cycling stuck PLEASE HELP

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NewbieGirl

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Ok, I am using pure ammonia from Ace Hardware. I have been cycling since May 9th. Add and Wait Method. I have been at 4ppm for weeks. Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, ph 7.8 Alkalinity 180, Hardness 150, and have dechlorinated water. I am using the API liquid test kit and had LFS test my water as well. These numbers are from both and matched down the line for the most part. I think I put too much Ammonia in at first 8ppm but it quickly went down the next day to 4ppm (not certain about the 8ppm as had to use strip that was when the API test was messed up and even ammonia had not ammonia LOL).
I got desperate and put in TSS on Monday but had to order in mail and I live in Alabama so it was 82 degrees outside and in my mailbox I am certain the bacteria got fried. Put it in anyway so could try. I know I am supposed to wait 7 days but just tested every other day and still 4ppm with 0 nitrite. My daughter's birthday is the 19th. I want some fish in there if possible by then but don't want to kill any. I want to know if you could offer suggestions. My soon-to-be 3 year old still sits and looks at the tank and then she says "can't put fish in yet, it would hurt them". So she understands, but I wanted suggestions. Can't do shrimp due to smell and it being in her room. Should I just wait to see if TSS does anything, try water change to lower ammonia to 2ppm, or spend a lot of time on my knees?
Water is slightly cloudy but has been from 3rd day. Less cloudy than third day but still cloudy.
I also have Prime if I should reduce the ammonia that way, let me know. Remember no fish in this tank, so can do about anything. What I hate is I started early to avoid feeling pressured, now look at me. Teaches me.
any help would be appreciated.
 
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Lucy

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NewbieGirl

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I have a bubble wall and house with bubbles. I will try water change and see what that does. How much should I change to lower the ammonia? Also, with Python can I add the water then the chlorine remover, or add the chlorine remover then the water? or does it matter?
thanks
 

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This is really just a guess but try lowering it to 2 then wait, see what happens.
When you thought the ammonia was 8, it could have held you up for a while.
 

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Add decholrinator then water with your python. Correct me if wrong, Lucy, but isn't TSS supposed to be used with fish? I cycle mine with pure ammonia and Stress-Zyme. It has bacteria included. It took me about three weeks to cycle. Make sure to get a hardy fish first. Readings could still fluctuate for the first months of keeping a fish.
 

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at such a critical time in the cycling process I would suggest to premix the water with conditioner.

I am not sure why tetra reps say that ammonia at 4 kills off some bacteria because most fishless cycling methods ask for around 4-5ppm to start, but they could be just giving 'safe' numbers for best results. I really don't understand why there is such a disparity but that's just me.

I wouldn't use prime because it doesn't remove ammonia, it only detoxifies it for up to 48 hours.

I'm not sure how long you've been fishless cycling up until now but if you have 3 weeks to go then theres a toss up between trying some type of booster product, getting some seeded material (best idea IMO), or just continuing with the fishless cycle schedule.

Your last option is to just see what happens until then, and if the cycle isnt completed add fish anyway. With a low bioload and a moderately sized tank it takes longer for the ammonia to build, as compared to a 5 or 10g stuffed with goldfish. Also, if you are on a every-other-day water change routine then it keeps the ammonia/nitrite levels in check, and if you are testing religiously then you should catch any spikes before they get way out of hand.

I know most here are advocates for fishless cycling, as am I in most cases, but doing a fish-in cycle doesn't make you a murderer. Take care!
 
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NewbieGirl

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Add decholrinator then water with your python. Correct me if wrong, Lucy, but isn't TSS supposed to be used with fish? I cycle mine with pure ammonia and Stress-Zyme. It has bacteria included. It took me about three weeks to cycle. Make sure to get a hardy fish first. Readings could still fluctuate for the first months of keeping a fish.
Are you saying, stress-zyme with a fish or just ammonia and stress-zyme. I would rather not cycle with fish if I can avoid this.

I will do water change and see what that does, but can someone give me a percentage to try?
 

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Add decholrinator then water with your python. Correct me if wrong, Lucy, but isn't TSS supposed to be used with fish? I cycle mine with pure ammonia and Stress-Zyme. It has bacteria included. It took me about three weeks to cycle. Make sure to get a hardy fish first. Readings could still fluctuate for the first months of keeping a fish.
Yes, TSS is meant to be used with fish.
Personally, I didn't find that stress zyme helped me at all.
I wrote to the manufacturer once, I'll have to look for that e-mail.
I missed the dechlorinator question, thanks for grabbing it.

I am not sure why tetra reps say that ammonia at 4 kills off some bacteria because most fishless cycling methods ask for around 4-5ppm to start, but they could be just giving 'safe' numbers for best results. I really don't understand why there is such a disparity but that's just me.
TSS is meant to be used with fish where the ammonia is slowly raised through fish waste and left off food, Not zonked with a huge ammount of ammonia.

I think something to remember is while we use ammonia to create bacteria in our tanks, we also use it to kill bacteria when we clean the house.
So too much isn't a good thing
 
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I'm not sure how long you've been fishless cycling up until now but if you have 3 weeks to go then theres a toss up between trying some type of booster product, getting some seeded material (best idea IMO), or just continuing with the fishless cycle schedule.
I have been going since 5-9-10. I can't get seeded material. I have tried Petsmart which is clean. Petco is filthy with green algae everywhere so I don't want that. No other pet store around, well, except Walmart. Have not asked them, but they have dead fish a lot.
wish I could get some seeded material. I have asked at work but no one has fish.

thanks for the help
 

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Are you saying, stress-zyme with a fish or just ammonia and stress-zyme. I would rather not cycle with fish if I can avoid this.

I will do water change and see what that does, but can someone give me a percentage to try?
I have had poor results with StressZyme personally, I have around 3/4 of a bottle sitting under the sink somewhere if you need some, I don't recommend it though.

If you were to do any other bacteria supplement I would suggest TSS again, or stability, however if I was you I would not add any other supplements or witch doctor medicine to the tank and just let it do its thing. We end up like the guy with his pedal on the floor flying past you on the road to only see him stuck at the stop light right next to you 2 minutes later.
 

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I have had poor results with StressZyme personally, I have around 3/4 of a bottle sitting under the sink somewhere if you need some
lol, I think most of us do.
If you were to do any other bacteria supplement I would suggest TSS again, or stability, however if I was you I would not add any other supplements or witch doctor medicine to the tank and just let it do its thing. We end up like the guy with his pedal on the floor flying past you on the road to only see him stuck at the stop light right next to you 2 minutes later.
I have to respectfully disagree with some of this. I'd stay away from stability. The bottle recommends you add it with every water change. If it was self sustaining, it wouldn't need to be constantly added.

If you go with TSS, I'd do 100% water change, use a conditioner that doesn't detox ammonia and add a few fish at the same time as TSS.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree with some of this. I'd also stay away from stability. The bottle recommends you add it with every water change. If it was self sustaining, it wouldn't need to be constantly added.
I think we both disagree on this point, I don't believe stability requires redosing anymore than TSS does. All of the bacteria supplements i've seen give a recommendation or option of redosing with water changes. Stability does not ask for redosing after the 7 day period and only suggests dosing at water changes for optimum performance, this is very similar to what every other product says. Seachem's own reps have repeatedly said that the claims that the bacteria die off are false, and that the bacteria in their product is self sustaining. I asked them this specific question in that recent Q&A I posted just so that hopefully we can give these product suppliers a chance rather than flushing their products for reasons that they claim are untruths.

The basic idea is that at a water change you will lose bacteria, whether it be some on the tank walls dries up or sucked up while cleaning gravel. Lots of bacteria is lost just doing a simple swishing around of the filter media or squeezing the sponge to remove the large particle buildup, but its pretty much all we can do. In a well established tank this doesn't cause an issue, but in a newly established one it easily could, not to mention that suppliers are going to jump at any chance to talk us into buying more of their stuff.

Not trying to start a debate, just stating what I've been told by their reps and through experience with several of these kinds of products.

And based on my experience with Stresszyme, I suggest to stay away from it (and all other boosters at this point)
 
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NewbieGirl

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I appreciate all of the comments. For now I will water change 25% and test ammonia to see if down after 1 hour of it being filtered. If not, I will do more. I will stay away from anything that means that I have to have fish. I really do not want any to die right of the bat if I can help it.
I will give this a few days and see.
thanks again for all your help.
 
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NewbieGirl

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I changed 25% and it is now Ammonia 2ppm. I will now just wait and see.
Thanks again everyone for the advice.
 
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