Help cycling a 10 gal


Valued Member
Reaction score
5 years
ok i also have 20 gal i've been trying to cycle. ammonia wont go away and i just found out that our tap has high ammonia (1.0) which is probably why. and so you dont ask we ALWAYS use prime when doing water changes. anyway we have a 10 gal that we set up to put some baby fry in when they started dying in our 1.5gal after they had lived there for over a month. we put the 3 out of the 6 we started with in the 10 gallon uncycled tank. well the ammonia in there was 1.0 and two of the baby fry died. they were in there for over a week. after the last one died two days ago we transfered the last fry into a breeding box into the 20 gallon because the ammonia (.25) was way lower in it then were it was living. we left the filter on in the 10 gal but havent done anything with it since we took the baby out. I checked the ammonia tonight and the ammonia is at 2.0. i didnt bother checking nitrites or nitrates. i thought i'd wait till the ammonia started going down. i just dont get the nitrogen cycle and i need help. what should i do with the 10 gal tank to make sure it cycles right?

no one?

Merged posts.
Last edited by a moderator:


Well Known Member
Reaction score
1 year
Basically, you feed your fish and the waste creates ammonia which is toxic to fish. There are beneficial bacteria that naturally inhabit the water but they are in such small numbers that they have no effect. One type of bacteria converts the ammonia to nitrite which is also very toxic to fish. Another type converts the nitrite to nitrate which is much less toxic to fish. Although there is another type of bacteria that converts the nitrate to nitrogen gas, our aquariums usually don't encourage the growth of those bacteria.

When you're cycling your tank, you're adding ammonia that is converted by the 1st bacteria and growing while doing so. As those bacteria grow, the ammonia levels will decrease. While that's happening, the nitrite levels are increasing. Now the 2nd bacteria are getting food to grow themselves. Again, as these bacteria grow, the nitrite decreases and the nitrate increases. By this time, the ammonia should be around zero. When both the ammonia and nitrite levels hold steady at zero and the nitrates are steadily rising, your cycle is completed. It's at that point that you just do weekly water changes in order to remove nitrate from the system. Hope this helps


Valued Member
Reaction score
5 to 10 years
There are a few ways.
Some add pure ammonia from a bottle, not sure on proper amounts per gallon but thats one way.
Some add a few flakes of fish food each day so they rot and cause ammonia.
Some put a dead fish or a cocktail shrimp in the tank to produce the ammonia therefore feeding the bacteria.

Remember if there is no source of ammonia for the bacteria to eat then they will die like any other organism thats had its food supply taken away from it

Hope this helps mate
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!

Top Bottom