Cycling Doesn't Appear To Be Working

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by dino4migravy, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. dino4migravyNew MemberMember

    So I'm relatively new to the hobby but consider myself knowledgeable enough to understand the basics. Off the bat, I got a 10g tank about 2 months ago. To make a long story short, we got some bad advice in the beginning, killed a bunch of fish, but thought we had everything sorted out.
    The following has been going on for almost a month now. 10g tank with Aqueon quiet flow, 2 guppies, 2 moss balls and some nonsense decorations as well as a rock from a friend being used to hopefully seed the tank: I've been using the API master test kit to measure everything regularly (every other day if not daily). pH generally reads low 7, Nitrites and Nitrates read 0 but Ammonia is off the charts (maxes out at 8ppm?). Do a 50% water change, wait an hour, retest Ammonia, and its still off the chart. We then cut back feeding to every other day, with 25% water change daily, testing daily and again our ammonia is too high to read.
    I have a couple friends who are exponentially more experienced with aquariums than I am (one with an aquaculture degree) and they're all as confused as I am as to why I'm having so much troubles with this tank. Someone recommended that I should just do a full water change, "bleach the tank," and start over. Another said I should do a 99% water change and change filters.
    I'm looking for any ideas as to a) what's causing such high ammonia even after large water changes and b) ideas/suggestions as to what I should do next.
    Any and all help is appreciated.
  2. Nathan chinValued MemberMember

    Usually API is good with water tests, maybe something's wrong with the tests itself. Nitrates should also not be at 0 but around 10-20. Maybe get a different filter, or different filter media
  3. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    If it were me to save headaches I would empty the aquarium wash the substrate and decorations, rinse the filter media in dechlorinated water, refill aquarium, add seachem stability as per directions for one week and dose 1ml of prime every other day until nitrite spike. At spike dose 5ml seachem prime and you should be sorted with that light stock and reasonable feedings.
  4. dino4migravyNew MemberMember

    So I've tested the kit with my 1g tank and it appears to be working. I've changed our filter a couple times as well.
  5. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Did you empty and clean the tank after the "bunch of fish" died?

    Chances are the amount of ammonia released from the deaths was extremely high. Not sure how many died or your method for removing them and cleaning the tank, but my guess is there's either a huge amount of ammonia left from the deaths or there's possibly even a dead fish or more still in the tank somewhere.

    As already recommended I would completely clean and sterilize the tank and everything in it, save the fish. It's no fun starting from scratch, but the environment they're currently in is much worse.

    *Edit - wanted to add that cleaning everything in the tank includes taking apart your filter and cleaning that thoroughly as well.
  6. Lonewolf9395Valued MemberMember

    When you say you changed your filter do you mean a complete change of the media? If so that is not helping. Your beneficial bacteria grows on your filter media. To clean the filter media just rinse it out in tank water that had been removed from the tank or in dechlorinated water. If you have been replacing the media then you have restarted the cycle every time.

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