Cycling Stall?

  1. W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    Alright I will start with tank specs, its a 50 gallon(48x12.5x20), I run a tetra whisper EX70 and an AC20(had from an old 10 gallon). I started my cycle about three weeks ago by dosing with pure ammonia to 5ppm, about a week and a half ammonia dropped and nitrites rose. Ammonia would drop to about .5 ppm from 4ppm in about 24 hours. I would dose up to 4 ppm whenever i saw it drop that low. Nitrites have held steady at 5ppm the whole time. Nitrates have held steady at about 40ppm. I dosed up to 4 ppm ammonia two days ago and it looks to only have dropped 1-2ppm since then. I am wondering why the tank isnt processing it as fast as it was before. Any thoughts?
     
  2. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Hmm..it's a little odd that your ammonia is dropping (i.e. being converted into nitrite) yet your nitrites and nitrates are no moving.

    Have you ever tested your tap water as a baseline?

    I've never cycled with ammonia, but if I'm not mistaken, I believe once nitrites start to show up you are supposed to drop the ammonia level in half (bring it up to 2ppm instead of 4ppm), but hopefully someone who knows will either verify or correct me.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    I wasnt too concerned about the nitrites to nitrates conversion just cuz sometimes that can take up to three weeks. Just more worried why my ammonia is not being converted as fast. My tap water as a baseline has very minimal amounts of ammonia not quite .25 and everything else is 0. Might do a 50% water change just to see if it will do anything. But i will only dose to 2 ppm ammonia from now on
     


  4. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    That's what has me puzzled. You were converting ammonia into nitrite and then nitrite into nitrate, but then the amount of ammonia being converted apparently slowed down, but yet your nitrites and nitrates didn't increase. So where did that ammonia go?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    So I was dosing with Seachem Stability but ran out and hadnt dosed for 5 days...I am wondering if thats what was causing the ammo to nitrite conversion. I dont know why that bacteria would just die off from discontinuing use but its my only guess.
     
  6. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Although some people claim success with Stability, many others have claimed that it is not a self sustaing form of the bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrites and nitrites into nitrates. (by not self sustaining I mean that the bacteria will die off after a week or so). But while that bacteria is alive it is busy out competing the naturally occuring, self sustaining bacteria you really want.

    The only bacterial product that I know has the correct bacteria is Tetra SafeStart.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    Should i just finish out the cycle without stability? just continue to dose 2ppm ammonia or would i be able to add tetra safestart to my tank with the parameters I have? Would the TS level out my parameters?
     
  8. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Tetra SafeStart (as well as Stability) are not intended for use in a fishless cycle. So if you plan on continuing with a fishless cycle I would say to stop using Stability and not to use SafeStart.

    If you want to use SafeStart, you will need to drain your tank & refill it with dechlorinated water, wait 24 hours, then add an entire, well shaken, appropriately sized bottle of SafeStart and some fish (about an inch or two of fish per 10 gallons). Then do nothing but feed your fish for the next 14 days. Ony day 14 test your water and if all went well...your cycled.

    If you want to try using SafeStart, here's a link you may find helpful:
    https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-nitrogen-cycle/58116-q-tetra-tetra-safestart.html

    Good luck!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    Thanks for all your help jdhef...I will continue with the fishless cycle with no bacteria additives for another 2 weeks or so and if I dont see any progress I may go the Safestart route.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    W

    WetWork Valued Member Member

    Okay so after a water change I added 2 ppm of ammonia which was converted in 2 days a little slow but at least its converting but my nitrates are rising so thats a good sign at least.
     
  11. soarl

    soarl Valued Member Member

    Glad stuff is heading in the right direction. I don't know for a fact but I've heard around the net that other products (aside from TSS) use some type of land based bacteria and that may be why it's not effective.