55 Gallon Tank Cycling Question?

Axonending12

Member
Cycling process began 8/31. No water changes in over a week and a half because I dosed TSS+ 9/21.

So far for about 2 weeks I have been stagnated my API results with my cycling 55 gallon fish in (2 zebra danios) and the readings have all come back the same each time,
Ammonia 0-0.25ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 20-40ppm

Of note I was advised to try and keep my pH around 7.5 for this cycling process with aragonite or crushed coral in the filter. I have been able to keep it at 7.4-7.6 fairly steady from using a combination of CC and aragonite.

Should I be concerned no nitrites are being converted to nitrAte in a week and a half time frame? Also that my nitrites appear to be pretty steady at 1ppm. Would that not also mean my ammonia eating bacteria are stalled as well if my nitrites and nitrAtes remain constant? There are no plants for nitrAtes to go to. Curious and mind boggled.
 

Skavatar

Member
do a large water change. a month with TSS you should be cycled, or very close.
 
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Axonending12

Member
Skavatar said:
do a large water change. a month with TSS you should be cycled, or very close.
I added TSS only 1.5 weeks ago because my readings had stalled. The whole cycle process started on 8/31 with some Start Smart bottled BB from my LFS but after reading on here about TSS I added TSS on 9/21.
 

Skavatar

Member
2 weeks at near 0 ammonia, means ammonia is being process, which means nitrites should be much higher, but since nitrite is remaining steady at 1ppm, it means some nitrite is being process. you should be cycled soon, i'd still recommend a water change.

the main problem is 2 zebra danios in a 55g. that is really low bioload, you would have to slowly add stock or risk a minI cycle.
 

mattgirl

Member
I agree with Skavatar With just the 2 danios in this this tank it is going to be difficult to get it cycled. You need more ammonia than these 2 little fish can produce.

You could way over feed them and allow the extra food to decompose and form ammonia but in my humble opinion that would be a very messy way to do it.

Since this is already a fish in cycle if I were you I would add at the very least 4 more danios. With a tank this size even 6 more would not be too many and should supply the necessary ammonia to get this tank cycled.
 
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Axonending12

Member
That would definitely make sense now that you both put it that way. Ill get some more today and keep an eye on the parameters!
 

Fljoe

Member
Before I learned about the actual cycle process, I slowly stocked my 55 gallon tank to 10 black mollies and 7 black neon Tetra over a week and a half time frame. Now it’s been just over 3 weeks. My ammonia is always at or below.25 nitrate and nitrite always at 0. I did have one ammonia spike to 2.0 last week, but still no nitrate or nitrite. I did do a WC for the spike. I’m hoping I’m in the same boat as you, and these little guys just don’t produce a lot of ammonia in 55 gallons.
 
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Axonending12

Member
Fljoe said:
Before I learned about the actual cycle process, I slowly stocked my 55 gallon tank to 10 black mollies and 7 black neon Tetra over a week and a half time frame. Now it’s been just over 3 weeks. My ammonia is always at or below.25 nitrate and nitrite always at 0. I did have one ammonia spike to 2.0 last week, but still no nitrate or nitrite. I did do a WC for the spike. I’m hoping I’m in the same boat as you, and these little guys just don’t produce a lot of ammonia in 55 gallons.
I got some more danios to keep it all going. Let me know how yours goes I'll be curious too! Good luck!
 

mattgirl

Member
Axonending12 said:
I got some more danios to keep it all going. Let me know how yours goes I'll be curious too! Good luck!
Keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrite levels now that you have more fish. Keep them low with water changes. If you don't already have some I will recommend you get a bottle of Seachem Prime.

It is first and foremost a water conditioner but goes one step farther and detoxes low levels of ammonia. The ammonia will still be there and will still show up in your test but it will be in a safer form. Try to keep the ammonia level below one, add prime to detox what is left after the water changes and your fish should come through the cycling process just fine.
 
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Axonending12

Member
Thank you mattgirl! Yes I picked up some Prime from the LFS when I got them yesterday and will be watching things closely
 

mattgirl

Member
Axonending12 said:
Thank you mattgirl! Yes I picked up some Prime from the LFS when I got them yesterday and will be watching things closely
Please keep us updated. We really do care and want you to be as successful as possible
 
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Axonending12

Member
mattgirl Well an update I am still where I was at when I last posted. Officially 5 weeks into the cycling process, ammonia has been at zero for 3 weeks. Nitrite oxidizing bacteria I am all but positive is non-existant. There has never been even a perceptible increase in nitrates. I understand that NOB take longer to colonize, but shouldnt there be the faintest increase in nitrate if there are ANY NOB in the tank after this amount of time or no? This is with TSS and following the instructions provided on here.
Amm 0
Nitrite 2-5 maybe higher I cannot tell?
Nitrates 20 --There are 10-20 in my standard tap water

Originally I thought I was seeing 40ppm but read about how much you have to shake the solution prior to adding in and its closer to 10-20 (what comes from tap.

I am at a loss. Do I wait some more or buy another bottle of TSS+ and pray that one works?
 

mattgirl

Member
How long has it been since you did your last water change?

Keep in mind. It hasn't been very long since you upped the bio-load in this tank so it is going to take time for any big changes. Seeing 0 ammonia is a good thing. That tells us that you do have ammonia eating bacteria.

You still have a very low bio-load in this tank so you won't see any super high spikes in any of the numbers.
 

Fljoe

Member
Axonending12 said:
I got some more danios to keep it all going. Let me know how yours goes I'll be curious too! Good luck!
My update for you is.. officially 3 weeks in. I am still at .25 ammonia and 0 nitrite and nitrate. I did do a 50% water change yesterday and added a bottle of TSS plus. Crossing my fingers! When was your last WC? Hope you start seeing something happen!
 
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Axonending12

Member
mattgirl said:
How long has it been since you did your last water change?

Keep in mind. It hasn't been very long since you upped the bio-load in this tank so it is going to take time for any big changes. Seeing 0 ammonia is a good thing. That tells us that you do have ammonia eating bacteria.

You still have a very low bio-load in this tank so you won't see any super high spikes in any of the numbers.
50% water change yesterday and the day before that as well. Both times the nitrites were elevated 2-5 or higher possibly I cannot discern the purple color as easy. Post water change each time the past two days has been down to .5ppm nitrite then. I use prime as well per the instructions to help aid in keeping the fish safe as possible.


Fljoe said:
My update for you is.. officially 3 weeks in. I am still at .25 ammonia and 0 nitrite and nitrate. I did do a 50% water change yesterday and added a bottle of TSS plus. Crossing my fingers! When was your last WC? Hope you start seeing something happen!
Hoping you see your nitrites soon (or not at all I read that sometimes with TSS its not uncommon for nitrites not to bee seen?)
 

Fljoe

Member
Axonending12 said:
50% water change yesterday and the day before that as well. Both times the nitrites were elevated 2-5 or higher possibly I cannot discern the purple color as easy. Post water change each time the past two days has been down to .5ppm nitrite then. I use prime as well per the instructions to help aid in keeping the fish safe as possible.




Hoping you see your nitrites soon (or not at all I read that sometimes with TSS its not uncommon for nitrites not to bee seen?)
I tested my water a little bit ago. I still have no nitrite but do show 5 nitrates! Also water is clearer than it has ever been! I think the TSS did work yesterday. I did also add a bag of Bio Max last week. Maybe go ahead and add another bottle of TSS! Although that stuff is expensive!
 

mattgirl

Member
Axonending12 said:
50% water change yesterday and the day before that as well. Both times the nitrites were elevated 2-5 or higher possibly I cannot discern the purple color as easy. Post water change each time the past two days has been down to .5ppm nitrite then. I use prime as well per the instructions to help aid in keeping the fish safe as possible.
Since you have nitrates in your source water it is going to be difficult to tell if the cycle is producing any. The water changes will be keeping them close to the same as the amount in the source water so we really can't depend on that number to tell us what is happening. That isn't a problem though.

Quite often the nitrites can be up where yours are and the next day they will be zero. I would only be doing the water changes every other day at this point though. Prime will be protecting your fish during the day of no water change. This will give the nitrite eating bacteria a chance to take care of them.
 
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Axonending12

Member
Fljoe said:
I tested my water a little bit ago. I still have no nitrite but do show 5 nitrates! Also water is clearer than it has ever been! I think the TSS did work yesterday. I did also add a bag of Bio Max last week. Maybe go ahead and add another bottle of TSS! Although that stuff is expensive!
Sounds like you're on the right path, yay, I hope it continues like that for you! Exciting
mattgirl said:
Since you have nitrates in your source water it is going to be difficult to tell if the cycle is producing any. The water changes will be keeping them close to the same as the amount in the source water so we really can't depend on that number to tell us what is happening. That isn't a problem though.

Quite often the nitrites can be up where yours are and the next day they will be zero. I would only be doing the water changes every other day at this point though. Prime will be protecting your fish during the day of no water change. This will give the nitrite eating bacteria a chance to take care of them.
Gotcha I'll give that a shot with water changes every other day. Plus itll save on my arms with water changes.
 
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Axonending12

Member
An update I believe I am officially cycled!! Exchanged some of the danios for red eye tetras about 6 days ago for total of 10. No spikes or changes in parameters. Got a BN pleco as well because they are adoreable.
Ammonia 0
Ntrite 0
Nitrate 10
Question though. I have a piece of driftwood I want to exchange for a terracotta pot that cycled in the aquarium.
Also I have crushed coral in my tank hanging in unsightly pantyhose sacks in the outflow of the HOB if I remove the CC in pantyhose and the terracotta pot do I risk a minI cycle?
 

mattgirl

Member
Congratulations!!!!!! on a job well done

Removing the CC and TC pot shouldn't be a problem. Just keep a close eye on your PH level once you remove the CC.
 

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