55 Gallon Tank Cycling Issue

cornboy72
Member
I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that I have been attempting to cycle for about 5 weeks now. It is a fishless cycle.
I have tried the following. My ammonia is staying steady at 2ppm while nitrite remains at 0.
At first I was trying to cycle by adding ammonia everyday with a medicine dropper. I tried this for about 2 weeks while doing 15-20% water changes every other day.

I have discontinued the ammonia and started just adding food while still maintaining water changes. Yesterday, I added a few plants hoping to add more oxygen to allow the nitrite bacteria to grow.

Any help or even telling me I am being impatient would help.

Thanks
 
JettsPapa
Member
I'll preface this by saying I've never done a fishless cycle, but from what I've read here I don't think you're supposed to be changing water. Do more research, but you might look at that.
 
mattgirl
Member
I agree with JettsPapa There is no need to be doing this many water changes while doing a fishless cycle. Water changes while fishless cycling only need to be done if nitrites and/or nitrates sky rocket or your pH plummets. Continue adding ammonia as needed meaning when what you have added drops down close to zero, add more

BTW: welcome to Fishlore. Hopefully we will be able to help you get this tank cycled.
 
  • Thread Starter
cornboy72
Member
mattgirl said:
I agree with JettsPapa There is no need to be doing this many water changes while doing a fishless cycle. Water changes while fishless cycling only need to be done if nitrites and/or nitrates sky rocket or your pH plummets. Continue adding ammonia as needed meaning when what you have added drops down close to zero, add more

BTW: welcome to Fishlore. Hopefully we will be able to help you get this tank cycled.
Thanks to you both. I read a little more into it and apparently, I confused the two approaches. I am going to start adding ammonia again so I can get the ammonia level high enough for the nitrates to eat
 
JettsPapa
Member
cornboy72 said:
. . . I am going to start adding ammonia again so I can get the ammonia level high enough for the nitrates to eat
Nitrates don't eat. Bacteria eat ammonia and give off nitrites as a byproduct. Another kind of bacteria eats nitrites and gives off nitrates as a byproduct. As far as I know the only thing that eats nitrates is plants.
 
mattgirl
Member
You are very welcome Since this is a 55 gallon tank it wouldn't be a problem to get the ammonia up to about 3ppm. I did want to point out that nitrates don't eat the ammonia. What you are doing is growing ammonia eating bacteria. The waste from that is nitrites. Soon you will start growing nitrite eating bacteria. The waste from that is nitrates. Most of us never grow the bacteria that eats nitrates so we keep them down with water changes. Normally you don't have to worry about them until both the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria have done their job and you no longer see either of them.

oops, ninja'd by JettsPapa
 
  • Thread Starter
cornboy72
Member
mattgirl said:
You are very welcome Since this is a 55 gallon tank it wouldn't be a problem to get the ammonia up to about 3ppm. I did want to point out that nitrates don't eat the ammonia. What you are doing is growing ammonia eating bacteria. The waste from that is nitrites. Soon you will start growing nitrite eating bacteria. The waste from that is nitrates. Most of us never grow the bacteria that eats nitrates so we keep them down with water changes. Normally you don't have to worry about them until both the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria have done their job and you no longer see either of them.

oops, ninja'd by JettsPapa
I'm getting all my terms messed up. Lol. Thanks for the education.
 

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