5 Gallon Tank Cycling Five Gallon - Question About Test Results

ome8217

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So I've been pretty leisurely doing a fishless cycle in my five gallon for about 3 weeks now. It seemed at one point the tank was cycled and was giving me no ammonia, no nitrite, and nitrate, but now I'm getting no ammonia, no nitrite, and no nitrate.

This is really confusing to me as there must still be nitrites in the tank that are dying, because I've been putting in ammonia to feed them (I've also tested to make sure that there was a spike in ammonia after I put ammonia in the tank). I didn't want to put in a fish immediately as I wanted to ensure it was actually cycled, and have consistently put in ammonia every night before bed.

Any thoughts as to why the nitrites are still eating the ammonia but no nitrates are showing up? I'm using an API test kit and haven't used any prime or really even added any additional water in the past few days.

EDIT: There is no visible algae and no plants in the tank. Although I did add some fake ones after rinsing and boiling them to be safe.
 

Momgoose56

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So I've been pretty leisurely doing a fishless cycle in my five gallon for about 3 weeks now. It seemed at one point the tank was cycled and was giving me no ammonia, no nitrite, and nitrate, but now I'm getting no ammonia, no nitrite, and no nitrate.

This is really confusing to me as there must still be nitrites in the tank that are dying, because I've been putting in ammonia to feed them (I've also tested to make sure that there was a spike in ammonia after I put ammonia in the tank). I didn't want to put in a fish immediately as I wanted to ensure it was actually cycled, and have consistently put in ammonia every night before bed.

Any thoughts as to why the nitrites are still eating the ammonia but no nitrates are showing up? I'm using an API test kit and haven't used any prime or really even added any additional water in the past few days.

EDIT: There is no visible algae and no plants in the tank. Although I did add some fake ones after rinsing and boiling them to be safe.
How much ammonia are you putting in the tank? The bacteria need a continuous supply of an ammonia source to survive. If you aren't putting in enough to sustain a colony of bacteria you won't see any nitrates and your tank won't handle the bioload of many (if any) fish. Kind of like trying to cycle a 50 gallon tank with 1 neon tetra. It'll never happen... i'd suggest putting in at least 2ppm to start, when you see nitrites again keep ammonia at 1 ppm until the tank is cycled.
 
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ome8217

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How much ammonia are you putting in the tank? The bacteria need a continuous supply of an ammonia source to survive. If you aren't putting in enough to sustain a colony of bacteria you won't see any nitrates and your tank won't handle the bioload of many (if any) fish. Kind of like trying to cycle a 50 gallon tank with 1 neon tetra. It'll never happen...
I just plan on putting a single betta in there, but my last betta died from dropsy (this was months ago and the tank has since been bleached) and I'm not really sure why because my parameters were fine. I wanted to be really careful with the next fish I'm getting so I've just been really hesitant about things.

I've been using Dr. Tim's ammonia in the recommended amount of 4 drops per gallon (so 20 drops) once a day.
Ammonium Chloride For Fishless Cycles - Dr.Tim's
 

Momgoose56

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I just plan on putting a single betta in there, but my last betta died from dropsy (this was months ago and the tank has since been bleached) and I'm not really sure why because my parameters were fine. I wanted to be really careful with the next fish I'm getting so I've just been really hesitant about things.

I've been using Dr. Tim's ammonia in the recommended amount of 4 drops per gallon (so 20 drops) once a day.
Ammonium Chloride For Fishless Cycles - Dr.Tim's
What is your ppm of ammonia after you add the ammonia to the tank?
 

Momgoose56

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About 1 ppm, probably a bit slightly higher than that but it isn't as dark as 2.0 ppm.
Well, if it drops to 0ppm and nitrites are remaining at 0 within 12 hours, I'd say you're cycled. If you are using the API Master test kit, re-read and follow the instructions for the nitrate test exactly. If you don't shake that nitrate test solution bottle #2 vigorously for at least 30 seconds, then the test tube itself with both solutions in it for a full minute, then read the results exactly 5 minutes after that, your nitrate test result will be wrong.
 
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