the daily wc instead of every other. I just want to keep these levels down as much as possible. I will also get the Prime asap as you and Lance recommend.
 

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