Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by juanjagermaster, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. juanjagermaster

    juanjagermasterNew MemberMember

    I have a newly set up aquarium, Sat. will be 2 weeks. I added 4 fish after 2 days, that was before I found this website, and the all seem doing well. The pH is at 7.0, ammonia is 1.5, and no nitrites have appeared yet.I have been adding stress-zyme every seven days as instructed on the bottle. The ammonia has been at this level for about 3 days and has not gone up and no sign of nitrites. Why is it the ammonia level will not cycle. I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning, My name is Juan. I have a 29 gallon tank and as I mentioned, there are 2 platys and 2 mollys in the tank under the advice of the genius at the pet store where I purchased the aquarium. I have read the water should cloud up as the ammonia level spikes but that has not happened yet. Is there something I need to do or stop doing.

  2. slider

    sliderNew MemberMember

    Hi Juan, a partial water change could be a good idea as any level of ammonia is toxic to your fish. you should be seeing signs of nitrite after having ammonia for 3 days, that also is not too nice for the fish.
    I cycled my first tank with a couple of platys, hardy little fellas but i think mollys prefer a slightly brackish water (salt).
    The only advice i can give is patience and try to keep ammonia and nitrite as low as possible with small frequent water changes.
  3. Maida_gc

    Maida_gcValued MemberMember

    Be patient with the ammonia, yes it's toxic, but right now you need it to get your nitrites/nitrates up. 2 weeks is right around the time my nitrites kicked in. Ammonia doesn't neccesarily cloud your water, but keep testing for nitrites, once they hit you should be okay to do the PWC's - leave the gravel alone. Also, the write ups on Mollys are that salt is beneficial, but the way breeders are now, and the way pet stores are, the Mollys have never had salt in the past, and don't know what they're missing, so don't worry about that. Your fish will get through it.
  4. OP

    juanjagermasterNew MemberMember

    I performed a water test this morning and it went up slightly to 2.0. Still no sign of nitrites. Is this normal to have ammonia this long with nitrites not appearing? I thought that nitrites were supposed to appear only a couple of days after the ammonia appears. I am getting a bit discouraged thinking I am doing something wrong. ??? Thanks in advance for all your help.

  5. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    Juan - don't get discouraged - I have been trying to cycle a tank since DECEMBER 15!!! I have had ammonia spikes of 8.0 and .25 nitrites for two weeks, then the ammonia drop to 4.0 and nitrites fade to 0 again....All the while NO nitrates appear whatsoever. Everyone I speak to is baffled beyond belief......

    And even though they say no water changes, I still do small water changes to combat the ammonia. There is plenty of ammonia in the water to turn to feed the bacteria and turn them to nitrites. Especially if your water is cloudy.....

    I've gotten advice from people here and 4 separate pet stores and all say to wait it out....But no one seems to have an answer as to why it's taken over 8 weeks to cycle a tank when most take 2-3.....Especially when there are fish in the tank who are happy as clams and spawning all over the place. I'm on my second spawn of Swordtails in less then optimal water conditions.

  6. OP

    juanjagermasterNew MemberMember

    Thanks Vin, I was wondering if well water has anyhting to do with it ? I have well water and I am adding stress-zyme.
  7. vin

    vinWell Known MemberMember

    If anything, well water has the nitrates you need. If you don't have one, I would get an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit for Freshwater and test all of your water parameters.

    In the mean time, grab a clean container and bring some water to a local aquarium/pet store and ask them to test pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates. Make sure to write down the numbers and post them here for Butterfly and Gunnie to see. That would give you a good place to start monitoring your water conditions.

    I got my kit from for $15. Most places sell them for about $30, but if you shop around you can definitely find them cheaper.

    Good luck!
  8. Jon

    JonWell Known MemberMember

    you might not want to use chemicals like stress-zyme they usually do more harm than good... just wait it out and do small daily water changes... what is your water temp? keep it high in order to prevent disease caused by cool water parasites. be patient all you can do is wait. dont change your filter or vac your gravel until you get nitrates